Duo Piano Master Classes

Sylvia Wang with Claire Aebersold, Ralph Neiweem, Timothy Lovelace, and the Liang-He Piano Duo

  • MUS_WKSP 310 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0 credit 
  • MUS_WKSP 315 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0.5 credit (additional charge to register for credit)
  • One Week, Evanston Campus, July 23-28, 2018
  • MTWThF, daytime sessions 10:00 am - 12:30 pm, 2:30 - 5:00 pm
  • Final Concerts, July 28, 2018 at 3:00 and 7:00 pm
  • Location: Ryan Center for the Musical Arts
  • Participant Tuition: $650, Full Program Auditors: $400, Per Day Auditors: $80 (non-credit)

Open to college and graduate students, young professionals, serious amateurs, advanced high-school students. Intensive master classes for duo piano will focus on the art of playing duo piano through study of one four-hand piece and a significant work for two pianos.  Participants will have the opportunity to work on interpretive concepts, style and balance, as well as a comprehensive understanding of the musical score, and will bring each piece up to performance level. They will also be encouraged to develop their critical faculties in listening and score study. There is ample time in the daily schedule for individual practice and rehearsals. The week will culminate in 2 full recitals that are open to the public.

Audition requirements

A digital unedited audio or video recording of any two contrasting movements from different periods. Applicants may apply singly or as pre-formed duos. Single applicants will be matched up with partners and repertoire assigned ahead of time. Pre-formed duos may select their own repertoire in consultation with the instructor.

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted via the Summer Application. Upon creating a file in the Application, applicants should select “Summer Session” as their application type, and then select the workshop to which you are applying. This will ensure that your file is distributed to the correct reviewers. No separate application form is necessary--do not submit an application to Northwestern University via the Common Application or Graduate Music Online Application. Applicants will be asked to upload a detailed resume as well as all audition requirements for the performance offerings. NOTE: No paper applications will be accepted. Do not mail recordings to the Bienen School of Music or to faculty, as these will not be reviewed or returned. Early registration is advised since a maximum of 16 participants will be accepted.

The deadline for performer applications is April 16, 2018. Auditors are encouraged. The deadline for accepted participant registration with full tuition due is June 1, 2018.

Faculty and Guest Artists

Sylvia WangA native of Penang, Malaysia, Sylvia Wang has presented solo and collaborative performances throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Far East. She has recorded for the Newport Classic label and Boston Records, and contemporary American music for Northeastern and CRI labels. She has been the winner and finalist in various competitions, including the Royal Overseas League Festival in London, an AVANTI award leading to a debut in London's Purcell Room, the Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, and the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition. Recent activities include guest classes at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Hong Kong Baptist University, the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, guest judging at the University of Michigan and the Peabody Conservatory and a six-city concert tour of China. She has also been a guest at the Chautauqua Institution, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and the University of Western Australia in Perth. She acknowledges her debt to David Burge at the Eastman School of Music and Hamish Milne and Dennis Murdoch at the Royal Academy of Music, which she attended as an Associated Board scholar. In recognition of "distinction in the field", the Academy awarded her an honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. 

Neiweem AbersoldDescribed as “consummate practitioners of pianism” (The Washington Post) Claire Aebersold and Ralph Neiweem enjoy an international career as exponents of music for both piano duet and two keyboards. Their innovative programming reflects the full gamut of this delightful repertoire, from four-hand works of Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms, to favorite lighter masterpieces by Poulenc and Milhaud, and contemporary works championed or commissioned by Aebersold and Neiweem.

Aebersold and Neiweem are currently celebrating 35 years before the public. They have been heard on RAI-TV Italy, PBS television, and on WFMT Radio in Chicago, where they performed an unprecedented series of thirty live broadcast concerts covering virtually the complete four-hand repertoire of the 19th and 20th centuries. The duo has appeared with orchestras internationally, including the Chicago Philharmonic and the Vienna Tonkünstler. They have been heard in recital in many cities throughout the USA and Europe, including Chicago, New York, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Santa Fe, Vienna, Rome and Florence and Odessa, Ukraine.

Timothy LovelacePianist Timothy Lovelace heads the Collaborative Piano program at the University of Minnesotaand is an active recitalist, having been featured at Rio de Janeiro’s Sala Cecilia Meireles, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Merkin Concert Hall, Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts and on chamber music series sponsored by the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minnesota and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. As a soloist, he has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Osmo Vänskä. The roster of internationally-known artists with whom Lovelace has appeared includes Miriam Fried, Nobuko Imai, Robert Mann, Charles Neidich, Ayano Ninomiya, Paquito D’Rivera, and Dawn Upshaw. For thirteen years, he was a staff pianist at the Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, where he played in the classes of Barbara Bonney, Christoph Eschenbach, Thomas Hampson, Christa Ludwig and Yo-Yo Ma, among others. A proponent of new music, Lovelace has performed the works of many living composers, and he presented the world premiere of Osvaldo Golijov’s Third World. He has recorded for the Albany, Arabesque, Blue Griffin, Boston Records, and MSR labels. His principal teachers were Harold Evans, Gilbert Kalish, Donna Loewy, and Frank Weinstock.

Liang-HeGrand prize winner of the 18th Tokyo International Duo Piano Competition, the Liang-He Piano Duo has been acclaimed for its combined artistry and synchronicity.  The members of the duo, Xiaomin Liang and Jue He, began playing together when they were students at Northwestern University.  They later developed into a professional ensemble while living in Chicago.  

The duo has performed in festivals and concert series throughout Asia and North America and has frequently been featured on WFMT, Chicago's classical music radio station.  The Liang-He duo successfully toured over 40 cities in China from 2012 to 2014, performing in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, receiving rave reviews and further accolades. They recently returned from their fourth tour in the summer of 2017, during which they were invited by the prestigious Poly theater to perform in 15 of the newest state-of-art venues across China.​ Other accomplishments include winning third prize in the “Liszt 200 International Two-Piano Competition" and being named Chicagoland’s first “Young Steinway Artists.”

The Liang-He Duo is committed to developing a unique repertoire based on exploring the classics of two-piano literature, as well as creating new works through commissions. Their innovative programs combine traditional and less-frequently performed works.Both Xiaomin Liang and Jue He received their Doctorate degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University. 

For more information, contact the Northwestern University Bienen School of Music Office of Admission and Financial Aid at 847-491-3141 or summermusic@northwestern.edu.