Piano Island Festival | 5th edition
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2 - 11 December 2022
RENOWNED INTERNATIONAL PROFESSORS
Pascal Rogé exemplifies the finest in French pianism. Born in Paris, he was a student of the Paris Conservatory and was also mentored by Julius Katchen and the great Nadia Boulanger. Winner of Georges Enesco piano competition and 1st prize of Marguerite Long Piano competition, he became an exclusive Decca recording artist at the age of seventeen. His playing of Poulenc, Satie, Fauré, Saint-Saëns and especially Ravel, is characterized by its elegance, beauty and stylistically perfect phrasing.
Mr. Rogé has performed in almost every major concert hall in the world and with every major orchestra across the globe and has collaborated with the most distinguished conductors in history, including Lorin Maazel, Michael Tilson Thomas, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Edo de Waart, Alan Gilbert, David Zinman, Marek Janowski, Sir Andrew Davis, Raymond Leppard and others.
One of the world’s most distinguished recording artists, Pascal Rogé has won many prestigious awards, including two Gramophone Awards, a Grand Prix du Disque and an Edison Award for his interpretations of the Ravel and Saint- Saens concerti along with the complete piano works of Ravel, Poulenc and Satie.
Recently chairman of the Geneva Piano competition, Pascal Rogé is also dedicated to teaching and gives regular masterclasses in France, Japan, United States and United Kingdom.
Born in Southern California,Kenner showed his interest in piano from a very young age and studied there with Polish pianist Krzysztof Brzuza. As a teenager, Brzuza sent him to Poland to audition for the eminent professor Ludwik Stefański, who immediately prepared him for the Tenth International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where as the youngest competitor he received a special award and finished in 10th place.
Kenner's performance career has connected him with the Hallé Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the 18th Century, the Belgian Radio and Television Philharmonic, the NHK Symphony of Japan, and in the US with the symphony orchestras of San Francisco, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, New Jersey, Rochester, Baltimore, St. Paul and many others. He has collaborated with Sir Charles Groves, Andrew Davis, Hans Vonk, Frans Bruggen, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Kazimierz Kord, Jiri Belohlavek and Antoni Wit.
Teaching has been one of Kenner’s passions since accepting a post in 2000 at the Royal College of Music in London, where he taught for over a decade. Since 2015, he has worked at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he currently serves as Associate Professor and Artistic Director and Founder of the Frost Chopin Academy, an annual summer academy that connects talented students of Chopin’s music in direct contact with some of the world’s most respected Chopin specialists. Kenner also served as visiting professor at the Academy of Music in Łódź, Poland from 2015-2017, from which he also received an honorary doctorate (2018).
Kenner’s commitment to building and supporting the next generation of classical pianists includes participating as juror in some of the most celebrated international piano competitions including the Busoni International Competition in Bolzano (2017), the Prague Spring International Music Competition (2021) and the International Chopin Competition (2010, 2021). He has also been invited to serve as chair of the jury at the International Chopin Competition in Darmstadt (2018), the National Chopin Competition in Miami (2020), and the Parnassus International Competition in Peru (2021).
Portuguese pianist Bernardo Santos has been performing widely as a soloist and chamber musician, with performances ranging over four continents in venues such as the Casa da Música, Convento de São Francisco, Teatro da Trindade, Teatro Rivoli in Portugal, Sala Cecília Meireles, Teatro Amazonas and Palácio das Artes in Brazil, Fairfield Halls, Royal Albert Hall and St. James Piccadilly Church in London, National Concert Hall and the Tonhalle Düsseldorf, among many others. Santos has been invited to several piano and chamber music festivals all over Europe, South America and Asia. Several of his concerts were recorded for Portuguese classical radio Antena 2 and his recordings have been featured in Colombian radio Señal Clásica and Classic FM. The Guadian mentions him as a virtuoso prodigy.
As an invited soloist with orchestra, Bernardo had the opportunity to play with the Minas Gerais Symphony Orchestra, Amazon Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Cali, Vidin State Philarmonic Orchestra, Orquestra Clássica do Centro, Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, among others. He has played under the baton of conductors such as Antonio Vassalo Lourenco, Charles Gambetta, Hilo Carriel, Jorge Mario Uribe, Leandro Alves, Kira Omelchenko, Marcelo de Jesus, and Silvio Viegas.
Bernardo Santos is currently taking part of the Doctoral Program in Music Performance (PhD) at the University of Aveiro. Bernardo graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, Ljubljana Academy of Music, Conservatori del Liceu in Barcelona and from the University of Aveiro (Aveiro City Prize), having studied with Dubravka Tomsic, Deniz Gelenbe, Josep Colom, Álvaro Teixeira Lopes and Klara Dolynay. During his studies, Bernardo Santos has been a Trinity College London Scholar and recipient of scholarships from Fundação GDA, Fundação Dionísio Pinheiro e Alice Cardoso Pinheiro and Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT).
Bernardo Santos is the president of the World Piano Teachers Association (WPTA) Portugal since 2021 and Artistic Director of the “Ciclos Lua Nova” concert series, hosted by Fundação Dionísio Pinheiro e Alice Cardoso Pinheiro, in Águeda, Portugal.
Artistic Director / Guest Professor
Steinway Artist, Poom Prommachart from Thailand. Being such a passionate pianist and pedagogue, Poom is currently appointed as the Assistant Professor of University College Fairview, Malaysia, the Artistic Director of the Steinway Youth Piano Competition in Thailand.
Poom graduated from the University of Montreal’s Doctor of Music and was awarded the 'Rector's List of Honour for the Most Exceptional Graduates', under the tutelage of Prof. Dang Thai Son and Prof. Jean Saulnier in 2022. He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree, Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma under Prof. Yonty Solomon,Prof. Ian Jones and later on with Prof. Dina Parakhina at the Royal College of Music, London (RCM) in 2014 on full scholarship, sponsored by H.R.H Princess Galyani Vadhana of Thailand and the RCM. During his time in London, he won the most prestigious Tagore Gold Medal which was presented by His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, upon graduation. He also previously studied at Moscow Conservatory, Russia with Prof. Vladimir Tropp.
His performances are highly considered for their lyrical intensity and virtuosity. He has already developed an international reputation of carrying rare expressive depth, and has been acclaimed by critics who praised him as “a young Ashkenazy” from Seen and Heard UK Concert Review after his performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in G Minor with London Musician Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Moreover, The Straits Times, Singapore, applauded his performance that “Still in his late twenties, Poom Prommachart is Thailand’s most accomplished and decorated pianist.”
He has released his first solo debut CD in April 2015 with Champs Hill Records in the U.K. featuring works by Medtner, Liszt and Rachmaninoff which received great reviews in Europe, America and Asia, a recording with Steinway Spirio in New York, USA as well as his coming recording of Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor under Maestro Jean – Francois Rivest and Orchesrchestre de l’Universite de Montreal.
His international performing career has started when he won the First Prize in the Fifth Isidor Bajic International Piano Competition, Serbia in 2010. In addition, he made a victory in his homeland by winning the First Prize in Thailand International Piano Competition in 2011, followed by continued success of winning the First Prize in Sussex International Piano Competition in 2013. The distinguished orchestras he has recently worked with include Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra, London Musician Symphony Orchestra, Timisoara Philharmonic Orchestra of Romania, National Symphony Orchestra of Serbia, Worthing Symphony Orchestra, Vojvodina Symphony Orchestra, and Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra. His recent major concert engagements included piano recitals at Rachmaninoff Hall in Moscow, Belgrade Kolarac Hall in Serbia, Seoul Arts Center in Seoul and Busan, SouthKorea, Esplanade Hall in Singapore, South Bank and Royal Albert Hall in the U.K., Music Festival Perugia in Italy and Suntory Hall in Japan.
Poom has won first grand prize at 2020 Orford Music Award, Canada.
Singaporean pianist Churen Li seeks innovative and personal approaches to concert programming, combining diverse genres with improvisatory and experimental practices. The 2021 season included debuts at the Singapore International Piano Festival and Singapore International Festival of Arts, as well as more than 80 solo concerts with the Candlelight series that featured an eclectic repertoire from Chopin and Debussy, to Michael Jackson, John Williams, and George Crumb.
In 2015, she performed as soloist in a tour of Macau and Hong Kong with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Orchestra, at the invitation of Singapore’s High Consulate in Hong Kong as part of Singapore’s 50th jubilee celebrations of independence. Other concerto engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassische Budapest Philharmonic, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore, Cambridge University Orchestra and National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Churen is also passionate about new music, having experimented increasingly with combining musical genres, as well as reflecting on the relationship between musical and societal evolution. In September 2018, she co-produced and performed in a sold-out concert at Zouk, a popular nightclub in Singapore, juxtaposing Western art music in a contemporarily subversive environment. As part of a tour of the UK in 2020, she co-produced a cabaret show of musical theatre, pop and classical music written by Singaporean composers, presented in conjunction with the Singapore Consulate of UK. She was among the ten pianists selected in 2018 to participate and perform in the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, and in the same year, at the Roche Continents programme in Salzburg, an interdisciplinary programme of workshops and lectures in the arts and in science.
Churen attained her Bachelor’s Degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore), where she graduated aged 19 as the youngest of her cohort. She then continued with a Master’s Degree at the Yale School of Music. As further exploration, she completed a Master of Philosophy in Music at Cambridge University, presenting her dissertation on “An Autoethnographic Approach to the Analysis of George Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano”. Churen is currently an Artist Fellow at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.
Tony Yike Yang
23-year-old Chinese-Canadian pianist Tony Yike Yang is emerging as one of the foremost pianists of the younger generation. As a frequent prizewinner, Yang garnered 5th Prize at the 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition at age 16, the youngest-ever laureate of the competition.
Yang was also awarded the Jury Discretionary Award at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where he was the youngest competitor. In previous years, Yang has won top prizes at the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition (Oberlin, 2014), the Bosendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Junior Piano Competition (Phoenix, 2013), the Hilton Head International Young Artists Piano Competition (Hilton Head, 2013), the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition (Salt Lake City, 2012), and the Canadian National Chopin Competition (Toronto, 2014).
Yang has performed extensively in Canada and the United States, and has made numerous appearances in Europe and Asia. Aside from his appearances at festivals and gala events, a few highlights include performances for Her Royal Highness Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Yang has appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Métropolitain, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Sinfonietta, Toronto Festival Orchestra, and the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Academy Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has also performed at the Chopin and His Europe International Music Festival, Rockport Music Festival, Oberlin-Lake Como Academy, Festival de Lanaudière, Stratford Summer Music Festival, Canadian Chopin Festival, Bravo Niagara, Wintergreen Music, and the International Niagara Music Festival, among others.
Eri Nakagawa, a native of Osaka, Japan, has been on the piano faculty of College of Music, Mahidol University in Thailand since 1995. Previously to her appointment at Mahidol she was Assistant Professor of Music Performance at Ball State University, Indiana, USA. She has been invited as a guest pianist and professor at the University of Northern Colorado in USA, Bruckner Conservatory in Linz, Bösendorfer Saal in Vienna, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, Corfu Festival in Greece, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Moulin d’Andé International Masterclasses in Normandy, France, Piano Plus Festival in Corfu, Greece, UCSI University in Kuala Lumpur, Beijing China Conservatory, Northwest Minzu University in Lanzhou, NanJing Xiaozhuang University, Zhejiang Conservatory of Music in Hangzhou, etc.She graduated from Osaka Kyoiku University and continued with her postgraduate studies at Mukogawa Women’s University in Japan.
She completed her Master's and Doctoral degrees in piano performance at Ball State University. Among her principal teachers were Koji Tanaka and the late Naoyuki Inoue, Mitchell Andrews and the late Pia Sebastiani. Besides giving solo recitals regularly, she has performed more than ten concertos with numerous orchestras including the Ball State Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Mozart Ensemble, Nusantara Symphony Orchestra in Indonesia, Budapest Chamber Symphony, Thüringen Gotha-Suhl Philharmonie, Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, and more. She also enjoys working as a collaborative pianist and accompanist with distinguished musicians in Thailand and abroad.
Many of her students have won top prizes in national and international competitions, and her former students have received scholarships in prestigious schools such as Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Juilliard School, Mozarteum University Salzburg, Royal College of Music, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, etc. She received the Trinity Guildhall Award for Excellence in Music Teaching in 2010 and 2017, the Teaching Award in the 13th Chopin International Piano Competition in ASIA in 2013, and the Best Teacher Award in the Kawai Music Competition 2016.
Founder / Artistic Director
Hailed as a “complete musician – a sensitive artist and an extremely talented young pianist”, Congyu Wang is an internationally renowned soloist who has garnered acclaim as a recitalist, accompanist and chamber musician.
Born in Singapore, Congyu Wang started playing the piano at the age of 3. He was selected for a scholarship that enabled him to attend the prestigious Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where he studied with renowned French pianists Jean-Marc Luisada and Odile Catelin-Delangle. He later enrolled in the Schola Cantorum (Paris) to continue his studies with Gabriel Tacchino (who had been Francis Poulenc’s only student). Ever since youth, Congyu Wang has enjoyed phenomenal success in international piano competitions, ultimately winning the Grand Prize in Berlin and Bordeaux. His other prizes include Vulaines-sur-Seine, Lagny-sur-Marne, Merignac, Paris, Jakarta, Tallinn and Cle d’Or Reunion. He was featured in the national news journal ‘Zao Bao’ as Singapore’s most promising young artist of the year in 2016.
In 2015 Congyu Wang published his first album ‘Charme’ on KNS classical featuring the works of Francis Poulenc to international acclaim. Recently he released his second album ‘Reflets’ dedicated to Claude Debussy commemorating the 100th death anniversary of the French Composer. His recordings are frequently broadcasted on radios internationally – France Musique, BBC radio 3 (UK), Radio Vie (Reunion), Radio Antena 2 (Portugal), Classic 1027 (South Africa), Symphony 92.4 (Singapore) etc.
Congyu Wang is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Piano Island Festival, Piano Concerto festival and the International Chopin Competition in South Africa. He is ambassador to several charitable foundations - Association des Jeunes Musiciens (Young musicians), Association Koinonia (International Refugees), Grace International Foundation Liverpool (Youth Development).
Congyu Wang is a Young Steinway Artist.