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faculty

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Executive Director,

Co-Artistic Director 

New York University

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Co-Artistic Director 

Bahçeşehir University

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Young Stars International Music Festival

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University of Santo Tomas

European Academy for Fine Arts 

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China Conservatory of Music

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Zoe Yu

Assistant Faculty

Pei Qiao College 

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Yoonie Han

New York University

Executive Director,

Co-Artistic Director

Praised for her "flowing tones, poetic phrasing and heavenly singing melodies" (Cincinnati Inquirer), and “musical imagination and feel for complex textures that drew vivid images” (Washington Post), South Korean pianist Yoonie Han has won top prizes in distinguished international competitions and the highest accolades for her poetic performances in major concert halls in the U.S. and around the world.

In 2009, Yoonie Han was honored with the Gawon Music Award as the “most brilliant pianist aged 17 to 31 of any nationality who possesses the most promising potential for global prominence.” She is the first-prize winner of the Washington International Piano Competition, World Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Chopin Competition, Fulbright Concerto Competition, Juilliard’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, Juilliard’s Frederich Nordmann Piano Competition, Juilliard’s Chopin Piano Competition, Juilliard Mozart Piano Concerto Competition, Music Teachers’ National Association Piano Competition, and has garnered major prizes at the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize, Concorso Pianistico Ettore Pozzoli Internaziole, and Valencia International Piano Competitions. Following her grand-prize award in the Korea National Music Competition in 2001, the Korean Ministry of Culture named her its “Most Promising Young Artist.” She is the recipient of “Brava!” award given by the Italian Academy Foundation, as well as an award from  London Keyboard Trust.

Having made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at Seoul Arts Center at age 13, Dr. Han has since performed with the Berliner Symphoniker, Buffalo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Miami Symphony, Santa Cruz Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, New Jersey Festival, New Amsterdam, Presidential Symphony of Turkey, Hong Kong City Chamber, Hong Kong SAR Philharmonic, Gangnam Symphony in Korea, and Banff Festival Orchestras. She has played at such celebrated venues as at the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Frick Collection, Symphony Space, Tanglewood Festival, Bergamo Festival in Italy, Salle Cortot in Paris, Hong Kong City Hall, and Sejong Performing Arts Center in Korea. In 2012-13, with the supports from Fulbright Foundation, she toured major Steinway Halls in the U.S. and Europe. Her debut album was released on Concert Artists label (2013), and she has released three albums with Steinway Records. Her ‘Love and Longing’ (2014) on Steinway Records made the Top 21 on the Billboard Classical Chart. Her second album, ‘Goyescas’ (2017), was released to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of the composer, Enrique Granados. Her third album presents the complete ‘Le Rossignol Éperdu’ (2019) by Reynaldo Hahn. In 2020, she released ‘Hollywood Romance’ on Universal Music Group label. Her Piano Trio, Gloriosa, has released an album (2019) on the Centaur Records label.

Dr. Han received her Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, her Artistic Diploma from the University of Montreal, and her Doctorate from Stony Brook University. She was an Assistant Professor of Piano and Artistic Events Coordinator at Bilkent University in Turkey in 2015-18. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Piano at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Yoonie Han is a Steinway Artist and Steinway Honorary Professor.

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Bahçeşehir University

Co-Artistic Director

Hyun Sook Tekin was born in Daegu, South Korea. Her musical studies began at the age of six when she started to receive private tuition in piano. Between 1989 and 1994 she won first prizes at Young Pianist Competition in Daegu. In 1996, she achieved the highest mark in the entrance examinations of the Kyung Pook National University – College of Fine Art and Music and consequently gained the Special Scholarship of the Rector. As a student of Prof. Jung, she attended the Music College of Kyung Pook National University in Daegu, beginning in 1996 and graduating from the Piano department with bachelor's degrees in both Piano Major and Music Pedagogy in 2000. During her University education, she accompanied several professional opera societies, such as Opera Young Nam at Daegu, and performed in various chamber ensembles on the piano. Most of these concerts were broadcast by Korean Television. 

 

In 2000, she moved to Germany where she trained in Berlin under Prof. Kupfernagel and in Leipzig under Prof. Erber. Between 2001 and 2004 she studied with the famous pianist Prof. Klaus Schilde, who was a pupil of Walter Gieseking and Marguerite Long, in the Hochschule für Musik-Franz Liszt in Weimar and received a Master’s degree in February 2004. During this period she studied Chamber Music with Prof. Beetz (Abegg Trio). She also completed masterclasses with Prof. Mishory (Freiburg), Prof. Schirmer (Mannheim), Prof. Kehrer (Zürich), and Prof. Mia Paul (North Texas Univ.). Between 2004 and 2010 she continued her piano studies as a doctorate student at MIAM, Istanbul Technical University in Turkey with the State Artist Ayşegül Sarıca and completed her Ph. D. thesis on R. Schumann’s miniature piano pieces related to literary ideas under the advisorship of Prof. Dr. Cihat Aşkın and Prof. Judith Uluğ.

 

Dr. Tekin has performed in various chamber music concerts and solo recitals in Korea, Japan, Germany, Italy, England, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, and Turkey. She has been invited regularly by the Afyon Music Festival for concerts, and in 2012, she played Mozart’s piano concerto with the Praguemodern Ensemble at the opening concert. Since 2013 Dr. Tekin has been a guest professor at the Bologna, Salerno, and Lecce Conservatory in Italy. She has given concerts at the Verona Piano Festival, Contemporary Music Festival (ITU), St. John Classical Music Festival, Piano Summer Ohrid, Piano Summer Vranje, and Pharos Music Foundation. She has participated in International Music Symposiums and is currently working on several articles about musical symbolism. In 2013, she played U. C. Erkin’s concerto with the Istanbul State Orchestra for the goodwill concert between Turkey and Korea which is organized by both governments. This concert is praised by the U. C. Erkin Foundation. She has released 3 CDs on the label Lila Müzik.

 

In 2018, Dr. Tekin was invited at the Bilkent Piano Festival as an artist faculty member, and joined as the Co-Artistic Director of the Istanbul Piano Festival and Steinway Prize in 2022. Since 2008 she worked in the department of Music as an Associate of Prof. Dr. at Marmara University, and worked as the head of the department of Music in 2013-18.  

 

Dr. Hyun Sook Tekin is currently the chair of Music department at Bahçeşehir University in Turkey.

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Young Stars International Music Festival

Elena Çekiç began her Music and English education at the Biysk Music College for talented children at the age of 5. During her studies she participated in a number of international festivals and gave piano recitals under the supervision of Prof. A. Bahchiev Prof. E. Sorokina and Prof.M. Zheleznov. She performed at the Moscow Conservatory and at the Paris Conservatoire with Sandra and Jeroen Van Veen, Dominigue Morel and Dauglas Nemish (Canada), and together with Anna Louise and Edward Türjon (USA).

Ms. Çekiç was awarded first prize in the “Altay’s Young Talents” competition, and was invited by the President of the Child fund Khachaturyan Culture Foundation to study at the Barnaul College of Music, where she graduated from with an Honors Degree. She later entered the Novosibisk State Conservatory where she aslo graduated with an Honors Degree. While studying at the Conservatory, she attended many national and international competitions as a chamber musician, accompanist and soloist in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Russia. She has participated in the Chopin Master Class, music events in Bulgaria ran by Prof.Anatasa Kurteva, Prof T.Poddubnaya, Russia Prof. P. Yegorov (St.Petersburg Conservatory Honorary Artist) Prof. A. Bonduryansky (Moscow Conservatory).

Since 2007, Elena Çekiç has worked successfully in the Administration of the Chamber Ensemble NGK (Novosibirsk State Conservatory) and in 2008, was awarded the first prize in the Novosibirsk Pedagogical Talent Contest. In 2009, she joined the delegation for cultural exchange between Russia and China. She performed a series of concerts both as a soloist and an accompanist. Since 2012, she has been living in Turkey working with the students of different ages and levels from several provinces and overseas providing academic consultancy and training. For the last 3 years, Elena has been organizing the Young Stars International Music Festival in a collaboration with Bursa Metropolitan Municipality in Turkey. She is the director of Elena Çekiç Music Academy.

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Oliver Salonga

University of Santo Tomas

European Academy for Fine Arts 

Praised for his emotional energy and technical finesse, Oliver Salonga has performed in the concert halls of the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Philippines, Australia, and China.

He collaborated with prominent musicians, such as conductors Albert Georg Schram, George Ellis, Arturo Molina, and Ruggiero Barbieri. He has been invited as visiting artist at music festivals like Neuberg an der Donau Music Festival and Halle International Music Festival in Germany, Perugia Music Fest, Lunigiana International Music Festival and Athenaeum Piano Festival in Italy, JFJC Music Institute Festival in Philippines, EuroArts Academy Winter Festival in South Korea and FAIM Summer Festival in China.

As an avid chamber musician, with Korean pianist, Dr. Heeseung Lee, they formed a piano duo ensemble, “Duo Bravura”, to promote two-piano works of 21st century composers. Recently, he formed Yulanhua Trio with Shanghai based musicians, Linda Shi and Caity Quinlan, to bring chamber music outside to more intimate performance spaces. Salonga is an exclusive KNS Classical Artist.

Salonga is the Gold Medal winner of the 2008 Jeonju International Piano Competition in South Korea. He has also won the Zellen Piano Prize at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has gained accolades from Hilton Head International Piano Competition, Florida International Piano Competition, and Scottish International Piano Competition.

Oliver Salonga received his Artist Diploma and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He also received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance with minors in Theory and Analysis, Arts Management, and Collaborative Arts from the University of Southern California where he held the Sylvia Grancell Award for his entire doctoral residency. Oliver has received guidance from outstanding pianists, such as Antonio Pompabaldi, Sergei Babayan, Daniel Pollack, and Norman Krieger.

He is a professor at the Piano Conservatory of European Academy of Fine Arts Piano Conservatory and University of Santo Tomas, Artistic Director of Hangzhou Music Institute. His students have won first prizes in New York International Music Competition, Paris and London Grand Prize, China International Franz Liszt Competition, Singapore International Youth Competition and Hong Kong International Competition. His students have been admitted to some of the finest musical institutions such as the Juilliard School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Hannover Hochschule, Tokyo College of Music and Interlochen Arts Academy. Dr. Oliver Salonga embraces the Russian School of Piano Performance Tradition.

Oliver Salonga regularly holds masterclasses in Asia, among them at China’s Ernst Piano Foundation Masterclasses Series, Korea’s EuroArts Academy Winter Festival, Thailand’s Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music and Yamaha Music Academy, Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Consevatory of Music and Tanglewood Music School, UAE’s Dubai Piano Institute and AbuDhabi Cultural Foundation, Philippines’ University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas, Philippine High School for the Arts and Cultural Center of the Philippines. He has also given lectures and teaching workshops about “Shaping Artistic Individuality and Creating Sound World” and “Preparation, Programming, and Psychological Control in International Piano Competitions” around the world.

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Shuman Ren

China Conservatory of Music

Ren Shuman began studying the piano at the young age of 7. Once in middle school, he began studying with a former Soviet pianist, Lyudmila Cleranovsky, and after working with her for 3 years he completed his middle school diploma. 

 

In 1996, Mr. Shuman was accepted to the Piano Department of the Prestigious Central Conservatory of Music and began studying the piano under the guidance of Professor Bian Meng. In 1997, he received a special invitation by the Beijing Symphony Orchestra to perform a

piece with them called "Poetry of China" on Mr. Wang Xilin's piano and with the Symphony Chorus.  The concert was very well received. 

 

Mr. Shuman then went on to perform as well as premier a piano suite by Mr. Wang Xilin titled "Jinfeng".  Later, the same year, upon invitation from the Beijing Symphony Orchestra, he performed with them again for the Opening Ceremony Concert of "The Forbidden City Concert Hall".  

 

In 2001, Mr. Shuman and China's Top Symphony Orchestra recorded all the music for China's first digital musical scenery film called “Island of Gu Lang Yu”.  The film won the Highest award for Arts and Achievement from the Chinese government.  Also in 2001, Mr. Shuman was accepted by the Shepherd Conservatory of Music at Rice University in Dallas, Texas and he received a full scholarship to begin his Masters of Music in Piano Performance and study under Professor Robert Roux.

 

In 2002, Mr. Ren Shuman made his American debut in Houston, TX and with great success.  The Houston International Daily described him as "Ren is an extremely enthusiastic and an exciting pianist...". In 2003, Mr. Shuman completed his studies at Rice University and graduated with a Master's of Music degree. In the same year, Mr. Shuman auditioned for the doctoral program at Boston University and was accepted.  His dream was then finally achieved.  He was going to begin studying with Maestro Anthony di Bonaventura.  Maestro di Bonaventura was a prestigious pianist and mentor.  He was also a pupil of the great pianist Madame Vengerova.

 

Mr. Shuman became the only doctoral student of the year who was awarded the "John Silber" scholarship by Mr. John Silber,  the president of Boston University. While studying at B.U., Ren Shuman was invited to the famous Hampden Sydney Chamber Music Festival, the Liszt International Music Festival in Florida, as well as other International Festivals and festivals throughout the United States and Europe.

 

Mr. Shuman also received an invitation from the Ministry of Culture of China to participate in a live broadcast of the Spring Festival Gala twice and collaborated with the country's finest musicians on the program. It was warmly regarded by President Hu, Jintao and Prime MinisterWen, Jiabao.

 

For the celebration of the 60th birthday of the P. R. of China, Mr. Shuman was invited again by the Ministry of Culture and Affairs of China, to contribute his music to the music and dance epic ”The  Road of Revival”.

 

Ren Shuman is a very passionate and active musician. He has recorded many Chinese and foreign piano works for CCTV and Chinese International broadcasts. He has played chamber music and solo recitals in almost every major Concert Hall in Beijing such as National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing Concert Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Poly Concert Hall, 21 Century Concert Hall, and others. Mr. Shuman has been invited to play recitals in Shenzhen, Kunming as well as other cities throughout the country of China.

 

Ren Shuman is currently teaching piano at the China Conservatory of Music. Many of his students have won major awards both in China and in International Competitions (such as Hong Kong Open Competition, Los Angeles International Youth Piano Competition, Macao Open Competition, The Third International Young Livorno Piano Competition First prize in category A,and The 27th International Piano Competition for Children and Youth in Szafarnia Encouragement Award in group III).  Many of Mr. Shuman’s students have also been admitted to prestigious music schools such as The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music, New England Conservatory, Johns Hopkins University – Peabody Conservatory of Music, New York University, University of Michigan, Oberlin College Conservatory, Mannes College of Musicin the United States, as well as Hochschule für Künste Bremen in Germany, École normale supérieure,ENS in France, The Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz and The Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland, The Moscow State Conservatory named after P.I.Tchaikovsky in Russia, and other European countries.

Xi’an Conservatory of Music

Born in China, Nansong started playing the piano when he was four years old. At the age of ten, he was accepted to The Middle School Attached to The Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 2009, he moved to the United States and was admitted to the pre-college division of Juilliard School of Music. He earned his B.A. from the renowned Columbia-Juilliard Exchange program with degrees in Political Science and Music, and then pursued a Master of Music degree at Yale School of Music. Nansong graduated with a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at Northwestern University, and he is currently a full-time piano faculty at Xi’an Conservatory of Music. 

 

In recent years, he had won top prizes in many piano competitions, including 1st prize in Minnesota International E-Competition Juniors (2008), 1st prize of the 5th International Piano Competition “Dedication to Franz Liszt" in Moscow(2008),1st prize and the best performance of Tchaikovsky piece award in the 6th International Tchaikovsky Competition for young musicians, South Korea(2009), Special Jury Prize and Special Audience Prize for performance in the 4th Sendai International Music Competition, Japan (2010), 2nd prize in piano competition in Virtuoso & Belcanto Music festival (2017), Steinway Prize in Bilkent Music Festival (2018), winner of the Thaviu-Issak Piano Competition (2019), Etc. He was also the recipient of Luminarts Fellowship in Classical Music by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in 2019.

 

In addition, He collaborated successfully with more than 20 orchestras around the world including Ukraine National Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, Russian Symphony Orchestra, and many others. He is also an avid chamber musician, and has performed chamber music in many prominent venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Hall, etc., with works ranging from Franz Schubert to Leonard Bernstein.

 

Nansong also appeared in many special music events. Highlights include performance of Brahms piano concerto No.1 with Juilliard Orchestra conducted by world-class pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher; collaboration with Santa Fe Ballet and Aspen Symphony Orchestra in Aspen Music Festival; welcoming performance for former U.S. Secretary of State Mrs. Hillary Clinton at Beijing Diaoyutai State Guest House during Mrs. Clinton’s official diplomatic visit to China; Soloist of Stravinsky’s Petrouchka with Columbia University Orchestra under the baton of Jeffery Milarsky; Performance with Lang Lang for UNICEF fundraising and Beijing Olympic celebration; and so forth. Nansong is currently a Steinway Artist.

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Zoe Yu

Assistant Faculty

Pei Qiao College 

responsible for students’ activities and communications

Ms. Yu graduated from Xi'an Conservatory of Music in music education, majoring in piano and voice, studying with Prof. Tiantian Jin and Meng Bai. She completed her postgraduate studies at Hong Kong Baptist University. In addition to her studies in piano performance and voice, she is a qualified artist for Chinese traditional dance.

She has worked as a music teacher at the Italian International Kindergarten in Hong Kong and Parsons Music in Hong Kong. Currently Ms. Yu is a music faculty at the Pei Qiao College in Shenzhen, China.

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