Yoshie Akimoto has had a distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. She first achieved recognition in her native Japan at age 10 when she won first prize in the prestigious All-Japan Student Competition. She made her debut at age 13 with the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra. She is also winner of the International JS Bach Competition in Washington DC and has performed throughout the US, Europe and Japan. Ms. Akimoto is a graduate of The Juilliard School where she studied with James Friskin and Sascha Gorodnitzky. She further studied with Guido Agosti at the Acadamia Chigiana in Siena, Italy.
Ms. Akimoto’s teaching activities include frequent master classes and coaching at The Juilliard School and other colleges and she has served as juror in various national and international competitions. As a Duo partner with cellist Allison Eldredge, she has performed at the Concertgebouwe, Amsterdam; Moscow Conservatory Hall; Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; Casals Hall and Suntory Hall, Tokyo; Symphony Hall in Osaka; Kennedy Center in Washington DC; Ravinia in Chicago; Royce Hall in Los Angeles; Symphony Hall in San Francisco; and the 92nd Street Y in NYC. Ms. Akimoto has been a faculty member of the Killington, Foulger and Vianden, Luxembourg International Music Festivals for the past 9 years, in which she performs and teaches. She directs the Akimoto Piano Studio in Southern California, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut, from which National and International top prize winning pianists have emerged. Her students have been accepted by the top conservatories and universities, including Curtis, Juilliard, Harvard, Yale and Stanford.
Gita Abhiraman, sixteen, is a junior at New Canaan High School in Connecticut. Gita began her piano study at age six and has been a student of Yoshie Akimoto for the past two years. In both 2011 and 2012 Gita was the first prize winner of the Senior JS Bach Competition and Senior French Repertoire Competition of the Schubert Award Competition. In 2011 Gita studied and performed solo and chamber music at the Killington Music Festival in Vermont. She has performed at the Young Pianist Concert at Steinway Hall in NYC. In addition to music, Gita loves to dance, debate and compete in mathematics. Gita’s goal is to share her love of art with as many people as possible.
Heralded as a “sensation” with “formidable technique” by the Hartford Courant, Alex Beyer, 18, has acquired an impressive array of prestigious concert appearances around the nation. Since his concerto debut with the Stamford Young Artist Philharmonic at age 10, Alex has won numerous concerto competitions, including the Hartford Symphony Competition which garnered him five consecutive evening performances of the Tchaikovsky Concerto No. 1. He has also performed with the Milwaukee, Charlotte, New Haven, Thayer, and Waterbury Symphony Orchestras, among others. His debut performance of the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony was hailed as “one of the most spectacular debuts.” (Connecticut Post)
Alex has further earned top prizes in Young Arts, the Renee Fischer Competition, the Schubert Awards Competitions, the Stamford Symphony Scholarship Competition, as well as the PianoArts International Competition. He was a 2012 Presidential Scholar in the Arts from 7000 competitors. Alex has been a frequent performer at international summer music festivals including Killington, VT; Vianden, Luxembourg; and Foulger International Music Festival, NJ. Alex performs in and organizes many benefit concerts including those for Project Learn, Music for Youth, Mercy Learning Center and Music Haven. He also raises money for the KEYS program for which he volunteers working with young music students in the Bridgeport public schools. He has been a student of Yoshie Akimoto for the past seven years and of Matti Raekallio at the Juilliard PreCollege last year where he presented a recital of the entire volume of Rachmaninoff Etude-Tableaux, Op. 33, among others. He has been accepted into Harvard University and is also preparing for international competitions.
Pianist Lisa Iwaki, a native of Southern California, completed her Master of Music degree at Manhattan School of Music as a recipient of the Jay Rubinton Scholarship. She is the grand prize winner of the Atwater Kent Concerto Competition, Benno Rubyini Competition, Music Teacher’s Association of California (MTAC) State Convention Finals in solo piano, the Southwestern Youth Music Festival College Artist Division, and a prizewinner in the Los Angeles Liszt Competition. She has performed in masterclasses for Gilbert Kalish, Pascal Roge, Max Levinson, Steven Isserlis, and Samuel Rhodes among others. As an avid chamber musician and collaborative pianist, she was a finalist in the 61st Coleman National Chamber Ensemble Competition. Her trio performed in numerous venues throughout Los Angeles as Maxwell Gluck Foundation Fellows. She has been a student of Yoshie Akimoto since age 10 and currently is preparing for a Doctorate program.
Jeremy Jordan, a native of Chicago, is a graduate of The Juilliard School and is currently in his last year of the Master’s Degree program at Juilliard, where he is studying on the Howard & Ethel B. Ross Scholarship, the Bruno Raikin Memorial Piano Scholarship, and the Van Cliburn Scholarship with concert pianist Matti Raekallio as well as Yoshie Akimoto. Jordan began his piano studies at age 4 with his parents as his first teachers and later with Professor Regina Syrkin. Jordan performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 on television at age 9. As a member of The Mephisto Trio he appeared on the radio program From The Top, and two years later made his solo debut on From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall performing Liszt. His second Carnegie Hall appearance came in 2009 with a performance sponsored by the Netherlands American Community Trust. As a composer, Jordan’s Fantasie No. 3 for piano won first place in the Music Teachers National Association’s Young Composer’s Competition, with his Nocturne for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon having been premiered on National Public Radio in 2002. Winner of the 2006 Steinway Piano Concerto Competition, he made his orchestral debut in 2006 with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra and later recorded the Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 in his European debut appearance in Prague in Rudolfinum Hall with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Jordan’s recent performance of Beethoven’s Clarinet Trio with renowned clarinetist Anthony McGill and cellist Yo-Yo Ma received rave reviews. In the summer of 2011, Jordan made his solo European Debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam performing many of his original compositions.
The recipient of the Dick Wang Jazz Piano Award from the Jazz Institute of Chicago and a Downbeat Magazine Jazz Instrumentalist of the Year Award, Jordan has also played with the Merit Music Honors Jazz Ensemble, the Thelonius Monk Advanced Arts Education Jazz Band, and was honored to perform on the Steinway Peace Piano for UNICEF during its world tour performance at Chicago’s Symphony Center.
Local musician George Teng is is a well recognized young pianist in the area. His formal instruction began at the Rivers Conservatory, where three-time recipient of the annual Piano Department Award, and a recipient of the Lyman Clark Scholarship. His music has taken him to where he was invited on scholarship to attend the International Music Festival at Bosa Antica. While at the festival, he won the Audience Award for his performance in the closing concert. George has performed solo and chamber music at the Killington Music Festival and the Foulger International Music Festival the last two summers under the tutelage of Yoshie Akimoto. Last year in particular was a milestone for George who won the A. Ramon Rivera Piano Competition and made the final round in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
George has a passion for music and writing. In his free time he reads books, fixes computers, makes coffee, takes walks, rides the subway and researches dinosaur facts. When he grows up, he hopes to be a musician/writer/computer programmer/paleontologist. George is currently in his junior year studying on scholarship at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts with mentor A. Ramon Rivera.
A recent student of Steinway Artist Yoshie Akimoto, the 14-year-old pianist Amber Wolf is a freshman at the Buckingham Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, MA. She began taking piano lessons at the age of five with Dr. Vivian (Ueng) Fang and studied at the New England Conservatory Prep-School with Sylvia Chambless from 2008 to June 2012. Last summer, Amber participated in Foulger International Music Festival, where she performed solo and chamber music at Enlow Recital Hall, as well as the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is currently working on her repertoire for various competitions in the coming season. Besides her passion for music, Amber is also a dedicated competitive figure skater. She trains at the Skating Club of Boston 20 hours/week. She recorded her own piano piece for her skating competition program. Amber hopes to use her music skills to enhance her skating and vice versa.