The pre-college piano program provides an immersive summer music experience for pianists under 18.
During the six weeks, participants gain valuable experience through weekly lessons, seminars, studio classes, and masterclasses. Participants have additional collaborative opportunities, including chamber groups and ensembles.
The program leverages groundbreaking courses offered by our collegiate level Piano Institute and Seminar and Collaborative Piano Program while providing additional fundamentals courses essential for pre-college aged participants, including choir, theory, and ear training.
Sang Woo Kang is described as a “prodigiously talented” by the Los Angeles Times and praised by the New York Concert Review for his “atmospheric and poetic renditions.” As an active performer, pianist Sang Woo Kang has presented masterclasses and recitals over 25 countries, from Asia, Scandinavia, Europe, Central and South America. In addition, he directs the Piano Institute and Seminar at the Atlantic Music Festival over the summer. He successfully balances his performing career as a solo, orchestral, and chamber musician with teaching at Providence College, where he is Professor of the Department of Music. He is also on the teaching faculty of Brown University.
He is a graduate of Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. His recording of Mozart’s piano pieces, including never-performed fragments, was released in December 2014 on the NAXOS Label. His Scarlatti Sonata recording will be available early 2019 (NAXOS). He has also previously recorded for the EMI-Korea label.
For more information, please visit www.sangwookang.com
SEÁN DUGGAN, OSB, pianist, is a monk of St. Joseph Abbey in Covington, Louisiana. He obtained his music degrees from Loyola University in New Orleans and Carnegie Mellon University, and received a Master’s degree in theology from Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. From 1988 to 2001 he taught music, Latin and religion at St. Joseph Seminary College in Louisiana and was director of music and organist at St. Joseph Abbey.
In September, 1983 he won first prize in the Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition for Pianists in Washington, D.C., and again in August, 1991. Having a special affinity for the music of Bach, in 2000 he performed the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard works eight times in various American and European cities. For seven years he hosted a weekly program on the New Orleans NPR station entitled “Bach on Sunday.” He is presently in the midst of recording the complete cycle of Bach’s keyboard (piano) music which will comprise 24 CDs.
Before he joined the Benedictine order he was pianist and assistant chorus master for the Pittsburgh Opera Company for three years. He has performed with many orchestras including the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Leipzig Baroque Soloists, The Prague Chamber Orchestra, The American Chamber Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Sinfonia. From 2110 to 2004 he was a visiting professor of piano at the University of Michigan. Currently he is associate professor of piano at SUNY Fredonia. During the fall semester of 2008 he was also a guest professor of piano at Eastman School of Music. He has been a guest artist and adjudicator at the Chautauqua Institution for several summers, and is also a faculty member of the Golandsky Institute at Princeton, New Jersey. He continues to study the Taubman approach with Edna Golandsky in New York City.
Praised by critics as “a diva of the piano” (The Salt Lake City Tribune), “a mesmerizing risk-taker” (The Plain Dealer, Cleveland), and “simply spectacular” (Chicago International Music Foundation) Ukrainian-American pianist Marina Lomazov has established herself as one of the most passionate and charismatic performers on the concert scene today. Following prizes in the Cleveland International Piano Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Ms. Lomazov has given major debuts in New York (Weill-Carnegie Hall) Boston (Symphony Hall), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Concert Series), Los Angeles (Museum of Art), Shanghai (City Theater) and Kiev (Kiev International Music Festival).
She has performed as soloist with the Boston Pops, Rochester Philharmonic, Eastman Philharmonia, Chernigov Philharmonic (Ukraine), KUG Orchester Graz (Austria), Bollington Festival Orchestra (England), Piccolo Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Brevard Festival Orchestra and South Carolina Philharmonic, to name a few. New York Times chief music critic Anthony Tommasini describes a recent New York performance as “dazzling” and Talk Magazine Shanghai describes her performances as “a dramatic blend of boldness and wit”.
In recent seasons, Lomazov has performed extensively in China, South Africa, Italy, Spain, and in the United States. She is a frequent guest at music festivals in the U.S. and abroad, including Hamamatsu, Chautauqua, Brevard, Miami, Perugia (Italy), Burgos (Spain), Sulzbach-Rosenberg (Germany) and Varna (Bulgaria), among others. She has recorded for the Albany, Centaur and Innova labels and American Record Guide praised her recent recording of piano works by Rodion Shchedrin for its “breathtaking virtuosity”.
Before immigrating to the United States in 1990, Marina studied at the Kiev Conservatory where she became the youngest First Prize Winner at the all-Kiev Piano Competition. Ms. Lomazov holds degrees from the Juilliard School and the Eastman School of Music, the latter bestowing upon her the highly coveted Artist’s Certificate – an honor the institution had not given a pianist for nearly two decades. Also active as a chamber musician, Lomazov has performed widely as a member of the Lomazov/Rackers Piano Duo. Praised for “demon precision and complete dedication” (Audio Society), the duo garnered significant attention as Second Prize winners at the Sixth Biennial Ellis Competition for Duo Pianists (2005), the only national duo piano competition in the United States at that time.
Ms. Lomazov is a Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music. She is currently serving as a chair for National Panelist for YoungArts, the only organization in the US that nominates U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts. For 17 years she served on the faculty of the University of South Carolina School of Music, where she held the chair of Ira McKissick Koger Professor of Fine Arts Music and is currently holds a Guest Artist Residency. Together with her husband and piano duo partner Joseph Rackers, she co-founded and serves as Co-Artistic Director of the Southeastern Piano Festival in Columbia, SC.
Ms. Lomazov is a Steinway Artist.
Described as "an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power" and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid, as "the Spanish pianist of his generation," Jose Ramon Mendez is one of the most exciting Spanish pianists of today.
Recent performances include Chopin's first piano concerto with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra and Manuel de Falla's "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" with the Nittany Valley Symphony, as well as numerous solo and chamber music performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia. His playing has been featured on WQXR's "Performance Today" and on Classical KMFA. He has been a guest performer at many music festivals, including Caramoor Festival, Barge Music Series, Festival Internacional de Piano de las Islas Canarias, Music at Penns Woods, Amalfi Coast International Music Festival, "Tocando el Cielo," Musica en Compostela, the Stony Brook International Piano Festival, and the Santander International Music Festival to name a few. As a chamber musician, Mendez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Karl Leister, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Tree, Pascual Martinez-Nieto, and Pinchas Zukerman.
Mendez received his first music instruction from his father and by the age of seven was already performing on Spanish television and radio stations. He made his solo debut at the age of eleven at the Oviedo Philharmonic Society in Oviedo, Spain, the youngest performer ever to do so in the history of the society. He first gained international recognition when he performed Liszt's first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland, and Japan to great acclaim. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world.
At the age of 18, Mendez's success brought him to the United States, where he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He completed his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in piano performance with renowned pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky and went on to finish his Doctorate of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Byron Janis and Miyoko Lotto. During his stay in New York, he won top prizes in many international competitions, including Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition, Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition, Frederick Chopin Competition in New York, and Hermanos Guerrero International Piano Competition, among others.
Mendez's professional teaching career began in 1996, when he was invited to teach master classes at the Gijon School of Music. Since then, he has given master classes in numerous cities in Spain, including Lugo, Aviles, Valencia, Gijon, Oviedo, Santiago de Compostela, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as well as in the United States at top music schools such as Oberlin Conservatory, Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and Columbus State University. Mendez also taught as assistant teacher to Miyoko Lotto at the Perlman Music Program, a program for gifted young musicians founded by the world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. Currently in the summers, he is the Artistic Director and on the faculty of the Gijon International Piano Festival in Gijon, Spain, as well as frequently being invited to perform and teach at various festivals.
For more information, visit his at https://www.joseramonmendez.com
The New York Times writes ‘Lisa Moore, an Australian pianist long based in and around New York, has always been a natural, compelling storyteller’, TimeOut New York describes her as ‘the wonderfully lyrical pianist’ and The New Yorker refers to her as ‘visionary’. Lisa Moore’s performances combine music and theatre with expressive and emotional power – whether in the delivery of the simplest song, a solo recital, or a fiendish chamber score. Pitchfork claims “She’s the best kind of contemporary classical musician, one so fearsomely game that she inspires composers to offer her their most wildly unplayable ideas”.
This multi-faceted pianist and avid collaborator won the silver medal in the 1981 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition. Based in New York City since 1985, she has released 10 solo discs, ranging from Leoš Janáček to Philip Glass, and more than thirty collaborative discs (on labels: Cantaloupe, Tall Poppies, Orange Mountain, Irreverence Group Music, Bandcamp, Sony, Nonesuch, DG, BMG, New World, ABC Classics, Albany, New Albion, Starkland, Harmonia Mundi). Her 2016 disc The Stone People – featuring the music of John Luther Adams, Martin Bresnick, Missy Mazzoli, Kate Moore, Frederic Rzewski, and Julia Wolfe – was selected by The New York Times Top Classical Albums and Naxos Critics’ Choice. Her 2015 collaborative Steve Reich Music for Eighteen Musicians with Ensemble Signal made The New York Times Top Classical Albums list. Gramophone writes of her solo 2015 Mad Rush Philip Glass disc “what becomes abundantly clear from listening to almost any bar on this recording is Moore’s highly developed, intuitive and nuanced approach to this music, one which has been allowed to evolve and refine over a number of years”.
Lisa was the founding pianist for the Bang On A Can All-Stars from 1992-2008 and, with them, the winner of Musical America’s 2005 Ensemble of the Year award. Given a special passion for the music of our time she has worked with over 200 composers – including Iannis Xenakis, Elliot Carter, Philip Glass, Steve Reich,Meredith Monk, Frederic Rzewski, Ornette Coleman, Jonny Greenwood, David Lang, Don Byron, Martin Bresnick, Elena Kats-Chernin, Paul Grabowski, Kate Neal, Thurston Moore, Missy Mazzoli, Hannah Lash, and Julia Wolfe.
Enjoying diverse collaborative projects throughout the globe, Lisa Moore has performed with a large range of musicians, ensembles and artists – the London Sinfonietta, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Steve Reich Ensemble, New York City Ballet, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra. She is a member of Grand Band, Ensemble Signal, Tempus Duo, TwoSense, and the Paul Dresher Double Duo.
Lisa Moore has performed concertos with the London Sinfonietta, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Wesleyan University Orchestra with Sumarsam Gamelan, Albany Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Tasmania Symphony, La Jolla Symphony, Thai National Orchestra, Canberra Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Monash Performing Arts Orchestra, Clocked Out, and the Queensland Philharmonic. She has performed under the batons of David Robertson, Leonard Bernstein, Bradley Lubman, Brett Dean, Richard Mills, Reinbert de Leeuw, Pierre Boulez, Jorge Mester, Benjamin Northey, Angel Gil-Ordonez, Steven Schick, and Edo de Waart.
Performing on some of the world’s great stages – La Scala, the Musikverein, the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, and the Royal Albert Hall — Lisa’s festival guest appearances include Lincoln Center, BAM Next Wave, Big Ears, Banff, Crash Dublin, Vienna, Graz, Trondheim, Rome, Venice, Palermo, Turin, Aspen, Tanglewood, Gilmore, Chautauqua, Huddersfield, Paris d’Automne, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, BBC Proms, Southbank, Uzbekistan, Leningrad, Moscow, Lithuania, Adelaide, Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne Metropolis, Israel and Warsaw.
Lisa Moore has also enjoyed artistic curation. She produced Australia’s Canberra International Music Festival 2008 Sounds Alive series, importing artists from around the world for 10 days of events at the versatile Street Theatre.
Born in Australia, Lisa grew up in Canberra, London and Sydney. She began piano at age 6 and studied formally at the Sydney Conservatorium, University of Illinois, Eastman School of Music, SUNY Stonybrook, and in Paris with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen. Based in New York City Lisa teaches at Yale-Norfolk Festival New Music Workshop and is a regular guest at the Australian Academy of Music, Melbourne.
Lisa Moore is a Steinway artist. For more Moore please visit www.lisamoore.org
Pianist Esther Park has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals across the United States as well as Asia and major European cities. Ms. Park has appeared as soloist with many orchestras such as Houston Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Corpus Christi Symphony, Filharmonia Pomorska, Poland, Orchestra Filarmonica, Romania, Shanghai Philharmonic, China, Shreveport Symphony, the Juilliard Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony.
Ms. Park gave a five-city recital tour in Korea, and has performed at the Juilliard Theater in NYC, Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Halls’ Weill Recital Hall, Salle Cortot in Paris, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Palau de la Musica, Valencia, Spain and on the Dame Myra Hess Piano Recital Series, Chicago. She has appeared at the Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara), the Aspen Music Festival, the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine, the Tel-Hai International Music Festival in Israel, and the Van Cliburn-TCU Institute in Texas. Ms. Park has been heard in New York on WQXR Radio station as the winner of the 52nd Kosciusko International Competition and the Gina Bachauer Competition.
Ms. Park has recently formed a piano duo with her sister, Sun-A Park. Duo Amadeae has since won the Chicago International Duo Piano Competition, and has appeared in numerous festivals, concerto performances and in duo recitals. The duo has been heard on WQXR as well as part of the Horowitz & Stecher foundation’s piano series.
Ms. Park is the winner of the 2013 Jose Roca International Piano Competition and 2013 Russian International Music Competition. She is the winner of 2009 “Prix Amadeo” and the 2009 Chopin Gesellschaft Klavierwettbewerb. Ms. Park also received top prizes at the 3rd San Marino International Piano Competition, the 3rd China Shanghai International Piano Competition, the 6th Paderewski International Piano Competition, the National Chopin Competition (USA), Hilton Head International Competition, the 14th New Orleans International Piano Competition and is the recipient of the President Clinton’s Prodigy Award.
Born in Pusan, Korea, Ms. Park began to play in public soon after her first piano lessons at the age of four. Ms. Park moved to the United States in 1995, after being accepted to the Juilliard School’s Pre-College division. Ms. Park has completed the undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Juilliard School, studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky. Ms Park has also studied at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, Hannover, under the tutelage of Mr. Bernd Goetzke. Ms Park has since received the Artist Diploma, Master of Musical Arts degrees and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Mr. Boris Berman. Since 2015, Ms. Park has been serving as the assistant professor of piano and the director of Pre-College program at the East Tennessee State University.
Thomas Rosenkranz regularly performs in important musical centers in America, Europe, Africa and Asia. Recent tours have taken him to the Lincoln Center Festival, Shanghai New Music Week, Hong Kong Modern Academy, Ravello Festival (Italy), Vianden (Luxembourg), MusicARTE (Panama), ProPiano (Greece) and the International Festival of Carthage (Tunisia). He has been a soloist with the Indianapolis Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Lebanon, and the Sichuan Philharmonic (China) among others. He twice served as Cultural Ambassador on behalf of the United States Department of State and was the recipient of the Classical Fellowship Award from the American Pianists Association.
In an eclectic repertoire encompassing the solo and chamber music literatures, Rosenkranz is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the music of our time. His latest recording on Oberlin Records, Toward the Curve features commissioned works for piano and electronics alongside his solo improvisations. Other notable recordings include the premiere recording of Paul Lansky’s Textures on Bridge Records and Music for 18 Musicians by Steve Reich with Ensemble Signal on Harmonia Mundi (France). He has been a member of the artist faculty at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy since 2006 where he leads courses in contemporary music and improvisation.
In demand as an artist teacher, Mr. Rosenkranz has been presented in residences throughout North America and Asia including the Shanghai, Shenyang, Tianjin, Xinghai, Xian, Zhejiang Conservatories of China. In 2019 He was named an Official Visiting Professor of Piano at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music. Since 2006 he has been a member of the faculty at the soundSCAPE Festival in Italy where he leads courses on contemporary music and improvisation.
He holds an undergraduate degree in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with Robert Shannon and master's and doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with and was a teaching assistant to Nelita True. He received career assistance from the Presser Foundation for study with Yvonne Loriod-Messiaen in Paris.
He is currently Area Coordinator of the Keyboard Division and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory (UMKC).
“The appeal of Rosenbaum’s playing is in his musical temperament, in which fervor and gentleness are happily combined and in the velvet of his tone.....he makes up for all the drudgery the habitual concert-goer has to endure in the hope of finding the real, right thing”.
That’s how the Boston Globe described American pianist Victor Rosenbaum, an artist whose playing has been called “magisterial” with a “piano touch [that] encompasses bravura, delicacy, and many variations between”.
Rosenbaum has concertized widely as soloist and chamber music performer in the United States, Europe, Israel, Brazil, Russia, and Asia (including 25 annual trips to Japan) in such prestigious halls as Tully Hall in New York and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. He has collaborated with such artists as Leonard Rose, Paul Katz, Arnold Steinhardt, Robert Mann, Joseph Silverstein, James Buswell, Malcolm Lowe, and the Brentano, Borromeo, and Cleveland String Quartets. Festival appearances have included Tanglewood, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Kfar Blum and Tel Hai (in Israel), Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall (Blue Hill), Musicorda, Masters de Pontlevoy (France), the Heifetz Institute, the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, the International Music Seminar in Vienna, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Festival at Walnut Hill School, the Puerto Rico International Piano Festival,The Art of the Piano Festival in Cincinnati, and the Eastern Music Festival, where he headed the piano department for five years. Concert appearances have brought him to Chicago, Minneapolis, Tokyo, Beijing, St. Petersburg (Russia), Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and New York, among others. In addition to his absorption in the music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (in particular Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, and Brahms), Rosenbaum has performed and given premieres of works by many contemporary composers, including John Harbison, John Heiss, Peter Westergaard, Norman Dinerstein, Arlene Zallman, Donald Harris, Daniel Pinkham, Miriam Gideon, Stephen Albert, and many others. A musician of diverse talents, Rosenbaum is also a composer and has frequently conducted in the Boston area and beyond.
Rosenbaum, who studied with Elizabeth Brock and Martin Marks while growing up in Indianapolis, and went on to study with Rosina Lhevinne at the Aspen Festival and Leonard Shure (while earning degrees at Brandeis University and Princeton) has become a renowned teacher himself. A member of the faculty of New England Conservatory in Boston since 1967, he chaired its piano department for more than a decade, and was also Chair of Chamber Music. Also on the faculty of Mannes School of Music in New York from 2004-2017, he has been Visiting Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music, a guest teacher at Juilliard, and presents lectures, workshops, and master classes for teachers’ groups and schools both in the U. S. and abroad, including London’s Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music, and Guildhall School, the conservatories of St. Petersburg and Moscow, Beijing Central Conservatory, Shanghai Conservatory, the Toho School in Tokyo, Tokyo Ondai, most major schools in Taiwan, and other institutions such as the Menuhin School near London, and the Jerusalem Music Center. Rosenbaum was also Director and President of the Longy School of Music from 1985-2001.
A recently released CD of the last piano pieces of Brahms on Bridge Records has been described as “transfixing” (Fanfare); three other discs on the same label include a Schubert disc (described as a “powerful and poignant record of human experience”) and two Beethoven recordings, named by the American Record Guide as among the top classical recordings of 2005 and 2020. He has also recorded three discs for the Fleur de Son label — two of Schubert and one of Mozart.
The Jerusalem Post wrote of Rosenbaum: “His obvious consciousness of everything he was doing....resulted in rich and subtle nuances of dynamics and shadings and in organically shaped, well-rounded phrases; [while] there was refreshing spontaneity and genuine temperament....the reign of intellect never faltered”.
The New York Times put it succinctly after his performance at Tully Hall: Rosenbaum “could not have been better”.
Praised for her “thrilling, inspirational performance” (Florida Sun-Sentinel) and “elegance of line, leaping energy” (San Jose Mercury News), pianist Yukiko Sekino has forged a career that encompasses a wide range of interests. A soloist noted for her performances of Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, and Scriabin, she frequently collaborates in chamber music and performs some of the most challenging twentieth and twenty-first century works.
Sekino is the Gold Medalist of the 2006 International Russian Music Piano Competition and a 2010 winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award. During the final round of the International Russian Music Piano Competition, she received the Public Prize through audience vote for her performance of Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto. Sekino is also a winner of Tanglewood Music Center’s Jackson Prize, the JAA Music Award in New York, and the Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Competition.
She made a debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen, and has since performed with the New World Symphony, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, and Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra. Recent recitals include those at the Overtures Series in Washington, D.C., Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago, Hitomi Memorial Hall in Tokyo, Japan, Northeast Asia International Piano Festival in China, and U.S. college campuses such as Eastman School of Music, MIT, and Ithaca College. She has given masterclasses in the United States and China.
An avid chamber musican and a new music performer, Sekino has been invited to Tanglewood Music Center, Thy Masterclass Chamber Music Festival (Denmark), and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival. Between 2005 and 2008, she was a resident pianist of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2013, she performed as a soloist in Elliott Carter’s Double Concerto for Piano and Harpsichord at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in culmination of Weill Institute Professional Training Workshop with John Adams and David Robertson.
Sekino is a graduate of Harvard University and the Juilliard School, and holds a doctoral degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her teachers include Gilbert Kalish, Seymour Lipkin, Robert Levin, and Eda Shlyam. She previously taught at Colby College, and currently teaches piano at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Conservatory Prep School.
Logan Skelton is a much sought after pianist, teacher, and composer whose work has received international critical acclaim. As a performer, Skelton has concertized widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has been featured on many public radio and television stations including NPR's Audiophile Audition, Performance Today, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, as well as on radio in China and national television in Romania. He has recorded numerous discs for Centaur, Albany, Crystal, Blue Griffin, and Naxos Records, the latter on which he performed on two pianos with fellow composer-pianist William Bolcom. A frequent guest at music festivals, Skelton regularly appears in such settings as Gina Bachauer; Amalfi Coast; Gijón; Eastman; Tunghai; Chautauqua Institution; American Romanian; Eastern; New Orleans; Poland International; Indiana University; Hilton Head Island; and the Prague International Piano Masterclasses. He is a popular presenter at music teacher organizations including numerous appearances at MTNA national conventions and EPTA World Piano Conferences, as well as serving as convention artist for state conventions in New York, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Iowa. Moreover, he has given countless performances and masterclasses at colleges, conservatories, and conferences throughout the U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Poland, and Czech Republic. He is a frequent juror for international piano competitions. His Centaur Records compact disc, of all 20th century American solo piano music, is titled American Grab Bag: Piano Music of Our Time. American Record Guide described this as a "fascinating recording," commenting on Skelton's "superb, wonderfully subtle and elegant playing ... Bravo!"
As a composer, Skelton has a special affinity for art song, having composed well over a hundred songs, including numerous song cycles. Critics have noted the close fusion of text and music in Skelton's songs, how words are "... illuminated with brilliance and deep emotional power," American Record Guide. Others have found "... joy-a night unto ecstatic joy... in word and sound-play," Dial M for Musicology. In Fanfare magazine reviews, Skelton as a composer of song has been singled out for his ability to "... plumb the depths of emotion ... these are exquisitely crafted art songs in the American tradition ... we are in the hands of someone who lives and breathes song." His works have been performed throughout the world by a variety of musicians in settings such as Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Tblisi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Australia, Sorrento, Italy, as well as numerous cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, New Orleans, Lincoln, Houston, Detroit, and many others. He composed the required work for the 1993 New Orleans International Piano Competition. His song cycle Anderson Songs: The Islander, was a recipient of the Music Composition Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
Professor Skelton's principal teachers have included John Murphy, Rebecca Penneys, Lillian Freundlich, and Artur Balsam. A devoted teacher himself, his own piano students have repeatedly won awards in many national and international competitions including Hilton Head; San Antonio; Cincinnati World; Washington; Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff; Fischoff; Jacob Flier; Iowa; Frinna Awerbuch; Eastman; Crescendo; Dallas Chamber; Missouri Southern; Los Angeles Liszt; Wideman; Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Musicale; Schimmel, Liszt-Garrison; Grieg Festival; Del Rosario; Beethoven Sonata; Ithaca; Piano Arts; Heida Hermanns; Dubois; Schmidbauer; Peabody Mason; Janáček; Seattle; Kingsville; New York; Oberlin; Idyllwild; as well as numerous Music Teachers National Association competitions. His former students hold positions of prominence in music schools and conservatories throughout the world. He was honored by the University of Michigan as the recipient of the prestigious Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Missouri State University, and is currently professor of Piano and director of Doctoral Studies in Piano Performance at U-M.
Arlene Shrut, is a collaborative pianist with a flair for the visionary: combining tradition with transformation. This two-fold passion guided Arlene to become Founder and Artistic Director of New Triad for Collaborative Arts, a 501C3 non-profit educational and arts service organization dedicated to providing classically-trained musicians with professional presentation skills that lead to more accessible concerts. New Triad's innovative interdisciplinary training helps artists dramatically increase both the expressiveness and visual impact of their performances.
Dr. Shrut is a Senior Coach at the Marcus Institute for Vocal Arts of The Juilliard School as well as a Vocal-Piano Recital Faculty Coach at the Manhattan School of Music. An admired keyboard performer hailed as a "strong and sensitive pianist" by The New York Times, Arlene has performed in major venues in America, Canada and Europe, and recorded for Dorian, Albany, Summit, Centaur and Orion labels. Arlene also launched The National Association of Accompanists and Coaches and taught on the faculties of Syracuse University and Mannes College. During the summer of 2009, her teaching and performing was featured at Vancouver International Song Institute, Operafest on Martha's Vineyard and Resonanz Festival. In the summer of 2010, she also joined the Atlantic Music Festival faculty and guested at Songfest in Malibu.
Arlene's ongoing activities in the operatic realm include serving as official pianist for international competitions sponsored by The Loren Zachary Society, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, The Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation and the Giulio Gari Foundation. She was coach/pianist for Arizona Opera's last complete Ring cycle and has performed in many gala concerts sponsored by the America Wagner Society. Arlene was a member of the coaching staff at the Aspen Opera Theater Center for fourteen summers, where she taught seminars on Mozart and German opera. Arlene was honored in 2003 as inaugural "Coach of the Year" by Classical Singer Magazine.