COMPETITION JURY 2024
Kevin Chance, United States
Jane Coop, Canada
Ian Hobson, United Kingdom/United States
Janet Lopinski, Canada
John O’Conor, Ireland
Jury Chair, South Korea
Tong-Il Han has performed with many of the world’s finest orchestras: including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, Scottish National Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic, Amsterdam Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Polish Radio National Orchestra, Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Russian National Symphony, among many others. He has collaborated with many great conductors including: Bernard Haitink, Eugen Jochum, Edo de Waart, Sir John Pritchard, Paul Paray, Raphael Frubeck de Burgos, Alexander Gibson, Herbert Blomstedt, Max Rudolf, Aldo Ceccato, and David Zinman.
Han’s numerous recordings include Chopin’s Twenty-Four Preludes, Four Ballades and Four Scherzos, Eight Sonatas by Beethoven (including Op. 101, 106, 109, 110, 111), Sonatas by Schubert and Brahms, and a group of shorter piano works under the title “Music I Love To Play”. He also recorded Sonatas for Cello and Piano by Brahms, and Schumann’s Fantasy Pieces with cellist Leslie Parnas, and Sonatas for Violin and Piano by Mozart, Franck, and Schubert. The CD titled “The Kennedy White House Concert”, the live concerts given at the White House, where Han performed the works by Scarlatti, Chopin, Debussy, and Liszt includes his discography.
Tong-Il Han has taught at Indiana University, Illinois State University, University of North Texas, and Boston University. From 2005-2007 he served as Dean of the College of Music at University of Ulsan, Republic of Korea, and Chair Professor until 2009. He also served as Chair Professor at Suncheon National University in Korea, and Visiting Professor at Elisabeth University of Music in Hiroshima, Japan.
As Artistic Director of Tong-Il Han Piano Institute, he held summer piano festivals in major European, American, and Asian cities. In Korea, he now mentors highly accomplished young pianists and is a long-time adjudicator at international piano competitions.
Pianist Kevin Chance has been hailed as “a superlative musician” playing “with musical conviction and muscularity.” He has performed throughout the United States and abroad as both soloist and collaborator. Recent engagements include performances at Carnegie Hall as well as concerto appearances with Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the University of Alabama Wind Ensemble, Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with the Athens Chorale in Georgia, and Gerald Finzi’s Eclogue.
A sought-after teacher, Dr. Chance maintains a prize-winning studio, and was recently named a Leadership Board Faculty Fellow by the University of Alabama College of Arts and Sciences. His students are frequently named winners and finalists in local, state, regional, and national competitions. He currently serves on the faculties of several summer festivals including the New Orleans Piano Institute. In demand as a clinician and adjudicator, he regularly presents workshops and lecture-performances on repertoire and pedagogy throughout the country, and has served as a guest artist and clinician for the Michigan, Mississippi, and Alabama state music teacher conferences.
Additionally, Dr. Chance has presented at the 2023, 2019, 2016, and 2008 Music Teachers National Association Conferences. He is a Past President of the Alabama Music Teachers Association and is a past board member of the Music Teachers National Association serving as Director of the Southern Division, and later Vice President. Kevin currently serves as the President-Elect of Music Teachers National Association and is a past president of the American Matthay Association.
He holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music where he was awarded the Jerald C. Graue Fellowship for academic excellence. An alumnus of the Aspen Music Festival, he holds the Master of Music degree from Louisiana State University and graduated magna cum laude from Birmingham-Southern College. His teachers have included Barry Snyder, Constance Knox Carroll, Ann Schein, Anne Koscielny, Herbert Stessin, William DeVan, and Betty Sue Shepherd.
Pianist Jane Coop, one of Canada’s most prominent and distinguished artists, has toured extensively throughout North America, Asia, and Europe, performing at Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall, the Kennedy Center, Roy Thomson Hall, Salle Gaveau, the Singapore Cultural Center, and the Bolshoi Hall of St. Petersburg. She has collaborated with the principal orchestras of Canada, as well as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of London, the Seattle and Portland Symphonies, the Hong Kong Symphony, and the Radio Orchestras of Bavaria and Holland, in some forty concerti.
Having performed with the Toronto Symphony, Tokyo Ensemble, and CBC Radio Orchestra, she also gave concerts in Vancouver, Victoria, Boston, Los Angeles, New York, and Tuscany. Summer festivals in North America and Europe have provided venues for performances with the Manhattan, Miami, Audubon, Orford, Lafayette, Colorado, Seattle, Angeles and Pacifica String Quartets, as well as the Los Angeles Chamber Winds and York Winds.
Her commitment to teaching is centered around her long time position at the University of British Columbia’s School of Music in Vancouver, where she was a senior professor and Head of the Piano Division. She is a cherished faculty artist at the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival in Blue Hill, Maine, performing with members of the Juilliard Quartet and other eminent musicians. For more than thirty years, Ms. Coop has collaborated with international artists at chamber music festivals in Canada, Europe, the United States, and Japan.
Coop’s reputation has inspired international competition organizers to invite her to judge their events over the past fifteen years: the Kapell (Maryland), AXA Dublin, Washington (DC), Hilton Head, Honens (Calgary) and the New York International Piano Competition. She has also been a jury member for the Governer General’s Performing Arts Awards, the Glenn Gould Prize, the Hnatyshyn Foundation Developing Artists Grants and various Canada Council grant awards. Her sixteen recordings, three of which have been nominated for Juno Awards, have garnered glowing reviews and have been heard on classical radio programs in many countries. In December 2012, Jane Coop was appointed to the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour for lifetime achievement.
United Kingdom/United States
Ian Hobson is recognized internationally for his consummate performances of the Romantic masters, his deft and idiomatic readings of neglected piano music, and his assured conducting from both the piano and the podium. In the 2015-16 season, Mr. Hobson embarked on an ambitious six-concert series in New York City: Preludes, Etudes, and Variations –presenting outstanding examples of each genre by Chopin, Fauré, Schumann, Rachmaninoff, Debussy, and Szymanowski, and world premieres by Yehudi Wyner, Robert Chumbley, and Stephen Taylor. Mr. Hobson is music director of the Sinfonia da Camera, a chamber orchestra affiliated with the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, where Mr. Hobson is the Swanlund Emeritus Professor of Music. He is also professor at the National University of Seoul.
He has amassed a discography of some 60 releases, including the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven and Schumann and a complete edition of Brahms’s variations for piano. Ian Hobson has appeared with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, symphony orchestras of Baltimore, Florida, Houston, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Great Britain’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Moscow Chopin Orchestra, Israeli Sinfonietta and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Hobson has judged national and international competitions including: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in Poland, the Chopin Competition in Florida, the Leeds Piano Competition in the U.K., and the Schumann International Competition in Germany. In 2005 Hobson served as Chairman of the Jury for the Cleveland International Competition and the Kosciuzsko Competition in New York; in 2008 he was Jury Chairman of the New York International Piano Competition; and in 2010 he again served in that capacity.
Mr. Hobson began his international career in 1981 when he won First Prize at the Leeds International Piano Competition, and silver medals at both the Arthur Rubinstein and Vienna-Beethoven competitions. Born in Wolverhampton, England, he studied at Cambridge University (England), and at Yale University, in addition to his earlier studies at the Royal Academy of Music.
Janet Lopinski has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as pianist, teacher, adjudicator, lecturer, and author. Having performed as a soloist and collaborative pianist, she has presented lectures, workshops and master classes across Canada and the United States, and in Europe and Korea. She has taught piano, piano pedagogy, music history, and theory, and has adjudicated examinations, festivals, and competitions throughout North America.
As a firm believer in the transformative power of music and the arts, Dr. Lopinski has been a passionate advocate for music education throughout her career. She has inspired and mentored students and teachers across Canada, and has been active as an academic leader, serving as The Royal Conservatory’s Chief Examiner, currently serving as Senior Director of Academic Programs. She has adjudicated thousands of students, and has provided leadership in shaping The Royal Conservatory’s comprehensive Certificate Program and examinations. She was instrumental in developing the RCM Adjudicator Certification Program, and continues to train and lead its College of Examiners. She has authored and co-authored many articles and publications, including the Celebrate Theory and Exploring Music History series.
Dr. Lopinski is a graduate of The Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT gold medalist), University of Toronto (Bachelor of Music), and University of Cincinnati (Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts), where she studied with Hungarian pianist Bela Siki. Her doctoral thesis examined the Preludes of Fryderyk Chopin, and was based on sources written in the Polish language.
She is the Founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian Chopin Society, an organization dedicated to celebrating the legacy of Fryderyk Chopin and nurturing the development of young artists.
“A pianist of unbounding sensitivity” (Gramophone); “He represents a vanishing tradition that favors inner expression and atmosphere over showmanship and bravura” (Chicago Tribune) ; “Impeccable technique and musicality … it would be hard to imagine better performances” (Sunday Times – London) ; “This artist has the kind of flawless touch that makes an audience gasp“ (Washington Post); “Exquisite playing” (New York Times). His unanimous 1st Prize at the International Beethoven Piano Competition in Vienna in 1973 opened the door to a career that has brought him all around the world.
Mr. O’Conor has performed with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Symphony, l’Orchestre National de France, the NHK Orchestra in Japan and the Atlanta, Cleveland, San Francisco, Dallas, Montreal and Detroit Symphonies in North America. He has given concerts in many of the world’s most famous halls including Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, Kennedy Center in Washington, Wigmore Hall and South Bank Centre in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Dvorak Hall in Prague and the Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo.
His recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas led CD Review to say that he “by now should be recognized as the world’s premier Beethoven interpreter” and his recent recordings of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the London Symphony Orchestra and Andreas Delfs, conductor, have also been greeted with acclaim. A Steinway Artist, Mr. O’Conor is Chair of the Piano Division at Shenandoah University in Virginia, a faculty member at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, International Visiting Artist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and Visiting Professor at Showa University in Japan.
John O’Conor was a co-founder of the Dublin International Piano Competition, of which he is the Artistic Director and Chairman of the Jury. He has served on the juries of many international piano competitions including the Leeds, the Tchaikovsky in Moscow, the Chopin in Warsaw, the Rubinstein in Tel Aviv, the Busoni in Bolzano. For his services to music he has been decorated “Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Government, awarded the “Ehrenkreuz fur Wissenschaft und Kunst” by the Austrian Government, and the “Order of the Rising Sun” by the Japanese Government.