Lauded by The Washington Post for playing "...with intelligence, poetry and proportion," pianist Tanya Bannister's recent victories at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition confirm her status among the leading pianists of her generation. Receiving further distinction as an "Artist to Watch" on the cover of the January 2007 issue of SYMPHONY Magazine, Ms. Bannister's career has already brought her to many of the world's great concert halls, with recitals at
the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Salle Cortot in Paris, Teatro Communale in Bologna, Tokyo's Nikkei Hall, London's Queen Elizabeth and Wigmore Halls and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Orchestral highlights of Ms. Bannister's 2009-2010 season include Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Syracuse Symphony, Mozart's Concerto No. 23, K. 488 with the Greenwich (CT) Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1 with the Columbus (GA) Symphony and Chopin's Concerto No. 2 with the New Philharmonic (DuPage, IL) and the Northwest Indiana Symphony. Other featured performances that season include a recital on the Ravinia Festival's "Rising Stars" series, and chamber music at the Music Mountain Festival (CT) and the Hong Kong Music International Chamber Music Festival
Ms. Bannister's debut recording, featuring three late piano sonatas of Muzio Clementi, was released in 2006 on the Naxos label. BBC Music Magazine declared: "Barenboim's EMI Beethoven sonata cycle is readily brought to mind. Yet although she possesses enviable articulate and accurate fingers, she is also sensitive to the music's many lyrical asides." Her latest recording, This is the story she began, features solo piano music of living American composers (David Del Tredici, Christopher Theofanidis, Suzanne Farrin and Sheila Silver), and was released on Albany Records in February 2009.
Ms. Bannister has a special affinity for contemporary music. Her three appearances on the CAG/ New Works Series at the Thalia featured premieres of works for solo piano written for her by David Del Tredici, Suzanne Farrin and Christopher Theofanidis, and a piano quintet, also by Suzanne Farrin (for which Ms. Bannister was joined by CAG's Parker String Quartet). She recently formed a new two-piano/percussion ensemble called Hammer/Klavier with pianist Stephen Buck and percussionists Svet Stoyanov and Eduardo Leandro, and featured performances of this quartet include August 2009 at the Chautauqua Institution.
Recent recital performances include her debut at the Kennedy Center on the WPAS series, a concert for Market Square Concerts (PA) and a her second recital at London's Wigmore Hall. As a concerto soloist, she recently performed Mozart's Concerto No. 21 and Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Louisiana Philharmonic, Mozart's Concerto No. 23 with the Harrisburg Symphony, the Shostakovich Concerto No. 2 with the Victoria Symphony (TX) and Mozart's Concerto in E-flat for Two Pianos, K.365 with pianist Stephen Buck and the Westchester Philharmonic.
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which occurred soon after Ms. Bannister's victory in New Orleans, she joined forces with three previous winners of that competition to form "Pianists for New Orleans." These artists have been performing together across the US to achieve their ambitious mission to raise $100,000 to help support the classical music community of New Orleans.
Born in Hong Kong, Ms. Bannister holds degrees from the Royal Academy of Music in London, Yale University, where she studied with Claude Frank, and New York's Mannes School of Music, where she received an Artist Diploma as one of a handful of pianists selected to study with Richard Goode.
Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition and winner of France's 2002 Concours International de Piano 20e siècle d'Orléans, Canadian pianist Winston Choi is an inquisitive performer whose fresh approach to standard repertory, and masterful understanding, performance and commitment to works by living composers, make him one of today's most dynamic young concert artists.
Choi has performed in recital and with orchestra across 4 continents. He has has collaborated with composers including William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, Bernard Rands, Sven-David Sandstrom, Bright Sheng, Christian Wolff, Chen Yi and John Zorn. Choi's debut CD, the complete piano works of Elliott Carter (l'Empreinte Digitale in France) was given 5 stars by BBC Music Magazine: "...sheer élan and pianistic devilment..." He has also recorded 2 CDs of the piano music of Jacques Lenot for the Intrada label, having won the Grand Prix du Disque from l'Académie Charles Cros for Volume I. He can also be heard on the Albany, Arktos, Naxos, QuadroFrame and Southport Records labels. Choi is Assistant Professor and Head of Piano at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts.