Zhi-Jong Wang (ICWF 2019: Beethoven, Dvorak, Stravinsky)
Zhi-Jong Wang made her solo debut at the age of 14 with Orchestre national de Lille under Sir Yehudi Menuhin in France, since then she has appeared as a soloist with various orchestras, including Orchestre National de Radio France, St. PetersburgPhilharmonic Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Turku Symphony Orchestra, Konzerthausorcheser Berlin, Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra amongst others. Shecollaborates with musicians such as Yuri Temirkanov, Gidon Kremer, Lynn Harrel, Matthias Bamert, Okko Kamu, John Storgårds, Lior Shambadal, Christian Arming, Muhai Tang, Jia Lü, Guoyang Zhang, Yang Yang,etc.
Zhi-Jong’s recent accomplishments include her debut recital at the Lucerne Festival, highly acclaimed performances with the Osaka Century Orchestra and with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Tadaaki Otaka, and her debut at the Philharmonie Berlin.
As well as performing the standard violin repertoire, Zhi-Jong is a passionate exponent of contemporary music, performing works by Gubaidulina, Lutoslawski, Schnittke, Ligeti, etc. In the recent seasons, she premiered Ana Sokolovic’s Commedia dell'arte III and Nikolai Badinski’s Violin ConcertoNo.2.
Following her first concert leading the orchestra from the violin with Ensemble Orchestral de Paris performing Mozart’s Violin Concerto no. 5 at the Cité de la Musique in Paris, ‘play-conducting’ has attracted Zhi-Jong’s interest and in recent seasons she has played/conducted Vivaldi/Piazzolla’s Four Seasons and several of the Mozart concerti.
Zhi-Jong is the laureate of many important competitions beginning with First Prize in the 1998 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition. In the same year, she also won the First Prize of the China National Violin Competition, where she was the youngest first prize winner ever. In the following years Zhi-Jong Wang has distinguished herself receiving prizes in the Sibelius Violin Competition, Lipizer Violin Competition, Tchaikovsky Competition, etc. Her CD is released by Accentus Music. Her recent release includes Sibelius and Stravinsky violin concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra and conductorThomas Sanderling.
Zhi-Jong is currently Professor and Deputy Director of the Orchestra Department at Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She plays on a 1716 Stradivarius kindly on loan from China Foundation.
Russell Miller, piano (ICWF 2019: Beethoven, Dvorak, Stravinsky)
Pianist Russell Miller has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and on concert tours to Korea, Hong Kong, Alaska and the former Soviet Union. He has performed in recital with Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, Julia Broxholm, Todd Graber, Jan Opalach, Robert Swensen, Anthony Dean Griffey, Susan Shafer and Kathleen Roland. For twelve years, he was the musical director for the vocal quartet “SATB” and served as pianist and harpsichordist for the Florentine Opera of Milwaukee for Rossini’s La cenerentola and Verdi’s Aïda. Professional recordings include songs of Weill, Gershwin, Lori Laitman and Mohammed Fairouz, and viola works of Hindemith and Loeffler with Donald McInnes. He regularly plays also for training workshops for young orchestral conductors in Chicago and various European countries. He was also honored to be invited as a guest presenter at the 2016 International Collaborative Piano Symposium in Taiwan.
A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Miller studied solo and collaborative piano and opera coaching at the University of Southern California, the Manhattan School of Music, The Juilliard School, and the University of Michigan. His primary teachers have been Edith Knox, Gwendolyn Koldofsky, Brooks Smith, Alberta Maisiello, Martin Katz, Louis Nagel and Graham Johnson. Professor of Vocal Coaching and Repertoire at Eastman since 1995, Dr. Miller has also held faculty positions at Oberlin College Conservatory and The Cleveland Institute of Music. He has been a guest teacher at numerous schools in the US, most recently the University of Kansas and the University of Texas--Austin. In the summers, he was a staff pianist and faculty member at the Music Academy of the West, the Pine Mountain Music Festival and the Vancouver International Song Institute.
Eleni Matos (2016, 2017, 2018)
Miss Matos has received universal acclaim and hailed as a winner in an unprecedented thirty-four (34) of today’s most coveted vocal competitions (more than any classical singer) including the Maria Callas International competition of Greece, the Luciano Pavarotti International competition, and the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation. Miss Matos has sung throughout the world under the batons of such renowned conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta and Leonard Slatkin. Miss Matos has performed the Verdi Requiem on live TV both in Mexico and Greek National television and has performed the “Defiant Requiem” version under the baton of Murry Sidlin broadcast on PBS and available on Netflix. Enriched by her strong Greek-American heritage, she was honored to sing the Verdi Requiem at the foot of Acropolis at Greece’s week-long remembrance of Maria Callas. Miss Matos’ debut recording of Haydn arias can be heard on the ERI label. She can also be heard in the Alice Parker rendition of “Come Sunday” with the Tampa Bay Master Chorale and Florida Orchestra. Most recently she performed the mezzo solos in “The Last Judgement,Verdi’s Requiem”, a multimedia production by Paolo Miccichè staged at the Festival de Quebec in Canada and in Yerevan, Armenia with Constantine Orbelian. Recent engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony #9 with the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Des Knaben Wunderhorn with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, and various arias with both the New Symphony Orchestra (Sofia) and the Lviv Philharmonic. She is currently preparing a revival of Pacini’s Niobe and a multi-CD recording of the songs of Luise Greger with pianist Rebecca Wilt.