Alvin Chow is Oberlin Conservatory’s Ruth Strickland Gardner Associate Professor of Piano and chair of the piano department. He has performed throughout North America and in Asia as orchestral soloist and recitalist. He has performed extensively in duo piano recitals with his wife, Angela Cheng, and twin brother Alan.
Chow received the Victor Herbert Prize in Piano upon graduation from the Juilliard School. He has received top prizes in the University of Maryland International Piano Competition and the New York Piano Teachers Congress International Piano Competition. Performance venues include Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Weill Recital Hall in New York City, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He has presented master classes and lectures throughout the United States and abroad.
Robert Shannon, professor of piano and director of keyboard studies, 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, and he has been especially noted for his penetrating interpretations of recent American music. He has recorded the sonatas by Charles Ives on Bridge Records, as well as Ives’ complete works for violin and piano, and works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb.
Shannon has performed regularly 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, Columbia (South America), and Taiwan. In addition to teaching, performing, and recording, Shannon is director and founder of the Oberlin International Piano Festival and Competition.
Haewon Song is a member of the acclaimed Oberlin Trio along with Oberlin faculty David Bowlin, violin, and Amir Eldan, cello. The conservatory professor of piano is an internationally recognized artist and pedagogue, who has performed and taught at top venues throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Her frequent appearances include concerto performances with the KBS Orchestra in Seoul, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and such Oberlin conservatory ensembles as the Chamber Orchestra, College Community Strings, and Wind Ensemble. She often performs in duo piano recitals with her husband and fellow Oberlin faculty member Robert Shannon.
Many of her students have won major prizes in national and international competitions including MTNA Nationals, Wideman, Kingsville, Oberlin International Piano, Walgreen, World, and Corpus Christie, and regularly appear with significant orchestras in the United States and Asia.
Ethan Dong came to America with legendary conductor Herbert Zipper in 1989 after winning first place in the professional category at the Pearl River National Piano Competition while attending the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He has collaborated with members of the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has soloed with the Pacific Symphony, Beijing Philharmonic, Pacific Palisades Symphony, and Brentwood Symphony orchestras. He gave his debut solo recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall after winning first prize at the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition.
Dong started his teaching career while attending Yale University. His past students include top prize winners of the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, Bosendorfer & Schimmel International Piano Competition, Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition, and YoungArts.
Dong is the founder of Opus119 School of Music, Opus119 College Conservatory of Music and Opus119 Middle & High School in Orange County, California. He served as the director of the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute in Los Angeles and is on the board of advisors for the Lake Como International Piano Academy in Italy. He received his music education from his mother, Li Fei-Lan, as well as Ying Shi-Zhen and professors at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He studied in America with Mary Ann Cummins, Russell Sherman, and Claude Frank. His mentors include Professor Pan Yi-Ming, Zhou Guangren, André Watts, and William Grant Naboré.
John Weems has established himself as one of the most successful and outstanding private studio teachers in the nation. His legacy and teaching career were recently featured in the cover article of the national keyboard magazine, Clavier Companion , Nov/Dec 2017 issue. His students have consistently won top awards in many major state, national and international competitions, including competitions sponsored by the Texas Music Teachers Association (state winners for over thirty-five consecutive years), the National MTNA Junior Achievement Award, and the National MTNA Senior Award. His students have performed annually as concerto soloists with orchestras since 1983 in over two hundred performances and many are now successful professional teachers and performers worldwide.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Weems is very active as a clinician and adjudicator, and he has given numerous master classes and workshops around the state and nation, including those of the Oberlin Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music as well as national MTNA conferences and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference. A recent tour of China included presentations in Beijing, Nanjing, Shenzhen, and Chengdu.
In 1991 the Texas State Music Teachers Association awarded John Weems the Pre-College Teacher of the Year Award.
Nancy Weems, Madison Endowed Professor of Music (retired) at the Moores School of Music, University of Houston has performed extensively as a concert artist in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Mexico, Russia, and Central America. After winning the United States Artistic Ambassador Competition sponsored by the United States Information Agency, she represented the United States in three international concert tours, and presented a solo debut recital at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She has appeared as guest artist with numerous orchestras, and has given master classes in conservatories in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the West Indies. A Grammy award nominee in 1990, she has recorded works of American composers Arnold Rosner, Jerome Moross and Chris Theofanidis. Her students have won top awards in national and international piano competitions including : two first prizes in the MTNA Steinway Young Artist Competition, the San Antonio International, the New Orleans International, the Leeds International, the Hummel International, the Corpus Christi International, the Dallas International, the Bach International, the Wideman International, the Hastings International, the New Orleans International, the Van Cliburn International, and the Tchaikovsky International. Awards include TMTA Outstanding Collegiate Teacher of the Year, 1991; University of Houston Teaching Excellence Award,1995; Moores School of Music Faculty of the Year, 2004. Professor Weems often serves as an adjudicator of international competitions in the U.S., Asia, and Europe and is a frequent presenter at music teacher conferences worldwide.