Piano 2023: Jury

Robert Shannon

Director

Robert Shannon
Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

Robert Shannon has presented solo recitals, ensemble concerts, and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia. His repertoire ranges from Bach to Adams. He has been especially noted for his penetrating interpretations of recent American music.

He has commissioned and premiered works by John Harbison, Charles Wuorinen, Carla Bley, and Steven Dembski, among others. Shannon’s recordings of sonatas by Charles Ives on Bridge Records have received rave reviews worldwide. His recordings of Ives’ complete works for violin and piano, and works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb are also available on Bridge Records.

Shannon has performed at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Festival Tibor Varga in Switzerland, the Sacramento Festival of American Music, and as guest artist with the Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players. In recent seasons, he has appeared in London, Paris, Glasgow, Rome, Stuttgart, New York, San Francisco, Colombia (South America), and Taiwan.

He is professor of piano at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, director of the Division of Keyboard Studies, and director and founder of the Cooper International Competition for Piano. He joined the Oberlin faculty in 1976.


Angela Cheng

Angela Cheng
Photo by Lisa Kohler

Canadian pianist Angela Cheng is one of her country’s national treasures. In addition to regular guest appearances with most every orchestra in Canada, she has performed with the orchestras of Buffalo, Colorado, Houston, Indianapolis, Saint Louis, San Diego, Utah, and others. Cheng has worked extensively with the great musician-pedagogue Menahem Pressler.

At the invitation of Pinchas Zukerman, Cheng toured China with the Zukerman ChamberPlayers in 2009. Subsequent seasons have included tours in the United States, Europe, and South America.

Cheng’s debut recording of two Mozart concerti with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra received glowing reviews. Other CDs include Clara Schumann’s Concerto with JoAnn Falletta and the Women’s Philharmonic for Koch International; for CBC Records, Spanish concerti with Hans Graf and the Calgary Philharmonic, Shostakovich concerti with Mario Bernardi and the CBC Radio Orchestra. Cheng has recorded a solo disc of works by Clara and Robert Schumann, and an all-Chopin CD released by Universal Music Canada.

Cheng was a gold medalist of the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition and the first Canadian to win the Montreal International Piano Competition. Prior to her appointment at Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1999, she was on the faculty at the University of Colorado, Boulder.


Dang Thai Son

Dang Thai Son
Photo courtesy of Oberlin College

Dang Thai Son is regarded as a masterful interpreter of the works of Chopin and French repertoire. He has performed extensively in top concert halls and with major orchestras around the world and has enjoyed collaborations with artists ranging from Vladimir Ashkenazy to Pinchas Zukerman.

He rose to prominence in 1980 by winning first prize and the gold medal at the X Warsaw International Chopin Piano Competition, the first major international competition won by an Asian pianist.

Dang’s extensive discography—much of it devoted to the music of Chopin—includes a pair of 2017 releases: a recording of Schubert on JVC Kenwood and a collection of works by Paderewski that includes a concerto recorded with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductor Ashkenazy.

In 2016 Dang won Canada’s Prix Opus for Concert of the Year, an award presented by the Fondation Arte Musica. He is a professor of piano at Oberlin Conservatory, where he also mentors fellows of the Oberlin-Como Piano Academy..


Stanislav Ioudenitch

Stanislav Ioudenitch
Photo courtesy of Oberlin College

Born in Uzbekistan, Stanislav Ioudenitch earned widespread recognition in 2001, when he won the gold medal at the XI Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The victory served as a springboard that has resulted in engagements in premier venues around the world.

He has since collaborated with numerous orchestras and musicians, including the Munich Philharmonic, the Mariinsky Orchestra, and the National Symphony in Washington, D.C.; the Takács, Prazák, and Borromeo string quartets; and conductors including James Conlon, Valery Gergiev, and Mikhail Pletnev.

Ioudenitch helped create the International Center for Music and the Youth Conservatory of Music at Park University near Kansas City, Mo. His former teachers include Natalia Vasinkina, Dmitri Bashkirov, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Rosalyn Tureck, William Grant Naboré, and Leon Fleisher. He has recorded for the Harmonia Mundi and Academy labels.

Ioudenitch is a former student of the International Piano Academy Lake Como in Italy. He later became the youngest teacher ever to present a master class there. He now serves as vice president of Lake Como, which, since 2015, has enjoyed a partnership with Oberlin Conservatory that brings elite student pianists to the Ohio campus for advanced study.

Prior to his appointment at Oberlin in 2017, Ioudenitch had performed in recitals and led master classes on campus and was a longtime fixture on jury panels for the Cooper International Competition for young pianists as well as its predecessor, the Oberlin International Piano Competition.


Ewa Poblacka

Ewa Poblacka
Photo courtesy of
Ewa Poblacka

Ewa Pobłocka is a prize-winner of the 10th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw (1980), the International Viotti Music Competition in Vercelli (1977) and the International Festival of Young Laureates in Bordeaux (1979). She studied at Academy of Music in Gdańsk, graduating with honours (1981).

She completed post-graduate studies with Conrad Hansen in Hamburg (1982), and benefited from consultation with Rudolf Kerer, Tatiana Nikolaieva and Martha Argerich. Ewa Pobłocka has performed throughout Europe and the Americas, as well as in China, Indonesia, the RSA, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, and Australia, not only as a soloist, but also as an accomplished chamber musician. She has given numerous first performances and made world premiere recordings of works by Polish contemporary composers.

She has worked with European radio stations and recorded more than 50 discs for Deutsche Grammophon, Polskie Nagrania, CD Accord and Bearton, among others. Many of her recordings have won prizes and critical acclaim. She is the first Polish pianist in history to record both volumes of Das Wohltemperierte Klavier by Bach. Recently she has performed both the volumes during the recital series in many venues in Europe. She is a distinguished pedagogue, teaching at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz.

Pobłocka has given numerous master classes all around the world. She has been a jury member of many international piano competitions, such as the Chopin Competition in Warsaw, Artur Rubinstein Competition in Tel-Aviv and Competition in Hamamatsu, among many others.

Ewa Pobłocka also willingly devotes herself to literary activities – her first book, ‘Forte-piano’, was released in 2021. Since 2020, she has been running the broadcasts ‘Start with Bach’ and ‘Bach’s Cases” in Polish Radio.


Boris Slutsky

Boris Slutsky
Photo courtesy of
Boris Slutsky

Since his orchestral debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony in 1980, Boris Slutsky has appeared on nearly every continent as soloist and recitalist. He has performed with the London Philharmonic, Stuttgart State Orchestra, and Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss am Rhein in Germany, Bern Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland, Bergen Philharmonic in Norway, the RAI Orchestra in Milan, KBS Symphony Orchestra in Korea, and major orchestras in Spain, Russia, Colombia, and Brazil. In South Africa, he has been soloist with the orchestras of Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. His North American engagements have included concerts with the Baltimore, Florida, Utah, and Toronto Symphonies.

Mr. Slutsky has been heard on recital series throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, Latin America, and the Far East, making appearances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Kaufmann Concert Hall, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Performing Arts Center in Seoul, and the Teatro Colon in Bogota, among many others.

An avid chamber musician, Mr. Slutsky’s collaborations include the critically acclaimed recording of Schumann’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Ilya Kaler on the Naxos label, as well as performances with many renowned artists.

Mr. Slutsky has served as a jury member of many international piano competitions and presented masterclasses throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. His students have won prizes at numerous important international events.

Mr. Slutsky joined the piano faculty of The Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1993 where he taught until 2022. He was visiting faculty at Bienen School of Music of Northwestern University (2017-2018) and Visiting Professor of Piano at Eastman School of Music (2018-2019). In the fall of 2019 Mr. Slutsky was appointed Professor in the Practice of Piano at The Yale School of Music.


Peter Takács

Peter Takacs
Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

Hailed by The New York Times as “a marvelous pianist,” Peter Takács has performed widely, receiving critical and audience acclaim for his penetrating and communicative musical interpretations.

He has performed as guest soloist with major orchestras in the U.S. and abroad, as well as at important summer festivals such as Tanglewood, Music Mountain, Chautauqua Institution, ARIA International, Schlern Music Festival in the Italian Alps, Tel Hai International Master Classes in Israel, and Sweden’s Helsingborg Festival.

He has performed and recorded the cycle of 32 Beethoven piano sonatas, which were released on the Cambria label to critical acclaim in 2011. Takács has taught piano at Oberlin since 1976.