Monday, July 28, 2014
Home  ->  Artists  ->  Gail Niwa


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Artistic Director




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Gail Niwa - Piano
Gail Niwa´s "brilliant insights" and "power, eloquence and striking sound color" have made her an audience favorite throughout the world. Ms. Niwa won high praise for her New York recital debut at Alice Tully Hall, and her recitals at Orchestra Hall in Chicago on the Allied Arts Piano Series and at the Ambassador Auditorium´s Gold Medal Series in Pasadena. She also received outstanding reviews for her solo appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in February 1995, performing the Schumann Piano Concerto with Sir Georg Solti conducting. "She reveled in Schumann´s lyricism...Her tone is big and velvety, and the concerto´s virtuoso declarations were both clearly etched and full of thunder," said the Chicago Sun-Times. "Soloist Gail Niwa...achieved a heroic tone and perfect marksmanship," praised the Chicago Tribune. Among her recent solo engagements are performances of the Brahms Concerto #2 with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and Beethoven´s "Emperor" Concerto with the California Philharmonic. She has been soloist with the Utah, Memphis, Fort Wayne, Augusta, Columbus, Reno, Evanston and Grant Park Symphonies and has given recitals at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Washington´s Kennedy Center, and in Athens, Montreal, Seoul, and St. Louis. She has also toured Scandinavia and the Far East.

In 1991 Ms. Niwa created a sensation by becoming the first woman ever to win the Gold Medal at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. She was also awarded the Audience Prize and the Chamber Music Prize. Ms. Niwa has also won major prizes in the International Chopin Competition, the Mae Whitaker Competition and the Washington International Competition.

An outstanding ensemble player, Ms. Niwa recently toured Holland as a member of the renowned Het Reizend Musik Geselschap. She won the prestigious Best Accompanist Award at the 1986 Tchaikovsky Competition for Violinists in Moscow. She has been featured soloist with the Kammergild Chamber Players, the Banff Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Highland Park Strings and the Ocean State Chamber Players. She is a regular participant in the Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the Park City International Music Festival and the Roycroft Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Niwa can be heard in Fantasia 2000 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals". She has also collaborated with violinist David Kim on recordings for the Musical Heritage Society and Teldec labels and with the late bassoonist Bruce Grainger on the Centaur label.

The daughter of professional musicians, Ms. Niwa was born in Chicago. She began piano studies with her mother and made her orchestral debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at age eight. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees on scholarship at the Juilliard School as a student of Adele Marcus. Ms. Niwa has given master classes in many parts of the world, including Pusan University in Korea, the TCU Cliburn Institute, Brigham Young University and the University of Oklahoma. In 1999 Ms. Niwa joined the faculty of the University of Southern California as an Assistant Professor of Piano. Feeling the need to return to the East Coast, she resigned her position in 2001. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Chamber Music at Great Gorge, a concert series in northwest New Jersey, and continues to delight audiences with both her solo and chamber playing.





Performances for Season 29 (current season)


Artists who also play the Piano
Gregory Allen
Alessio Bax
Octavio Brunetti
Chih-Yi Chen
Naida Cole
Anne Epperson
Leon Fleisher
Katherine Jacobson Fleisher
Grace Fong
Helen Huang
Sung-Mi Im
Meng-Chieh Liu
Alexandre Moutouzkine
Jon Nakamatsu
Jon Kimura Parker
Anna Polonsky
Gustavo Romero
André-Michel Schub
Joyce Yang


Indianapolis Competition Winner (to be announced) Indianapolis Competition Winner (to be announced) - Violin
Gregory Allen Gregory Allen - Piano
Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv; Second Prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
Atar Arad Atar Arad - Viola
Distinguished soloist in prestigious festivals worldwide and Professor of Viola at the University of Indiana at Bloomington.
Pablo Aslan Pablo Aslan - Doublebass
Pablo’s recordings have been nominated for the 53rd Grammy’s and the 11th Latin Grammy Awards.
Ik-Hwan Bae Ik-Hwan Bae - Violin
Winner of the Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and Concertmaster of the Hwaum Chamber Orchestra in Korea
Alessio Bax Alessio Bax - Piano
Winner of the 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant
Jeff Bradetich Jeff Bradetich - Doublebass
Double bass professor at the University of North Texas and can be heard on numerous award-winning recording labels.
Carter Brey Carter Brey - Cello
Principal Cellist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra
Octavio Brunetti Octavio Brunetti - Piano
Best Solo Pianist and Best Duo in the New York’s International Tango Competition.
Jesús Castro-Balbi Jesús Castro-Balbi - Cello
Winner of First Prize at the First “Carlos Prieto” Latin American Cello Competition in Mexico; the Aldo Parisot Prize at Yale; and the Schwartz Foundation - Salon de Virtuosi Award in New York City.
David Chan David Chan - Violin
Concertmaster of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and top prize winner of the Tchaikovsky International Competition at the age of 17.
Che-Yen Chen Che-Yen Chen - Viola
First prize winner of the 2003 William Primrose Viola Competition and “Yuri Bashmet prize” winner of the 2003 Lionel Tertis Viola Competition.
Chih-Yi Chen Chih-Yi Chen - Piano
Pianist Chih-Yi Chen’s versatile qualities as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborative pianist have distinguished her as a rarity amongst pianists.
Naida Cole Naida Cole - Piano
Pianist Naida Cole has been hailed as "a dazzling star" by Gramophone magazine. She has quickly established a reputation as an individual artist with her own unique voice.
Paul Coletti Paul Coletti - Viola
Winner of the Naumberg International Competition in New York and Professor of Viola at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles.
Luba Daneman Luba Daneman - Violin
Winner of the Chamber Music Competition at the Moscow Conservatory.
Héctor Del Curto Héctor Del Curto - Bandoneon
Received the Golden Note Award from the Italian – American Network in recognition of his artistic achievements as a Bandoneónist.
Susan Dubois Susan Dubois - Viola
Winner of the Tertis International Competition in England and Professor of Viola at the University of North Texas.
James Dunham James Dunham - Viola
Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at Rice University. Former Violist with the Cleveland Quartet.
Anthony Elliott Anthony Elliott - Cello
"His emotional communication is often profound, and his glittering, silvery tone captivates the ear."
Anne Epperson Anne Epperson - Piano
Distinguished performer, recording artist, teacher and clinician. Professor of Collaborative Piano at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s School of Music.
Norman Fischer Norman Fischer - Cello
Distinguished chamber music artist and professor of cello at Rice University
Leon Fleisher Leon Fleisher - Piano
Renowned as a pianist, conductor and teacher, now in his sixth decade before the public with the dynamic CD Two Hands.
Katherine Jacobson Fleisher Katherine Jacobson Fleisher - Piano
Katherine Jacobson Fleisher’s performing career as soloist, duo-pianist and chamber musician, has received international critical acclaim.
Grace Fong Grace Fong - Piano
Praised as a "true musical colourist with enormous style and taste," an artist of "rare eloquence and grace"
Aloysia Friedmann Aloysia Friedmann - Viola
Winner of the Artists International Competition; Founder and Artistic Director of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in the Pacific Northwest.
Daphne Gerling Daphne Gerling - Viola
A multi-faceted career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist and solo performer.
Roland Glassl Roland Glassl - Viola
1st Prize Winner of the 1997 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in England and Violist in the Mandelring String Quartet in Germany
Kenneth Goldsmith Kenneth Goldsmith - Violin
Professor of Violin at Rice University and Violinist of the Mirecourt Trio. He has taught on the faculties of colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Yuval Gotlibovitch Yuval Gotlibovitch - Viola
First prizes in 2003 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition (U.K) and the 2004 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition (U.S.A)
Augustin Hadelich Augustin Hadelich - Violin
Winner 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant. Gold medal 2006 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
Jaymee Haefner Jaymee Haefner - Harp
Professor of Harp at the University of North Texas. Recent performances in Mexico, Moscow, and Prague.
Lynn Harrell Lynn Harrell - Cello
A consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor, and teacher, his work throughout the world places him in the highest echelon of today’s performing artists.
Desmond Hoebig Desmond Hoebig - Cello
First prize winner of the Munich International Competition, CBC Talent Competition and Canadian Music Competition, and an award winner in Moscow’s Tchaikowsky Competition.
Gary Hoffman Gary Hoffman - Cello
Internationally renowned as first North American to win the Rostropovich International Competition International Competition in Paris (1986)
Deborah Hoffman Deborah Hoffman - Harp
Winner of the 1981 American Harp Society Competition and the 1978 Seventh International Harp Competition in Israel.
Gábor Homoki Gábor Homoki - Violin
Won the first prizes in 2005 and 2007 at the Ferenc Halász Violin Competition and at the Alíz Bárdos Violin Competition in Hungary.
Yi-Jia Susanne Hou Yi-Jia Susanne Hou - Violin
Gold Medalist, 3 International Violin Competitions: Concours Jacques Thibaud,1999; Lipizer,1999; Sarasate,1997.
Nai-Yuan Hu Nai-Yuan Hu - Violin
Gold Medallist of the 1985 Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels and highly distinguished concert and recording artist. Director of the Taiwan Connection Music Festival.
Helen Huang Helen Huang - Piano
Winner of Avery Fisher Career Grant and Arthur Rubinstein Prize
Sung-Mi Im Sung-Mi Im - Piano
“Her touch, phrasing, and sense of balance were magic” Tuscan Citizen.
Jun Iwasaki Jun Iwasaki - Violin
First prize winner of Coleman Chamber Music Competition, Los Angeles
Ko Iwasaki Ko Iwasaki - Cello
Winner of the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow.
Stephanie Jeong Stephanie Jeong - Violin
Associate Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and recipient of the Best Paginini Concerto Prize of the Paganini Violin Competition in Italy.
Clara-Jumi Kang Clara-Jumi Kang - Violin
Winner of the 2010 Gold Medal at the 8th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis where she also won five additional special prizes.
Sarah Kapustin Sarah Kapustin - Violin
Prizewinner in many competitions and distinguished soloist and chamber musician and member of the Atlas Piano Trio.
Barnabás Kelemen Barnabás Kelemen - Violin
Barnabás Kelemen’s performances at the 2002 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis (IVCI) “radiated such charisma that one could almost forget that anyone else had come before.”
Alex Kerr Alex Kerr - Violin
Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Professor of Violin at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
David Kim David Kim - Violin
Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra
Eric Kim Eric Kim - Cello
Received the first William Schuman Prize awarded for outstanding leadership and achievement in music from Juilliard
Katalin Kokas Katalin Kokas - Viola
Gold Medallist of the Carl Flesch International Violin Competition and the Joseph Szigeti International Competition in Hungary.
Dóra Kokas Dóra Kokas - Cello
Winner of the First Prize at international cello-competitions: Várpalota–Hungary, Gorizia–Italy, Porec–Croatia, Zagreb–Croatia, and at the National Cello Competition in Szolnok.
Scott Lee Scott Lee - Viola
Winner of a Nathan Wedeen Management Award at the 1996 Concert Artists Guild Competition.
Philip Lewis Philip Lewis - Violin
Founder/Artistic Director of CMI; Professor of Violin, University of North Texas; Performs in festivals worldwide.
Jungshin Lim Lewis Jungshin Lim Lewis - Cello
Grand Prize Winner of the Dong-Ah International Competition in Korea and Principal Cellist with the Richardson Symphony Orchestra.
Cho-Liang Lin Cho-Liang Lin - Violin
One of the finest virtuoso violinists in the world today.
Meng-Chieh Liu Meng-Chieh Liu - Piano
Performs with major orchestras world-wide; Faculty member, Curtis Institute of Music
Jon Manasse Jon Manasse - Clarinet
Principal clarinetist of the American Ballet Theater Orchestra and one of the nation´s most highly sought-after wind players.
Stefan Milenkovich Stefan Milenkovich - Violin
Recognized internationally for both exceptional artistry and his life-long commitment to humanitarianism
Michael Morrow Michael Morrow - French Horn
Second horn of the Dallas Opera and performs with the Dallas Wind Symphony.
Alexandre Moutouzkine Alexandre Moutouzkine - Piano
Winner of the Maria Canals International Piano Competition in Spain.
Jon Nakamatsu Jon Nakamatsu - Piano
Grand Prize Winner of the 1997 Van Cliburn Piano Competition.
Paul Neubauer Paul Neubauer - Viola
First violist chosen to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant
Hai-Ye Ni Hai-Ye Ni - Cello
Principal Cellist with the Philadelphia Orchestra
Gail Niwa Gail Niwa - Piano
Gold Medalist at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition
Felix Olschofka Felix Olschofka - Violin
Winner of two 1st prizes in the prestigious German Youth Music Competition, 2nd prize of the International Chamber Music Competition “Charles Hennen” in the Netherlands.
Eugene Osadchy Eugene Osadchy - Cello
Associate Professor of Cello at the University of North Texas; Performs in music festivals throughout the USA and Canada
George Papich George Papich - Viola
Director of Chamber Music at the University of North Texas and distinguished violist.
Jon Kimura Parker Jon Kimura Parker - Piano
Internationally acclaimed concert pianist and Professor of Piano at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston
Timothy Pitts Timothy Pitts - Doublebass
Internationally known double bassist and Professor of Double Bass at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music.
Anna Polonsky Anna Polonsky - Piano
Member of the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center
Joshua Roman Joshua Roman - Cello
Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star”, Joshua Roman has earned a reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with a commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level.
Gustavo Romero Gustavo Romero - Piano
Gold Medallist of the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland; Professor of Piano at the University of North Texas
Nathaniel Rosen Nathaniel Rosen - Cello
Gold Medallist of the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and highly distinguished concert and recording artist.
Paul Rosenthal Paul Rosenthal - Violin
Founder and Artistic Director of the Sitka Chamber Music Festival in Alaska, performs concerts and master classes worldwide.
Nikola Ruzevic Nikola Ruzevic - Cello
International performer and Professor of Cello, University of North Texas.
Frederieke Saeijs Frederieke Saeijs - Violin
1st Grand Prize Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud International Violin Competition in Paris, France (2005).
William Scharnberg William Scharnberg - French Horn
Principal horn of the Dallas Opera Orchestra and has been on the faculty at the University of North Texas since 1983.
André-Michel Schub André-Michel Schub - Piano
Grand Prize Winner of the 1981 Van Cliburn Piano Competition and a distinguished recording artist
John Scott John Scott - Clarinet
Internationally-known Clarinetist; Professor of Music at the University of North Texas
James Scott James Scott - Flute
Flutist, distinguished soloist and Dean of the College of Music at the University of North Texas.
David Shifrin David Shifrin - Clarinet
One of only two wind players to receive the Avery Fisher Prize. Recipient of Solo Recitalists’ Fellowship from the National Endowment of the Arts.
Michael Shih Michael Shih - Violin
Violinist Michael Shih, currently Concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, has performed throughout the United States, his native Taiwan, and the rest of the world.
Satoshi Takeishi Satoshi Takeishi - Percussion
A drummer, percussionist, and an arranger from Mito, Japan, moved to Colombia to learn more about the South American tango music after graduating from the Berklee School of Music
Michael Tree Michael Tree - Viola
One of the most widely recorded musicians in America and founding member of the Guarneri String Quartet.
Bion Tsang Bion Tsang - Cello
Winner of an Avery Fisher grant and Bonze Medallist in the IX Tchaikovsky Competition.
Keng-Yuen Tseng Keng-Yuen Tseng - Violin
A native of Taiwan, Keng-Yuen Tseng began studying the violin at the age of five and made his performing debut at the age of seven.
Ivo-Jan van der Werff Ivo-Jan van der Werff - Viola
Professor of Viola at Rice University and Violist with the Medici String Quartet for 24 years.
William VerMeulen William VerMeulen - French Horn
Hailed as "an impeccable solo horn" by the Berlin Neue Zeit, William VerMeulen leads his generation of American Horn Soloists.
Joyce Yang Joyce Yang - Piano
Silver medalist at the 2005 Twelfth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
John Bruce Yeh John Bruce Yeh - Clarinet
A prizewinner at both the 1982 Munich International Music Competition and the 1985 Naumburg Clarinet Competition in New York
Carmit Zori Carmit Zori - Violin
Gold Medallist of the Naumberg and Leventritt International Competitions.