Maeve Berry, a recent cum laude graduate of the BM piano performance program at the Pennsylvania State University, is thrilled to be continuing her studies at Eastman under the direction of Dr. Andrew Harley. While pursuing a solo performance degree with Dr. Christopher Guzman, Maeve was able to engage in many collaborative partnerships while at Penn State. She received several awards throughout her college years, including the prestigious Presser Scholarship in 2018. This past spring, Maeve was inducted into Pi Kappa Lambda chapter at Penn State.
Maeve attended the Brevard Music Center in 2017, where she studied with Norman Krieger for three weeks. She was also fortunate to have participated in several masterclasses at Penn State in vocal repertoire and performance with Arlene Shrut. This past summer, Maeve traveled to Germany with The Penn State Concert Choir, where she sang with the choir and played the organ in cities like Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin. She has also been a collaborative pianist for faculty recitals during the Cleveland Trombone Institute and the Penn State Honors Music Institute.
In addition to collaborative piano, Maeve finds great joy in studying music theory, enjoys singing in a choral setting, and playing the organ. She is looking forward to embracing the many opportunities around Eastman in the next two years!
Hannah Bossner, a pianist from Metro Detroit, is currently pursuing a Master’s of Music degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music under the direction of Dr. Andrew Harley. She received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance from Oakland University and Bowling Green State University, respectively, where she graduated with honors and held scholarships. She was active in local and university competitions, winning awards via the Birmingham Musicale, the Tuesday Musicale of Pontiac, and the Conrad Art Song Competition. She also won two concerto competitions, allowing her to solo with the Oakland Symphony Orchestra and the Oakland University Chamber Orchestra. During her time at Bowling Green she held a graduate accompanying assistantship, where she played with strings and voice studios, along with the Wind Ensemble.
The past four summers Hannah has participated in the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, Atlantic Music Festival, University of Florida International Piano Festival, and the Brevard Summer Institute as a collaborative teaching assistant. She has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses with distinguished artists including Yong Hi Moon, Bruce Brubaker, Mayron Tsong, and the Shanghai Quartet. Her most recent activities include accompanying the strings studio at Oakland University, and performing a combination collaborative-solo recital across Michigan with violinist Teresa Bellamy.
Long Island native Rebecca Golub is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music under the direction of Dr. Andrew Harley. She has a Graduate Assistantship for studio accompanying.
Rebecca received her Master’s degree in collaborative piano from the University of Colorado-Boulder, where she studied with Dr. Alexandra Nguyen and Dr. Margaret McDonald. She was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistantship for which she served as pianist for the school’s opera program and wind symphony.
Over the years, Rebecca has attended summer festivals including Songfest, AIMS in Graz, Atlantic Music Festival, Green Mountain Chamber Music, and Brevard Music Center. She has had the privilege to work individually and in masterclasses with esteemed artists including Graham Johnson, Malcolm Martineau, Jean Barr, Margo Garrett, Warren Jones, Alan Smith, Jake Heggie, Renée Fleming, Libby Larsen, and others.
A devoted academic as well as performer, Rebecca was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society at Eastman in the spring of 2017.
Hanyun Gu was born in Suzhou, China and began her music education at the age of 6. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and continued her studies at the Manhattan School of Music where she earned a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and a Professional Certificate in Collaborative Piano. She is currently pursuing the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, where she holds a Graduate Assistantship in Studio Accompanying, studying with Dr. Andrew Harley. Hanyun has served as a staff pianist at the Manhattan School of Music where she played vocal and instrumental lessons, diction classes, and orchestral piano. She has also played for various choirs including the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus, and the Shanghai Youth Choir. Her major teachers include Dr. Cheung-yu Mo, Yashuangzi Xie, Alexander Moutouzkine, and John Forconi.
Xi Huang is currently pursuing the MM in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music degree at the Eastman School of Music. She began her early musical training studying both piano and voice and, as a recipient of the Changjiang Piano Scholarship, participated in many solo recitals and competitions. In 2016, Xi placed 4th out of over 3500 applicants in college entrance examinations intended for all prospective music majors in Fujian province, China and obtained offers from numerous conservatories for the Piano Performance degree. In addition to her piano studies, she received her Bachelor of Financial Management from Zhejiang University, and was also an exchange student at the University of Cambridge in England. During her undergraduate degree she participated in many masterclasses given by renowned artists such as Ying Huang, and Xiaoying Zheng.
Xi has also worked as a collaborative pianist for several choruses and participated in numerous concerts, tours, competitions, and recordings. In 2018, she won 1st place in the National College Students Cultural Competition as the collaborative pianist for the ZJU Wenqin chorus and in 2019, she was invited to attend the Jinan International Choral Festival. Xi currently holds a Graduate Assistantship in Studio Accompanying at Eastman, where she studies with Dr. Andrew Harley.
Jenny Choo Kirby is currently pursuing the DMA in Accompanying and Chamber Music at Eastman School of Music studying with Dr. Andrew Harley. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from Truman State University where she was a Presser scholar. She completed her MM degree in Piano Performance at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where she was awarded the graduate assistantship in accompanying for the duration of her studies. After graduation, she served as the Collaborative Pianist and the Coordinator of Accompanying at her alma mater, a position she held until 2020.
During her time at SIUC, Jenny was the Assistant Music Director for numerous main stage productions of the School of Music and the Department of Theater, including Little Night Music (2017), Boys from Syracuse (2018), and Pippin (2018). She has also served as the Music Director for Spring Awakening (2017), Sunday in the Park with George (2019), and Musical of Musicals (2020). During the summers, she performs regularly with the Southern Illinois Music Festival where she was the featured soloist in 2015 with Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Major, Op. 102 by Dmitri Shostakovich. Jenny is currently the pianist/coach for Southern Illinois Young Artist Program and piano faculty for SIU Piano Camp.
Ava Linvog is a collaborative pianist from Seattle, Washington. She received her BA in music with a focus on piano performance from Vassar College, and is currently pursuing an MM in Accompanying and Piano Chamber Music with Dr. Andrew Harley.
At Vassar, Ava studied piano with Todd Crow and Thomas Sauer. She was active in the classical and jazz departments, appearing as a soloist with the Vassar Orchestra and the Vassar Wind Ensemble, and performing on and off campus as part of a jazz combo. A committed scholar, she also held the position of music theory intern and assisted Dr. Kathryn Libin in her studies at the Lobkowicz Archives in the Czech Republic.
Last year Ava had the pleasure of attending the European American Musical Alliance Summer Institute in Paris, where she studied with Emile Naoumoff at the Schola Cantorum. If not for COVID, she would have returned to Paris for a second summer at the Institute and also participated in SongFest 2020.
In Seattle, Ava has worked as an accompanist for NOISE (Northwest Opera in Schools, etc.), bringing abridged operas to elementary schools throughout Western Washington. She has also accompanied for Seattle Girls Choir and Lowbrow Opera Collective.
Chun-Hsin Liu, originally from Kaohsiung, Taiwan, is currently in her first year of the MM degree in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, where she holds a Graduate Assistantship in Studio Accompanying and studies with Dr. Andrew Harley. Chun Hsin finished her undergraduate degree in Piano Performance at National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where she studied with Dr. Chuan-I Huang. She has received numerous awards and scholarships, including Academic Excellence Award (2016-2017), Outstanding Graduate Award (2019), and first prizes from several piano competitions. As an undergraduate, Chun-Hsin participated in many vocal masterclasses given by such renowned artists as Jin Lin, Tai-Li Jhu, and Yi-Qiao Shi She recently played in the piano masterclass of Henri Sigfridsson at Palazzo Ricci Music School in Montepulciano, Italy.
Kelly Soderdahl McNeilly, originally from Iowa City, is currently pursuing the MM in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music degree at the Eastman School of Music, where he holds a Graduate Award in Studio Accompanying and studies with Dr. Andrew Harley. In 2016, he received a BA in Music and Mathematics from St. Olaf College, where he studied piano with Dr. Kent McWilliams. Since then he has served as a freelance collaborative pianist, working with undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iowa.
Kelly enjoys a wide range of collaborative experiences. He is a violist as well as a pianist. He continued studying and performing on both piano and viola throughout his undergraduate degree program. His performing experience as a pianist, violist, and vocalist in various ensembles, and as a conductor of several large ensembles, has afforded him a canny sense of support, precision, and motion. His passion for collaboration in all of its forms specifically includes piano concerto reductions, orchestral music, small ensemble works, and instrumental duo repertoire. He also enjoys disassembling and rearranging music, especially making reductions of orchestral works for piano, or piano with another instrument. Kelly currently holds a Graduate Award in Studio Accompanying.
John Robertson holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Piano Performance and Pedagogy, and he is currently pursuing a DMA in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Dr. Andrew Harley. He has given recitals throughout the United States and has also worked as a staff accompanist at Bob Jones University, Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the Alabama School of Fine Arts, and the Vann Vocal Institute, accompanying faculty in recitals and undergraduate and graduate students in recitals, auditions, and competitions.
John has repeatedly performed in Opera Birmingham’s Sounds of the Season and Home for the Holidays recitals, the annual Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, Opera Shots, and Art of the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art. In January 2017, he performed with pianist Laurie Middaugh in a special two-piano accompaniment for Opera Birmingham’s production of Three Decembers, and he returned the following season to perform in The Tragedy of Carmen. He has performed in the orchestra for Samford University’s production of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and Red Mountain Theater Company’s productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Newsies, Beauty and the Beast, and Mamma Mia!
John has served as chorusmaster and vocal coach for many operatic and musical theater productions, including The Desert Song, Die Fledermaus, and Naughty Marietta with Birmingham Music Club, and The Pirates of Penzance, Amahl and the Night Visitors, On the Town, The Marriage of Figaro, Hansel and Gretel, and numerous opera workshop performances with Samford Opera. Active also as a music director, he has conducted Samford University’s recent productions of Bat Boy: The Musical, Nice Work if You Can Get It, and Children of Eden.
For three years, John served as Lecturer and Collaborative Pianist at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, teaching applied piano and courses in accompanying, chamber music, and musical theater. He previously served as a member of the music faculty of Judson College in Marion, Alabama, teaching applied piano and group piano, and courses in music theory and piano pedagogy.
Australian pianist William Shi has been awarded first prizes in numerous competitions, including the Petrof Piano Competition and the Vivace/Yamaha Piano Competition. He is a four-time winner of the Queensland Piano Competition and won the Beethoven Prize at the Australian Society of Keyboard Music Open Piano Competition. A recipient of the Theme & Variations Foundation Award and the Newton Swift Piano Award, William has appeared at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and the Australian Piano Duo Festival. His performances have been broadcast on 2MBS and 4MBS Radio.
As a collaborative pianist, William recently accompanied a masterclass with Walter Auer (Principal Flute of the Vienna Philharmonic), and has worked with the Australian Strings Association Competition, Australasian Double Reed Society National Competition and the Underground Opera Company.
William held a teaching assistantship while attaining his Master of Music with Dr. Arkady Aronov from the Mannes School of Music. Additionally, he was a University Medalist and Dean’s Scholar at the University of Queensland, where he completed his Bachelor of Music (Honors) with Max Olding. William is currently undertaking a DMA in Piano Performance & Literature with Professor Natalya Antonova and an MM in Piano Accompanying & Chamber Music with Dr. Andrew Harley.
An active collaborative pianist, Alexa Sowers frequently performs with vocalists, instrumentalists, chamber groups and diverse ensembles. She has worked as studio pianist at Eastman School of Music, the University of Iowa, Interlochen Center for the Arts Camp and Illinois State University in addition to working with multiple choirs, instrumental ensembles and opera programs. Alexa has taught students of all ages and ability levels and has worked as pianist at several churches.
While the pianist for Illinois State University’s Wind Symphony ensemble, Alexa had the pleasure of performing, touring and recording all contemporary repertoire while working with living composers including William Bolcom. She also performed with the wind symphony and choral ensembles in the RED NOTE New Music Festival in Illinois. Following her interest in contemporary music, she most recently studied and conducted research in Paris at L’Ircam, Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM).
As a solo pianist, Alexa has won numerous competitions. She has been a featured pianist in the Piano Sundays at Old Capitol concert series in Iowa City and participated in several festivals including the Young Artist World Piano Festival and the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy.
Alexa received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Iowa and her Master of Music degree in collaborative piano at Illinois State University. Her instructors and mentors include Jean Barr, Tuyen Tonnu, Ksenia Nosikova, Paul Wirth and Rachel Joselson. Alexa is currently studying with Dr. Andrew Harley at Eastman School of Music where she is a DMA candidate in piano accompanying and chamber music. At Eastman School of Music, she has held a graduate award as opera pianist/coach and is currently holding a graduate award as studio pianist.
In demand as both an instrumental and vocal collaborator, pianist Brock Tjosvold has performed throughout the United States with many up and coming musicians, as well as established ensembles. Brock is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Dr. Andrew Harley. Most recently, he was a collaborative piano fellow at the 2018 Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, CA., studying with Jonathan Feldman. Other recent performance highlights include Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the National Repertory Orchestra and a performance at Carnegie Hall with clarinetist Amy Humberd.
Brock is an active orchestral keyboardist, and has performed in professional orchestras such as the Albany Symphony Orchestra, New World Symphony, and Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra, in addition to the large ensembles at Eastman.
In addition to the Music Academy of the West and the National Repertory Orchestra, Brock has attended the 2015 Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with Rita Sloan and Anne Epperson. In 2013, he attended SongFest, where he studied with Martin Katz and Margo Garrett.
New music continues to be a large part of Brock’s career. He has worked with several living composers, including Jennifer Higdon, Libby Larsen, John Musto, Ben Moore, John Luther Adams, Charles Wuorinen, and Nina C. Young, in addition to student composers while in school. While at Eastman, he has performed with Musica Nova, the resident new music ensemble.
Currently the music director at First Universalist Church of Rochester, Brock enjoys playing organ and directing the choir in addition to his work as a pianist. He has formerly been the organist at Liberty Christian Church (Martinsville, IN) and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Cathedral (Laramie, WY).
Brock began his primary musical training at the age of six with Patricia Randolph, later earning a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from the University of Wyoming, magna cum laude, under the tutelage of Dr. Theresa Bogard. He previously completed his master’s degree at the University of Michigan with Martin Katz and a Performer’s Certificate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, studying with Anne Epperson and Kevin Murphy.
Yucong (Zoe) Wang is a composer, pianist, and classical music entrepreneur from China. She is currently pursuing her two Doctoral of Musical Arts degrees in collaborative piano and composition at Eastman School of Music, where she holds the Brook Smith Fellowship, the Samuel Adler Scholarship, a graduate assistantship as studio pianist and teaching assistantship in composition. She studies collaborative piano with Dr. Andrew Harley and composition with Prof. Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez. Yucong is the co-founder and co-artistic director of Dragonfly International Music Festival (DIMF) in China. She organizes and performs in masterclasses, concert series, competitions, and lectures at DIMFs since 2017.
As a collaborative pianist Yucong has performed in many concerts in China, the United States and Europe. In recent DIMF concert series she has been performed with artists including world-renowned Paganini Golden Medal Winners: Oleh Krysa, Bin Huang, Giovanni Angeleri, and Feng Ning. She has also collaborated with artists including Chien-Kwan Lin, Kei Saotome, Alexander Suleiman, Jiafeng Chen, and Nikita Zimin. As a composer/pianist, Yucong has performed many contemporary repertoires and collaborated with many new music ensembles. Her recent performances include music by Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, John Rea, Diego Vega, and many other colleges.
Yucong began to compose at age 12. In July 2018, her saxophone solo piece Broken Suite commissioned by Saxophonist Jiaqi Zhao had its world première at the 18th World Saxophone Congress in Croatia. Her orchestral work Blackbird: II. Aggregation was selected in 2017 Underwood New Music Reading, performed by American Composer Orchestra with conductor George Manahan at DiMenna Center in New York City. In 2017, violinist Wendy Toh and the Eastman School Student Orchestra (ESSO) gave the première of her Violin Concerto No.1 in Eastman’s Kodak Hall. Her recent composition awards include the First Prize (Junior) of 8th International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition in Prague, 2017, with two special prizes the Best Variation and the Best Free Composition; the honorable mention of 2019 Israel/Pellman Award. She has also received Belle Gitleman Award and Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize at Eastman School, the second prize in the Confucius Award Composition Competition, and the first prize in the Young Promise Composition Competition.
Yucong Wang received her Bachelor of Music degree in composition from Eastman School, studying with Prof. David Liptak, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, and Robert Morris. She holds her Master of Music degree at Eastman School, studying with Dr. Jean Barr. Before she began to study at Eastman in 2013, Yucong studied composition at Shanghai Conservatory and Music Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory.