Shepherd School students to showcase talent at Kennedy Centers Conservatory Project May

first_imgShareCONTACT: Jennifer Evans PHONE: 713-348-6777 E-MAIL: [email protected] Shepherd School students to showcase talent at Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project May 5 For the third consecutive year, the Shepherd School of Music has been invited to participate in the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project, a program designed to introduce audiences to the top young musical artists in classical music, jazz, musical theater and opera from the nation’s leading undergraduate and graduate conservatories, colleges and universities. Seven of the Shepherd School’s best and brightest students will have a chance to showcase their talents May 5 at one of the best-known venues in the country, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. “We’re delighted to be one of the seven elite institutions chosen to participate,” said Robert Yekovich, dean of the Shepherd School. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase on a national stage the extraordinary talent indicative of the students at the Shepherd School.” This year’s participants are: — Aidan Soder, mezzo soprano, and Kris Becker, piano, performing works by Brahms and by Karim Al-Zand, the Lynette S. Autrey Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory — Rebecca Corruccini, violin, and Jennifer Yeo, piano, performing works by Ravel and Kreissler — Maiko Sasaki, clarinet, and, Kana Mimaki, piano, performing works by Leonard Bernstein — Wenli Zhou, piano, performing works by Mendelssohn, Chopin and Scriabin. The performances by the Shepherd School students are part of a seven-day series of concerts by students from Berklee College of Music, the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, the Juilliard School, Northwestern University School of Music, the Peabody Conservatory of Music at Johns Hopkins University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The 6 p.m. performance in the Terrace Theater is free and open to the public and will be streamed live on the Web at 6 p.m. EST. The streamed concert will be available at . Student bios Mezzo-soprano Aidan Soder has earned acclaim for her versatility, displayed through the diversity of her orchestral, chamber, opera and art song repertoire. She has performed with orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, including the Houston Symphony, the Delaware Symphony, the Lancaster Symphony, the Omaha Chamber Symphony, as well as with orchestras in Austria and England. Soder was a Young American Artist for two consecutive seasons at Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, N.Y., added to her opera credits, which include Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance” with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra, “The Mikado” and Puccini’s “Suor Angelica” and “Gianni Schicchi.” In 2005, Soder completed her doctorate of music at the Shepherd School, studying with Joyce Farwell, professor emerita of voice, and now is an assistant professor of music at the University of South Dakota. Pianist Kris Becker began playing piano by ear and composing at age 3. At 12 years old, after only one year of classical training, he became a finalist in the Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition. In 2004 he won the piano prize in the prestigious national Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, an accomplishment he followed with receipt of the Kate Neal Kinley Fellowship, selection as a finalist in the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition and winner of the Artist Presentation Society auditions. Becker has competed, performed and studied in the U.S., Poland, France, the Czech Republic and Italy. Last year he released his debut CD, “Variations.” Becker earned his bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Illinois and now is pursuing a master’s degree in performance as a full-scholarship student of Robert Roux, professor of piano. Rebecca Corruccini has been a longtime student, performer and teacher of violin. She earned her undergraduate degree with honors from the Cleveland Institute of Music and currently is pursuing a master’s degree, studying with the Shepherd School’s Kathleen Winkler, professor of violin. Corruccini has been active in orchestral programs, as well as chamber performances. She has distinguished herself with achievements that include performing with the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) orchestra as a winner of CIM’s concerto competition, being named CIM’s Presser Scholar for academic and artistic excellence and performing during 2005 as a one-year member of the Houston Symphony’s first violin section. Jennifer Yeo grew up in a musical family and began studying piano at 6. At 11, she made her orchestral debut with the Springfield Symphony and since then has made solo appearances with the Richmond Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The prizewinning musician has distinguished herself at, among others, the Beethoven Society Piano Competition, the American Music Scholarship Association Competition and the National Society of Arts & Letters Competition. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and currently is working on her doctorate, studying with Rice University’s Jon Kimura Parker, professor of piano. Maiko Sasaki has been studying clarinet since age 7 and earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. With her focus on solo performance, she came to Houston to expand her musical experience and currently is pursuing a doctorate of music, studying with the Shepherd School’s Michael Webster, associate professor of clarinet and ensembles. Among awards and honors Sasaki has earned are the Japan Classical Music Competition, the All Japan Soloist Competition, “The Great Wall of China Cup” International Music Competition, the Shepherd School Concerto Competition and the Presser Award. She has performed in Japan and the U.S. with Orchestra Symposion, the Houston Grand Opera and the Bach Collegium Japan, as well as the Shepherd School’s symphony and chamber orchestras. Kana Mimaki is an acclaimed soloist who started playing piano at age 3. Only two years later she won her first piano competition. She became a devoted student of piano, attending one of Japan’s top music high schools and was ultimately accepted to Japan’s top music school, Tokyo National University of Music and Fine Arts. After earning her bachelor’s degree — and in the process performing at the E. Nakamichi Piano Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival — Mimaki attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for her master’s degree and currently is a doctoral student of Shepherd School Professor Robert Roux. Pianist Wenli Zhou began her early music training at age 5 at Sichuan Conservatory of Music in her native China and made her first public appearance at age 6 in Chengdu. As a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, Zhou has given performances in such venues as Carnegie Hall, Miller Theaters in New York City and Liszt Academy of Budapest in Hungary, as well as venues in Japan, Poland, Canada, China and the U.S. She is the recipient of prizes and awards from international and regional competitions, including the World Piano Competition, the Grace Welch International Piano Competition in Chicago and the Rislov Foundation Award. Zhou takes a strong interest in the music of her homeland. Zhou holds degrees and diplomas from the University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and Sichuan Conservatory of Music. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts at Rice, where she is a student of Robert Roux. AddThislast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *