Class Piano Teaching Assistants for 2017-2018
Benjamin Liu started his piano study at the age of four, and joined the Junior Music School of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) at age eight. Since then, he has studied with various renowned teachers such as Professor Eleanor Wong and Ms. Amelia Chan, before commencing an eight-year pupilage with Professor Li Ming Qiang until obtaining his Bachelor of Music degree at HKAPA in 2013. During this period, Benjamin received many prizes including the First Prize in the Schumann International Youth Competition and Third Prize in the Young Musician of the Year 2010, as well as the Parsons Music Scholarship and the Tom Lee Music Scholarship.
Benjamin has also studied with Professor Dominique Merlet (former teacher of the Paris Conservatory of Music) and Professor Andrzej Jasinski (Jury President of the Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition) in the Summer Academy of University Mozarteum (Salzburg), and attended the master classes of Professor Alexander Braginsky, Professor Chang Tao, Professor Jack Winerock, Professor Peter Franki, Professor Aquilles Della Vigne and Professor Stephen Saveage.
In 2015, Benjamin obtained his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music under the guidance of Professor Natalya Antonova. He is now pursuing his doctoral degree Eastman School of music with Professor Antonova and is currently her teaching assistant.
Born in South Korea, pianist Byeong Hon (Brian) Park began his piano studies at the age of six. However, it ended shortly after, because he had shown no interest in it. He moved to the United States at the age of twelve and started to grow his interest in classical piano in high school. It started out as a hobby as he taught himself from the basics. He then started his proper piano studies as a sophomore in high school. Realizing that he had found his passion in piano, he decided to pursue a career in classical music. After just two and a half years, he gave a full solo recital upon high school graduation.
From there, he spent two years in community college refining his skills. He then transferred to one of the most prestigious music schools, Eastman School of Music, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in piano performance under tutelage of Ms. Rebecca Penneys. He will be continuing his education at Eastman as a master’s student starting in the fall of 2013 with Ms. Penneys.
Park has won prizes in various competitions such as LISMA International Music Competition, Musical Arts Club of Orange County, Bach Festival, and more. He has performed throughout United States and Canada, including appearing as a guest performer at the Music Teachers’ Association of California to present a solo recital at Chapman University. He has worked with the members of Ying Quartet for chamber music and with Dr. Jean Barr and Dr. Sylvie Beaudette for collaborative piano. His prior teachers include Dr. Janice Park from Chapman University and Dr. Monica from Fullerton College.
Cameron Fuhrman is a pianist, teacher, and musical academic. Born in rural Central Oregon, she began taking piano lessons at age five and teaching them at age eleven. She is currently pursuing a DMA in Piano Performance and Literature under the tutelage of Natalya Antonova at the Eastman School of Music.
As a solo pianist, Cameron performs across the country in a variety of venues, ranging from traditional concert halls to museums to school assemblies. Recently, she was a Fellow at Pianofest in the Hamptons, a featured artist at the Yellow Springs International Piano Festival, and an artist-in-residence at Hillsdale College during a tour of the midwestern states. Her live recordings have been featured on Classic FM radio.
Active as a pedagogue, Cameron maintains a private piano studio and also teaches elementary- through graduate-level theory, aural skills, and music history, as well as tutoring for Eastman’s doctoral comprehensive exams. She accepted a position as Visiting Professor of Music Theory at Hillsdale College for the summer of 2013, after serving as a classroom teacher of undergraduate theory and aural skills at Eastman.
Cameron’s scholarly research centers on the relationship between performance and music theory and history. She has written and presented numerous papers exploring the use of analysis as an aid to performance – a means of both refining and intensifying what musicians’ musical instincts naturally suggest, as well as of creating fresh, artistically-driven interpretations.
Cameron earned a BA in Music from Hillsdale College in 2009, graduating Summa Cum Laude, with honors, and as a National Merit Scholar. In 2011 and 2014, she received an MA in Music Theory Pedagogy and an MM in Piano Performance and Literature, respectively, from the Eastman School of Music. She was inducted into Eastman’s chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda in 2013.
Born in Taichung, Taiwan, and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Chia Ni Wu began her piano studies at the age of 4. She began her piano studies with the Yamaha group piano classes before moving onto private studies. Throughout her time in Malaysia, she studied piano under various teachers including Snezana Panovska and Loo Bang Hean. Chia Ni has also attended several festivals, some including the Royal College of Music International Piano Course in London, UK, the Music Horizons Summer Program at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, and the International Academie D’ete de Nice in Nice, France. In these festivals, she performed in masterclasses for Prof. Dr. h. c. Arbo Valdma, Dimitri Alexeev, Natalia Trull and many more .
Besides from classical piano playing, Chia Ni also played keyboard in her high school’s jazz band. At the age of 10, she picked up the flute and played in the school’s symphonic band and began her flute studies under Yukako Yamamoto, co-principal flutist in MPO (Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra). Chia Ni received the Artist of the Year award by her high school’s visual and performing arts department from 2008 to 2011. She was also elected as the president of the Tri-M Music Honor Society in her high school where she organized events to promote visual and performing arts in the community.
Her leadership skills continued to develop as she served both as a vice president and president of NAfME (National Association of Music Education) Collegiate Chapter in Eastman School of Music. From there, she founded the Hillside Children’s Center music outreach program. Chia Ni has a great interest in teaching various levels of students in both private and group settings. During her summers back home in Malaysia, she interned at a community music school and worked with students of various levels in piano, flute, music theory and aural skills. She also has the experience of teaching early childhood music. She is currently a teacher in the Eastman Community Music School early childhood program.
In May, 2016, Chia Ni received her B.A. in Music Education – General at Eastman School of Music with high distinction and she is beginning her Masters of Music in Music Education (Piano) under Mr. Vincent Lenti.
Daniel Minnick began piano studies at the age of 7 in Australia, his homeland. He completed both a BMus and a MMus degree in Piano Performance from Bob Jones University (Greenville, SC) in 2013 and 2016, respectively. In 2013, Daniel participated in the Australian Concerto and Vocal Competition and was the recipient of an encouragement award and a cash prize. In 2015, he won the BJU Concerto and Aria Competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”) with the BJU Symphony Orchestra. Daniel is currently pursuing a MM degree in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, studying organ in the studio of Professor Nathan Laube. In addition to his piano and organ studies, Daniel also enjoys the study of composition and working as piano technician. In 2016, he completed the required examinations of the Piano Technician’s Guild to attain the status of Registered Piano Technician (RPT) within the PTG.
Fang-Wei Hsu, born in Taipei, Taiwan, began her piano studies at the age of six. Following years of study, she entered into the Interlochen Arts Academy for her high school education and continued her piano studies with Yoshikazu Nagai and Michael Coonrod. Ms. Hsu was a recipient of various awards at the Interlochen Arts Academy, including the Senior Honor Award, Fine Arts Award for piano, and Dean’s Honors List with Distinction. Ms. Hsu won first prize at the 2008 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano and performed on the winner’s recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Following year, she was awarded with the Honorable Mention Award at the youngARTS program by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Fang-Wei was also featured on the National Public Radio show From the Top, which showcases young musicians from across the country.
As a frequent performer and recitalist, She made her concerto debut at the age of fifteen with the Eastern Symphony Orchestra conducted by world renowned conductor, maestro Gerard Schwarz. In addition,Ms. Hsu has made her appearances at the Weill and Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Millennium Stage at Kennedy Center, Kyoto Arts Center in Japan. In 2009, Ms. Hsu performed Liszt’s Totentanz with the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra, and was critically acclaimed. She received a review from the Classical Voice North Carolina and it raved that Ms. Hsu’s playing “tossed the fiendish passages … like water off a duck’s back”, and that “she finessed her way through the piece with strong stamina …her energy never wavered through the course of the 15- minute workout”.
Ms. Hsu has participated in many music festivals including Eastern Music Festival, Piano Texas, and Chautauqua Music Festival. She has performed in masterclasses for Yoheved Kapinsky, Ann Schein, Tamás Ungár, José Feghali, Cecile Licad, among others. Fang-Wei received her Bachelor of Music with high distinction from the Eastman School of music, where she is currently pursuing degree in Master of Music under the tutelage of Natalya Antonova.
Born in Hong Kong in 1991, Evelyn Wing-Yan Lam started learning the piano at the age of seven. She received the Bachelor of Music Degree at the Eastman School of Music in May 2013, from the studio of Professor Natalya Antonova. She also received a Licenciate Diploma with Distinctions from the Trinity College, London in 2007. Other mentors include Cherry Leung, Vivian Wai Cheng, and Maxim Mogilevsky. An active soloist and accompanist, Evelyn performed the Beethoven Concerto No. 3, Beethoven Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” and the Yellow River Concerto with the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra from 2008-2010. Evelyn also performed as a soloist with the orchestra in China during the summer in 2010. Evelyn also received awards including the 5th prize of the Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition in 2001, Outstanding Performance award in the Mozart Piano Competition in 2003. In 2010, she received the Honors Chamber Award from the Eastman School of Music.
She is currently pursuing her Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature as a student of Natalya Antonova.
Gerta Grimci Wiemer began her music education in her native country, Albania. At the age of 14, she came to the United States to compete in the 4th Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, where she received an Honorable Mention. Since then she has performed as a soloist and collaborator in the USA and abroad. She won the 1st Riverton Metropolitan Orchestra Concerto Competition, in Utah. She has performed with the Nebo Philharmonic and the BYU Symphonic Orchestra, as well as numerous chamber groups. In 2002 she performed for K-12 audiences in Salt Lake City, UT along renowned pianist and pedagogue Anne Koscielny, as part of the “Music in Our Schools” program initiated by the Gina Bachauer Foundation. She is a sought after adjudicator for various piano competitions in Utah and was a guest master teacher for the UMTA Ogden Chapter. Gerta held the position of adjunct faculty at Weber State University for seven years, where she worked with music majors in preparation for the piano proficiency exam. She taught group piano classes as well as private lessons. She also taught in the WSU Piano Preparatory Program, working with students from age six to adult. Her students have won and placed in a number of competitions. Gerta has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Tadeo Coelho, Celena Shafer and Kathryn Lucktenberg. Gerta received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in piano performance from Brigham Young University, where she was taught and mentored by the acclaimed pianists, Dr. Paul Pollei, Barbara Allen, and Dr. Irene Peery-Fox.
Born in Shanghai, China, Ruxin (Michelle) Zhao started her piano study at the age of six as an amateur. At the age of seventeen, Ms. Zhao moved to the United States to attend Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, where she studied piano under Ms. Margarita Nuller. In 2010, Ms. Zhao entered University of Rochester as a neuroscience major, while simultaneously started studying piano under Professor Vincent Lenti at the Eastman School of Music.
Ms. Zhao was the winner of the University of Rochester Concerto Competition in 2010 and performed with the University of Rochester Chamber Orchestra in the following spring.
In May, 2014, Ms. Zhao earned her B.A. in Music at University of Rochester, and she is currently pursing Masters of Music in Piano Performance and Literature under Dr. Douglas Humpherys.
Born in Xinjiang, China, Yuechen Xiao started his piano education at the age of six. He received many prizes include award of excellence in“Xinhai” Piano Competition and First prize winner in the National Finals of the China Youth Art Selection of Excellence competition. In 2006, he moved to Beijing and started his professional musical training in Central Conservatory of Music Affiliated High School, Beijing, China. And studied with Professor. Yafen Zhu as private student. In 2012 he was admitted in Eastman School of music under Dr. Douglas Humpherys and he received the bachelor degree of music in piano performance and literature. Now he is beginning his master of music in piano performance and literature under Dr. Douglas Humpherys.