Margaret Evans, guest clinician

Margaret Evans joined the Meredith College piano faculty in 1994. Highly regarded as performer and teacher, she has been honored with awards in both areas. She holds degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University (D.M.), the University of Illinois (M.M.), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (B.M., Phi Beta Kappa).

Evans has performed as recitalist, concerto soloist, and collaborative artist in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and in Switzerland. Concert venues have included the Art Institute of Chicago, Krannert Hall, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, the Academie de Musique de Sion (Switzerland), Chicago Symphony Hall Cliff Dwellers Club, and KUFM Public Radio (interview and performance). She enjoys presenting Lecture-Recitals in addition to traditional recitals, and is making her way through the catalog of twenty-five Mozart Piano Concertos. For the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, she performed two Mozart concertos in the composer’s chamber arrangement with the Ciompi Quartet. Evans has performed in numerous master classes for such artists as Claude Frank, Walter Hautzig, Ruth Laredo, Menahem Pressler, Gyorgy Sebok, Nelita True, and Earl Wild. Further sources of study include the Taubman Institute, the TCU-Cliburn Institute (PianoTexas), Sheila Paige, and, most recently, the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy.

Students of Dr. Evans have increasingly won recognition in regional piano competitions, receiving prizes as soloists and performing concertos with orchestra, while a few have been honored in national and international competitions. Her students have won graduate and undergraduate music scholarships to outstanding colleges, universities and conservatories such as Oberlin and Eastman.

Evans has judged American piano competitions from coast to coast, including the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition, MTNA Competition, and the ODU Classical Competition. In 2005 and 2009 she judged the Hong Kong Schools of Music Competition and has been invited to return to judge the Great Melody Competition in the summer.

Speaking engagements and topics have included the NCMTA State Conference (guest banquet speaker), Preparing a Semi-finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs; the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Nashville, TN, (session leader with Patrick Kavanaugh, Improving Upon Excellence); the Rocky Mount Piano Teachers (Mastering Memory); the Wilmington Piano Teachers Association and the Raleigh Piano Teachers Association (Preparing Students to be Piano Majors in College); the Charlotte Piano Teachers Forum (What’s Working Now: A Peek Inside an Ever-Evolving Studio); the Nash County Piano Teachers (Developing a Healthy Piano Technique in Our Students); Wake County Home School Association (Mission Possible – Careers in Music); the Cary Piano Teachers (Can We Use Method Books to Teach Technique?).
Dr. Evans currently serves on the Executive Board of North Carolina’s Music Teachers Association. She established the MTNA Collegiate Chapter at Meredith College in 2005, only the second such chapter in the state, and serves as its Faculty Advisor.

Her memberships in honorary societies include Phi Beta Kappa, Pi Kappa Lambda (Certificate of Honor), Phi Kappa Phi, Who’s Who in America, and Who’s Who among America’s Teachers. In 2011 she was awarded the honor, “Teacher of the Year,” by Ruggero Piano and Raleigh Piano Teachers Association, one of the largest and most active chapters in the country.

Randolph Foy, guest lecturer

Dr. Randolph Foy is teaching professor of music and conductor of the orchestras of NC State (Raleigh Civic Symphony & Chamber Orchestra). He holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of Iowa (organ/keyboards) and a doctorate (conducting) from Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. His teachers have included David Boe and Fenner Douglass (organ) and Frederick Prausnitz (conducting), and John Spitzer (musicology; dissertation “Textural Transformations: The Instrumental Music of Krzysztof Penderecki, 1960-73”).

Foy has conducted in the Baltimore/Washington area, and has taught at the University of Richmond, NC School of Science and Mathematics (founding faculty) and UNC School of the Arts. For 29 summers, Foy taught and conducted at the NC Governor’s School in Winston-Salem, a summer program for gifted high school students. The recipient of several awards from the school, Exceptional Children, and the NCGS Alumni Association, in 2012 he worked to insure private and continuing public funding for the important program.

He has been called “an inspired and inspiring director” and “a totally committed musician whose mission is to spark in his audience the same level of enthusiasm that he clearly feels.” Dr. Foy has been instituted into the NC State’s Academy of Outstanding Faculty Engaged in Extension and Engagement and was awarded the City of Raleigh Medal of Arts for presenting a wide variety of concerts of unusual repertoire that enhance the cultural life of the community. Concerts have included Random Acts of Cage: Centennial Celebrations, African-American Heritage Celebrations, NC Connections, Music of Nature, China Dreams, Symphony Remix, Poetry Connections, Mozartiana, Hispanic Heritage, and Earth Matters.

Matthew Harrison, guest artist

A native of Sarasota, Florida, pianist, lecturer, and teacher Matthew Harrison holds a Master of Music degree and a Bachelor of Music degree from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music, where he studied from 2002 until 2008. He has been teaching Piano Literature in the Precollege Division of the Manhattan School of Music, a class he created, since 2005, Concerto Literature since 2007, and Advanced Piano Literature beginning in the fall of 2010.

An active performer, Mr. Harrison has been heard often in New York. He hosted in 2010 a seven part lecture recital series celebrating the 200th year anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin at the Polish American Museum in Port Washington.  This series was the inaugural event for “Masterwork Conversations,” his new project with fellow pianist and friend Vlada Yaneva, which is focused on creating a stronger bond between the audience and the music through an open conversation with the performers.  The series first focused on Chopin’s compositional heritage, and expanded in the fall with three concerts exploring the romantic musical world of Chopin, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Brahms, and Grieg.  This project is currently being brought to libraries throughout the East coast and will continue expanding in 2011 with a cycle dedicated to Franz Liszt.  Mr. Harrison also delivered a lecture on Ignacy Jan Paderewski, the celebrated Polish pianist and statesmen, entitled “Paderewski:  Pianist and Apotheosis.”   He has been heard live on WQXR Radio playing the complete Valses Poeticos of Granados as part of the “Evenings in the Gardens of Spain” hosted by the Cervantes Institute, has been heard several times at the Kosciuszko Foundation playing composers from Chopin to Szymanowki, and has played at the Polish Consulate in a program honoring the legendary virtuoso Josef Hoffman.  In December 2009 he co-hosted “American Musical Heritage,” the first program at the Bulgarian consulate to feature American music for the entire evening, returning in February to participate in the Haiti Benefit Concert.  His other 2009 performances include a duo piano recital in Sofia, Bulgaria, a performance at the National Arts Club in a special evening to introduce Nobility of Spirt, a book by Rob Reiman, founder of the Nexus Institute, to readers in New York, and a performance of Edvard Grieg’s Concerto in Sarasota, Florida.  Each year he gives several lecture recitals in his hometown of Sarasota, where he has also played with orchestra in such works as Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue , and the Hungarian Fantasy by Franz Liszt. He has given lectures to introduce the Rockland Symphony Orchestra and was invited to give an original lecture for the Rockland County Music Teachers Guild “Setting your Student’s Mind Ablaze: an Investigation into the Limitless Piano.” He has since returned to speak about the music of Chopin and Schumann.

Mr. Harrison’s graduate and undergraduate piano studies were with Dr. Marc Silverman, and Mr. Harrison has played in master classes for pianist and radio host David Dubal, for whom he has been teaching assistant at the Manhattan School of Music since 2003.  He has also guest-hosted the “World of the Piano” in the Juilliard Evening Division for Mr. Dubal.

Craig Ketter, guest pianist

American pianist Craig Ketter is rapidly distinguishing himself as a leading pianist of his generation, performing as soloist and chamber musician throughout the world.

Critically acclaimed for “transporting the listeners to extraordinary heights” and “into a world beyond time and space,”Craig Ketter is known for playing with powerhouse sonority combined with long-lined, dulcet lyricism.

Mr. Ketter has performed as soloist with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, the South Orange Symphony, the Raleigh Symphony, the Durham Symphony, the Rocky Ridge Music Festival Orchestra, and the American Festival for the Arts Orchestra.  His solo concerts have taken him to Mexico, Argentina, France, Germany, and Japan and across the United States and Canada.

Craig regularly joins forces with international singers and chamber groups. Venues include NPR’s Performance Today series, CBS Sunday Morning, Sirius Satellite Radio, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, La Huaca, Atlapa in Panama City, the Savannah Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, Maine, “Music in the Mountains” in Colorado, and The Marilyn Horne Foundation.  Musicians he has collaborated with include flutist Eugenia Zukerman, clarinetists Stephen Williamson and Ricardo Morales, cellists Robert deMaine and Eric Bartlett, violinists Kelly Hall-Tompkins and Roy Malan,  singers Deborah Voigt, Margaret Jane Wray, Cynthia Lawrence, Samuel Ramey, Paul Plishka, Ben Heppner, Cliff Forbis, and Robert White, and actress Claire Bloom.

Jonathan Levin, festival founder and pianist

Hailed as a performer with “amazing facility” and “tremendous intelligence”, Jonathan Levin is quickly establishing a reputation as an enthusiastic and compelling advocate for classical music, creating integrated programs that garner closer connections with audiences through illuminating discussion and example.

Born in North Carolina, Jonathan made his debut with the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra when he was fifteen. Since then, he has become a sought after recitalist and soloist, performing throughout the country in concert halls, museums, universities, schools, libraries and private salons. Jonathan’s playing was recently featured on the television show, NC Weekend which is broadcast on PBS throughout the state. Recent engagements have included performances at Carnegie Hall, The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, Steinway Hall, New York Society for Ethical Culture, Brooklyn Public Library, the Consulate General of the Republic of Poland and the Kosciusko Foundation in Manhattan. Jonathan has played solo recitals and taught masterclasses all across the country including engagements in North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Nevada and Washington State. He has performed with the Durham Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony and as a returning guest artist with the Raleigh Symphony as well as appearances at the NC Governor’s Mansion and the NC Museum of Art.  Most recently he was awarded 2nd Prize at the Los Angeles International Liszt Competition and was recipient of the Alan Walker Award from the American Liszt Society.

Jonathan is Artistic Director and Founder of the new Clayton Piano Festival in Clayton, NC which seeks to create accessible, educational, world-class concerts and music presentations that uniquely enrich the cultural life of the area. The festival, which presented its first season of concerts, public classes, school outreach and other community events in February, 2012 aims to bridge the gap between performer and audience, bringing classical piano music to people of all ages and levels of exposure to the arts. For the past three years, he has been Musical Director of Natchez Festival of Music’s Educational Outreach Program and is also on the faculty of Remarkable Theater Brigade’s Summer Young Artists Program for vocalists. A sought after collaborative pianist, Jonathan has appeared on the Vox Novus/RTB Composers Voice Concert Series and has worked closely with respected voice teachers Paul Sperry, Monica Harte and Susan Ormond.

As a lecturer/performer Jonathan’s presentations and remarks on music have been described as “cogent and insightful” and “right on the money.” His recent presentations have included programs devoted to single composers, including Liszt, Chopin, and Schumann and have illustrated the defining features of the composers, their influences, and personalities.

Angelo Rondello, director of Young Artists Seminar and guest artist

Described as “fascinating, enthralling, magnetic,” and “a virtuoso matching…tremendous, overwhelming complexities…with fiery passion” (The Philippine Star), Angelo Rondello is establishing himself as one of the most compelling performers of his generation. His unique presentations have included Dreams & Nightmares Romance at the Keyboard; Tales, Fables & Poetry and The American Piano: a Musical Journey From 1820 to Present, among others. He is also a regular performer of children’s programs, including Fantasies, Fairy Tales & Fair Maidens, and Animal Fair. Since giving his New York debut in the Trinity/St. Paul Concert series in 2005, he has appeared on television, featuring a performance of the Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto no. 2, as well as a subject of interview and in studio recordings. His first CD, released in 2011 was praised by American Record Guide as “wonderfully effective and makes Rondello one of the leading exponents of Schumann’s [Symphonic Etudes].”

In 2011, he toured with an all-Liszt program, commemorating the bicentennial of Liszt’s birth, in which he discussed the life, personality, and music of the composer, in addition to performing many of his masterpieces. In 2009, he gave an all-Mendelssohn program in New York in celebration of Mendelssohn’s 200th birthday. Later that year, he performed at Philamlife Auditorium in Manila with conductor Aries Caces in Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto. He has since performed and taught throughout the Philippines to critical acclaim.

Aside from his performing career, Angelo is a teacher and dedicated advocate of music education who is sought after as a master class teacher and lecturer. In addition to his private teaching studio, he has taught music theory and history in various music schools in New York. As a writer, his thoughts on music education, philosophy of music, and other topics have been published in magazines, books, and newspapers.

A native of Bellingham, Washington USA, Angelo’s life as a pianist began at age 5. However his passion for piano didn’t truly ignite until he was 13. Powered with his newfound love of music, he was regularly concertizing within a year. At 16, he began studies with pianist Mark Salman, who became Angelo’s principal teacher.

Prior to moving to New York in 2000, Angelo lived in the Seattle area. There, he founded Melodia, an organization devoted to bringing educational music programs to schools and communities, and creating opportunities for young musicians. He is a member of his church parish counsel; he is also co-chair of the church’s social justice committee and is active in the music program. Among his principal interests is cooking – especially barbecuing, which he does all year round. He lives in New York City with his wife, Joy, an interior designer.

Vlada Yaneva, guest artist

Vlada Yaneva began her piano studies at the age of six at the National School of Music in her native Sofia, Bulgaria where she graduated with high honors. She early on garnered prizes in numerous competitions, including the 2000 Young Musical Talent National Competition (Sofia), the 1999 Dimitar Nenov Competition for Young Pianists (Razgrad), and the 1996 National Competition for German and Austrian Music (Burgas).

For the last ten years Vlada has been residing and teaching in New York, and performing throughout the United States and Europe. She’s currently collaborating with friend and colleague Matthew Harrison on the project Masterwork Conversations – lecture recital series dedicated to creating a closer and more personal relationship with the audience through an open conversation. In the spring and fall of 2010 they organized and performed a seven part concert series celebrating the lives and works of Frederic Chopin and Robert Schumann at the Polish American Museum in Port Washington. This project is currently being brought to libraries throughout the East coast and will continue expanding with new programs for both adults and children.

Music has taken Vlada to stages in Italy, France, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, England and the United States. In 2007 Ms. Yaneva was presented by the St. Cyril and St. Methodius International Foundation in the concert “Musical Treasures from Bulgaria” at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She has played at this venue numerous other times, first in 2002 when presented by Steinway Hall. She has recently performed at Yamaha Hall, St. John the Divine, Scandinavian House, Theater Project, Trinity Church, The Waterfront Museum Barge, and the Bulgarian Consulate General.

Ms. Yaneva is an active teacher and educator. In March 2007 she became a team leader of the first Children’s Music Social Project at the New York Cares organization working with kids in transitional shelters for two years. She continues sharing her passion for the arts as a teaching artist with the New Victory Theater working with students from the New York Public Schools. She holds her private teaching piano studio in the city for the last ten years.

Vlada is a recipient of the annual 2003 Elwa van Gelder Scholarship. In May 2006 she completed her studies at the Manhattan School of Music, graduating from the studio of Nina Svetlanova.