Artist Advisory Committee
Internationally respected pianist and recording artist, Robert Hamilton has been enthusiastically reviewed by two chief music critics for The New York Times. Harold C. Schonberg, who also authored The Great Pianists, wrote: “He is a very fine artist. All of Hamilton’s playing has color and sensitivity…one of the best of the million or so around.” And Donal J. Henahan reported: “It was an enthralling listening experience. We must hear this major piano talent again, and soon!”
Hamilton studied at Indiana University with Sidney Foster. He graduated summa cum laude. A move to New York City brought studies with Dora Zaslavsky of the Manhattan School, coaching from legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, and a host of monetary awards from the Rockefeller Fund and U.S. State Department, launching a strong career and the winning of five major international competitions.
Hamilton has made countless tours of four continents, appearing in most music capitals and has been heard over the national and international networks NPR, ABC, BBC London, Voice of America, Armed Forces Network, DRS Zurich and Radio Warsaw. He has also recorded for Phillips, Orion, Summit and Soundset recording companies. Reviewing a recent release in 2011, the All Music Guide called Hamilton’s performance “absolutely irresistible “ for its “Magnificent virtuosity”, “effortless control”, “and hair-raising bravura”. The American Record Guide lauded his recent Mozart CD as “the perfect recording of Mozart’s piano music.” for its “Almost unbelievable beauty…”.
A piano professor in the ASU School of Music, Hamilton’s students have also won many prizes and awards. Featured in the book, The Most Wanted Piano Teachers in the USA, Hamilton served as artistic director for the London Piano Festival during the 1990s. Since 2000, he has joined forces with Vladimir Feltsman and a distinguished group of prominent international pianists each July for PianoSummer in New York.
Eteri Andjaparidze has performed on the world’s most prestigious concert series as guest soloist with major orchestras and leading conductors, as well as in solo and collaborative recitals. Highlights of her international festival engagements as an artist and faculty have included Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival, International Keyboard Festival and Institute in New York, Mannes College Yearlong Festival, NYU Summer Piano Intensive, Round Top International Festival-Institute, PianoSummer at New Paltz, Los Angeles International Piano Symposium, Piano Festival Northwest, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Festival International de Colmar, Duszniki-Zdroj International Chopin Festival, White Nights, and Russian Winter. Her discography on Naxos, Marco Polo, and Melodiya labels includes solo albums nominated for Grammy and Deutsche Schallplatten awards.
Currently teaching on the faculty at Mannes College of Music and New York University, she has served as Professor of Piano and Head of the Keyboard Programs at DePaul University in Chicago, taught at the State University of New York, the Moscow Tchaikovsky and Tbilisi State Conservatoires, and conducted masterclasses worldwide.
A Steinway Artist, she is founder and artistic director of The United Sounds of Americamusic festival and the AmerKlavier Studio. Born into a family of prominent musicians in Tbilisi, Georgia, she studied at the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatoire with Vera Gornostaeva, a student of legendary Heinrich Neuhaus.
She was the youngest participant to receive Fourth Prize at the Fifth Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and the first Soviet pianist to win Grand Prix at the Montreal International Piano Competition. Her recognitions include International Friendship Order, Georgian Order of Honor, and People's Artist of Georgia title.
Dr. James DeMars
Composer/conductor James DeMars belongs to a generation that is revealing a new integration of world music with the range, depth and stylistic variety of the classical tradition. His works include orchestral concertos for violin, piano, African drum ensemble, pow-wow singers, Native American flute, several cantatas, a requiem mass and an opera.
Ensembles that perform DeMars' music include the New York Choral Society, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Utah Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Phoenix Symphony, California Symphony, Chicago Sinfonietta, Tucson Symphony, Anchorage Symphony, Choer et Orchestre Francais D'Oratorio (Paris), Wuppertal (Germany) Orchestra.
DeMars has received commissions from the NEA, the Heard Museum, Flynn Foundation, Art Renaissance Foundation, the Phoenix Symphony, Canyon Records, the European-American Foundation, the Phoenix Boys Choir, I Solisti di Zagreb, and the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
As a conductor, DeMars' performances include the national premiere of his work, An American Requiem, at the Kennedy Center in Washington and nationally televised performances at Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York. In 1998 he conducted the European premiere of the requiem in Paris at Église La Trinité with Choer et Orchestre Francais D'Oratorio and was inducted to the French Order of Arts and Letters.
With Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai he has created four CDs for Canyon Records. Two World Concerto received two Native American Music Awards and led to the 2008 release of DeMars' inter-cultural opera, GUADALUPE. In 2010 he received the Arizona Artist of the Year Governor's Award.
Aesthetic influences include the writings of Joseph Campbell and Albert Camus. He holds a doctorate from the University of Minnesota and currently teaches composition at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Paul Harvey Jr.
Paul Harvey Jr. is the creator and writer of one of the longest-running and most popular series in radio history, The Rest of the Story. The series features his father, veteran broadcaster Paul Harvey.
Born and raised in Chicago, Harvey received a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in piano performance from Chicago Musical College of Roosevelt University. Even while still in school, he began winning nationwide recognition as a concert artist and composer.
After touring successfully, Harvey established the program The Rest of the Story for ABC Radio Networks in 1976. Harvey’s meticulously researched historic and contemporary stories are eagerly anticipated by millions of Americans each day. He has also published three books on The Rest of the Story series.
Harvey created, produced, and starred in Holiday in Orange and Black in 1994 and Incident at Lexington Green in 1995, both hour-long entertainment specials for ABC. He also wrote, produced, and hosted two year-end news specials entitled American Family Album, the first airing in 1993.
In recent years, Harvey has ventured into theater as a writer, lyricist, and composer. His stage play Burton, exploring the turbulent life of actor Richard Burton, earned him critical acclaim as a playwright.
Paul Harvey Jr.was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2001.
The Boston Globe found pianist Alexander Korsantia’s interpretation of Pictures of an Exhibition to be “a performance that could annihilate all others one has heard.” And the Birmingham Post gushed that “his intensely responsive reading was shot through with a vein of constant fantasy, whether musing or mercurial.” Ever since winning the First Prize and Gold Medal of the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition and the First Prize at the Sidney International Piano Competition, Korsantia’s career has taken him to many of the world’s major concert halls, collaborating with renowned conductors and soloists such as Valery Gergiev, Gianandrea Noseda, Vadim Repin, Sakari Oramo and Paavo Jarvi and orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Kirov, City of Birmingham Symphony and Israel Philharmonic orchestras.
Bel Air Music has released live recordings of Mr. Korsantia on a double CD in Summer 2008. His new recording of Joseph Bardanashvili’s “Concerto quasi una fantasia” with Georgian Chamber Orchestra has been released in 2011 on Oehms Classics label. Current and coming seasons are taking Korsantia to Germany, Poland, Georgia, Italy, France, Israel and U.S. performing recitals and with Israel Symphony Orchestra, Israel Camerata, Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Mexico City, Louisiana Philharmonic, Ingolstadt Chamber Orchestra, Mannheim, Pacific and Edmonton Symphony Orchestras among others.
In 2004 he was awarded one of the most prestigious national awards, the Medal of Honor, bestowed on him by then-President, Eduard Shevardnadze. In 2003 National TV released a full-length documentary about him. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Alexander Korsantia began his musical studies at an early age. Among his mentors are his mother, Sventlana Korsantia and Tengiz Amiredjibi, Georgia’s foremost piano instructor. In 1992, he moved his family to the United States and joined the famed piano studio of fellow Georgian, Alexander Toradze, at Indiana University. Korsantia resides in Boston where he is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory. He is an artistic director of “From Easter to Ascension” annual festival in Georgia.
R. Carlos Nakai
Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world’s premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, Nakai was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift and challenged to see what he could do with it.
Nakai began playing the traditional Native American flute in the early 1980s and released more than 50 albums in his career (with 40 on the Canyon Records label). Nakai has sold more than 4.3 million albums for Canyon Records and earned two Gold Records for Canyon Trilogy and Earth Spirit. In 2014, Canyon Trilogy reached Platinum (over 1 million units sold), the first ever for a Native American artist performing traditional solo flute music. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, Nakai has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras.
While well-grounded in the traditional uses of the flute, Nakai has explored new musical settings including new age, world-beat jazz and classical. His cross-cultural collaborations have included an album with the Wind Travelin’ Band, a Japanese folk ensemble and Tibetan flutist and singer Nawang Khechog on several productions including “In A Distant Place.” Nakai has earned two gold records for “Canyon Trilogy” and “Earth Spirit” and has received eleven GRAMMY nominations in four different categories and earned a Governor’s Arts Award. Nakai’s career has been shaped by a desire to communicate a sense of Native American culture and society that transcends the common stereotypes presented in mass media.
(photo by Hilary Scott)
Widely admired for her original and perceptive readings of new music and the standard repertoire, Ursula Oppens has premiered and/or commissioned works by John Adams, Luciano Berio, Carla Bley, Anthony Braxton, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Anthony Davis, Julius Hemphill, John Harbison, Laura Kaminsky, György Ligeti, Witold Lutosławski, Conlon Nancarrow, Tobias Picker, Charles Wuorinen, and many more.
With five Grammy nominations to her credit, Ms. Oppens established her reputation early on with a classic recording of Frederic Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated. She has released Piano Songs, music by Meredith Monk, with pianist Bruce Brubaker; Winging It: Piano Music of John Corigliano; Oppens Plays Carter (complete Carter piano works); Piano Music of Our Time; Keys to the City, (complete Picker piano music); and, with pianist Jerome Lowenthal, Visions de l’Amen by Messiaen and Debussy’s En blanc et noir.
As guest soloist, Ms. Oppens has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, and London Philharmonic Orchestras, among others, and has collaborated with the Arditti, Cassatt, Juilliard, and Pacifica quartets.
In addition to The People United Will Never be Defeated and Friendship, Mr. Rzewski wrote the following pieces for Ms. Oppens: Four Pieces for Piano, Mayn Yingele, the two-piano version of The Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues, Moonrise with Memories, and A Machine.
Ms. Oppens teaches at Mannes College, and is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Brooklyn College and the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City. In 2019, Ms. Oppens was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from The New England Conservatory.
Dr. John Milbauer
John Milbauer is Dean of the DePaul University School of Music and a Steinway Artist whose career blends experience as performer, educator, and policy leader in higher education and the arts. Prior to his appointment at DePaul he was Professor of Piano and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the University of Arizona, and Co-Chair of the Chautauqua Institution Piano Program in New York.
Milbauer has performed on four continents as soloist and chamber musician. Highlights include Ravel's Concerto in G with the Boston Pops, Poulenc's Aubade with San Diego Winds, residencies with several Conservatorios Nacionales Superiores in Spain, and a recital tour of major cities in China. France's Republique du Centre called him "a virtuoso of the first magnitude" while American Record Guide awarded him a Critic's Choice for his solo CD of works by Crumb, Bartók, Adams, and Debussy. Recent projects include performances of Milbauer‘s “Which Side Are You On?” program based on themes of protest, immigration, and workers’ rights, about which a reviewer in Spain wrote, “this extraordinary program reminds us that we all can be refugees, exiles, and immigrants.” He has performed concerts devoted only to chance music and enjoys playing music that employs electronic sounds, prepared piano, extended techniques, and graphic notation; in a similar vein, he has contributed a chapter on the performance of the music of John Cage to The Pianist's Craft series.
Milbauer studied music, classics, and government at Harvard College before earning degrees from the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and, as recipient of a Fulbright grant, the Liszt Academy in Budapest. He returned to school in 2019-20 as a John F. Kennedy Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the guidance of Prof. Ron Heifetz, Co-Founder of Harvard's Center for Public Leadership. He earned a Master in Public Administration degree from HKS in 2020, having been Co-Chair of the HKS Arts and Culture Caucus as well as Associate Editor of the Harvard Kennedy School LGBTQ Policy Journal. In addition to the MPA curriculum at HKS involving global development and governance, adaptive leadership, behavioral economics, and negotiation, Milbauer studied innovation ecosystems and regional acceleration at MIT Sloan School of Management and arts entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School. This experience led to his appointment to senior University policy committees at the University of Arizona, to National Endowment for the Arts grant screening bodies, and to human rights, foreign policy, and cultural institution platform committees in support of a successful candidate for President of the United States.