Praised for her "flowing tones, poetic phrasing and heavenly singing melodies" (Cincinnati In- quirer), and “musical imagination and feel for complex textures that drew vivid images” (Wash- ington Post), South Korean pianist Yoonie Han has won top prizes in distinguished international competitions and the highest accolades for her poetic performances in major concert halls in the U.S. and around the world.
in 2009, Yoonie Han was honored with the Gawon Music Award as the “most brilliant pianist aged 17 to 31 of any nationality who possesses the most promising potential for global promi- nence.” She is the first-prize winner of the Washington International Piano Competition, Ful- bright Concerto Competition, World Piano Competition, Kosciuszko Chopin Competition, Juil- liard’s Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, Juilliard’s Frederich Nordmann Piano Competition, Juilliard’s Chopin Piano Competition, Music Teachers’ National Association Piano Competition, and has garnered major prizes at the Helsinki Maj Lind International Piano Competition, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Prize, Concorso Pianistico Ettore Pozzoli Internaziole, Valencia-Paterna International Piano Competition, and Recontre International Piano Competitions. Following her 2001 grand-prize award in the Korea National Music Competition, the Korean Ministry of Cul- ture named her its “Most Promising Young Artist.” She is the recipient of “Brava!” award given by the Italian Academy Foundation, as well as an award from London Keyboard Trust.
Having made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at Seoul Arts Center at age 13, Ms. Han has since performed with the Berliner Symphoniker, Buffalo Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Banff Festival Orchestra, Santa Cruz Symphony, Artosphere Festival Orchestra, I Pomeriggi Musicali di Milan, Gangnam Symphony Orchestra of Korea, Presidential Symphony Orchestra of Turkey, New Jersey Festival Orchestra, New Amsterdam Orchestra, Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey, and Juilliard Symphony Orchestra. She has played at such celebrated venues as at Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Frick Collection, Symphony Space, Tanglewood Festival, Bergamo Festival in Italy, Salle Cortot in Paris, and SeJong Per- forming Arts Center in Korea. In 2012-13, with the supports from Fulbright Foundation, she toured major Steinway Halls in the U.S. and Europe. Her first album, ‘Love and Longing’ on Steinway Records was “Album of the week” on WQXR and made the Top 21 on the Billboard Classical Chart. Her second album, “Goyescas,” also on Steinway Records, was released to mark the 150th anniversary of birth of the composer, Enrique Granados. Her third album with Stein- way Records in 2019 presents the complete “Le Rossignol Eperdu” by Reynaldo Hahn.
Ms. Han received her Bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, her Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School, and her Doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook.
She was an Assistant Professor of Piano and Chamber Music and Artistic Events Coordinator at Bilkent University in Turkey in 2015-2018. She is the founder and Artistic Director of the Bilkent International Piano Festival and Steinway & Sons Competition in Turkey. She is current- ly an Assistant Professor of Piano at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Yoonie Han is a Steinway Concert & Recording Artist.
Laurens Patzlaff is both a Classical and Jazz pianist gifted with the unique ability to improvise in every style. Within the field of improvisation, he is a true phenomenon. The Classics and improvisation have rarely intermixed, and Laurens is devoted to promoting and popularizing this fascinating musical duo. Improvisation is the main focus of his artistic and academic career.
A German music professor who works frequently in the U.S.A. and Australia as well as in Germany and throughout Europe and Asia, he was appointed Germany’s first ever Professor for Piano and Improvisation (Jazz and Classical) at Lübeck University of Music in 2013.
Since 2007, he has taught improvisation at the Stuttgart State University for Music and Performing Arts as well as at universities in Freiburg and Trossingen. He regularly hosts master classes for piano and improvisation at universities in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, Hong Kong, Beijing and other cities around the world. In the U.S.A., he has taught at Hunter College in New York City, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, and University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC, to name just a few American universities and venues.
Laurens dazzles audiences with his musicianship while opening their eyes and ears to the unlimited capacity for variation in even the most formal of musical genres, offering a fresh perspective on music with a range of styles few if any can imagine.
In addition to international solo engagements, he plays in jazz bands and is also an accomplished chamber musician. He has worked with the Stuttgart State Orchestra and the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester and numerous other orchestras. A busy programme of concert appearances has taken this multi-award-winning pianist to numerous European destinations, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and, most recently, New Zealand, Peru, Brazil and Colombia. He regularly performs in China, the U.S.A. and Australia. Many of his performances have been broadcast on the radio.
In November 2012 he released his much acclaimed debut album “Reflections on Debussy,” in which he combines works by Debussy with his own improvisations. Deutschlandfunk described its “brilliant improvisations” as “the true highlights of this recording,” and raved, “Laurens Patzlaff is a master of improvisation.” The Freie Presse stated simply that “Reflections on Debussy” is “One of the most exciting contributions to the Debussy year 2012.”
His second album, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” was released in 2015 to high acclaim. Klassik.com declared it to be “a fascinating recording. Every improvisation has their own character which Patzlaff emerges artfully out of the moment.” Piano News stated, “Patzlaff himself becomes a ‘sorcerer’ on that album who, in contrast to the ‘apprentice’, knows all the tricks and ruses.”
Born in 1981, Laurens Patzlaff began playing the piano at the age of eight, and even at an early stage he was inspired and fascinated by the limitless stylistic possibilities which the piano offered. Whilst building up his classical repertoire, he dedicated himself to the art of improvisation. The musician and composer Robert Schumann and the jazz pianist Oscar Peterson count amongst Laurens’ most important role models. For Laurens, they represent a holistic musical philosophy. He studied piano at the State University of Music and the Performing Arts Stuttgart under Professor Friedemann Rieger and at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid under Professor Uta Weyand. He has also studied jazz and popular music at the Stuttgart State University of Music and the Performing Arts.--
Singapore-born Chang Tou Liang is a family physician by profession, but has been the most prolific classical music reviewer in the history of The Straits Times, Singapore national daily newspaper. From 1997 to the present, he has chalked up over 2350 reviews of classical concerts (including recitals, chamber music, orchestral concerts, operas and Chinese music) and CD recordings.
From 2004 to 2008, he was the Artistic Director of the Singapore International Piano Festival, and he founded the Young Virtuoso Recital Series, featuring Singapore’s most talented young pianists in concert. This ongoing series has identified many deserving artists, who have become important figures in Singapore’s classical music scene.
He has been a keen observer of international piano competition, having written reviews of concours in four different continents, including Fort Worth, Leeds, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Sydney. He has also been the official annatator for the Hong Kong International Piano Competition since 2007. In Singapore, he was a member and Chairman of the advisory committee to the National Piano and Violin Competition from 2003 to 2015. In 2011, he was conferred the Special Recognition Award by Singapore’s Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts for his contributions to the arts.
An enthusiastic rather than accomplished pianist, he has performed in social events including weddings and commemorative functions. His piano recital at The Arts House in 2008 included the music of Ronald Stevenson, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Rubinstein, Godowsky, Albeniz, Ginastera, Gershwin and Mayerl, reflecting a love for musical rarities. He has been a regular visitor to the Rarities of Piano Music at Schloss vor Husum piano festival, and was the undisputed winner of Husum Piano Quiz in 2016, a prize previously won by Marc-Andre Hamelin. He was also a tenor in the Singapore Symphony Chorus from 1992 to 2002.
His blog Pianomania (pianofortephilia.blogspot.com) has an international readership with over 1.4 million hits. He is married to Janet, has a son Shan Ming, and shares a household with 11 rescued cats.