Four students and one alumnus of Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music will perform in a concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, April 21, 2015, as part of the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project.

A semi-annual showcase of exceptional talent, the Conservatory Project is designed to present the best young musical artists from the nation’s leading colleges, universities, and conservatories while introducing Washington audiences to young musicians destined to have important careers.

“The Bienen School of Music is honored to participate in the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project for the 11th consecutive year,” said Bienen School Dean Toni-Marie Montgomery. “It is gratifying to be included in this exciting series highlighting students from many of the nation’s leading music institutions.”

The Bienen School’s Kennedy Center performers for 2015 are as follows:

Kelsey Park, mezzo-soprano, is a second year master’s student studying under Bienen faculty Theresa Brancaccio and Alan Darling. She will perform “Sein wir wieder gut” from Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos, “Au pays où se fait la guerre” by Henri DuParc, and “Una voce poco fa” from Gioachino Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia. Park has appeared as Sister Helen Prejean in the Bienen School’s Chicago area fully-staged premiere of Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, Dorabella in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, Jo in Mark Adamo's Little Women, and was a featured participant in the 2014 Joyce DiDonato master class. Park was a young artist with the prestigious Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program, where she received the Award for Excellence in 2015.

Lena Zeliszewska, violin, is a doctor of musical arts degree candidate studying violin performance with Gerardo Ribeiro. She will perform Subito by Witold Lutoslawski and Tzigane (Rapsodie de Concert) for violin and piano by Maurice Ravel. During her time at the Bienen School, Zeliszewska has been a winner of the Cliff Dwellers Arts Foundation String Competition and the Northwestern University concerto competition. In November 2014 she was the soloist for Szymanowski’s First Violin Concerto with the Northwestern University Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Victor Yampolsky.

Brannon Cho, cello, is a sophomore studying with Hans Jørgen Jensen. He will perform Robert Schumann’s Fünf Stücke im Volkston for cello and piano. In 2014, Cho was selected by the National YoungArts Foundation to be featured in an episode of the HBO documentary series Masterclass with Joshua Bell and subsequently performed chamber music with Bell in New York City, London, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Cho received the Founders Prize in Cello at the 2015 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition. He was recently invited as one of only three cellists from the United States to participate in the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in June 2015 in Moscow.

Jialiang Wu, piano, is a doctor of musical arts candidate studying under Alan Chow. He will perform Soirée de Vienne, Op. 56 by Richard Strauss and Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt. Wu has won numerous prizes and scholarships, including top honors in the Shanghai Piano Competition, Thaviu-Isaak Piano Competition, and Mannes and Northwestern University concerto competitions. Recent performance highlights include his debuts at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with conductor JoAnn Falletta, a showcase radio appearance on New York’s WQXR, and the Dame Myra Hess concert series in the Chicago Cultural Center, broadcast by WFMT.

Pianist Kuang-Hao Huang, an alumnus of the Bienen School and lecturer of music performance, will serve as collaborative pianist for Park, Zeliszewska, and Cho in their Kennedy Center performances. Huang performs throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Asia. He is most often heard collaborating with Chicago’s finest musicians, from instrumentalists of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singers with the Lyric Opera. He has performed with the Avalon, Euclid, Spektral, and Vermeer string quartets and been a guest of the Chicago Chamber Musicians.

For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org.

View full album on Flickr.


  • Hans Jensen
  • Victor Yampolsky
  • Gerardo Ribeiro
  • Alan Darling
  • Theresa Brancaccio
  • Toni-Marie Montgomery