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  • Kevin Kenner

    Kevin Kenner

    Artistic Director/ Teaching Artist/Performer

    Recognized internationally as a prime interpreter of the music of Chopin, Kevin Kenner’s career was launched in 1990 when he was awarded the top prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw. That same year he also won the Terence Judd Award in London and 3rd prize at the 1990 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.

    Kenner’s achievements have won him international acclaim. The Chicago Tribune praised him as "one of the finest American pianists to come along in years.” Britain’s Independent described one of his recitals as "...the best performance I have ever heard in the concert hall of all four of Chopin's ‘Ballades’.” The Financial Times hailed Professor Kenner as a "player of grace, subtle variety, and strength with a mature grasp of dramatic structure and proportion.” And the Washington Post proclaimed him "a major talent... an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently." Conductor Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, a former associate of the late Artur Rubinstein, said Professor Kenner’s work was among the most sensitive and beautiful he had ever heard.

    He has concertized and recorded over the last decade as a duo partner of violinist Kyung-Wha Chung and has performed with the Tokyo, Escher, Belcea, Mosaiques, Apollon Musagete, Endellion, and Vogler Quartets. He has been invited to appear at the Verbier Festival, Warsaw’s “Chopin and His Europe” Festival, and the PyeongChang Festival. A distinguished recording artist, Kenner’s interpretations of works by Paderewski and Chopin were each picked as recordings of the month by Gramophone, which also singled out his recording “Resonances” as one of 50 of the greatest recordings of Chopin works. The most recent recording of his own chamber arrangements of the Chopin Concertos was nominated by BBC Magazine for the 2020 Recording of the Year. He was awarded two Fryderyks for his recordings of works of Piazzolla (2006) and concert works of Paderewski (2011).

    After teaching for more than a decade as a professor at London’s Royal College of Music, Kenner accepted a post at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he continues to prepare many young talented pianists for international performance careers. Following his three-year tenure as Visiting Professor at the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2018. In 2019 he was awarded the Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Alumnus Award as well as the Amicus Poloniae Award from the Polish Ambassador to the U.S. In February 2020 he chaired the jury of the Chopin Foundation’s National Chopin Competition in Miami. And in 2021 he served as vice-chairman of the jury of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.

  • Dang Thai Son

    Teaching Artist

    “A genuine musician” - Isaac Stern 
    An outstanding international musician of our time, Vietnamese - Canadian pianist Dang Thai Son was propelled to the forefront of the musical world in October 1980, when he was awarded the First Prize and Gold Medal at the Xth International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. It was also the first time that a top international competition was won by an Asian pianist. 
    He began piano studies with his mother in Hanoi. Discovered by the Russian pianist Isaac Katz, who was on visit in Vietnam in 1974, he pursued his advanced training at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia with Vladimir Natanson and Dmitry Bashkirov. 
    Since winning the Chopin Competition, his international career has taken him to over forty countries, into such world renowned halls as the Lincoln Center (New York), Barbican Center (London), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Herculessaal (Munich), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Opera House (Sydney), and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). 
    He has played with numerous world-class orchestras such as The Philharmonia Orchestra , BBC Philharmonic , City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, St-Petersburg Philharmonic, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal , Czech Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, Dresden Philharmonic Oslo Philharmonic, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Prague Symphony, NHK Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Sydney Symphony, Hungarian State Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Russian National Symphony, as well as Virtuosi of Moscow, Sinfonia Varsovia, Vienna Chamber, Zurich Chamber, Royal Swedish Chamber Orchestras, and the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. Also, he has appeared under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner, Vladimir Ashkenazy , Pinchas Zukerman, Mariss Jansons, Pavvo Jarvi, Ivan Fisher, Frans Bruggen, Vladimir Spivakov, Dimitri Kitaenko, Sakari Oramo and John Nelson among others. 
    Dang Thai Son is frequently invited to give master classes around the world - such as the special class in Berlin in October, 1999, where he taught alongside Murray Perahia and Vladimir Ashkenazy. He has sat on the juries of prestigious competitions such as the Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition (2005, 2010, 2015, 2021), Cleveland (USA), Clara Haskil (Switzerland), Artur Rubinstein (Tel-Aviv), Hamamatsu, Sendai (Japan), Piano Masters of Monte Carlo, Sviatoslav Richter (Moscow), Prague Spring International, Montreal International Piano Competition, and Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition among others. His pupils garnered top international prizes including Bruce Liu, the most recent winner of the 2021 International Chopin Piano Competition 2021 in Warsaw, Poland. 

  • Katarzyna Popowa-ZydroĹ„

    Teaching Artist 

    Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń is a laureate of the 4th National Festival of Young Musicians in Gdańsk (1974), a semi-finalist of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition Fryderyk Chopin in Warsaw (1975), the Terni Piano Competition in Italy (1975) and the ARD Competition in Munich (1978). 

    She has given concerts in almost all philharmonics in the country, under the baton of, among others, Jerzy Katlewicz, Krzysztof Missony, Wojciech Michniewski, and abroad - in Germany, the Czech Republic, the Soviet Union, Bulgaria, Austria, and Japan. Her repertoire ranges from Baroque to Cotemporary, with particular emphasis on the works of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, and Bartók. She has recorded for the Polish Radio, the Accord record company in France, and the Polish Television center in Gdańsk. 

    Popowa-Zydroń premiered pieces of Polish contemporary music, including Konrad Pałubicki's Piano Concerto with the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Wojciech Czepiel. As a chamber musician, she performed with violinists - Krystyna Jurecka, Henryk Keszkowski, cellist - Małgorzata Kuziemska-Sławek, singers - Urszula Kryger, Piotr Kusiewicz, Florian Skulski.  

    Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń has been teaching since 1970. She is a professor of the piano class at the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz (1995-96: Head of the Piano Department). Her students include numerous prize winners at the Ferenc Liszt Piano Competition in Wrocław, International Ignacy Jan Paderewski Competition in Bydgoszcz, International Piano Competition in Andorra, National Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, and International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. In addition, she is invited to conduct master classes in Poland and abroad, seminars and courses for piano teachers, often collaborating with the Center for Artistic Education in Warsaw. She was a member of the jury of national and international competitions many times.  

    Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń was awarded the Medal of Prince Mściwoj (1999), the Medal of the Commission of National Education (2004), the Medal "Meritorious for Polish Culture - Gloria Artis" (2005), the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2005) and received m. among others three times the Award of the Minister of Culture and Art (1983, 1991, 1996). 

  • Edward Auer

    John Rink

    Teaching Artist

    Edward Auer's musical career began in his childhood in Los Angeles, where he won competition prizes, presented solo and chamber concerts, and gave guest performances on television programs. As a student at the Juilliard School, Auer won the yearly concerto competition; he made his New York début with a recital at Carnegie Hall. In 1965, he was the first American to win a prize at the Seventh International Chopin Competition in Warsaw; this was followed by successes at the Beethoven Competition in Vienna, Concours Marguerite Long, and Tchaikovsky Competition, the last garnering him an invitation to the White House.  

    With a performance career spanning over 30 countries on five continents, Auer has given numerous solo recitals and concertos with top international orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Paris Orchestre Philharmonique, and Berlin Radio Orchestra. He has appeared at prominent international festivals including Salzburg, and served as a juror for the International Chopin Competition and Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, among many others. 

    For nearly 40 years, Auer has taught at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington; he has held guest professorships at Toho Gakuen and Seoul National University. He initiated the Edward Auer Piano Workship in 1995, expanding it in 2007 into an annual international festival. Known for his recordings of Chopin’s works, he is currently preparing the Mazurka Project; previous releases include the Preludes, Waltzes, Ballades, Nocturnes, Scherzos, and Concertos. 


  • Dmitry Ablogin

    Teaching Artist/Performer

    "A tremendous virtuoso, a great musician with an all-encompassing musical culture." Bruno Monsaingeon 

    Dmitry Ablogin is one of today's most brilliant and innovative keyboard artists. 

    He studied with Vladimir Tropp at the Gnessin Academy in Moscow, from which he graduated with honours in 2012. He continued his education in Germany, studying fortepiano with Jesper B. Christensen at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt. 

    Laureate of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments in Warsaw (2018), Dmitry has won prizes in numerous piano competitions, including the Nikolai Rubinstein in Paris, Vera Lotar-Shevchenko in Novosibirsk, German Piano Open in Hanover and Musica Antiqua in Bruges. 

    Dmitry has performed in Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Poland, Russia, France, the US at the Miami International Piano Festival and in Warsaw at the renowned festival “Chopin and his Europe”. 

    In addition to performing around the world, he is teaching piano and fortepiano at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt.  

    In October 2021 Dmitry has won the 10th International German Piano Award and made his debut at the Alte Oper Frankfurt with Piano Concerto No. 4 by Ludwig van Beethoven. 

  • Kenneth Hamilton

    Workshop/Teaching Lecturer

    Described as “an outstanding virtuoso- one of the finest players of his generation” by Moscow’s Kommersant; by the Singapore Straits Times as “a formidable virtuoso”; and by Tom Service in The Guardian as “pianist/author/lecturer/all-round virtuoso”, Scottish pianist and scholar Kenneth Hamilton concertises worldwide, and is a leading expert on historical piano performance. His publications and recordings have attracted both critical acclaim and a large audience, notably his much discussed After the Golden Age: Romantic Pianism and Modern Performance (Oxford University Press), which was welcomed as “full of wit and interest, and written with passion” by Charles Rosen (Times Literary Supplement) and as “a wonderful book” by James Fenton (The Guardian). 

      Hamilton's recent recordings for the Prima Facie label: Volumes 1 and 2 of Kenneth Hamilton Plays Ronald Stevenson, Back to Bach: Tributes and Transcriptions by Liszt, Rachmaninov and Busoni, Preludes to Chopin: Sonatas, Barcarolle, Polonaise and More Preludes to Chopin: Nocturnes, Waltzes and Other Works and Romantic Piano Encores have enjoyed outstanding reviews: "played with understanding and brilliance" (Andrew McGregor, BBC Radio 3 Record Review); "an unmissable disk… fascinating music presented with power, passion and precision" (Colin Clarke, Fanfare); "precise control and brilliance" (Andrew Clements, The Guardian); "thrilling" (Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone); "a gorgeous recording and excellent performance" (Jack Sullivan, American Record Guide).  

    Professor Hamilton has given keynote addresses at numerous international conferences, and spoken frequently at the annual meetings of the American Musicological Society. He has been Guest Professor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, among other institutions, and has been a visiting artist at many universities and conservatories worldwide, including the New England Conservatory, Berkeley, Stanford, and Brown Universities in the US; the University of Leuven, Belgium; the University of Minho, Portugal; Musikeon, Valencia, Spain; Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea; Beijing Normal University, Xiamen University, South China Normal University, Jinan University, Guizhou University, Hunan Normal University, China; the Schola Cantorum, Basel; the St Petersburg Conservatory in Russia and the Princess Galyani Insitute of Music in Bangkok. 

    He himself is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and of Balliol College, Oxford-- and indebted to both Hugh Macdonald and John Warrack for their thought-provoking tuition in these respective institutions. His doctoral dissertation at Balliol was a critical study of the opera fantasias and transcriptions of Franz Liszt. At the then Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama his much valued piano teachers were Alexa Maxwell and Lawrence Glover. He later benefitted from the inspiring mentorship of Ronald Stevenson, whose music he has had the pleasure of performing and recording. 

    Subsequently, Hamilton was De Velling Willis Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at Worcester College, Oxford, and a member of the Music Department of the University of Birmingham, before joining Cardiff University as Head of the School of Music and Dean (International) of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.