Saturday, June 11, 2016

Alfred University’s third annual MostArts Festival promises summer ‘magic’ celebrating music and the arts

There will be MostArts “magic” in Alfred this summer when the weeklong festival of music and art – located on the Alfred University campus – opens for its third season. MostArts ’16 will run from Sunday, July 3 through Saturday, July 9.
Following the format of its first two years, MostArts will include a series of musical and arts events highlighted by a Young Pianist Competition.
After 11 months of brain storming, planning and preparing, the Opening Concert of the MostArts Festival is less than a month away. The musicians, artists, people who work behind the scenes and our volunteers are very excited,” said Dr. Lisa Lantz, founder and guiding force behind the festival.
Lantz notes, the Festival is committed to enriching the cultural, economic, and educational potential of the Alfred community by inviting internationally renowned musicians to the region to share their passion for music and to engage in the broader dialogue between music and the vibrant world of Alfred art.
What’s in store for 2016?
Activities will include “everyone’s favorite FREE, noontime Chamber Music Concerts, with box lunches available for purchase; ‘Music Under the Stars’ with the Alex Levin Trio from New York City; an evening concerts series in Miller Theater, with the Festival Orchestra and international artists; the Young Pianist Competition featuring eight contestants ages 13-18 from across the United States who will compete for a $10,000 grand prize; ‘Plein Air’ and Master Gardener Workshops; a glass blowing demonstration and ‘Raku Extravaganza,’ ”said Lantz.
All events are FREE except the Evening Concert Series, Music Under the Stars, and Workshops. Tickets are available online at or at 607.871.2828. Senior and family rates available.
Find a schedule of events online at:
The eight 2016 piano competition finalists are: Derek Chung from Long Grove, IL; Yoshinari Fukuzawa, Sheffield, MA; Kimberly Han, Lake Forest, IL; Charlie Liu (selected for a second year), Princeton, NJ; Junlin Liu, Voorhees, NJ; Jarrett Takaki, Wilmette, IL; Alexander Tsereteli, Bethesda, MD; and Shuheng Zhang, Canton, MI. 

Chung, 16, is a sophomore. His accomplishments include first place at the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, Luminarts Cultural Foundation for Classical Music, U.S. New Star Piano, DePauw University Young Artist, the American Fine Arts International Concerto, and the Los Angeles Young Musician International Competitions where he was awarded overall Best Romantic Performance. He has performed in Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and in the Shining Stars Concert at the Music Festival of Perugia (Italy) with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante. Chung has also performed on NPR’s “From the Top” as a member of the Piano Trio Royale. He has been a part of One Score One Chicago and “From the Top’s” Arts Leadership Outreach programs, conducting workshops in the Chicago public schools and the Boys and Girls Club in Naples, FL to introduce children to classical music.
Fukuzawa, 17, began her musical journey with piano at the age of six. By the age of nine, she made her first solo piano performance in school. At 12, she participated in the 75th Steinway and Sons International Youth Piano Competition, receiving the Excellency Award. While attending Shanghai American School, she participated in the school pit orchestra for the musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” and was appointed the piano accompanist for the school’s choir group. Fukuzawa is a rising senior at Berkshire School in Sheffield, MA, where she participates in various activities in performing arts, including composing her own quartet music for the school chamber music group. She has lived in Japan and China, and is fluent in English, Mandarin, and Japanese. Besides her interest in piano, Fukuzawa loves raising animals and growing plants. She loves nature and enjoys reading and writing about environmental issues.
Han, 15, of Lake Forest, IL began piano at age five. She is a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and was selected by the Foundation to participate in the second Allianz Junior Music Camp in Barcelona, Spain. She has performed in L’Auditori of Barcelona, Spain, and as a solo pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Saint-Saens’ “Carnival of Animals” and Manuel de Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain.” She won the Illinois State MTNA Junior Competition, Walgreens National Concerto Competition, Piano Winner of the 11th DePaul Concerto Festival, and the 15th Chopin Youth Piano Competition. She participates in masterclasses at the New England Conservatory. In her free time, Han loves playing violin, reading, and traveling with her family. To give back to the community, Han performs extensively in retirement centers around Chicago and teaches violin to children from unprivileged districts as a participant of the Midwest Young Artist Music Scholar program.
Charlie Liu, 15, of Princeton, NJ returns to the MostArts Festival after taking third prize in last year’s competition. He currently is in the Westminster Conservatory Young Artists Program. He has won top prizes in international and national competitions, including the 2015 David Dubois Piano Competition and tied for the ‘most wins’ by a junior pianist for the top U.S. piano competitions in 2015. C. Liu has also won first place for five years in the New Jersey and Massachusetts Music Teacher Associations, first in the Steinway Society Scholarship Competition, and Gold Prize in the American Fine Arts Festival. He has performed with the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra, and the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra. C. Liu is committed to helping society and his community through his music by initiating and organizing benefits for “Young Artists for Haiti,” UI Children's Hospital, Plainsboro Rescue Squad, and is creating a “Rescue Music Foundation.” Outside of music, C. Liu enjoys video games, excelled math competitions, and hockey.
Junlin Liu, 17, began studying the piano at the age of three. He was a student of the prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music and won numerous awards before moving to the Unites States. J. Liu is attending Eastern High School in Voorhees, NJ and is currently a student of Susan Starr. He says, “Because I have been studying piano since I was very young, piano performance is an important part of my life. I would like to learn a lot of things about the piano because it is so fascinating and I feel great when I'm playing it.”
Takaki, 17, has received numerous first prizes including at the De Paul University Concerto Festival for Young Performers, the American Fine Arts Festival International Piano Competition, The Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto Competition, The Lee Piano Competition at Augustana College, the Great Composers Competition ­ (featuring German, Austrian, and Eastern European composers). He has performed at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall and was a featured artist in the Young Steinway Piano Series at the Skokie and Northbrook Libraries. He has performed the Mozart Concerto No. 20, 1st mvt. with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, and the Prokofiev Piano Concerto in C Major, 1st mvt. with the Harper College Symphony Orchestra, and performed at the 2015 Music Fest Perugia, Italy. As the first-place winner of the Young Artist Piano Competition at Tennessee Tech University, Takaki was filmed for a documentary entitled “Youth Behind the Keys.”
Tsereteli, 15, is a Jack Kent Cook Scholarship recipient in the honors program at Levine Music and a first-prize winner of many piano competitions including the Nora C. Lichtenberg Piano Scholarship Competition, Montanari-Mendola Award for Excellence in Piano Performance, Friday Morning Music Club Competition for High School Pianists, Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition for Young Pianists, Bach/Tselentis Award of Excellence Competition, Young Artist Award Competition, Marlin-Engel Competition, Cogen Piano Concerto Competition, and Levine Chamber Music Competition. In addition, he was twice awarded the Busch Gardens Music Festival “Best Accompanist Award.” His recent performances of Nikolai Kapustin’s preludes in jazz style were broadcast on WQXR (NYC). He attends Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, Bethesda, MD. Tsereteli has a deep interest in composition, music theory, and jazz, and enjoys reading, history, sports, and travel, especially to visit the native country of his family, Georgia.
Zhang, 14, is a rising freshman from Canton, MI. He has been passionate about music since starting piano lessons at age nine. Within five years Zhang became a top prize winner of numerous piano competitions including the MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Michigan Competition, Michigan State MMTA Concerto and Solo competitions, Albion International Piano Festival, and the Detroit Tuesday Musicale Young Artist Competition. Recently, Zhang became the first middle school pianist to win third prize in the David Dubois Piano Competition. He studies piano with Logan Skelton of the University of Michigan School of Music. Outside of music, he serves as president of his school’s student council and loves sports, especially hockey.