Alim Beisembayev was born in Kazakhstan in 1998 and began playing the piano at the age of five. In 2008 he was admitted to the Central Music School in Moscow where he trained for two years after which he continued his studies at the Purcell School for Young Musicians in the UK.
Alim has played with the Orchestra of Evgeny Svetlanov, the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra among others, under conductors Mark Gorenstein, Dmitry Liss, Evgeny Bushkov, Mei Ann Chen and Karina Canellakis.
He is the winner of the 1st prize in the inaugural Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas, and was awarded 3rd prize at the Liszt International Junior Competition in Weimar. Other awards include 1st prize at both the Manchester International Concerto Competition and the Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition – the latter which led to his Wigmore Hall debut recital in June 2018. Alim was a guest of BBC Radio 3’s ‘In Tune’ promoting his concert at the Royal Festival Hall, where he performed Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto.
As of September 2016, he studies with Tessa Nicholson at the Royal Academy of Music in London on a full scholarship.
Cano Smit Albert
Albert Cano Smit, 22, is the 1st prize winner of the 2017 Naumburg Piano Competition. He has performed across Europe and America, and has been praised for playing “with the maturity of someone three times his age” (CBC Music) and described as “a superb musician” (Le Devoir).This season’s highlights include his recital debuts at Carnegie Hall, L’Auditori de Barcelona, Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Wissembourg, Rheingau, and Bravo! Vail festivals, a recital tour featuring the premiere of Miquel Oliu’s preludes, collaborations with Will Hagen and Anthony Trionfo across Europe and the US, and concerto debuts with orchestras in San Diego, OBC, and Las Vegas. Albert has appeared at the Bozar in Brussels, the Maison Symphonique in Montreal, Teatros del Canal in Madrid, and the Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, performing with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal and the Manchester Camerata, among others. A passionate chamber musician, he has collaborated with the Ebène, Casals, Gerhard, Szymanowski and Zemlinsky Quartets, Andrej Bielow, Gary Hoffman, Lev Sivkov and William Hagen. He was a finalist and CMIM Grant recipient of the 2017 Concours International Musical de Montréal. He studies with Robert McDonald at the Juilliard School in New York, and receives career advice from Jean-Yves Thibaudet. He has participated in Master Classes with Ferenc Rados, Stephen Hough, Kevin Kenner, Richard Goode and Sergei Babayan. He is an alumni of the Verbier Academy.
Luigi Carroccia, 28, was born into a musical family and his first piano teachers were his father and grandfather. Later on he studied with Giorgia Alessandra Brustia at the Claudio Monteverdi Conservatory in Bolzano and Pascal Nemirovski at the Royal Conservatory Birmingham, where he received a full scholarship and a Junior fellowship.
Luigi has been praised for his musical sensitivity and unique personality. Critic Gregory Sullivan Isaacs wrote about him: “They can all play the notes rapidly and most can even get into the music. Carroccia is something different. He has that elusive who-knows-what that separates one artist from the others.”
He is a prize winner of the “Maria Herrero International Competition” and the “Premio Claudio Abbado”, and has distinguished himself at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition, the 17th International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, and the 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth.
Luigi performed in Italy, Poland, Turkey, United States, England, Bulgaria, Germany and Japan. He recently recorded a Chopin program for Radio Classica and was awarded a medal for his performances of works by Scriabin at the Mejdunaroden Festival in Kjustendil.
Since September 2018, Luigi has been an artist in residence of the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel where he studies with Louis Lortie.
Sae Yoon Chon, 23, is the 1st prize winner of the 2018 Dublin International Piano Competition. His numerous other accolades include prizes at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, the Jose Iturbi Competition, as well as piano competitions in Los Angeles, Seoul and Hilton Head.
At only 18 Sae Yoon performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, under the baton of Jahja Ling. He has since been a guest soloist with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, as well as the orchestras of Valencia (Spain), Bucheon (South Korea), the Royal Conservatory (Canada), Mississauga (Canada), Astana (Kazakhstan) and Hilton Head (USA), collaborating with conductors Andrew Mogrelia, Tania Miller, Burno Aprea, Young Min Park, John Morris Russell, Jahja Ling, Erzhan Dautov, Ja Kyung Year and Denis Mastromonaco.
Sae Yoon’s 2018-19 season includes a solo recital at the Gewandhaus (Leipzig), as well as engagements in Spain, Italy, Ireland, Canada, South Korea and Germany. Next year he will make his recital debuts at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and the Wigmore Hall in London. Future engagements include performances at Carnegie Hall and a debut with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Sae Yoon started playing piano at the age of five. He currently studies with John O’Conor at The Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, where he is the recipient of a Temerty Foundation Scholarship.
Dmytro Choni won the 1st prize and Gold Medal at the 2018 Paloma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition. He is also a laureate of the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition (Italy, 2017), the San Marino International Piano Competition (San Marino, 2016), and top winner at the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition (USA, 2019), the Los Angeles International Piano Competition (2018) and the Roma International Piano Competition (Italy, 2017). Dmytro is also the recipient of the “Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize” (2017).
He performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, the Republic of San Marino Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble Esperanza, the Spanish RTVE Symphony Orchestra, and the Suzhou Symphony Orchestra.
He appeared at the “Kissinger Sommer Festival” in Germany, the “Santander International Festival” in Spain, the “Next Generation Classic Festival Bad Ragaz” in Switzerland, as well as the Salle Cortot in Paris and Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, where his performances were highly praised. As a passionate chamber musician he collaborated with Cuarteto Quiroga, Quartetto di Cremona, violinists Andrej Bielow, Orest Smovzh and Mari Samuelsen.
Dmytro Choni was born in Kiev, Ukraine in 1993. He received his first piano lesson at the age of four. He is currently studying with Milana Chernyavska at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.
Ivan Krpan was born in Zagreb in 1997 into a musical family. He began studying the piano at the age of six at the Blagoje Bersa Music School in Zagreb with prof. Renata Strojin Richter. From 2013 he studies with Ruben Dalibaltayan at the Music Academy in Zagreb, where earlier this year he earned his Master’s degree.
In 2017 Ivan won the 1st prize at the Ferruccio Busoni International Piano Competition in Bolzano (Italy). Other major awards include 1st prize at the Ettlingen International Competition, 2nd prize in the International Danube Piano Competition in Ulm, as well the annual Ivo Vuljević prize awarded by the Jeunesses Musicales Croatia for the best young musician (2015). He ranked 3rd at the 10th Moscow International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists in 2016 and in the same year he was named the Young Musician of the Year by The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. Last year he made his debut studio recording for the streaming platform Idagio with works by Schumann and Chopin. Futures engagements include concerts in Italy, Germany, South Korea and Japan.
Daumants Liepiņš, 24, has already established himself as one of the core musicians in his country – in 2017 he won the Grand Prix of the Lielā Mūzikas Balva (Latvian National Grand Music Award) in the Young Artist of the Year category, which is the most prestigious award for a classical musician in Latvia. In September 2018 he became laureate of George Enescu International piano competition where he won the 2nd prize. He was also the 1st prize winner in the 8th Nordic Piano Competition in 2017, the 3rd prize winner in The Fifth RNCM James Mottram International Piano Competition in Manchester in 2016, UK and the 4th prize winner and the recipient of the special Prize for Artistry at Tbilisi International Piano Competition in 2017, Georgia. Besides regular solo performances throughout the world, Daumants has performed with several symphony orchestras, including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Helsingborg Symphony orchestra, the George Enescu Philharmonic in Bucharest and the Georgian National Symphony Orchestra. In 2016 he was chosen to participate in a workshop with Mitsuko Uchida when he made his debut at Carnegie Hall. Currently Daumants is studying at the Ingesund School of Music/Karlstad University in Sweden with Julia Mustonen-Dahlkvist.
Mackenzie Melemed, 24, currently studies in the highly selective, two-year Artist Diploma program at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Emanuel Ax. Previously he earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the same school, having worked with distinguished artists such as Vladimir Feltsman, Stephen Hough, Robert Levin, Susan Starr, and Nelita True.
Melemed is the recipient of the 2018 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Prize and the Leo B. Ruiz Recital Prize awarded by The Juilliard School and as a result of this he will make his Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall debut in December. He has performed throughout the United States, Finland, Poland and Sweden. Melemed started his 2018-19 season in October with a concert tour of Finland, where he performed solo recitals, chamber music concerts, and concerti with orchestra. Highlights of that tour include the first performance of Barber’s Piano Concerto with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the European premiere of South Korean composer Jeajoon Ryu’s Piano Concerto with Ralf Gothóni and the Kuopio City Orchestra. The tour was arranged following his winning of the 1st prize and Chamber Music Prize at the 2017 Maj Lind International Piano Competition in Helsinki.
Melemed’s recording of Jeajoon Ryu’s Piano Concerto with Ralf Gothóni and Sinfonia Varsovia will be released in 2019 on the Warner Classics label.
Born in Bucharest to a family of musicians, 25 year old Cristian Sandrin started his musical training with Marina Dragomirescu and Cristian Dumitrescu at the “Dinu Lipatti” Art College. He is currently studying with Diana Ketler and Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music, where he earned his Bachelor and Master degrees and is currently pursuing the Advanced Degree program. Cristian is a scholarship recipient from the Imogen Cooper Music Trust, Countess of Munster Trust, John S Cohen Foundation, Carold Craxton Memorial Prize, Help Musicians UK, the Hattori Foundation and the Tillett Trust. Sandrin made his debuts at Wigmore Hall in 2017, La Fenice Theatre in 2015 and Salle Cortot in 2011. He also experiments with conducting small orchestral ensembles from the keyboard during Piano Festivals at RAM and is currently engaged in a long-term project involving the exploration of all Mozart’s Piano Sonatas. Cristian performed in festivals and venues in the UK, Romania, France, Netherlands and Germany. He is a Countess of Munster Recital Scheme artist 2018-2020 and has won numerous prizes and distinctions in international piano competitions, such as the top prize of the Windsor International Piano Competition 2018, the Sheepdrove Intercollegiate Piano Competition, Automobile Club de France Piano Competition, the “Animato” Competition in Paris, ProPiano International Competition or the Eastbourne Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist competition. Cristian is a recent recipient of the Harold Craxton Chamber Music prize and the William Sterndale Bennett Prize from the Royal Academy of Music
Yutong Sun is the 2nd prize winner at the 19th Paloma O’Shea Santander International Competition in Spain. He also received the 3rd prize at the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona (2016) and the 1st prize at the 54th International Piano Competition Prize “Jaén” (2012). Other major honors include awards at the Bösendorfer, New Orleans and Horowitz competitions. Sun has made appearances in major venues around the world such as Salle Cortot in Paris, Palau de la Música in Barcelona, Jordan Hall in Boston, The Bolshoi Hall in Saint Petersburg, and the Warsaw Philharmonic Hall. He has performed with the Quiroga Quartet and was soloist with several symphony orchestras, such as Symphony Orchestra of Galicia, City of Granada Orchestra and RTVE Symphony Orchestra in Spain; Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Born in 1995 in China, he is currently a student of Alexander Korsantia at the New England Conservatory. Yutong Sun’s first recital CD was recorded by Naxos in 2012 and released worldwide the following year as part of Naxos’ Laureate Series.
Zhu Wang, 21, was praised for his “technical mastery and deep sense of lyricism” by The Durango Herald. He is the 1st prize winner of the Zhuhai International Mozart Competition for Young Musicians, Hilton Head Young Artist Piano Competition, Music Academy of the West Solo Piano Competition and the Juilliard School’s Gina Bachauer Competition. He is also the recipient of the Juilliard Munz Scholarship. Zhu has been a featured soloist on WFMT’s Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series and WQXR’s Young Artist Showcase. He was described by the legendary Fou T’song as an “excellent pianist with natural sense of harmony and imagination.”
Highlights of the 2019-20 season include recitals in Shanghai, a tour with violinist Randall Goosby at Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Merkin Hall (New York), and in Houston. Past engagements took him across the US and internationally to China, Italy, Poland, and Japan at prestigious venues such as the Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Chicago Cultural Center and The Morgan Library. He made his concerto debut at age 14 with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.21. He also appeared with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists, Brunensis Virtuosi Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, and Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Zhu has worked with many leading pianists, among them Gary Graffman, Stephen Hough and Murray Perahia. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald.
Yuchong Wu was born into a musical family in Xianyang, China in 1995. At only 15 he was accepted with a full scholarship in the pre-college program at The Juilliard School, where he later earned his Bachelor degree. During this time he took lessons with Veda Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio and Robert McDonald. In addition, Yuchong has also worked with Paul Badura Skoda, Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Robert Levin and Murray Perahia. In 2009 he won the 2nd prize at the “6th Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Competition”. In 2013 he won the special jury award and the audience prize at the Sendai International Piano Competition. He was runner-up at the 2016 Young Concert Artist International Auditions and the 3rd prize winner at the Bosendorfer International Piano Competition (2017). Last year he was a semi-finalist at the Leeds International Piano Competition, where he was awarded a special prize for his performance with the Elias String Quartet. Yuchong has collaborated with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Russian National Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Sendai Philharmonic. Solo appearances include solo recitals at the Auditorium du Louvre, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Alice Tully Hall, as well as performances in WQXR’s 32 Beethoven sonatas cycle and From the Top.