Education: BM, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point; MM, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, DMA in progress at the U of MN
Japanese pianist Rie Tanaka started playing piano at the age three. By the age of ten, she had won the first place at the Muse Daito Piano Festival in Osaka and has been active in the competition scene ever since.
In Japan, Tanaka was a prize winner of the 8th Rosenstock International Piano Competition, Kyoto Piano Competition, and Osaka College of Music Competition. Tanaka moved to the US in 2008 and has since been named the winner of numerous competitions. She came in first for the West Central MTNA Young Artist Competition 2016, Thursday Musical Young Artist Scholarship Competition 2015, the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition 2014, Mechelke Piano Award 2014, the 17th Annual Masters Concerto and Aria Competition at the Kenwood Symphony Orchestra 2014, and the Wisconsin State MTNA Young Artist Competition 2011.
As an active soloist and a collaborative pianist, Tanaka frequently performs in the Twin Cities and Central Wisconsin. She has appeared in venues such as NHK Osaka hall, Phoenix hall in Osaka, Japan, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra center. Tanaka also serves as a pianist of the South Beach Chamber Ensemble in their annual Wisconsin concert series.
Tanaka has experience in teaching piano to all ages and levels for over eight years. She currently teaches group piano classes and individual lessons for music majors and non-majors at the University of Minnesota through her position as Teaching Assistant.
Education: BS Music Education University of Minnesota
SANDY WATERMAN is a music educator of children, teens, and adults, teaching Early Childhood Music classes, general music classes in schools, private (traditional and Suzuki) and group piano lessons, and creating original children’s musicals. She also serves as co-director of music for Living Spirit UMC in Minneapolis, directing an adult vocal ensemble and a world drumming ensemble as well as accompanying all solo musicians there. Trained as a classical pianist, she embraces all genres of music, including jazz, New Age, folk, blues, rock, and more. Sandy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, and earned teaching certification for K-12 general music in Minnesota. Using improvisation as a springboard for her teaching, she also calls on those gifts in an all-female jazz trio, ELBOW ROOM, and a classic rock cover band, ONE IN A ROW, as a keyboardist. Recent guitar and folk harp study have her excited about the never-ending possibilities in music! She has worked for the Saint Paul Conservatory since about 2009.
Education: Diploma, Belorussian State Conservatoire, Russia
Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, Elena studied at the Music Conservatory of Minsk, Russia, and taught at the Okhtinski Center for Arts in St. Petersburg. A devoted follower of the old Russian classical piano teaching tradition, many of her Russian and American students have won local and international competitions, and have performed professionally around the world. Elena teaches at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, and maintains an extensive piano studio at home. An avid educator, Elena has organized many cultural exchange programs, creative events, and is Director of the popular SPCM All Around the Piano Festival.
Website: www.elenapiastro.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Education: BS (education), Concordia College; MM (education), University of Michigan
Pianist Kari Peterson received her Bachelor’s degree from Concordia College, and her Master’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied music education, piano performance, and piano pedagogy. She has received fellowships from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and the Minnesota Humanities Commission to study the arts in education. Her students are active in piano and composition competitions in the Twin Cities. Kari also teaches music at Somerset Elementary School in Saint Paul, MN.
Education: BM, Boston University; MM, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Patricia McPherson is an active soloist and chamber musician in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Her solo performances have included appearances with the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Music Festival Young Artist Orchestras, the Raleigh Symphony, and the University of North Carolina Symphony.Ms. McPherson has appeared at the Oregon Piano Festival and was a regional winner and national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Competition. McPherson holds a M.M. degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and a B.M. from Boston University where she was a student of Bela Nagy. She also was a faculty member of the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she supervised the festival’s accompanying program. Currently on the faculty of the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, as well as maintaining a private studio at home, Ms. McPherson collaborates with several Twin Cities choirs, including the Minnetonka Chamber Choir and Symphony Chorus, the Apollo Male Chorus and Partners in Praise Girls Choir.
Education: Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance, University of Minnesota, School of Music, Minneapolis, MN, 2005 Bachelor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance University of Minnesota, School of Music, Minneapolis, MN, 1997 Diploma with honors in Piano Performance, Accompanying and Piano Pedagogy College of Music, Mogilev, Belorussia, 1991
Oleg Levin was born and received his early music education in Belorussia where he graduated with Diploma with Honors in Piano Performance, Accompanying and Piano Pedagogy from the College of Music, Mogilev, Belorussia. Upon coming to the United States he went on to earn his Bachelor and Doctorate degree in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with esteemed professor Alexander Braginsky. Dr. Levin maintains an active performance schedule as a soloist and chamber musician in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. As a pianist, Dr. Levin has won prizes in a number of local piano competitions, including Schubert Club Competition, Marvin O. Mechelke II Piano Competition and Hutchinson Music Scholarship.
As a performing artist, Dr. Levin enjoys giving recitals in various venues around town, as well as collaborating with his colleagues. Individuality and creativity have marked the overall pursuit of his musical career. The basis lies in the creative challenge and spiritual search inherent in music-making.
“Music has undoubtedly been the most rewarding experience of my education and my life. My teachers have been a constant inspiration over the years and I look forward to the opportunity of extending my knowledge and experience in my music career. As a performer, I am trying to serve composers by allowing their music to speak through my personal voice. As a human being, I am trying to live up to the meaning of their great works.”
Dr. Levin is an Adjunct Professor of Piano at the Concordia University, St. Paul Music Department since 2011.
Education: Ivan Konev graduated from the Russian Academy of Music in Moscow, Russia.
Ivan Konev was born in Ukraine and educated in Moscow where he completed his Bachelor degree in Piano performance from the Music College affiliated with the Moscow Conservatory and Master degree in Piano performance from Gnessin’s Music Academy. Upon his graduation he came to study piano and Liberal Arts at Hamline University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 2010 Ivan finished his Doctoral degree in Piano performance from the University of Minnesota.
As a soloist, Mr. Konev has won prizes in a number of international and local piano competitions, including the Andorra International Piano Competition, Corpus Christi International Piano Competition, Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, University of Minnesota School of Music Concerto Competition, and the Bell Scholarship Competition.
An active performer in the United States and abroad, Ivan has appeared numerous times in solo and chamber music concerts in such venues as Embassy of the United States in Moscow, Great, Small and Rachmaninoff Halls of the Moscow Conservatory, Sundin Music Hall, Ordway and Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis among others. As a chamber music collaborator, Dr. Konev performs regularly with faculty members of University of Minnesota School of Music and members of the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Dr. Konev is a Founder and Artistic Director of the UWRF Piano Fest and UWRF Piano&Strings summer camp in River Falls, WI where he is a member of the UWRF piano faculty.
Education: BM, Tel Aviv University; MM Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ora Itkin was born in Moscow where she started piano lessons at the age of four under the guidance of her father, an accomplished jazz musician. After graduating from Moscow Academy of Music she emigrated to Israel where she continued her music education and graduated from Tel-Aviv University and Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Ms. Itkin was awarded an educational grant from the American Israeli Cultural Foundation. Internationally, and has performed in Russia, Israel, Belgium, Czech Republic, Cyprus, and Italy. She has also been heard live on public radio in Russia and Israel. Ms. Itkin has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in prestigious venues of the Twin Cities including the Schubert Club, and at Sundin Hall, Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Temple Israel, and the University of Minnesota’s “Bravo Festival”, among others. Ms. Itkin is currently on the piano faculty at the University of St. Thomas and the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music, and maintains a private piano studio. Recently she was a guest performer and clinician at the Second Caribbean Festival of Humanities, and the Latin American Composers Forum. Ms. Itkin is co-Artistic Director of “Muse” Salon, a chamber ensemble. Her experience of living among different cultures, combined with her passion for music, literature, arts, and philosophy led to the development of recreating the old time European tradition of the Salon.
Education: She holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in composition from the Aichi Art University in Japan and Doctoral degree in harpsichord performance from the Juilliard School.
Composer and harpsichordist, Asako Hirabayashi’s first recording on Albany Label, whose program is entirely composed and played by herself, was selected as one of the 5 best classical CDs of the year 2010 by Minneapolis Star Tribune. It was described as “A superb player, is also a gifted creator of music” (The Diapason, 2010),“A strong case for her instrument’s third-millennium credentials…the best harpsichordist. A delight!”(Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2010),“Twenty-four tracks of passionate, sparkling, lyrical, even poignant music to help secure the harpsichord’s presence in the new millennium.” (Fanfare, 2010) “…charming, unreservedly melodic, poignant and lighthearted”(American Record Guild, 2010) “ Her contemporary harpsichord music is ingenious, fanciful, diverse and unpretentious… I admit I’ve never been a fan of the harpsichord, she has changed all that for me and awakened me to the idea that a composer can reinvent an instrument…” (Fanfare, 2010)As a harpsichordist, she has appeared as a guest featured soloist in international festivals and music series worldwide, including her New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall, the Boston Early Music Festival, the International Bach Festival in Ukraine, the International Contemporary Music Festival “Contrasts” in Ukraine, the Festival Musicale delle Nazioni in Rome, Italy, the concert series at Palais du Pharo in Marseille, France, the Bach Society of Minnesota, the Schubert Club Concert Series etc. She won numerous grants and awards including the 2009 -10 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, the Irene Diamond Scholarship from the Juilliard School, and the Fund for U.S. Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions. Her performances have been broadcast worldwide and she appeared as a guest solo performer on A Prairie Home Companion in 2009.As a composer, she won several first prizes at international composition competitions, such as the Alienor International Harpsichord Composition Competition and NHK International Song Writing Competition in Japan, and awarded Subito grant from American Composers Forum. Her works have been published by Skyline publications Inc. and Tundradogs Music Publishing Inc. and have been performed worldwide.She has taught classes and given lecture recitals at the Juilliard School, Miami University, the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, and the International Bach Festival in Sumy, Ukraine, the Tchaikovsky National Academy of Music in Kiev, Sumy Conservatory in Ukraine and Northern Kentucky University, the University of Minnesota. She serves as vice president of Midwestern Historical Keyboard Society, and is a founder and a harpsichordist of Cincinnati Baroque Orchestra, Duo Libero, Duo Tastiera and Ladyslipper.
Kim Craig (on sabbatical)
Education: BA cum laude, San Jose State Universtiy, MA (music), University of Minnesota; Doctoral Studies in piano, University of Minnesota
Kim Craig received a B.A. degree with honors from San Jose State University, where she studied with Aiko Onishi. She studied with Alexander Braginsky at the University of Minnesota, where she received an M.M. degree, and has done doctoral work at the University with Lydia Artymix. Craig, first place winner of the Northern California Piano Competition, has performed numerous solo recitals, including her own stage production of Babar the Elephant with MPR’s Eric Friesen and participated in the Schubert Club Metro Artists Series at Landmark Center. She has adjudicated for numerous organizations and her students have been prize winners in competitions sponsored by the Chopin Society, Schubert Club, Minnesota Music Teachers Association, Thursday Musical and the Music Teachers National Association
Education: BM, Manhattan School of Music; MM, University of Illinois; DMA University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dr. Arnstein is well known in the Twin Cities area as a pianist and composer. He has often served as pianist and harpsichordist with the Minnesota Orchestra, and has accompanied many members of the Twin Cities’ two main orchestras and college music faculties. A winner of international competitions in both composition and piano, he has toured the Midwest as pianist and composer-in-residence for the Sylmar Chamber Ensemble, was a frequent pianist with the Macalester Trio.Dr. Arnstein’s compositions include more than a hundred chamber music works, hundreds of piano solos and duets, and music for orchestra and chorus. His music has been published in both the United States and Europe.