Class Piano Teaching Assistants for 2020-2021
Born in Chengdu, China to a musical family, pianist Chen Liang is becoming an active figure on stages in both China and the United States. As a soloist, Chen gives numerous recitals every year in China and America, passing his musical inspirations to thousands of audience. As a chamber musician, Chen enjoys working with outstanding instrumentalists and vocalists from all over the world. Chen is a frequent concerto soloist with Chong Qing Philharmonic in China and the Greece Symphony Orchestra in the United States, and he has also appeared as a soloist multiple times with the Lynn Philharmonic in Boca Raton, FL.
Chen is the winner of the 3rd Lira International Piano competition in St. Petersburg, Russia, the Big Arts Classical Music Scholarship Competition and the Lynn Concerto Competition. He also won top prizes in many other competitions including “Imola” International Piano Festival and Competition in Italy, Piano Texas Music Festival Concerto Competition and the Chautauqua Music Festival Piano Competition.
Besides performing, Chen has a huge passion for teaching and music education. He is currently a Teaching Assistant for class piano at Eastman School of Music, as well as the Artistic Director for “Beyond the Clouds” summer piano festival in Chengdu, China.
Chen received his Bachelor’s degree in piano performance from both Sichuan Conservatory of Music in China and Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, FL. He earned his Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music, under the tutelage of Ms. Natalya Antonova, and is now continuing his studies with her for his DMA (Doctor of Musical Arts) in Piano Performance and Literature. Chen’s other major teachers include Ying Cai, Daxin Zheng, Ai Zeng, Dr. Roberta Rust, Yixian Li (composition) and Dr. Thomas L. McKinley (composition).
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. Upon completion of his MM degree in Organ Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music in 2019, Daniel was inducted into the Pi Kappa Lambda music honors society. Daniel is currently pursuing a D.M.A. degree in Organ Performance and Literature at Eastman, studying organ in the studio of Professor Nathan Laube. He currently serves as church pianist and organist at Bethel Baptist Church in Bergen, NY. 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.
Ke’er (Coco) Wang was born in Mianyang, China. She began her musical study at the age of 5. In 2005, Ke’er entered Affiliated High School of Sichuan Conservatory and had various teachers on her path of piano study including Dr. Chenggang Yang and Dr. Jingyuan Zhang from Sichuan Conservatory of Music, Prof. Jun Yang from Central Conservatory of Music. Ke’er studied with Dr. Washington Garcia at Texas State University when she first came to U.S and received her bachelor’s degree under Dr. Joseph Rackers at University of South Carolina. She received her master’s degree in Piano Performance and Literature under Dr. Marina Lomazov at the Eastman School of Music. She is now pursuing her Doctoral degree in Piano performance and Literature under both Dr.Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers at the Eastman School of Music.
Ke’er had her public debut at age 16 years old at Concert Hall of Sichuan Chengdu, China. Since then, she earned various prizes at different competitions throughout the world, such as the first prize of National Dance, Vocal, and Instrumental Competition in Beijing; first prize in the 4th ZhongXin International Piano Competition in Singapore, second prize in the 2014 Rose Petroff Competition in the U.S and first prize in the 2016 Concerto & Aria Competition at USC.
Besides being awarded in competitions frequently, Ke’er was also invited by the governor of Xishuangbanna to take part in one of the largest music festivals in South China, for New Year 1376 in Dai Calendar. During this event, a joint recital at the main college in Xishuangbanna was performed by Ke’er and Dr. Washington Garcia as guest artist of the festival. She was also selected as soloist to perform with University of South Carolina Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Williamsburg Symphonic Orchestra and Virtuosi Brunenses Orchestra, Italy.
While pursuing her piano study in the U.S, Ke’er received multiple scholarships both from universities and individuals. Ke’er was given annual scholarship by the Rose Petroff Foundation, Adele H. & Theodore D. Woolsey Endowment music scholarship. Ke’er has achieved high academic achievement as well as she was honored the 2015 Presser Scholar and grant recipient by the Presser Music Foundation.
In the summer of 2016, Ke’er and Zehao Bai together created the Miaomiao Piano Festival in Wuhai, China to be the best piano festival for pre-college young pianists of the area. She is Teaching Assistant of Class Piano Program and Studio Assistant of Dr. Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers’ studio.
Lorenzo Medel is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Alexander Kobrin. His Bachelors and Masters degrees were also completed at Eastman under the guidance of Natalya Antonova.
Besides solo piano, Lorenzo was awarded the Excellence in Collaborative Award at Eastman and is also a teaching assistant in Secondary and Class Piano, as well as a piano instructor at the Eastman Community Music School. He has participated many times in the Eastman School’s community engagement concerts and in March 2017, played an all-Liszt recital as part of the Liszt & Virtuosity International Symposium.
A native of the Philippines, Lorenzo began piano studies at ten years old with Mauricia Borromeo of the University of the Philippines. He is heard regularly in live concerts in his native country as a recitalist and concerto soloist. Additionally, he has given a piano masterclass at Silliman University in the Philippines. For the past few summers, he has participated in numerous festivals including Art of the Piano, Chautauqua Institution, and Bowdoin International Music Festival.
Besides music, Lorenzo has also been studying and performing card magic since age 12. He hopes to combine music and magic in the future.
“With a tone and approach entrancing from the outset,” (New York Concert Review, Inc.) Matthew Figel is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Piano Performance & Literature at the Eastman School of Music under the instruction of Marina Lomazov. Matthew pursued his undergraduate studies at Eastman as well, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Music and Musical Arts. He graduated with Highest Distinction, along with admittance into the music honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. He was further awarded the Anne T. Cummins Prize in Humanities as well as the John Celentano Award for Excellence in Chamber Music at the Eastman Commencement ceremony to recognize his commitment to these fields.
The first musician in his family, Matthew began his piano studies at age ten in Midland, Texas, making his recital debut that same year. As a winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, Matthew soloed with the Eastman Philharmonia in his sophomore year of the school’s undergraduate program while studying under Nelita True. Among his other awards are first prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, the Harold Protsman Classical Period Competition, and the Texas State International Piano Festival Concerto Competition.
An alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy, he was chosen as the school’s first-ever Senior Performer, an honor given to a student to represent the graduating class with a solo performance at the final Commencement ceremony. His teachers here included Thomas Lymenstull and Michael Coonrod, following Matthew’s studies with Mark Puckett. Matthew has performed in masterclasses instructed by Emanuel Ax, Pascal Rogé, Hung-Kuan Chen, Paul Lewis, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, and Simone Dinnerstein, among others. He is also an avid collaborative pianist, performing in masterclasses for artists such as Renée Fleming and Jon Nakamatsu. A past fellow at PianoFest in the Hamptons and PianoTexas International Festival and Academy, he has also attended summer festivals such as the Gijón International Piano Festival and the Aspen School of Music. Matthew currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Valley Manor Living Center, where he performs monthly recitals for the senior community of Rochester. For more information, please visit www.matthewfigel.com.
Since his debut with orchestra in 2010 performing Bartok’s 2nd Piano Concerto, pianist Tyler Ramos has performed internationally as a soloist and chamber musician. He has performed in various venues, including performances at the Colburn School of Music, the Chautauqua Institution, Carnegie Hall, and the Banff Centre. Throughout his schooling, he participated in masterclasses and private lessons with Alexander Kobrin, Jon Nakamatsu, Alexander Gavrylyuk, Julian Martin, Matti Raekallio, Natalya Antonova, Nelita True, Marietta Orlov, John Perry, Alan Chow, Angela Cheng, and Sara Davis Buechner.
Tyler’s numerous accolades include first prize in the Aloha International Piano Festival Concerto Competition (2009), 3rd place in the American Prize (2016), two 3rd place prizes at the National MTNA Convention in 2016 and 2018, 1st place in the tenth annual Lois Trester Competition (2018), 1st place in the University of Hawai’i Concerto Competition (2017), and 1st place in the University of Arizona Concerto Competition (2018). In 2016, he was the pianist for the Hawai’i Chamber Music Festival where he collaborated with violinist Chee-Yun Kim, and also played the cello in the string orchestra. He gave a solo fundraiser recital in 2017 for the Hawai’i Music Teacher’s Association, benefitting music students across Hawai’i. He was the recipient of the John Young Scholarship (2016), Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Grant (2016), the Medici Scholarship (2018), the Graduate and Professional Student Council Grant (2018), and held a Graduate Fellowship from the Fine Arts College at the University of Arizona from 2017 – 2019.
When he is not performing, Tyler enjoys his time as a pedagogue. He taught private piano and cello lessons at the Ellen Masaki School of Music from 2010 – 2017, and taught class piano classes at the Fred Fox School of Music at the University of Arizona. He has given masterclasses throughout Arizona and hopes to continue his teaching career throughout his schooling.
Originally from Hawai’i, Tyler received his B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Hawai’i where he studied with Dr. Thomas Yee for piano, and Dr. I-bei Lin for cello. He graduated with an M.M. candidate in Piano Performance at the University of Arizona where studied with Dr. John Milbauer, and was supervised by Dr. Lisa Zdechlik. As a first year D.M.A. candidate in Piano Performance and Literature, Tyler will study with Professor Natalya Antonova with a full time accompanying TA and half time class piano TA.
Born in into a music-lover family in Henan, China, Yiou Li began her musical journey at the age of five. At the age of sixteen, Li made her concerto debut playing Rachmaninoff’s No.2 Piano Concerto under the baton of maestro Zhang Yi with the Hang Zhou Philharmonic Orchestra. And her performance was broadcast on the Music Channel (CCTV-15) of China Central Television. She was the prizewinner of many renowned piano competitions in the state. Including the 2013 Hilton Head International Young Artist Piano Competition in South Carolina. There, she performed with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Chelsea Tipton. Li was the National Winner of 2014 MTNA Senior Competition in Chicago, Illinoi. In 2017, Li won the first prize in the concerto competition at PianoTexas Academy & Festival in Fort Worth, Texas. This had also won her an opportunity to work with Maestro Leonard Slatkin.
She has studied with Robert McDonald and Nelita True at 2015 Banff Center; with Anton Nel and Fabio Bidini at 2018 Aspen Music School and Festival. Other festival appearances including Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival, Gijon International Piano Festival, Piano Texas Academy & Festival and Seattle Piano Institute. She has benefited from the advice of many celebrated pedagogues, such as Alan Chow, James Giles, Vadym Kholodenko, Yong Hi Moon, John O’Conor, Boris Slutsky, Logan Skelton, and Zhe Tang.
As an avid collaborative musician and co-founder of The Morgan Trio, Li has performed in chamber master classes taught by the Brentano Quartet, Pacifica Quartet, the Ying Quartet, Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Donald Weilerstein, and Maestro Peter Oundjian. She has been selected multiple times to participate in Eastman’s Intensive Chamber Workshop and to perform in the Honor Chamber Concert.
Li is currently pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts Degree under the tutelage of Professor Douglas Humpherys at the Eastman school of music, where she completed both B.M. (17) and M.M. (19) in Piano Performance and Literature. Li is a full-time teaching assistant for Class Piano. She also will teach at the Eastman Community Music School in the Fall of 2019. Li has taught private solo lessons in China over the years and has served as piano instructor at P.A.L.S. and Roaring Fork Valley Music Lesson Program in Aspen, Colorado during 2018.
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.
Zehao Bai was born into a family full of musicians and music lovers, Zehao Bai began his journey with piano as early as three and half years old. After years of study, Zehao made his debut concert at the age of 14 at the City Hall of Wuhai, China. At the year of 2012, Zehao came to United States of America as a junior in high school and continued his piano study with Dr. Washington Garcia at Texas State University. After graduating from high school, Zehao continued to study with Dr. Garcia for one and half years before transferring to University of South Carolina where he received his Bachelor of Music degree under the instruction of Dr. Marina Lomazov.
During his time at Texas State University, Zehao won the Concerto & Aria Competition as a freshman and continued to perform with multiple symphonic orchestras as soloist. During summers, Zehao had performed for world-renowned piano pedagogues and pianists such as Julian Martin, Boris Slutsky, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, and many more in piano festivals across Europe, China, and United States of America.
As an active soloist, Zehao was invited to play at various cities in China and won multiple prizes including first prize in Golden Age Artist Piano Competition, Columbia Music Club Scholarship Competition; Silver Medal in Haiman Young Artist Piano Competition and many more. In the summer of 2016, Zehao and Ke’er Wang together created the Miaomiao Piano Festival in Wuhai, China to be the best piano festival for pre-college young pianists of the area.