Duo Piano Master Classes
with Alan Chow, Liang-He Duo, Susan Tang and Louise Chan
July 21-27, 2024
Opening Concert: Sunday, July 21, at 3:00pm (Liang-He Duo and Susan Tang and Louise Chan)
Class Schedule: MTWThF 10:00am-12:30pm, 2:30-5:00pm
Four Hands Recital: Friday, July 26, at 7:00pm
Final Recitals: Saturday, July 27, at 3:00pm and 7:00pm
Location: Ryan Center for the Musical Arts (Evanston Campus)
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 two full recitals that are open to the public.
MUS_WKSP 310 Section 7 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0 credit
MUS_WKSP 315 Section 7 Performance Workshop, One-Week 0.5 credit
Participant Tuition: $750, Full Program Auditors: $450
(Additional charge to register for credit)
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 they are applying. This will ensure that the 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.
The deadline for participant applications is April 8, 2024. Auditors are encouraged. The deadline for accepted participant registration with full tuition due is June 1, 2024. Early registration is advised since a maximum of 16 participants will be accepted.
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.
A 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.
Alan Chow has won First Prize in the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, the UCLA International Piano Competition, and the Palm Beach Invitational International Piano Competition. Winner of the Silver Medal and Audience Favorite Prize at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, he was also a prizewinner in the William Kapell International Piano Competition.
A Steinway artist, Mr. Chow has performed in recital and in concert with orchestras in nearly all 50 states. His recitals have brought him to the major music centers including New York (Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall), Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago (Symphony Center and Ravinia), Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Seattle, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Miami. Concerto performances include appearances with the National Symphony, Utah Symphony, Oakland Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, and Omaha Symphony. Mr. Chow regularly tours Asia with performances in China, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, including performances with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic and the Pan-Asia Symphony. An avid chamber musician, he has collaborated with the American, Pacifica, Miami and Escher String Quartets and has been guest artist at the Grand Canyon Chamber Music Festival, Juneau Jazz and Classics, San Juan Islands Chamber Music Festival, Kent Blossom Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, Music Festival of Arkansas and Music Mountain. In addition, he appears in joint recital engagements in the Cheng-Chow Trio with pianists Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow.
Mr. Chow has given master classes throughout North America and Asia at conservatories, universities and summer festivals including, Indiana University, Bowdoin Music Festival, New Orleans International Piano Festival, Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, Las Vegas Piano Festival, Tunghai International Piano Festival (Taiwan), Classical Music Festival (Austria) and in Singapore. Appointed guest professor at the Central Conservatory in Beijing and honored visiting professor at the Shenyang Conservatory, he has also presented recitals, master classes, and lectures in China at the conservatories in Shanghai, Chengdu, Xian and Wuhan. An adjudicator at national and international competitions, he currently serves as the permanent Chair of Jury at the New Orleans International Piano Competition.
Mr. Chow studied with Nelita True at the University of Maryland where he graduated Co Valedictorian with his twin brother Alvin, and received the Charles Manning Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts given to the outstanding graduate; with Sascha Gorodnitzki at The Juilliard School where he was awarded the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano; and with Menahem Pressler at Indiana University where he was the recipient of the Joseph Battista Memorial Scholarship. He also studied at the Mozarteum Sommerakademie with Carlo Zecchi.
Previously having served on the faculty of the University of Arkansas and Northwestern University, Mr Chow is currently Professor of Piano and Chair of the Piano Department at the Eastman School of Music.
Grand prize winner of the 18th Tokyo International Duo Piano Competition, the Liang-He 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 2019, performing in major cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, receiving rave reviews and further accolades. 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. Both Xiaomin Liang and Jue He received their Doctorate degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University.
Born in Beijing, China, award-winning pianist Xiao-min Liang is known for her outstanding musicianship, extraordinary sensitivity and virtuosity. Praised by the New York Times for her vivid and exhilarating playing, Ms. Liang has performed in major concert venues such as Avery Fischer Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Chicago Symphony Center, the Grand National Theater and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. Ms. Liang received top prizes at the China National Piano Competition, the Five Town Piano Competition in New York, the Douglaston Young Artist Competition in Long Island, and the Thaviu/Isaak Scholarship Competition and Concerto Competition at Northwestern University. As a winner of the Artist International Competition, Miss Liang made her debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie in 2000.
Ms. Liang began her studies at the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Since moving to the US, she has studied with Victoria Mushkatkol at Interlochen Arts Academy. She graduated from the Juilliard School, receiving both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees where she was a full scholarship student studying with Jerome Lowenthal. Ms. Liang received her doctoral degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University, where her teachers included Ursula Oppens and Sylvia Wang. Miss Liang has served on the piano faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago since 2006.
Jue He, a native of Shanghai, China, has been acclaimed for her combination of vigorous and eloquent performances. The Denver Post praised Ms. He for her “first-rate performance” in collaborating with the Aspen Festival Orchestra. She has performed and given lecture recitals both as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States. She is currently on the faculty at Benedictine University.
Dr. He started her studies in Shanghai Conservatory’s high school division. She graduated from University of Denver, receiving her bachelor’s degree as a full scholarship recipient. Later on, Dr. He received both her master’s and Doctoral Degrees in Piano Performance and Collaborative Arts from Northwestern University, graduating with top honors. Her teachers include Dr. Sylvia Wang and Dr. Elizabeth Buccheri.
Louise Chan and Susan TangClose
Pianists Louise Chan and Susan Tang enjoy captivating audiences with performances of four hand repertoire by American and other contemporary composers. They duo was borne of a long-time friendship; the two first met as undergraduate students at the Eastman School of Music. They gave their first performance together in 2011, and have since appeared many times at the Chicago Piano Duo Festival, as well as in recitals at Oklahoma City University, Northeastern Illinois University and on Chicago’s WFMT. Of their performance at Chicago’s George Crumb Festival in 2020, Chicago Classical Review said “the piano four hands team … literally threw themselves into their amplified instruments, making the dislocated rhythms, explosive roars, glistening high notes and low rumbles speak with acute beauty and concentration.”
Louise Chan is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral keyboardist. She is a founding member of the Blue Violet Duo with violinist Kate Carter, and their second album, Strike, Strum and Stride, was released by Centaur Records in January 2023. Dr. Chan’s recent performances include the Dame Myra Hess Memorials Concerts, Live from WFMT, Chicago Philharmonic Night Out in the Parks, the Artists in Recital Series by the Musicians Club of Women, the Thirsty Ears Festival, the Ear Taxi Festival, and appearances with new music groups Fulcrum Point New Music Project and The Zafa Collective. She was the former principal pianist for the Madison Symphony Orchestra, and is a substitute for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Chan maintains a busy studio of young and adult piano students at the Music Institute of Chicago. She is a member of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s College of Examiners, traveling throughout North America as an adjudicator. Her degrees are from the Eastman School of Music and Northwestern University.
Susan Tang is Professor of Piano at Northeastern Illinois University, Artistic Director of the Chicago Chamber Music Festival (an intensive summer workshop for young artists), founding member of Keys to Inclusion (an multi-institutional initiative to explore the piano repertoire of Black American composers) and program director of the Adult Piano Retreat at Birch Creek Performance Center, WI. Dr. Tang has performed and toured with Mabou Mine’s Dollhouse, been featured live on New York City’s WQXR and Chicago’s WFMT, performed with the Eastman Symphony Orchestra along with receiving the coveted Performer’s Certificate. Invitations to perform and teach have taken her throughout Canada, United States, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Colombia where she has performed at festivals such as the Ravinia Festival, Jewel Box Series, Dame Myra Hess, Savannah Music Festival, and Shriver Hall Concert Series. She has published articles in Clavier Magazine and has presented at both the MTNA and College Music Society’s national conferences, the National Conference of Keyboard Pedagogy and is a member of the Royal Conservatory Of Music's college of adjudicators. Dr. Tang received her BM and MM degrees from the Eastman School of Music studying with Nelita True and DMA from Manhattan School of Music with Nina Svetlanova.