YOUNG MUSICIANS INSPIRING CHANGE
YMIC International Competition Jury Members Biography
among many others. His performance with the New York Philharmonic was broadcast on PBS’ “Live from Lincoln Center” series.
A Steinway Artist, Mr. Wei has performed in cities throughout the United States as well as in Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Taipei, and China. Mr. Wei has performed in festivals such as the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York, the Beijing Music Festival, and the “Tuscan Sun Festival” in Cortona, Italy. His two solo albums were released on the 3D Classic label, and a concerto performance was released by China Record Company.
In recent years, Mr. Wei is expanding into the area of conducting as well. He has conducted Soloisti di Perugia, Budapest Youth Symphony, The Oshdot Symphony of Israel, University of Alicante Symphony, Shenyang Youth Symphony, and the Master’s Chamber Orchestra of Central Conservatory of China among others. He has been a principal conductor of Music Fest Perugia in Italy since 2013.
A graduate of the Juilliard School, Mr. Wei’s principal teachers include Qifanf Li, Ilana Vered, and Martin Canin. He was also one of the last pupils of the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, Mr. Wei is now a much sought-after teacher in China and a frequent adjudicator in both national and international piano competitions. He has been invited to give lectures and master classes both in China and abroad. Mr. Wei’s students have won top prizes in many competitions, and he is a faculty member of many summer festivals including Musicfest Perugia in Perugia, Italy, and Beijing Music Festival and Academy, in addition to his professorship at Shenyang Conservatory of Music. In 2015, Mr. Wei joined the faculty of the Central Conservatory of China in Beijing, and in 2013, was elected Vice-Chairman of the National Piano Society of China.
Danwen Wei (piano)
Central Conservatory of China in Beijing, China
Danwen Wei, a native of the People’s Republic of China, is hailed as one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation. His commanding technique and artistic temperament have resulted in his appearances as a soloist with orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the New York Chamber Symphony, the Augusta Symphony, symphony of the Americas, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony, the Shanghai Broadcasting Orchestra, the National Orchestra of China and the Singapore Symphony
Dmitry Rachmanov (piano)
California State University, Northridge
Dr. Rachmanov studied at Moscow's Gnesins School; he is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he received the William Petcheck Scholarship, and he holds the DMA from Manhattan School of Music, where he was awarded the George Schick Award for Outstanding Musicianship. His teachers include Nadia Reisenberg, Arkady Aronov, and he coached with Yvonne Lefebure, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, Menahem Pressler, John Browning and Andras Schiff. He won prizes at the Kapell, Senigallia and Awerbuch competitions, received the ArtsLink grant and held a fellowship from the American Pianists Association.
Rachmanov has been heard at venues such as London's Barbican and South Bank Centres, Washington DC's Kennedy Center and New York's Carnegie Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and the 92nd Street Y, and at festivals such as Banff in Canada, Prussia Cove in England, Moulin d'Andé in France, Upbeat-Hvar in Croatia, Spoleto USA, Bard and the IKIF in New York. He has recorded for Omniclassic, Master Musicians and Vista Vera labels, and has collaborated with the Manhattan Philharmonia, Brooklyn Philharmonic, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Orlando Symphony, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, Ukraine National Symphony, National Orchestra of Porto, Portugal, and others. A strong proponent of the Russian repertoire, he gave the US premiere of Boris Pasternak's Piano Sonata, broadcast nationwide by the NPR, and his recital "The Art of the 19th Century Russian Character Piece" was noted by the New York Times for "considerable color and focus" he brought to each work.
A sought-after master class clinician, lecturer and adjudicator, Professor Rachmanov has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Chicago College of Performing
Arts at Roosevelt University and Long Island Conservatory, SUNY, and has appeared as a guest artist at schools such as UCLA, University of Chicago, Indiana University at Bloomington, Brandeis University, Queens College, University of Washington, University of Iowa, University of Alaska at Anchorage, Tulane University, Wesleyan University and Middlebury College. Dr. Rachmanov has been a frequent adjudicator at competitions in the US and in Europe. He is a Professor of Music at California State University, Northridge, where he serves as Chair of the Keyboard Studies area.
Darrett Adkins (cello)
The Juilliard School
Darrett Adkins has commissioned and been the dedicatee of many important new works for cello, including concertos by Su Lian Tan and Philip Cashian, as well as Jeffrey Mumford’s concerto, which Adkins premiered with the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. He performed the U.S. premieres of Birtwhistle’s Meridian and Donatoni’s Le Ruisseau sur l’escalier at Tanglewood, and the New York premieres of Rolf Wallin’s Grund at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall, Arne Nordheim’s Tenebrae (Alice Tully Hall), Messiaen’s Concerto for Four Instruments (Carnegie Hall), and Berio’s Sequenza XIVa (with the International Contemporary Ensemble), which Adkins also recorded for Naxos’ complete set of Sequenzas.
An avid chamber musician, Adkins performs and records in the United States and Europe with the Lions Gate Trio. He is a former member of the Zephyr Trio and the Flux Quartet, with which he gave the first complete performance of Morton Feldman’s Quartet II and made the subsequent recording on Mode Records. He has recorded with the Juilliard Quartet and been a guest at the festivals of Melbourne, Oslo Chamber Music, Ojai, Aspen, Tanglewood, and Chautauqua. He has performed standard concerti with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Tokyo Philharmonic, Suwon Philharmonic, National Symphony of the UFF in Rio de Janeiro, and the symphonies of New Hampshire and North Carolina.
Ju-Young Baek (violin)
Seoul National University, Korea
Lauded as one of the most prominent violinists of today, Ju-Young Baek enjoys an extensive international career. Many of world’s important venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center in New York, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and Suntory Hall in Tokyo, have presented her in recitals as well as a soloist, with the NHK Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Budapest Festival Orchestra, China National Orchestra, Finnish Radio Orchestra, Singapore Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Symphony Orchestra among others. Also active as a chamber musician, Ms. Baek has performed at the festivals of Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Great Mountains, Naantali, Bridgehampton, as well as Casals Festival in France, Beethoven Festival in Poland and YCA CHANEL Festival in Tokyo.
She was the leader of the Sejong Soloists and one of the founding members of the Chamber Music Society of Kumho Art Hall, and now leads ensemble OPUS, a chamber music ensemble based in Seoul.
Winner of numerous prizes of prestigious international competitions, Ms. Baek is a laureate of Indianapolis, Paganini, Sibelius, Long-Thibaud, and Queen Elisabeth International Competitions, to name a few. Her career was launched after winning 1st prize at YCA Auditions in New York City and the Astral Artists of Philadelphia. Her orchestra solo debut at Lincoln Center with New York Chamber Orchestra was highly praised by Kurt Masur, then Music Director of New York Philharmonic.
In 2007, Ju-Young Baek gave a record-making performance in which all 12 of Bach and Ysaye solo violin works were performed in one day.
Violinist Ju-Young Baek released her first CD in Japan with Brahms and Bruch concerti to critical acclaim, followed by another solo violin repertoire album consisted of Bartok, Bach, Isang Yun, and Schnittke, also published in Japan. Her recording of Penderecki and Szymanovski violin concerti with Royal Philharmonic was released in London, which received rave reviews. In 2020, in celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Ju-Young released a complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas recording, under Sony Label.
Ms. Baek holds degrees from The Curtis Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, and Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris. She was appointed as the youngest violin professor in 2005 at the Seoul National University, which made national headlines in Korea.
Alexa Still (flute)
Oberlin Conservatory of Music
Alexa’s many recordings on the Koch International Classics label have garnered unanimous praise: “impeccable in technique and taste, seductive in phrasing” (Stephensen Classical C D Guide). “Still plays... so convincingly I cannot separate her from the music” (American Record Guide), “whatever she plays sounds musical in every turn of the phrase” (Gramophone), “a stunning showcase for the astonishing Alexa Still” (Fanfare). Alexa studied in New York (SUNY Stony Brook), won competitions including the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition, and, East and West Artists Competition and then returned home as principal flute of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at the age of 23.
Other awards include a Churchill Fellowship and a Fulbright. She eventually left the NZSO to devote more time to solo engagements and teaching, based first at the University of Colorado at Boulder, then the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and now at Oberlin Conservatory, USA. Alexa has performed and taught in England, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Canada, Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, and of course across the United States. Alexa has also served her profession as President of the National Flute Association (USA), and regularly writes for flute journals across the globe. Her flute was made by Brannen Brothers with gold or wooden headjoints by Sanford Drelinger. When her flute is in its case, Alexa is an avid motorcyclist, and she shares a daughter and two dogs with her husband. You can read much more about Alexa on her website: http://www.alexastill.com/
Craig Knox (tuba)
Curtis Institute of Music
Craig Knox has been principal tuba of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since 2005, having previously held positions of Acting Principal Tuba of the San Francisco Symphony, and Principal Tuba of the Sacramento Symphony. He has also performed with many other major American orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit, Minnesota, and Seattle, and with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande of Geneva, Switzerland. Since 1995, he has spent part of each summer as co-principal tuba of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming.
In March 2018, Mr. Knox played the world-premiere of the Jennifer Higdon Tuba Concerto (a PSO co-commission) with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano conducting, performances of which the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Mr. Knox played with assurance and complete command of his instrument, providing a convincing case for the solo potential of the tuba.” In 2019 he performed the work again, in Philadelphia's Verizon Hall, with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Mark Russell Smith conducting. In March 2012 Knox performed the world-premiere performances of Andre Previn's Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Horn and Tuba with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Previn; he performed a reprise as part of the PSO's 120th Anniversary Celebration Concert, with Music Director Manfred Honeck conducting. Mr. Knox has also performed as a soloist with the U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own) in Washington D.C., the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony, and the Carnegie Mellon University Wind
Ensemble. His solo recording, A Road Less Traveled, of music for tuba and piano with Rodrigo Ojeda, was released in 2012.
Mr. Knox is co-founder of the Center City Brass Quintet, which has performed in recital throughout the United States and Japan. Its six recordings on the Chandos and Octavia labels have met with critical acclaim, the first being described by American Record Guide as “one of the all-time great brass quintet recordings.” He played for several seasons with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet, and has toured with the Empire Brass. In 2008, the Albany label released a recording featuring Knox and his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony low brass section.
Knox is Artist Lecturer of Tuba at Carnegie Mellon University, and a faculty member at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He regularly presents master classes, seminars and recitals at universities, conservatories and festivals around the world. A native of Storrs, Connecticut, Knox began formal musical studies on the classical guitar at age six. His first tuba teachers included Gary Ofenloch, Samuel Pilafian and Chester Schmitz, and he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki, earning a Bachelor of Music degree. He was also a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach.
For more information about Craig Knox and his activities, visit www.CraigKnoxTuba.com,