Tong-Il Han, Jury Chair, South Korea
Lydia Artymiw, United States
Ian Hobson, United Kingdom/United States
John O’Conor, Ireland
Esther Park, United States
Janet Lopinski, Canada


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.

United States

The recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Prize, Philadelphia-born Lydia Artymiw has performed with over one hundred orchestras world-wide including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Solo recital tours have taken her to all major American cities, important European music centers, and throughout the Far East. She has performed in England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Ukraine, Estonia, Finland, and Poland, as well as in China, Singapore, New Zealand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

Critics have acclaimed her seven solo recordings for the Chandos label, and she has also recorded for Bridge, Centaur, and Naxos. Her debut Chandos “Variations” CD won Gramophone Magazine’s “Best of the Year” award, and her Tchaikovsky Seasons CD sold over 25,000 copies. Her festival appearances include Aspen, Badenweiler (Germany), Bantry (Ireland), Bravo! Vail Valley, Caramoor, Chamber Music Northwest, Chautauqua, Hollywood Bowl, Marlboro, Montréal, Mostly Mozart, Seattle, and Tucson.

An acclaimed chamber musician, Artymiw has collaborated with celebrated artists: Yo-Yo Ma, Richard Stoltzman, Arnold Steinhardt, Michael Tree, the Guarneri, Orion, and Shanghai Quartets, and has toured nationally with Music from Marlboro groups. A recipient of top prizes in the 1976 Leventritt and the 1978 Leeds International Competitions, she graduated from Philadelphia’s University of the Arts and studied with distinguished concert pianist and former Director of the Curtis Institute of Music, Gary Graffman. In 2017, Artymiw was on the jury for the Lang Lang Shenzhen (China) International Piano Competition, and the first Van Cliburn Junior International Piano Competition in 2015. She has served on the juries for fourteen piano concerto competitions at the Juilliard and Manhattan Schools in New York. Lydia Artymiw is Distinguished McKnight Professor of Piano and recipient of the 2015 “Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award” at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she has taught since 1989.

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.

United States

Esther Park has performed as a soloist with orchestras and in recitals in the United States, Asia and major European cities. She has appeared as soloist with the Houston Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, Corpus Christi Symphony, Filharmonia Pomorska-Poland, Orchestra Filarmonica-Romania, Shanghai Philharmonic, Shreveport Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, and the New Jersey Symphony.

She presented a five-city recital tour in Korea, and has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, Carnegie Halls’ Weill Recital Hall in New York, Salle Cortot in Paris, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Palau de la Musica, Valencia, Spain and on the Dame Myra Hess Piano Recital Series, Chicago. Ms. Park has recently formed a piano duo with her sister, Sun-A Park. Duo Amadeae has since won the Chicago International Duo Piano Competition, and has appeared in numerous festivals, concerto performances and in duo recitals. They have been heard on “The McGraw-Hill Companies’ Young Artists Showcase,” hosted by Robert Sherman on WQXR, as well as part of the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation’s Young Artists Series.

The winner of the 2013 Jose Roca International Piano Competition and the Russian International Music Competition, Ms. Park is also the winner of 2009 “Prix Amadeo” and the 2009 Chopin Gesellschaft Klavierwettbewerb. She also received top prizes at San Marino International Piano Competition, China Shanghai International Piano Competition, Paderewski International Piano Competition, National Chopin Competition (USA), Hilton Head International Competition, New Orleans International Piano Competition and is the recipient of the President Clinton’s Prodigy Award.

Born in Pusan, Korea, Ms. Park began to play in public at the age of four. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at the Juilliard School, studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky. Park has also studied at the Hochschule fur Musik und Theater, Hannover, under the tutelage of Mr. Bernd Goetzke. She has since received the Artist Diploma, Master of Musical Arts degrees and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees at the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Mr. Boris Berman. Since 2015, Esther Park has been serving as the assistant professor of piano at East Tennessee State University. She is a 2002 Laureate and Prize Winner, and the first alumna of the New York International Piano Competition to become a member of the Jury, June 2018.


Erik T. Tawaststjerna began his musical education in Helsinki and received degrees from the Vienna Music Academy, where he studied with Dieter Weber, as well as at New York’s Juilliard School, where his teacher was Sascha Gorodnitzki. He also holds a doctorate from New York University where he studied under the guidance of Eugene List. Mr. Tawaststjerna was the recipient of the second prize at the Helsinki Maj Lind Piano Competition in 1968, and has subsequently given concerts around the world. He played the first Finnish performance of Leonard Bernstein’s “Age of Anxiety” in 1981. In 1990 he was invited to give a performance for Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Akasaka Palace in Tokyo.

Mr. Tawaststjerna has made numerous recordings, among them a series of 8 recordings of the complete piano music by Jean Sibelius on the BIS label. He has been teaching since 1982 at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he was appointed full professor of piano and head of piano studies in 1986. He is a co-director of the biennial Espoo International Piano Festival near Helsinki. Many of his students have received top prizes in international piano competitions.

He has served on the juries of prestigious international piano competitions worldwide including: the José Iturbi Competition in Valencia, the Ciurlionis Competition in Vilnius, the Axa Piano Competition in Dublin, the Weimar Liszt Competition, the Maria Canals Competition in Barcelona, the London International Piano Competition, and the International Beethoven Competition in Vienna. He has given master classes at the Guildhall School of Music in London, University of the Arts in Berlin, Tokyo College of Music, and at the Vienna University for Music. He was named Professor of the Year 2006 by the Finnish Professors’ League.