Guest Artists & Faculty

Kevin KennerKevin Kenner

Artistic Director

Performing and teaching for this year’s Festival/Academy, Kevin Kenner, top prize winner of the 1990 International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, serves as this year’s Artistic Director. Since 2015 he has also been teaching full time at the Frost School of Music. Previously, he taught for 11 years at the Royal College of Music in London, and has served as Visiting Professor at the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland.

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Dang Thai Son

Dang Thai Son

Offering the Chopin Festival its opening concert as well as daily lessons to the Academy’s students, Vietnamese pianist DANG THAI SON came to prominence in 1980 by winning First Prize and the special prizes for mazurkas, polonaise and concerto at the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He began learning piano with his mother in Hanoi and continued his studies with Vladimir Natanson and Dmitry Bashkirov at Moscow Conservatory. Since winning the Chopin Competition, his career has taken him to over forty countries. 

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Katarzyna Popova ŻydrońKatarzyna Popowa Zydroń

Performing in recital for this year’s Festival and teaching daily lessons to our students, internationally renowned Polish pianist KATARZYNA POPOWA-ZYDROŃ serves on juries of many international music competitions, including the 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition, where she served as chair. Since 1980 she has forged a distinguished career as an instructor, teaching some of the world’s most promising young pianists, including Rafal Blechacz, the top winner of the 2005 International Chopin Competition.

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Margarita ShevchenkoMargarita Shevchenko

Offering our Festival daily open lessons, Chopin prize-winning pianist Margarita Shevchenko, a musician of "uncommon sensitivity and refinement," is one of the leading young pianists on the international concert platform today. She has been the recipient of the "Special Chopin Prize" at five competitions in addition to seven top prizes she has won at major international piano competitions in Europe, Japan and the United States.

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Shelton BergShelton Berg

The Dean of the Frost School of Music and world class jazz pianist, Shelton Berg joins our Academy this year in a special workshop dedicated to 19th century improvisation, an art that was required of every pianist up until the 20th century. An award-winning educator with 39 years of leadership in higher education, Shelton (Shelly) Berg is also a five-time Grammy-nominated arranger, orchestrator, and producer. His album projects The Deep (Chesky), The Nearness of You (Arbors), Blackbird (Concord), The Will (CARS) and I Love You Porgy/There’s a Boat That’s Leavin’ Soon For New York are critically-acclaimed. He also earned a Grammy nomination as co-producer of Gloria Estefan: The Standards (Sony). 

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Alan WalkerAlan Walker

Offering the Chopin Festival/Academy two presentations on the life and music of Chopin, Alan Walker is Professor Emeritus of Music at McMaster University, Canada. Before settling in North America he was on the staff of the Music Division of the British Broadcasting Corporation in London.

 

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Amernet String QuartetAmernet String Quartet

Joining this year’s Festival/Academy are members of the Amernet Quartet who will perform transcriptions (arr. Krzysztof Dombek/Kevin Kenner) of the Chopin Piano Concertos with winners of the Academy’s Concerto Audition.

Praised for their “intelligence” and “immensely satisfying” playing by the New York Times, the Amernet String Quartet has garnered recognition as one of today’s exceptional string quartets and are Ensemble-in-Residence at Florida International University in Miami.

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Kyung Wha ChungKyung Wha Chung

Special Guest Artist

Kyung Wha Chung is recognised throughout the world as one of the finest violinists of her generation. A prolific recording artist, her dazzling and probing artistry has made her a much-acclaimed performer throughout her forty-year career. Lauded for her passion, her musicality, and the intense excitement that she brings to her performances, Chung’s uniquely expressive interpretations of the violin literature have established her as an artist of the very highest stature. Born in South Korea, Chung first heard the violin at the age of six

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Frank CooperFrank Cooper

Enlightening audiences with his rich knowledge of music at the opening of each of this year’s Festival concerts, Frank Cooper, known and admired for his ability to communicate the pleasures of any subject in the arts to his hearers, is Research Professor Emeritus of Music at the University of Miami. Eighteen seasons of twice-yearly special courses in Musical Experiences for Adults have set a record for drawing repeat registrants in Miami.

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