Hailed for her “expressive and powerful playing,” “formidable technique,” as well as her “keen sense of lyricism and the classical style,” Korean-American pianist Caroline Hong continues to flourish in her career as an internationally active soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, master class teacher, lecturer, adjudicator and recording artist. Pulitzer Prize and Academy award-winning composer John Corigliano referred to her as “one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard” after a performance of his Etude Fantasy (1976). Critics wrote that it was “breathtaking” and “hard to imagine a better performance”. She has been favorably reviewed by the American Record Guide and has recorded all three Carl Vine piano sonatas further establishing herself as an interpreter of 20th and 21st century piano solo music. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many fine artist groups including the Vermeer String Quartet and the Dorian Wind Quintet, and toured extensively in the U.S. as a member of the piano-violin duo, Duo Viardot, with violinist Charles Wetherbee.
Caroline Hong received her training from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (BM, scholarship student, graduating with performance honors), The Juilliard School (MM), and Indiana University (DM) where she also served as an associate instructor for theory and secondary piano. She has served on faculty for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Vianden International Festival and School (Luxembourg), Longwood University, and was the first female faculty member at the Piano at Peabody Roads Scholar summer program (2005). Currently, she is serving as Professor of Piano at The Ohio State University, and is the Executive/Artistic Director of the Franz Liszt (U.S.) International Festival and Competition. She has a strong teaching record reflected by successful students who have won international competitions and positions in music academia. Her past teachers include Martin Canin, Jerome Lowenthal, Sergei Babayan, Dmitrii Paperno, Ann Schein, Karen Shaw, James Tocco, M. Deitzer, and Fernando Laires; and Claude Frank, John Browning, Leon Fleisher, Gyorgy Sebok, and Menahem Pressler as master class teachers. Her first teacher, with whom she began study of piano at age two and a half, was her mother, Mrs. Koon Ja Hong.
During her competing years, Caroline Hong made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition. She was also a laureate of the Van Cliburn International Audition, the Robert Casadesus International Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, UNISA International Piano Competition, Beethoven Foundation, Distinguished Performer of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition, Winner of the Society of American Musicians, Bach Festival of Southern California, among others. As winner of the Chicago Civic Orchestra Soloist Competition, she performed in Symphony Center under the baton of Michael Morgan, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26. She has been featured on radio broadcasts worldwide, as a performer for the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy, Robert Sherman’s “Young Artists Showcase” (New York Times Radio), and South Afrikaans radio, among others. She is a Steinway Artist, principal founder of the American Liszt Society Ohio Chapter, associate musician of the Columbus Symphony where she serves as the de facto principal keyboardist, and the newest member of the Board of Directors of the American Liszt Society.
Ryan Behan, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Indianapolis, has performed throughout the US, in Europe and China, with radio broadcasts on ORF (Austria), BBC, and NPR. Recent performance highlights include: concerto soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, recital appearances with the Indianapolis Quartet, and with sopranos Sumi Jo at the Mozarteum, and Jolana Slavíková at the Salzburg Festival.
Dr. Behan is Co-Director of the Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition (OH), and with a strong profile throughout the Midwest he has concertized with members of the Indianapolis Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, and Dayton Philharmonic, been guest artist at Indiana University-Bloomington and Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, adjudicated for the Ohio MTNA Young Artist State Competition and the Columbus Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, and he continues to present master classes throughout the US and abroad. Since 2012 he has served on the collaborative faculty of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria where he has taught piano students participating in the Lied classes of Wolfgang Holzmair, and coached instrumentalists and singers alongside many of the great artists and teachers of our time: including opera singers Grace Bumbry, Wolfgang Brendel, and Hedwig Fassbender; violinists Zakhar Bron and Michael Frischenschlager; cellists Umberto Clerici, and the late Heinrich Schiff at Attersee.
Through a holistic approach to teaching, rooted in establishing a healthy, natural technique with musical interpretation informed by one’s own inner voice, he seeks professional and personal fulfillment for his students by helping them to be who they are and be that well. Dr. Behan holds degrees from Bowling Green State University, the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, and The Ohio State University, was a student of Jerome Rose, Imre Rohmann, Vedrana Subotic, Caroline Hong, and also studied with Leslie Howard at the International Keyboard Institute in NYC and James Tocco in Cincinnati.
Argentine born pianist Nancy Roldán has concertized in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America, including her native Argentina. She has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, YASI Piano Salon, and the Bösendorfer Saal among other venues, interpreting solo, chamber music, and repertory with orchestras. She has performed under the baton of maestros Pedro Calderón, Victor Tevah, Jorge Fontenla, Ernest Green, Kenneth Kiesler, Edward Polochick, Ernest Liotti, Frederick Prausnitz, and Gene Young.
Special concerts include Homage to Casals, duo and four-hand recitals with pianist and teacher Jesús María Sanromá in Puerto Rico, the First Argentine Pianists' Marathon at the Argentine Embassy in New York, Peabody's film "The Mind of Music," "The Golden Age of Tango" at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, the "Festival of the Latin-American Arts" in Pennsylvania, and "Piano Portraits of Latin America" at the 2003 MTNA convention in Salt Lake City among other. She has been guest artist in solo and chamber music performances in International Festivals such as the Ravello Festival in Italy, American Liszt Society's Festivals in Washington, DC. and Georgia, the Buenos Aires 2000 IDRS Festival, and the Hamilton, Great Romantics Festival in Canada. Several of her performances have been broadcast live in Europe and the Americas.
Recognized "excellent pianist" by New York critics, admired for the "beauty and clarity" of her tone, and for her ability to "breathe life into the score," Ms. Roldán has premiered numerous compositions by contemporary composers including Argentine Carlos Guastavino whose work she has championed since her early career. Recent premieres of living composers include works by Thomas Benjamin, Bryan Dykstra, Daniel Thomas Davis, Russell Nadel, and Luis J. González. Nancy Roldán is member of the two-piano team Lester/Roldán, the violin-piano duo Roldán/Cueto. Distinctions and prizes include First Prize National University of Cuyo’s Thirtieth Anniversary competition, Argentina; Distinguished Alumnae Award, also UNC; Logia Cosmos 1971 gold medal; tour-travel grants, and two Faculty Development Grants from the Peabody Conservatory at The Johns Hopkins University.
Several recordings such as as Horizons: Solo Piano Music of Latin America, Music of the Americas with duo piano partner Noel Lester, Celebrations, Music of Thomas Benjamin, and Homage, solo and chamber music from Argentina reflect her desire to bring to the public music rarely heard. She has also produced On Wings of Angels and Remembrance with José Cueto.
Nancy Roldán is on the Board of Directors of the American Liszt Society and president of the Baltimore Washington Chapter of the Society. In 2004 she founded the Liszt/Garrison Festival and International Piano competition, a bi-annual event hosted by College of Notre Dame of Maryland which she co-directs with Dr. Ernest Ragogini. In 2006 she was awarded a faculty development grant in recognition for her work in developing the festival and competition. Nancy Roldán is a graduate from the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Argentina and has received master and doctorate degrees from the Peabody Conservatory at The Johns Hopkins University, where she served as full time faculty since 1976, a position from which she retired in 2007. She maintains a private piano studio in Maryland.
She continues an active career as recitalist, presents master classes, lectures and workshops on several performance related topics with emphasis on "wellness" in performance, and also serves as competition adjudicator. She has presented master classes and workshops in the US and abroad, including Brazil, Argentina, and Italy. Recent engagements include solo piano and duo recitals in Denver, Maryland, New York, and Canada. Upcoming performances include solo engagements and Volver!...Noche de Tango, a fundraiser event on May 30, 2009, to benefit the Liszt-Garrison Festival and International Piano Competition.