2017 General Competition Judges
Associate Professor and Chair of Piano
Pianist Christopher Harding maintains a flourishing international performance career, generating acclaim and impressing audiences and critics alike with his substantive interpretations and pianistic mastery. He has given frequent solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in venues as far flung as the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei, the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, and halls and festival appearances in Newfoundland, Israel, Romania, and China. His concerto performances have included concerts with the National Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras, the San Angelo and Santa Barbara Symphonies, and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, working with such conductors as Andrew Sewell, Eric Zhou, Taijiro Iimori, Gisele Ben-Dor, Fabio Machetti, Randall Craig Fleisher, John DeMain, Ron Spiegelman, Daniel Alcott, and Darryl One, among others. His chamber music and duo collaborations have included internationally renowned artists such as clarinetist Karl Leister, flautist Andras Adorjan, and members of the St. Lawrence and Ying String Quartets, in addition to frequent projects with his distinguished faculty colleagues at the University of Michigan. He has recorded solo and chamber music CDs for the Equilibrium and Brevard Classics labels. He has additionally edited and published critical editions and recordings of works by Claude Debussy (Children's Corner, Arabesques and shorter works) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Viennese Sonatinas) for the Schirmer Performance Editions published by Hal Leonard.
Dean of Chicago College of Performing Arts
Former President of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Henry Fogel is Dean and Distinguished Professor of the Arts at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts. He is also festival director of the New Hampshire Music Festival, and continues his work as a consultant for orchestras, working with the Catherine French Group. Mr. Fogel was senior advisor to the League of American Orchestras from June 2008 through June 2009, and for five years prior to that served as the League's president and CEO. In 2009 the League presented Mr. Fogel with its highest award, the Gold Baton.
Music Director of the Evanston Symphony Orchestra
Lawrence Eckerling comes to the Evanston Symphony Orchestra after just concluding a sixteen year tenure as Music Director and Conductor of the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra in Minnesota. Prior to that position which he began in 1986, he served as Assistant Conductor to the Omaha Symphony, and as Music Director and Conductor of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras. In 1980 he founded the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra of Chicago which performed a series of free Music Performance Trust Fund Concerts.
Eckerling's local guest conducting engagements have included the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Park Ridge Symphony Orchestra , the Lake Shore Symphony Orchestra and the Kankakee Symphony Orchestra. Other guest conducting engagements have included the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra in Minneapolis, Opera Omaha, the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra, and the Germantown Symphony in Memphis.
Professor at University of Wisconsin Whitewater
Dr. Chung holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Manhattan School of Music. She has been the recipient of numerous awards, including first prize at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Performer's Competition and the William Kapell International Piano Competition. Her playing has been described as "clean, strong…marked by a bell-like quality that never disappeared even under the severest pressure." Since then, she has performed throughout North America with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, as well as in Europe and Asia. Public radio has also broadcasted her performances.
MyungHee Chung has also been an active chamber musician—not only as part of the Seraphin Piano Trio, but also as a collaborator with many artists such as David Kim, David Taylor, and Alison Balsom. She performs regularly as a member of UW-Whitewater Piano Trio and with other faculty. More recent performances include concerts in Wisconsin and England, as well as the Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Illinois and recording all 24 Debussy Preludes.
MyungHee Chung has taught at the Missouri Southern State University in Joplin and the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. In August 1995, she joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she is a full Professor and Keyboard coordinator. She has judged many competitions including Missouri Southern International competition and has given master classes in universities in the US and Korea.
Hailed by the Indianapolis News as "a world of talent, displaying lyrical beauty, percussive driving power never out of control, and never without security and assurance," pianist Nicholas Roth began his formal studies at age twelve and was receiving critical acclaim for his appearances by the age of eighteen. He has appeared as soloist with the St. Louis Symphony and the Indianapolis Symphony under Raymond Leppard, among many others. Roth has been featured in recitals and festivals in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Serbia, and Spain, including the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series of Chicago, the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, and Sunday Afternoons Live from the Elvehjem in Madison, Wisconsin. An avid collaborative pianist, he has performed with premier chamber ensembles such as the Cypress String Quartet, Euclid String Quartet, Felici Piano Trio, and vocalist Cheryl Studer.
In 2010 Yamaha Corporation of America selected Roth for its Artist in Education program, which recognizes excellence in performing and teaching and provides opportunities for concerts, recordings, and masterclasses throughout the nation. Roth was a 1993 Beethoven Fellow of the American Pianists Association, which provided him concert management for three years. He has won first prizes in several international competitions including the chamber music competitions of Tortona and Pietra Ligure, Italy. He was the recipient of a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) grant that enabled him to further his studies in Germany. He was honored by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Indiana for his "contribution to the performing arts, his accomplishments as a concert pianist, and his inspiration to young musicians."
Associate Professor of Music at Loyola University Chicago
Since his victory at the 1997 Naumburg International Piano Competition in New York City, Anthony Molinaro's stunning performances and unique versatility have captivated audiences and critics alike. Acclaimed for his “edge-of-the-seat brilliance” and “musically imaginative mind,” Mr. Molinaro's performances have taken him to major music centers throughout the country including Boston, Cleveland, Dallas, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, New York's Alice Tully Hall, and Chicago’s Symphony Center. He has been featured on Ravinia's Rising Stars Series, The Young Artist Series at the Kravis Center, The Irving S. Gilmore Festival, The Charles Vanda Master Series in Las Vegas, and at The Santa Fe Jazz Festival, The Toronto Jazz Festival, The Grand Teton Music Festival, and Eastern Music Festival among many others. He has appeared as guest soloist with over fifty symphony orchestras including the Arkansas, Boise, Lake Forest, Louisville, Napa Valley, Naples, Richmond, and Syracuse Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed with the Canton, Cape Cod, Eugene, Flint, Savannah and Catskill Symphonies, as well as with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Outside of the U.S., Mr. Molinaro has recently concertized in France, Germany, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Canada; and headlined at leading clubs for improvised music including Chicago’s Green Mill, Toronto’s The Rex Hotel and Jazz Bar, Vienna’s Porgy and Bess, Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, Munich’s Unterfahrt, and Zurich’s Moods to name a few.