Ruth LaredoAlexander Braginsky (Nonvoting Chair)
Pianist / United States

Introduced to the piano by his concert pianist mother, Moscow-born Alexander Braginsky began studying the piano at the age of four. His first teacher, Alexander Goldenweiser, a classmate of Rachmaninov and Scriabin, introduced Braginsky to the 19th century Romantic tradition. Braginsky also studied with Theodore Gutman, another illustrious representative of the Golden Age of Russian piano schools. Offering his audiences a repertoire that extends from Baroque to avant-garde, Braginsky has performed more than 20 world premiers, most of which were commissioned and written for him. Braginsky has performed extensively in USSR, Israel, England, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Taiwan, People’s Republic of China, Spain, France and the United States. He also appeared on stage in collaboration with the variety of renowned artists including Yefim Bronfman and Oleg Kagan. Together with his wife, cellist Tanya Remenikova, the couple was the first artists-in-residence appointed by Churchill College, Cambridge, in 1981. A Professor on the faculty of the International Music Summer Course in Vienna, Austria, Braginsky has given numerous master classes around the world. He was awarded the Josef Dichler Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in 2003. Today, Braginsky teaches at the University of Minnesota School of Music and is the Artistic Director of the Musicians in Debut International (MIDI) as well as the Founding President and the Artistic Director of the International Piano-e-Competition.


Ruth LaredoClaude Frank
Pianist / United States

Distinguished pianist Claude Frank has appeared with the world's foremost orchestras, at major festivals and at prestigious universities since his debut with Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic in 1959. Born in Nuremburg, Frank received a visa to the United States based on a performance he made while in Spain. Once in New York, Frank studied with Artur Schnabel and Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and studied composition and conducting at Columbia University. Since his debut, Frank has been a soloist with such renowned orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the orchestras of New Orleans, Zurich, Brussels and Frankfurt. He has appeared with the Guarneri Quartet, Juilliard Quartet, Mendelssohn Quartet and the London Mozart Players. He also has performed at the Menuhin's Gstaad Festival in Switzerland, the Midsummer Mozart Festival in California and festivals in Norfolk, Schleswig-Holstein and Marlboro. An internationally acclaimed interpreter of the piano literature of Beethoven, the American Record Guide chose Frank’s 1990 re-release of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas as "the one that reaches an exceptionally high level…and maintains that level with quite amazing consistency." May 2001 was a landmark in Frank’s career. The 92nd Street Y in New York hosted his recital commemorating the 50th Anniversary of his New York recital debut. Currently, Frank is on the faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and is a professor at the Yale School of Music.



Ruth LaredoPiotr Paleczny
Pianist / Poland

With the music of Polish composers comprising a significant portion of his repertoire, Piotr Paleczny has introduced music aficionados the world over to Frederic Chopin, Ignacy Jan Paderewski, Witold Lutoslawski and Karol Szymanowski. A graduate of the Frederic Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw, Paleczny is the only pianist who has recorded and performed on stage the new version of Frederic Chopin Piano Concertos, based on the recently released National Edition. The recipient of a number of Polish and foreign distinctions in recognition of his outstanding artistic achievements, Paleczny has served as Artistic Director of the International Frederic Chopin Piano Festival, the oldest music festival in Poland—and possibly the oldest existing international piano festival in the world—since 1993. Paleczny also has appeared as a soloist with a variety of internationally renowned orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, American Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC London, Gewandhaus, Tonhalle Zurich, Yomiuri Nippon, RAI Roma, Santa Cecilia, Mexico National, Buenos Aires National and National Orchestra Madrid. A frequent contributor to a host of international music festivals, Paleczny also sits on international piano competition juries around the world. Additionally, Paleczny has made a variety of recordings, two of which have received Gold Disc status, and another, “The Best of Chopin,” has been awarded the Frederic ’99 prize by the Polish Phonographic Academy. This disc achieved Platinum status in December, 2002.



Awadagin Pratt
Pianist / United States

Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances. Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pratt began studying piano at the age of six. He was the first student in the history of the Peabody Conservatory of Music to receive diplomas in three performance areas. The winner of the 1992 Naumburg International Piano Competition and awarded the 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Pratt has appeared with orchestras and symphonies both in the United States and abroad. Recent appearances include engagements at the Kennedy Center and the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark as well as appearances with the orchestras of Atlanta, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Milwaukee. Pratt was named one of the 50 Leaders of Tomorrow in Ebony Magazine's 50th anniversary issue, and featured on National Public Radio's Performance Today and Weekend Edition. He has been written up in Newsweek, People Magazine, USA weekend and New York Newsday. Pratt also performed twice at the White House at the invitation of President and Mrs. Clinton. Pratt’s 1994 debut album, A Long Way From Normal, was followed by an all-Beethoven Sonata CD, Live from South Africa and Transformations. His most recent recording is an all-Bach disc with the St. Lawrence String Quartet. Today, Pratt serves as an Assistant Professor of Piano and Artist in Residence at the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. A strong advocate of art education, Pratt participates in numerous residency and outreach activities.



Shi Shucheng
Pianist & Conductor / China

Shi Shucheng has given more than one thousand concerts in his homeland of China as well as abroad. A renowned pianist and conductor, Shi Shucheng performs a broad repertoire of Chinese and Western classical works as both a soloist and a conductor. He also has made numerous recordings with a variety of international labels. Dubbed the “Gem of the Chinese Music Arena” and “Rare Pianist Maestro” in his native country, Shi Shucheng’s superb skill and excellent performance standards have earned him the appreciation of both audiences and critics as well as two awards presented to him by the Chinese Ministry of Culture. In 1958, after being awarded the first prize at the Beijing Joint Concert for Children, he was admitted to the Music School of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. Studying under the guidance of Professor Li Changsun, he gave his debut piano recital at the age of 16. After graduation, Shi Shucheng became a soloist for the Central Philharmonic Society of China. Shi Shucheng made his conducting debut with the Central Philharmonic Orchestra in 1981. Two years later, he won the DAAD Scholarship of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as a scholarship from Friedrich-Naumann. He then enrolled at the Cologne Musikhochschule and followed well-known conductor Maestro Volk Wangenheim. Shi Shucheng was appointed the Assistant Artistic Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra in May, 2000.



Alexey Skavronsky
Pianist / Russia

Alexey Skavronsky nurtures the distinctive piano tradition that was raised to great heights by the famous performers and pedagogues of the former Soviet Union. Skavronsky began his musical studies at the Preparatory Music School of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) State Conservatory under the tutelage of Savely Savshinsky. He continued his education at Moscow State Conservatory working with Alexander Goldenweiser and Grigory Ginsburg. Skavronsky established his reputation when he won the first prize at the 1957 Smetana International Competition in Prague and was among the prizewinners at the First Tchaikovsky Competition held in Moscow in 1958. Since then he toured extensively, performing in the most prestigious halls of the former Soviet Union as well as in Bulgaria,Romania, Poland, DDR Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Spain, Finland and the United States (specifically 2002’s Newport Music Festival). Skavronsky has collaborated with many of the best Russian orchestras and conductors, including K. Kondrashin, K. Ivanov, N. Rahlin, Y. Aranovich, G. Rozhdestvensky and N. Yarvi. In 2002, he was awarded the honorary title of People’s Artist of Russia. Today, in addition to his busy teaching schedule at the Genssins Academy of Music in Moscow, Skavronsky continues to perform both in Russia and abroad.



Dubravka Tomsic
Pianist / Slovenia

Since her first public recital at the age of five, Slovenian pianist Dubravka Tomsic has established herself as one of the world’s finest artists. Her 1994 debut performance of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto with Seiji Ozawa and the Boston Symphony brought her great acclaim, as well as invitations for additional subscription series. Since that time, Ms. Tomsic has performed at numerous international festivals worldwide, as well as with major orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, Czech Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dresden Staatskapelle, Berlin Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Moscow Orchestra, Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg, The Residentie Orkest in the Hague, the Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide Symphonies in Australia, and the New York Philharmonic, Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta and Detroit Symphonies in the United States. Ms. Tomsic has made more than 80 CD recordings and in 2003 won the prestigious Grand Prix du Disques of the Franz Liszt Society in Budapest for her newest all-Liszt CD. Today, Ms. Tomsic serves as a juror for many international piano competitions including the Van Cliburn, Leeds, Beethoven in Vienna, International Piano-e-Competition in Minneapolis in 2002 and 2004 and the Clara Haskil in Switzerland. Ms. Tomsic lives in Ljubljana, Slovenia and is a Full Professor of Piano at the Ljubljana University, Academy of Music.



Ruth LaredoOxana Yablonskaya
Pianist / United States

Accepted by the famed Moscow Central School for Gifted Children by the age of six, Oxana Yablonskaya has enjoyed a long and heralded career. Upon graduation from the Moscow Conservatory, Yablonskaya won Second Grand Prix at the 1963 Long-Thibauld Competition, followed by first prize in the 1965 Rio de Janeiro Competition and second prize at the 1969 Vienna Beethoven Competition. Based on this auspicious debut, Yablonskaya received numerous tour invitations, but, due to the political environment of the Soviet Union, was not allowed to accept them. Returning to Russia, Yablonskaya earned the title of Soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic, joining an elite group of artists that included Emil Gilels, Bella Davidovich, David Oistrakh and Leonid Kogan. Denied immigration for two years, Yablonskaya finally arrived in New York in 1977 thanks in part to a petition that was signed by 45 famous American musicians, writers and actors, among them Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim and Richard Rodgers. Since that time, the artist once considered “one of the best kept secrets of the Soviet Union” has since performed in more than 40 countries, in the most prestigious concert halls and with many of the finest symphony orchestras and conductors. In recent years, Yablonskaya has collaborated with her son, renowned cellist/conductor Dmitry Yablonsky, to great acclaim. Yablonskaya also is a Professor of Piano at the Julliard School, and gives numerous master classes at distinguished schools, academies and conservatories around the world.

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