Faculty: Piano

PIANO | Strings & Others

Piano Faculty Members
Julian Yu

Julian Yu Director, Pianist/composer

Pianist/composer Julian Yu was born in Shanghai, China and started to study the piano at an early age and soon displayed special talents for music. His remarkable piano performance earned him a place in China’s prestigious Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where he studied under Da-Chun Yu. He was the first prize winner of Shanghai Competition for Young Pianists, a contest that drew first-class young contestants from the city and other parts of the country. He was also a prize winner in the Hong-Kong International Competition. At the age of 15, he performed the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. For his distinguished achievements and records, the Ministry of Culture of China awarded him the Bao-Gang Prize, an honor that only goes to a select few. In 1994, Julian’s burgeoning talents caught the eye of the Manhattan School of Music, who offered him a full scholarship. Embarking upon a new pursuit of his music profession, Ziliang came to New York and joined the Manhattan School of Music, where he trained under Solomon Mikowsky and Donn-Alexandre Feder . In 1999, he received his Bachelor’s Degree of Music, and two years later, in 2001, he received his Master’s Degree of Music from the same school. Julian was a recipient of the Elva Van Gelder Memorial Award and Levy Blanche Award. He was the 1st prize winner of MTL Piano Competition at Carnegie Hall, and at Dora Zaslavsky Koch Competition. He was also a prize winner in the Berkley Piano Competition. A soloist, Julian has performed with numerous world class symphony orchestras in Spain, United States, Korea, and China under ranking conductors Zdenek Macal, Lawrence Smith, Noorman Widjaja, Kim Nan Se, Park Jung-Oh and Guo-Yong Zhang. Julian is also a composer of the cross-over genre. His music is filled with warmth and sentimentalism. There is intensity beneath tranquility; there are vivid images portrayed by his captivating melody; there is depth and sophistication mingled with elegance and simplicity. He has recorded and published seven CDs. Among them, “Winter Sonata”, Silky Sky, Reverie had been released by YBM, SONY-BMG and AMC. All his inspirations and ideas spring from his true love for life and for God, rendering his music more genuine and heartfelt. His strong background as a classical pianist allows him to play any music with great sensitivity and nuance, delivering a profound musical and emotional appeal to the audience. He is, in CODA Magazine’s words, “redefining Contemporary music with passion and love.” Mr. Yu currently serves as the director and the chairperson of the Joyous Music School and Piano Masters of New York.

Julia Rho

Julia Rho Piano

Manhattan School of Music; Peabody Conservatory (John Hopkins) Studies with Sara Buechner, Joel Wizansky; Ms. Rho was recognized as a prodigy at an early age and was subsequently trained at the Yaeji Music School. This led to her winning the Korean National Youth Competition in 1984. Her appearances in Korea have led to several awards and prizes including the M.D State talent Competition. She later studied as a full scholarship student in Peabody (A.T.Y Program). Ms. Rho has performed in Baltimore, Seoul, China , New York, Washington D.C. With Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Agape Symphony, Peabody Chamber Orchestra. Ms. Julia is a member of the Piano Masters. 钢琴演奏家, 教育家鲁爱罗 MS. Julia Rho, 出生于音乐世家。在12岁时,她以优秀的钢琴演奏技巧获得麻省颁发的“优秀亲年音乐家奖”并在同年获得全额奖学金进入John Hopkins University-Peabody Music Conservatory学习。师从美国音乐宗师Leon Fletcher的第一代传人Joel Whizinsky. 1996年 鲁爱罗受邀进入纽约曼哈顿音乐学院深造师从Sara Davis Buckner. 取得优异的成绩。 近年来,鲁爱罗活跃在国际的音乐舞台上。她曾在肯尼迪中心,卡内基音乐厅,林肯中心和上海音乐厅里多次举办个人音乐会。并且经常和上海交响乐团,圣.巴斯 蒂恩交响乐团,AMC交响乐团等世界级的乐团合作。受到多国观众的喜爱。自2004年起,鲁爱罗作为韩国音乐杂志“Family Touching”音乐评论,撰写了一系列关于钢琴音乐教育的文章。帮助了很多老师的教学和琴童的学习。鲁老师认为,家长们普遍认为钢琴学生初级的学习并 不重要,可以和没有什么经验的老师学习。事实恰恰相反,教授钢琴初级课程的老师必须有非常好的心理素质,专业的教学经验,并且熟悉儿童的心理学。如果不对 学生加以正确的引导会导致学生中途的放弃和对音乐无兴趣。

Josefina Urraca

Josefina Urraca Piano

Josefina Urraca was born in a musical environment in Palencia (Spain) in 1986. In 2012, she won the prestigious award from “Caja Madrid Foundation” honored by His Royal Highness the Prince of Spain. In the same year, Ms. Josefina was invited by Manhattan School of Music to continue developing her music career in the US where she later received her Master Degree in Piano Performance from the same school. Ms. Josefina was the winner of the “Luis Galvé Foundation” and “Albéniz Foundation” awards. She is also the prize winner in the “National Competition Rotary club” (Spain), “International Competition of piano Ciudad de Carlet” (Spain), “National Competition Veguellina de Órbigo” (Spain) and “National Competition Ciudad de Linares: Marisa Montiel” (Spain). She has performed in several concert tours in the U.S, Italy, Austria, France, England, Germany and Spain. Ms. Josefina now serves as the faculty member in Joyous Music School (Long Island) and Herald Music School (Flushing).


Ms. Kelly Lau

Ms. Kelly Lau Piano

Ms. Kelly Lau—Piano, B.M., Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Ms. Lau was trained at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music starting in a special program for gifted pre-college students. Her appearances in China have led to several awards and prizes including the Shanghai Piano Competition. In addition to enjoying a successful performance career, Ms. Lau was a member of the piano faculty in the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Music School. Ms. Lau is also deeply involved in chamber music. She is a member of the Shanghai Trio, which has received favorable reviews.

Dr. Monica Lee Piano

After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Taipei National University of the Arts, Dr. Monica
earned M.M. and D.M.A.( Doctor of Musical Arts) from Michigan State University. Ms. Lee has over 20 years of teaching and performing experience. Prior to moving to New York, she was a faculty member of Albion College , MI, as well as Marshall Music School in MI. She served as Performing Artist of Wharton Center Partner at Wharton Center of Performing Arts. She is also currently serving as a church pianist at the Grace Christian Church in Flushing. 自臺灣國立台北藝術大學(前國立藝術學院)音樂系畢業, 並於密西根州立大學先後 取得音樂碩士(M.M)與音樂演奏博士(D.M.A.)學位; 教學及演奏經驗豐富, 曾任教 於密西根Albion College等大學音樂系及音樂學校,並指導學生參加各式獨奏及室 內樂比賽、成績優異。目前於法拉盛恩光教會擔任司琴服事並執教於音樂中心。

Aileen Li

Aileen Li Piano

Aileen Li was born and raised in New York, where she began learning piano at the age of four and a half. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance from the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, and received her Master’s degree in Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music. She has won awards in various competitions, including the Cincinnati World Piano Competition, the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and the American Protégé Young Artists Competition, and has also performed solo and ensemble concerts in venues throughout New York City, such as Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, CAMI Hall, Merkin Hall, and Sun-Yat Sen University in Guangzhou, China. Aileen has been teaching for many years and is experienced in teaching a wide range of age groups with varying levels of proficiency and diverse musical backgrounds. Her ultimate goal has always been to inspire each of her students to love and embrace music, and she strongly believes in providing a safe learning environment that fosters mutual respect, trust and understanding, because only then can true learning take place.

Jeanie Lee

Jeanie Lee Piano

Pianist Jeanie Lee is a native of Seoul, Korea. She started to play the piano at age 4 and soon displayed special talent for the instrument. At age 7, she was accepted into the Songpa Music School for young and gifted musician under the training of professor Kyung Sook Shin. Few year later, after winning the 1st place in the Seoul Youth Piano Competition and Dong-Ah Piano Competition, Ms. Jeanie was invited to come to the united states to continue her music study. She was a prize winner of the International Youth Music Competition and received her bachelor degree in piano performance and master degree in music education from Hunter College. Since 2012, Ms. Jeanie Lee has been a member of the New York International Music Society. She has helped to prepare students to win the New York International Music Competition and performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Citi Field in 2013. Ms. Lee currently serves as a faculty member in Herald Music School (Flushing) and Joyous Music School (Long Island).

Tamara Kim

Tamara Kim Piano

Tamara Kim was born and raised in Queens New York, now 23 she attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Art and Performing Arts as a piano and violin double major. Tamara was a winner of the LaGuardia Concerto Competition, having played the Mozart Triple Piano Concerto. She received The ASCAP Foundation Ira Gershwin Scholarship in 2007. In the following year her trio was one of the winners for The Chamber Society of Lincoln Center High School Competition. She also received the Music Chairman’s Association Certificate of Merit and the Principal’s Award for Contribution to the School. She was accepted to be a Hadar Scholar from the Richard & Mica Hadar Foundation in 2008. Tamara joined the New York Symphony and participated in their Chamber Music Program; her trio played at Weill Recital Hall as one of the winners in the competition. She was also a finalist in the 2010 New York International Piano Competition. She received her BM and MM from the Manhattan School of Music under Dr. Marc Silverman.

Jingchen Sun

Jingchen Sun Piano / Percussion

Jingchen Sun holds a master degree in music from John Hopkins University and a bachelor degree from the Juilliard School.

Ms. Sun is originally from China. She began playing piano when she was six years old. She attended Xing Hai Music School for middle school until she was accepted by the Julliard Pre-College program in New York with a full scholarship in 2005. She studied with Mr. Jonathan Haas, Mr. Simon Boyar; and with Mr. Giannascoli. She won the Julliard Pre-college Open Concerto Competition in May, 2006 when she performed the Concerto by Eric Ewazen with the Pre-College Symphony in the Julliard Theater.

In 2007 Jingchen performed on the NPR radio program from winning their $10,000 scholarship, the Jack-Cooke Young Artists Award. She played solo in the Ravinia Music Festival with From the Top, and also performed on From the Top’s television broadcast recorded live at Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Sun received the second prize for Williams Chorale Bracardi Fallon Performing Arts Scholarship Competition in 2008. She then was accepted to The Juilliard School as an undergraduate, and was awarded with full scholarship. She studied with Greg Zuber, principal percussionist at The Metropolitan Opera and Markus Rhoten, principal timpanist at the New York Philharmonic. Jingchen played as a member of Juilliard Percussion Ensemble, which is directed by Daniel Druckman, assistant principal percussionist at the New York Philharmonic, and performed was a member of the both the New Juilliard Ensemble and Axiom Ensemble.

As an undergraduate, Ms. Sun performed many concerts and also in many concerts with the Juilliard Orchestra and was honored to have the opportunity to work with many great conductors, including Alan Gilbert, Michael Tilson Thomas, James Conlon, Yanick Nezet- Seguin, Xian Zhang, and James DePreist. In 2010, she was filmed in the documentary film made for Elliott Carter’s 100th Anniversary.

Kei Mori

Kei Mori Piano

Japanese classical pianist Ms. Kei Mori is a prizewinner of multiple competitions including the Tureck International Bach Competition, National Young Artists Chamber Music Competition, Sound Symphony Concerto Competition, Yonkers Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and the AMTL Scholarship Awards Competition.

Most recently, she received honorable mention at the Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition. She has performed as soloist with the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra and the Sound of Symphony Orchestra. Keika has performed in masterclasses with well renowned pianists including Alessio Bax and Jose Ramon Mendez. She has participated in the International Academy of Music in Italy and the Stony Brook International Piano Festival in New York. Ms. Mori’s formal music education includes Manhattan School of Music under the tutelage of Phillip Kawin.

Wenwen Liu

Wenwen Liu Piano

Born in China, pianist Wenwen Liu began music by studying the violin at age 4. Two years later, she began studying piano in Beijing and became one of the top seven students accepted by the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music. As a scholarship student, Wenwen was awarded the Piano Performance Excellence Award every year. After graduation, she traveled to the United States to pursue undergraduate study as a full-scholarship student of Solomon Mikowsky at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She completed her bachelor degree with Ruth Rendleman at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University in 2013, and Master degree with André-Michel Schub at Manhattan School of Music in 2015. During undergraduate study, she performed with the Shanghai String Quartet and participated in masterclasses with Walter Hautzig , Peter Serkin, and Vadim Monastirsky. In 2011, Wenwen won 1st prize in the school’s concerto competition and performed Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with orchestra at the Alexander Kasser Theater. She also won the MSU College of the Arts John J. Cali School of Music Outstanding Undergraduate Performance Award in both 2012 and 2013 and the Thomas J. Randazzo Award. Wenwen has performed in such halls as Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall,Steinway Hall in New York City and the Beijing Concert Hall.Wenwen is currently pursuing her doctorate degree at Stony Brook University.

María Manzano

María Manzano Piano

María Manzano is a Spanish pianist whose restless and dynamic temperament has brought her to many of the world’s most important musical cities, such as Granada, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and New York. Having learnt from great musicians, like her main piano teacher and mentor Albert Attenelle, and also Christopher Elton, Pascal Rogé, Antonio Sánchez Lucena, Deirdre O’Donohue and Horacio Gutierrez, among others, her keen ear for poetry in musical performance has made her a sensitive and committed pianist.  Her performances of Romantic and Spanish Music have been praised by the critics “for their style and technical accuracy” and because of “the intense expression she infuses into her communicative playing”.

She has given concerts in many major European concert halls, such as Salle Cortot in Paris, Collège d’Espagne at La Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre of Belgium and Luxembourg, Liceu Auditorium and Gaudí’s La Pedrera Concert Hall in Barcelona, The National Concert Hall in Madrid, Euskalduna Palace in Bilbao, and others. She has appeared in Classical Music programs on TV and has played before such personalities as Her Majesty the Queen Sofia of Spain. María has also given recitals at important New York City venues, such as Carnegie Hall, Provincetown Playhouse, Blackbox Theater and Saklad Auditorium. Recently she was invited to perform at the Seattle International Piano Festival with a program that included the works of the great Spanish composers Isaac Albéniz and Enrique Granados.

In her extensive academic career she has studied at some worldwide renowned music schools such as: Liceu Conservatory in Barcelona, L’Êcole Normale Supérieure de Musique “Alfred Cortot” in Paris, New York University and Manhattan School of Music, where she graduated from Professional Studies with the best results (Dean’s List) after studying with the legendary pianist Horacio Gutierrez.

After being selected as the best pianist at the music competition of Ferrer-Salat Music Foundation in Barcelona, the foundation decided to support her studies in Barcelona, Paris and New York with full tuition scholarship.

She has been awarded several other scholarships and prizes. Among them are those given by the Pedro Pons Foundation, the Spanish Association for Performer Musicians, New York University (NYU Talent Scholarship), the Andalusia International University, Artmusic, Ferrer-Salat Foundation Young Talents Grant, Madrid Conservatory First Prize, the Spanish College Music Competition at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, the “Paper de Música” International Competition and the “Cambra de Barcelona” Competition.

She has had always a strong passion for teaching and sharing all the knowledge and valuable advice she has been receiving during her career. Proof of this are more than fourteen years of experience teaching privately and in music schools, conservatories and universities in Cadiz, Madrid, Barcelona, Paris and New York. María has been a member of the Adjunct Piano Faculty at New York University and is regularly invited to serve as a jury member in piano exams and competitions.

María Manzano is the founder and director of Barcelona Piano Academy (BPA), an international summer piano festival and competition featuring recitals and masterclasses with a faculty that includes many internationally renowned teachers and that every year attracts students from all over the world.

Yuan Xiaoxiao

Yuan Xiaoxiao Piano

Yuan Xiaoxiao is a classically trained pianist and bassoonist. A native of Shanghai, Ms. Yuan studied in Shanghai Conservatory of Music from 2005-2011. She received her bachelor degree in music from Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore with a full scholarship. In 2017, Ms. Yuan received her master degree in music performance from Mannes School of Music.

Ms. Yuan is a wonderful performer and a passionate educator. In the last few years, she has performed in venues such as the Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, DiMenna Cary Hall, Oriental Art Center and Shanghai Concert Hall.

Natasha Stollmack

Natasha Stollmack Piano

Natasha Stollmack is an active solo and collaborative pianist from New York. She has performed as a member of many ensembles, including the University of Delaware’s Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble, several piano duo projects, and many chamber groups. Recent collaborations include “Meaningful Connections: A Voice of Her Own” at the University of Maryland, a concert in which she and her colleagues curated a program exclusively featuring female composers. Her international performances span locations throughout Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the island of Taiwan.

In addition to her performing career, Natasha is an experienced and sought-after pedagogue in the NY and DC metro areas. She has taught students of all ages and abilities and works diligently to cultivate their strengths and improve their weaknesses. Natasha’s teaching style incorporates her own values as a pianist, such as expression, tone, and score integrity in an accessible and intriguing way that guides students in crafting their individual musicality.  In addition to private and group lessons, she is experienced in large-group instruction, particularly the group piano curriculum which she taught at both the University of Delaware and the University of Maryland.

Natasha has been the recipient of various awards and scholarships, including the David Leibig Memorial Grant, the Otto Kahn Arts Scholarship by the Friends of Oheka Castle, and was named a “Woman of Promise” at the University of Delaware.

Ms. Stollmack holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Delaware, where she studied under Marie-Christine Delbeau, and a M.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland, College Park under Dr. Mayron Tsong. Natasha is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University under Christina Dahl.


Esther Cho

Esther Cho Piano

Esther Cho, born in Seoul, Korea, is a New York-based composer, pianist, and an educator. Her music has been performed by ensembles and soloists throughout the U.S., Korea and Germany. She is currently pursuing her PSD at Mannes School of Music with President’s award.

Ms. Cho obtained her Master degree in music from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and her Bachelor Degree in Music from Kookmin University, Korea with full scholarships. She also served as an associate faculty member at the graduate school. In 2008, she was honored in Freie University Summer Music Festival in Germany. Her works were performed in Berlin during the festival. As an educator, Ms. Cho has taught piano, theory, composition, and sight singing for over 15 years.

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