Four students from Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music will perform in a special concert at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that semi-annually showcases the best young musical artists from the nation’s leading colleges, universities and conservatories.

This marks the 12th consecutive year that top students from the Bienen School will be featured in a concert as part of the Kennedy Center’s Conservatory Project. The semi-annual concert introduces Washington audiences to young musicians destined to have important careers.

The Bienen School’s Kennedy Center performers for 2016 are as follows: 

Cellist Riana Anthony is a first-year master of music student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, professor of cello. Born and raised in Yamagata, Japan, Anthony began playing the cello at the age of nine under her mother and cellist, Kurata Sumiko. She was awarded twice in Osaka’s Izuminomori Cello and Contrabass Festival. Since moving to Honolulu in 2003, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Japan, China, North America and Europe. She made her Honolulu Symphony debut at the age of 12 as a winner of the Honolulu Youth Concerto Competition. In 2014, Anthony was featured in “The City, The Romanticism” as soloist with the Shanghai City Symphony Orchestra, and she has toured several Chinese cities, most recently featured in the Future Masters Concert Series at the Oriental Arts Center in Shanghai. Anthony completed her undergraduate studies at the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings under cellists Julie Albers and Bienen School Professor Hans Jørgen Jensen. Anthony will perform Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano.

Pianist Dong-Wan Ha is a doctor of musical arts degree candidate studying with the Bienen School’s Alan Chow, associate professor of piano. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Ha began his piano studies at the age of seven. He received a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from Seoul National University in 2011, then moved to the United States to pursue a master of music degree in piano performance and literature at the Eastman School of Music. He continued his piano studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where he received an artist diploma in piano performance and collaborative piano. Ha has studied piano with Jung-Hyun Lee, Mari Kwon, Hyoung-Joon Chang, Barry Snyder, Haesun Paik and Anita Pontremoli. He has won several national and international competitions, including prizes in the Korean Piano Duo Competition and Joong-ang National Music Competition in his home country, the Glasgow International Competition of Young Pianists in Scotland, and the Asia Chopin International Competition in Japan. Ha will perform two works by Liszt -- Consolation No. 3 in D-flat Major, S. 172 and “Paraphrase de concert sur Rigoletto,” S. 434.

Soprano Madison Leonard is a second-year master of music student of Bienen School faculty member Karen Brunssen, associate professor of voice. On stage, Leonard has appeared as Susanna in Mozart’s “Le nozze di Figaro,” Geraldine in Barber’s “A Hand of Bridge,” Ginevra in Handel’s “Ariodante,” Kitty Hart in Jake Heggie’s “Dead Man Walking” and Madame Herz in Mozart’s “The Impresario.” At the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco, Leonard performed the role of Monica in Menotti’s “The Medium,” covered Norina in Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” and portrayed Gretel in Humperdinck’s “Hänsel und Gretel,” receiving praise for “the best vocal performance of the entire evening” (Mark Rudio’s “A Beast in a Jungle.”) She was a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Illinois district and received first place in the Central Region National Association of Teachers of Singing competition. A native of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, Leonard is an alumna of Pepperdine University. Leonard will perform Massenet’s “Je suis encore tout étourdie,” Schumann’s “Stille Tränen,” H.T. Burleigh’s “Worth While” and Puccini’s “Morire?”

Violinist Dmitri Pogorelov is a doctor of musical arts degree candidate studying with the Bienen School’s Gerardo Ribeiro, professor of violin. As a soloist, Pogorelov has appeared with the Columbus, Flint, Palm Beach and Spokane symphonies, as well as numerous orchestras in his native Russia. An in-demand chamber musician, he has performed with members of the Vermeer, Avalon, Miami, Amernet and Fine Arts string quartets, and the Lincoln Trio, as well as with principal players of the Chicago, Houston, Baltimore, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Colorado and Seattle symphonies; the Minnesota and Concertgebouw, Rochester and Florida Philharmonic orchestras; and the San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, Mannheim and Darmstadt opera orchestras. Pogorelov is first violinist of the Kontras String Quartet, the resident quartet at Western Michigan University. Currently, he serves as associate concertmaster of the Lancaster Festival Orchestra in Ohio. Pogorelov holds degrees in music performance from DePaul and Lynn universities, having studied with Ilya Kaler, Elmar Oliveira and Sergiu Schwartz. Pogorelov will perform Wolfgang Marschner’s Sonata for Solo Violin and Ravel’s “Tzigane” (“Rapsodie de Concert”).

Nolan Pearson will serve as collaborative pianist for Anthony, Leonard and Pogorelov in their Kennedy Center performances. Praised by The New York Times as a "high-energy pianist" who "brought beauty and cohesiveness" to his interpretations of new music, Pearson is a widely active chamber musician. Based in Chicago, he has performed regularly on the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series and the Dame Myra Hess Series. As soloist, he has appeared recently at MIAM in Istanbul, Rolston Hall at Banff, and Ozawa Hall, and with conductors Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Stefan Asbury, Bridget Reischl, and Bienen School faculty member Robert G. Hasty, among others. The winner of major grants and competitions, including the 2012 Edes Prize for Emerging Artists and the 2008 Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship, Pearson studied principally with Ursula Oppens and Robert Shannon. He is currently an instructor at the Bienen School of Music.

  • Hans Jensen
  • Karen Brunssen
  • Gerardo Ribeiro
  • Robert Hasty