DR. Stewart Gordon
Stewart Gordon is Professor of Keyboard Studies at the Thornton School of Music of the University of Southern California. His academic career has included posts at Wilmington College in Ohio, the University of Maryland, where he served as Dean of the Music School, and Queens College of the City University of New York, where he served as Provost and Vice-President for Academic Affairs.
As a performing pianist, Stewart Gordon has toured in the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, the Caribbean, and Saudi Arabia. His recordings include works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, De Falla, Scriabin, Ellis Kohs, Luis de Frietas-Branco, and the complete Rachmaninoff Preludes. He is officially a Steinway Artist, and he serves on the Board of Directors of the Steinway Society of Riverside County.
Stewart Gordon is the author of Etudes for Piano Teachers (Oxford University Press, New York, 1995) and A History of Keyboard Literature (Schirmer Books, New York, 1996). He is also a co-author of The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher (Schirmer Books, New York 1991, 2000). He has made the videotapes Memorization in Piano Performance and Performance Practice in Late 20th Century Piano Music (Alfred Music Publishers, Van Nuys, California). As an editor he has recently completed a new edition of the 32 Piano Sonatas of Beethoven (Alfred) in four volumes (2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010).. His newest book entitled Mastering the Art of Performance was released by Oxford University Press in 2006.
As a composer he writes primarily for musical theater and his shows have been produced in New York, Washington, Savannah, Hollywood, and Hawaii. His musical Libby generated renewed national interest in the historic cabaret performer Libby Holman. Earlier in his career, he wrote the music for the historic pageant Spirit of the Navy, a project initiated by the Chief of Naval Operations to celebrate the US Navy’s 200th birthday. He is currently involved with book writer Robert Weller in creating a new musical based on the history of Palm Springs, California.
He founded the (now) William Kapell International Piano Competition and acted as its director for 15 years. In New York City he founded the Cultural Heritage Competition and the Great Gospel Competition. He is a past President of the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, and currently serves on the executive and artistic committees. In Savannah, Georgia, he founded the Savannah Onstage Music Festivals, as well as its American Traditions Competition, and acted as their artistic director for 14 years. He has served as an adjudicator for manyinternational competitions, including the Gina Bachauer, William Kapell, Rosa Ponselle, Virginia Waring as well as the finals of the Canadian Music Competitions, and Music Teachers National Competitions at the Regional and National levels.
Stewart Gordon holds degrees from the University of Kansas (BM and MM) and The University of Rochester (Eastman School) (DMA), as well as a diploma from the Staatliches Konservatorium des Saarlands. His teachers were Olga Samaroff, Walter Gieseking, Cecile Genhart, and Adele Marcus. He has been the recipient of many awards: The (Thornton) Dean’s Award for Professional Achievement (2009); The California Association of Professional Music Teachers Lifetime Achievement Award (2008); Ramo Award for service to Music (2001), Maryland State Creative and Performing Arts Award (1982), Maryland State Music Teachers Award for Distinguished Service to Music (1979), and Danforth Teacher Study Grant (1960). He has been elected to several honorary organizations: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, Pi Kappa Lambda (music), and Scabbard and Blade (military). As a young man he served four years as a junior officer in the United States Navy.
A native of Bucharest, Romania, Steinway Artist Eugene Alcalay began playing at age two and composing at age eight. In 1984 Eugene came under the tutelage of Leonard Bernstein, who affirmed his “outstanding talent as both a performer and composer”. Eugene became the first recipient of The Leonard Bernstein Scholarship for gifted young musicians at Indiana University School of Music, where he earned Bachelor’s Degrees in both Piano and Composition. Aided by Maestro Bernstein, Eugene continued his studies at The Curtis Institute of Music and then The Juilliard School, where he attained Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Piano Performance. His teachers included Seymour Lipkin, Robert McDonald, Karen Shaw, James Tocco, Milton Babbitt and Ned Rorem.
Currently Professor of Piano at Azusa Pacific University School of Music near Los Angeles, Eugene’s performance career has taken him to five continents and such United States venues as Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall-- Isaac Stern Auditorium. He has spent summers at prestigious international music festivals such as Tanglewood, Taos, Kneisel Hall and Ravinia. In 2003 Eugene became a Fulbright Scholar, teaching at the Universidad Nacional Conservatory of Music in in Bogota, Colombia, a country which he revisited in 2004 as Fulbright Senior Specialist/Artist in Residence. He has also given master classes and judged piano competitions in Europe and the United States. His 2007 London debut, sponsored by Steinway and the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, was “highly acclaimed” as a “poetic” and “memorable recital”: in his review, Alberto Portugheis emphasized “Alcalay’s command of line, color, temperament, imagination” and the “extraordinary qualities” of his pianism.
Eugene’s CD, “Lyrical Liszt”, released in 2008 by the Partita Records label, has been praised for “poetry, sensitivity… admirable tonal variety…beautiful playing throughout” (EPTA UK). His 2010 Paris debut was preceded by a “superb” recital to a large audience at St. Martin-in- the-Fields, London: displaying “power and gusto” as well as “kaleidoscopic lyrical qualities”,
Eugene proved himself “an interpreter of rare distinction” (Malcolm Miller, Music & Vision). In addition to return engagements in London, the 2012-13 season included appearances in Oregon, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, England, Norway, and Tegucigalpa-Honduras, as well as short term residencies in the People’s Republic of China. In 2014 he returned to China and also performed in Israel and in the Beethoven Festival, London.
Highlights of Eugene’s 2015 season included a recital at Budapest’s Liszt Museum of the Academy of Music, a concert/master class tour of India, and teaching at the Crescendo Summer Institute in Tokaj, Hungary, where he returned in 2016 and 2017. In 2015 he was also invited to judge the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition in Baltimore, Maryland, and twice revisited China, once to perform as soloist in the Beethoven Choral Fantasy. Since 2016 he has served as President of the newly established Southern California Chapter of the American Liszt Society. http://fb.me/theamericanlisztsocietysocal The 2016-17 and 2017-2018 seasons have featured tours of Australia and New Zealand, return appearances for the American Liszt Society, as well as recitals and master classes in San Francisco, CA and Hartford, Conn.
Near future engagements include recitals and master classes in Basel, Switzerland, France, Romania and Poland, as well as the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, to feature Beethoven Hammerklavier Sonata Op.106
PROFESSOR Mikhail Korzhev
Mikhail Korzhev, a pianist that “projects strength, atmosphere and the ability to tangle even the knottiest passages…” (International Record Review) is equally active as a solo recitalist, a performer with various chamber groups, a soloist with orchestras, and as a recording artist. His latest CD recording, the first volume of a new ambitious recording project - Complete Piano Concertos by Ernst Krenek in collaboration with English Symphony Orchestra and Kenneth Woods was released by Toccata Classics in 2016 to enthusiastic reviews in Gramophone, Diapason and other publications, made it to the “want list” of Fanfare magazine and became one of “100 Best Records of the Year” by The Times (London).
Korzhev collaborated with several distinguished conductors: Sergiu Commissiona, Carlo Ponti Jr. and others, his chamber music collaborations include performing with soloists of Russian National Orchestra, Mladi Chamber Orchestra, Lyris String Quartet, and members of St. Petersburg and Tokyo String Quartets among others. His collaborative work was highly appreciated by Eugenia Zukerman, Richard Stolzman, Oleh Krysa and other noted musicians. Korzhev’s performances received a high critical acclaim from American and European press: ”The young Russian pianist… displayed a notable technical mastery which allowed for passionate moments of ardent lyricism as well as wonderful purity and fluency…” (Momento Sera, Rome).”Korzhev belongs to that exclusive club of super musicians…he already performs like a keyboard legend…he is a major talent.” (Salt Lake Tribune).
His particular interest in contemporary music has lead Korzhev to participate in the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition in 2005, which had the emphasis on the music of Ernst Krenek. As a winner of that competition Korzhev gave a recital in the Vienna’s Konzerthaus about which the Wiener Zeitung wrote: “Korzhev obviously has a lot of affection for Krenek’s style… brings out well the dramatic qualities of his music…” Following the success of his Vienna debut Korzhev recorded a CD of Krenek’s piano music, released by Phoenix Edition/Naxos in 2008 that became an instant top seller and received several very enthusiastic reviews in the press.
Korzhev’s discography also includes two CD recordings featuring compositions for solo piano and chamber works by a prominent English composer Gerard Schurman and a compilation of 40 classical standards for the online music library Megatrax.com. He just completed recordings of Schurmann’s Piano Quartets and the second volume of Complete Piano Concertos by Krenek – both scheduled for release by Toccata Classics in 2017.
Korzhev combines his performing career with teaching. He taught at University of Southern California and Chapman University. Currently he is on the faculty of California State University at Fullerton. Since 2008 Korzhev is the faculty member at Beverly Hills International Music Festival. In the summer of 2009 he taught a summer course at the Bosendorfer Piano Academy in Vienna, Austria.
Korzhev holds a doctorate in piano performance from University of Southern California, where he studied with Daniel Pollack. His previous teachers include Alexander Satz and Vera Khoroshina at Moscow Conservatory College.