Keyboard Artist Series - Biographies

Kirill Gliadkovsy    Rachel Cheung    Adam Clark/Eunbyol Ko    Jon Nakamatsu


 Kirill Gliadkovsky

Gliadkovsky photoKirill Gliadkovsky's performances have been met with great enthusiasm by both audiences and music critics in Europe, Russia and North America. Josef Woodard, a critic at the Los Angeles Times, wrote: "...the intensity and a nicely honed musicality left the audience stunned...enthralling...all in all, a gripping and masterful performance". Dany Margolies at The Malibu Times describes his playing: "wondrous range...impassioned depth...enormous physical and emotional power...a complete artist". “Fine dramatic sense…appealing range of emotional effects and pianistic devices…wonderful” writes Fort Worth Star-Telegram; “The most impressive…memorable… deep musician… fine interpretation” - Izvestia (Moscow, Russia)

Since making his first public appearance at the age of 6, Gliadkovsky has toured extensively on three continents performing piano and organ recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in various cities in Russia, including Moscow's prestigious Bolshoi, Maliy and Rachmaninoff Halls, St.-Petersburg Philharmonic's Glinka Hall, as well as in Italy, U.K., Poland, Mongolia, Canada, Japan and throughout the United States. The venues included Purcell Hall in London, Merkin Hall in New York, Jack Singer Hall in Calgary, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa, CA, Centers for the Arts in Scottsdale and Chandler AZ, National Gallery of Art and Catholic University in Washington, DC, 1st Congregational Church in Los Angeles, Philharmonic Hall in Poznan, Poland, and many others. He has performed at various music festivals, such as Aspen, Ventura, Music in the Mountains, Redlands Bowl festivals in the USA and Credomatic Festival in Costa Rica, and worked with well-known conductors Pierre Boulez, Mehli Mehta, Gordon Johnson, John Farrer, Mischa Semanitzky, Patrick Flynn, among others.

Gliadkovsky's popularity is also fast growing being a featured artist in numerous live TV and radio broadcasts and programs on such networks as NPR, CBS, PBS, CBC, WQXR, KBYU, KPAC, Russian State TV and Radio and others. He has recorded six CDs for Alexei Records and for CMK Classics labels.

Kirill Gliadkovsky was born in Moscow and has studied music since the age of 5.  Gliadkovsky attended the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow where his teachers included renowned musicians Lev Vlasenko, Mikhail Pletniev (piano) and Leonid Royzman (organ). Gliadkovsky also earned both his Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the University of Southern California with Professors Daniel Pollack (piano), Cherry Rhodes (organ), and William Schaefer (conducting). He also coached with Ann Schein, Herbert Stessin, Stephen Kovacevich and Lev Naumov. Kirill Gliadkovsky took numerous prizes at international piano competitions in Europe and the United States.

Gliadkovsky is an orchestra and choral conductor. He performs on harpsichord, as well. He is a part of 4Gs family piano team with his wife - a concert pianist Anna Gliadkovskaya - and their daughters Anastasia and Sophia. He also served as the music director and organist at Westwood Hills Christian Church in Los Angeles for 10 years.

Gliadkovsky combines his busy concert schedule with teaching at Saddleback College as the Director of Keyboard Studies and Chair of the Music Department. This season alone will take him on tour to New York, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, California, Tennessee, Costa Rica and more.

Prior to coming to Saddleback, he was on the piano faculty at USC and Santa Monica College and served as the head of the piano area at SUU (Southern Utah University) in Cedar City, UT.  Gliadkovsky has been in demand as a masterclass artist-teacher and piano adjudicator in piano competitions in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Columbus, Washington, D.C. and many other cities. He has presented lectures at the MTNA national and many state MTA conferences. His students have won prizes at various piano contests and have been accepted to schools such as USC, UCLA, Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, Peabody and San Francisco Conservatories, UC Berkeley, UCSB, UNT, BYU, USU and others, often with fellowship and scholarship awards. This season, he has been on sabbatical, performing and traveling in 20+ countries in Europe, Russia and the Middle East, with upcoming performances in NYC, TN, OH, IN, CA and more.

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Rachel Cheung

Cheung photoWinner of the Audience Award and finalist at the 15th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Young Steinway Artist Rachel Cheung was described as “a poet, but also a dramatist” and “the most sophisticated and compelling music-making” (The Dallas Morning News). She won the Fifth Prize at the 2009 Leeds International Piano Competition at age 17. A year later, in 2010, she was a semifinalist at the 16th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, Warsaw. Other achievements include First Prizes at the International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine and the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition in Salt Lake City, Second Prize and Schubert Prize at the 28th Alessandro Casagrande International Piano Competition, Italy, 2008, and Georges Leibenson Prize in the 67th Geneva International Piano Competition, 2012. In 2016, Cheung was awarded the special prize at the New York Concert Artists Worldwide Debut Audition.

Cheung has appeared in many prestigious music festivals including the 9th Musical Olympus International Festival, Russia, The International Chopin Festival in Duszniki, Poland, Virtuosos of Planet 2006 in Kiev, Ukraine, The Festival Transeuropéennes in Rouen, France, Miami International Piano Festival, the Golandsky Institute International Piano Festival and the Sun Valley International Piano Festival. She has also performed at the Auditorium du Louvre in Paris, the Steinway Hall in London, the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts in Toronto and the Philharmonie de Paris.

As an active chamber musician, Cheung has worked with world-renowned musicians such as Vladimir Mendelssohn, Dong-Suk Kang, Jan-Erik Gustafasson, Ning Feng, Trey Lee, Latica-Honda Rosenberg, Jens Peter Maintz, Virpi Räisänsen, Jian Wang, and Michel Lethiec, Bruno Canino, the Brentano String Quartet and Quatuor Leonis.

She has collaborated with The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Orchestra at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Tapiola Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with Edo de Waart, the Hallé Orchestra with Sir Mark Elder, the Sydney Symphony with Vladimir Ashkenazy, the NYCA Symphony Orchestra with Eduard Zilberkant, the London Chamber Orchestra with Christopher Warren-Green, and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin and Nicholas McGegan. Most recently, Cheung conducted and played Beethoven fourth piano concerto with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris at the Play-Direct Academy led by Stephen Kovacevich, where she was also awarded the Prix du Jury at the closing concert. 

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Cheung graduated with First Class Honours at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts under the tutelage of Prof. Eleanor Wong, and later with Prof. Peter Frankl at the Yale School of Music where she was awarded the Elizabeth Parisot Prize for outstanding pianists.  

Her first DVD –‘ RACHEL CHEUNG – KEYBOARD PRODIGY LIVE IN RECITAL MIAMI INTERNATIONAL PIANO FESTIVAL 2005’ was released by VAIMUSIC in June 2007; and her first CD, under the Alpha Omega Sound label of the Chopin Society of Hong Kong, was released in 2009. 

Highlights of the 2018/19 season include a Carnegie Weill Hall debut recital in March, recitals in Mexico, Poland, Italy, the UK, and the US, as well as concerto performances with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra with Gábor Takács-Nagy and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra with Jaap van Zweden.

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Adam Clark and Eunbyol Ko

Clark-Ko photoAdam Clark and Eunbyol Ko formed the Clark & Ko Piano Duo in 2018. They are currently on the piano faculty at Middle Tennessee State University, where they maintain active schedules as educators, clinicians, and solo and collaborative performers. They are married and currently reside in Murfreesboro, TN where they are the proud parents of daughter, Elli Jina Clark.  

Adam Clark has been heard as a soloist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist throughout the United States, as well as in Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Australia, and South Korea. His performances have been broadcast on WPLN in Nashville, WMUK in Michigan, and MBC National Television in Korea. Of his playing, New York Concert Review Magazine wrote, “Clark brought out much beauty in Chopin’s soulfully embroidered melodies. He played with thoughtful expressiveness” and “achieved an excellent blend [with the orchestra].”  

Originally from California, Clark received his B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied with Charles Asche. He completed his M.M. at the University of Texas, Austin and D.M.A. at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) where his principal teachers were Nancy Garrett and Eugene and Elisabeth Pridonoff, respectively. 

A prizewinner in many competitions, Clark has performed in venues such as New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Sejong Arts Center in Korea, the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, the Royal College of Music in Stockholm, and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. He has performed with orchestras including the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Holland Symphony Orchestra, and San Luis Obispo Symphony, and has collaborated with conductors Michael Nowak, Eduard Zilberkant, Richard Piippo, and Johannes Müller-Stosch, among others. 

As a chamber musician, Clark has worked with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, and the Weimar Staatskapelle. He has been featured on the acclaimed Grand Rapids Art Museum recital series, the Chamber Music Festival of Saugatuck, and is currently a member of MTSU’s Stones River Chamber players. He has also performed, recorded, and premiered works with the noted brass ensemble, SymbiosisDuo. 

A dedicated teacher, Clark’s students have garnered recognition for notable awards and performances over the years. They have worked in masterclasses with renowned artists and pedagogues, won awards at the local and state levels, performed major works with orchestra, and have been admitted to outstanding undergraduate and graduate programs in music across the country. 

Clark has also lectured nationally and abroad on diverse topics ranging from technical and musical development to 20th-century pedagogical repertoire. He has been published in American Music Teacher Magazine, the College Music Society’s Symposium, and Piano Pedagogy Forum, and regularly gives masterclasses throughout the United States and abroad. 

Clark is Associate Professor of Piano at Middle Tennessee State University as well as on the Board of the Tennessee Music Teachers Association. He was on the faculty of Hope College from 2008-2014, and prior to that held teaching positions at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Texas at Austin. 

A native of South Korea, Eunbyol Ko has been praised for her artistry and intelligence as a soloist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. She maintains an active international career, with performances in Canada, Brazil, Canada, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, China, South Korea, Australia, and the United States. As an orchestral soloist, she has appeared with the Kyungwon Philharmonic Orchestra, the Queen City Chamber Orchestra, and the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra.

Her numerous competition honors include first prizes in the South Korea National Piano Competition, the Eumyoun competition, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s (CCM) Chamber Music Competition. She was also a prize winner in the International Yellow Springs Chamber Music Competition, the Kankakee Young Artists Concerto Competition, and the Ibla Grand Prize Competition.


A sought after chamber musician, Ko has performed with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic. She has also performed and recorded with noted groups and soloists including SymbiosisDuo, the Awea Duo, and internationally renowned violinist, Gao Can.

Ko has also served as a chamber music coach for the Starling String Project in Cincinnati, and has been the official collaborative pianist for the Young-Pyong International Clarinet Festival in South Korea, the Henri Marteau International Violin Competition in Germany, the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Austria, and the Great Wall International Music Academy in China.  

Ko also maintains an active professional profile, giving masterclasses throughout the Unites States and abroad, serving as a judge and adjudicator for notable competitions and events, and regularly offering presentations on a variety of topics at professional conferences. Her students have been very successful over the years, garnering awards such as first prize in the Dayton Philharmonic Young Artists Competition, first prize in the New Horizons Piano Competition, second prize in the BGSU David D. Dubois Piano Competition, and numerous MTNA State and Regional Competition awards.

 

Prior to joining the faculty at MTSU, Ko served as Assistant Professor of Piano at Morehead State University. She also served on the faculty of the CCM Preparatory Department and CCM Piano Department, and served as Coordinator of Collaborative Piano at Austin Peay State University.

 

Ko earned her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Piano Performance with a Cognate in Chamber Music from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and her Masters degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her former teachers include Soo-Jung Shin, Shigeo Neriki, Eugene Pridonoff, and James Tocco.

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Jon Nakamatsu

Nakamatsu photoAmerican pianist, Jon Nakamatsu, continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981.  Nakamatsu has performed widely in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. 

Nakamatsu's extensive recital tours throughout the U.S. and Europe have featured appearances in New York's Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, and in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Paris, London and Milan. He has worked with various chamber ensembles - among them the Brentano, Tokyo, Kuss, Jupiter, Cypress, Prazak and Ying String Quartets - and has toured repeatedly with the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet. Together with clarinetist Jon Manasse, Nakamatsu tours continually as a member of the Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The Duo also serves as Artistic Directors of the esteemed Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival in Massachusetts. 

Nakamatsu records exclusively for harmonia mundi usa, which has released thirteen CDs to date. His all-Gershwin recording with Jeff Tyzik and the Rochester Philharmonic featuring Rhapsody in Blue and the Concerto in F rose to number three on Billboard's classical music charts, earning extraordinary critical praise. Other acclaimed releases include an all-Liszt disc featuring the "Dante Sonata"; a recording of Brahms' Piano Sonata in F minor; and Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. Nakamatsu's 2008 recording of Brahms' Clarinet Sonatas with Jon Manasse was chosen by the New York Times as one of its top releases for the year; his latest disc with Manasse, released in August 2012, includes both the Brahms Clarinet Quintet and the Piano Quintet with the Tokyo String Quartet. Of his most recent release on the label, a 2014 solo disc of the piano works of Robert Schumann, BBC Music Magazine states that "Nakamatsu clarifies Schumann's mid-range saturated textures to a remarkable degree, reveling in its fantastic imaginings with rapier-like precision and effortless command."

Since 1997, Nakamatsu has served on multiple international piano competition juries and has also been invited as a guest speaker at numerous institutions including the Van Cliburn Foundation, Stanford University and the Juilliard School. 

Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.

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