Director of Productions and Communications
Andrea Garcia

Andrea Garcia is a professional pianist and also holds her masters degree in cultural affairs. She studied at the Oviedo Conservatory of Music, and the Amsterdam Conservatory in Holand. She is also a music manager at Garcia Garcia Artist Management Company.


Director, Faculty
Amy Gustafson
Pianist, Yamaha Artist
Praised for her 'exquisite sensitivity' and a 'style filled with class and elegance' by La Voz de Asturias (Asturias, Spain) and recognized as a 'talented player who doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold' by Lucid Culture (New York City), American pianist Amy E. Gustafson has performed across the United States and in both Western and Eastern Europe.

Recent performances include replacing legendary pianist Abbey Simon in Los Angeles at LACMA’s series, Sundays Live, an appearance with the Sofia Sinfionetta in Sofia, Bulgaria, and a concert tour in Dallas, Texas with her piano duo, Duo Azul. Other recent engagements have taken her to Spain, China, and Canada, and she has also performed New York City venues, such as Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Tenri Cultural Institute, CAMI Hall and the Kosciuszko Foundation.

Born into a musical family, her talent was evident at an early age, and she received much of her beginning piano instruction from her grandmother. By the age of 15, she had won several local competitions, including MTNA’s Baldwin Competition, and her success led her to move to New York City to continue her studies.

Since then, Gustafson has won numerous awards, including the second prize in the International Young Artists Piano Competition, second prize in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Competition, and the Special Presentation Award and the Alumni Award from Artists International Presentations, Inc.

Gustafson completed her studies at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her major teachers have included Julian Martin, Andre-Michel Schub, Anton Nel, Constance Keene, and Miyoko Lotto, and she has benefited from the advice of many renowned pedagogues, including Solomon Mikowsky, Arie Vardi, Veda Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Paul Badura-Skoda, Marc Durand, Martin Canin, Leslie Howard, and Luiz de Moura Castro.

In addition to her performing career, Gustafson is currently a teaching artist at Bloomingdale School of Music in New York City, the Executive Director of the Gijón International Piano Festival, and the vice-president and treasurer of the Spanish American Music Council. Gustafson also founded and directed The Stony Brook International Piano Festival from 2008 to 2015.

Amy E. Gustafson is a Yamaha Artist.
José Ramón Méndez
Northwestern University

Described as "an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power" and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid, as "the Spanish pianist of his generation," José Ramón Méndez is one of the most exciting Spanish pianists of today. Already performing on Spanish television and radio stations by the age of seven, he gained international recognition when he performed Liszt's first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland and Japan to great acclaim and is a prize winner in numerous international piano competitions. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world. An exponent of romantic pianism and champion of Spanish music, Mendez is a rarity amongst young performers. Formerly on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, New York University, and Penn State University, Mendez is now on the faculty of Northwestern University.
Founder, Faculty
Julian Martin
Juilliard School

Artist Diploma, Peabody Conservatory; diplomas from the Écoles d´Art Americaines in Fontainebleau and Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena. Studied with Leon Fleisher, Nadia Boulanger, Robert Casadesus and Guido Agosti. Awards include first prize at Montevideo International Piano Competition (Uruguay, 1975), prizes at University of Maryland Competition (1973 and 1974) and accompanying prize at Tchaikovsky International Competition (1982). Recital and chamber music performances in the United States, South America and Japan. Solo appearances with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Recent seminars and master classes in Taiwan, Canada, Korea, the United Kingdom, Spain and Israel. Former faculty, Oberlin Conservatory and Peabody Conservatory.
James Giles
Northwestern University

James Giles regularly performs in important musical centers in America, Europe, and Asia. Recent tours have taken him to the Nancy Music Festival in France, the Accademia Cristofori in Florence, the Gijon Piano Festival in Spain, the Amalfi Coast Music Festival in Italy, and the Beijing International Music Festival. Last season featured a recording with the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in Russia; recitals in Florida, California, North Carolina, and France; and master classes in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, and at Yale University and the Cincinnati Conservatory.

In an eclectic repertoire encompassing the solo and chamber music literatures, Giles is equally at home in the standard repertoire as in the music of our time. He has commissioned and premiered works by William Bolcom, C. Curtis-Smith, Stephen Hough, Lowell Liebermann, Ned Rorem, Augusta Read Thomas, Earl Wild, and James Wintle. Most of these new works are featured on Giles’s Albany Records release entitled “American Virtuoso.” His recording of works by Schumann and Prokofiev is available on England’s Master Musicians label and a new Schubert CD is due for imminent release.

His Paris recital at the Salle Cortot in 2004 was hailed as “a true revelation, due equally to the pianist’s artistry as to his choice of program.” After a recital at the Sibelius Academy, the critic for Helsinki’s main newspaper wrote that “Giles is a technically polished, elegant pianist.” And a London critic called his 2003 Wigmore Hall recital “one of the most sheerly inspired piano recitals I can remember hearing for some time” and added that “with a riveting intelligence given to everything he played, it was the kind of recital you never really forget.”

He has performed with New York’s Jupiter Symphony (Alkan and Czerny); the London Soloists Chamber Orchestra in Queen Elizabeth Hall (Mozart and Beethoven); the Kharkiv Philharmonic in Ukraine (Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff); and with the Opera Orchestra of New York in Alice Tully Hall (Chopin). After his Tully Hall solo recital debut, critic Harris Goldsmith wrote: “Giles has a truly distinctive interpretive persona. This was beautiful pianism – direct and unmannered.” Other tours have included concerts in the Shanghai International Piano Festival; Warsaw’s Chopin Academy of Music; Chicago’s Dame Myra Hess Series, Salt Lake City’s Assembly Hall Concert Series, and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Musikhalle in Hamburg, and the Purcell Room at London’s South Bank Centre. He has given live recitals over the public radio stations of New York, Boston, Chicago, and Indianapolis. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with members of the National and Chicago Symphonies and with members of the Pacifica, Cassatt, Chicago, Ying, Chester, St. Lawrence, Essex, Lincoln, and Miami Quartets, as well as singers Aprile Millo and Anthony Dean Griffey.

A native of North Carolina, Dr. Giles studied with Byron Janis at the Manhattan School of Music, Jerome Lowenthal at the Juilliard School, Nelita True at the Eastman School of Music, and Robert Shannon at Oberlin College. He received early career assistance from the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in Italy with the legendary pianist Lazar Berman.

The pianist was the recipient of a fellowship grant and the Christel Award from the American Pianists Association. He won first prizes at the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association Competition. As a student he was awarded the prestigious William Petschek Scholarship at the Juilliard School and the Rudolf Serkin Award for outstanding graduate at the Oberlin College Conservatory. He has written for Piano and Keyboard magazine and has presented lecture-recitals at the national conventions of the Music Teachers National Association, the College Music Society, and Pi Kappa Lambda. He regularly serves on competition jury panels and has been conference artist for several state music teachers associations.

Dr. Giles is coordinator of the piano program and director of graduate studies at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music. He gives master classes and lectures at universities nationwide and has taught during the summers at the Eastern Music Festival, Bowdoin, Brevard, Colburn, Interlochen, ARIA, Pianofest in the Hamptons, and the Schlern Festival in Italy. He has been a guest professor at the Sibelius Academy, the Shanghai Conservatory, and at Indiana University and has taught classes at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and the Royal College of Music in London.
Dominique Weber
Conservatoire de Géneve,Conservatoire Cantonal de Sion (Switzerland)

Dominique Weber studied with Eduardo Vercelli, Carlo Zecchi and Leon Fleisher, of whom he was an assistant at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. He won the first prize at the International Piano Competition "Young Performers" New York, besides those of Kalichstein and Baldwin. His debut as a pianist was warmly received by the critics. The New York Times wrote: "D.Weber displayed some of Lipatti's pianistic virtues, and maybe some of Fleisher as well, a delicate yet strong sensitivity, a sober respect for style and a sensuous subtlety in music that is to often bulldozed indiscriminately". Le Journal de Genève said: "With a consistency at every moment not forced or compromised, D. Weber highlighted the vision of a musician at the same time powerful and delicate, that is, a poet". Also the newspaper 24 Hours of Lausanne praised the soloist: "D. Weber played the Concerto in F Major, KV 459, a favorite of Clara Haskil. Worthily accompanied by the OCL and its chief conductor Armin Jordan, he knew with great acuteness, but also with cantabile expression, how to focus the different great passages of the work. I deeply appreciate his refined style, free of unnecessary effects". And finally, the Washington Post wrote: "D.Weber's Arabesque was poised with a touch of youthful caprice. His Kreisleriana was thoroughly in keeping with the Schumann esthetic: he conveyed with conviction the explicit emotional schizophrenia represented musically by galloping, fever-pitch themes and wistful, introspective melodies". It was during this period, in which he had an accident, that the life of Dominique Weber changed, who began to devote himself primarily to teaching. He has performed and taught master classes in Asia, America and Europe. He taught at the Conservatoire Tibor Varga in Sion, and now he teaches at the Conservatory of Geneva, HEM.
Robert McDonald
Juilliard School

Robert McDonald has performed throughout the world both as solo recitalist and as recital partner to Isaac Stern and many others. He has appeared with the San Francisco, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Omaha and Curtis symphony orchestras. He is currently on the piano faculty of The Juilliard School and also gives classes regularly at the Glenn Gould Professional School in Toronto. His discography includes recordings for Sony Classical, Vox, Bridge, Musical Heritage Society and CRI. He won the Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition and the top prizes at both the William Kapell International Competition and the Washington International Competition. He graduated magna cum laude from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, completing his studies at the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music.
Logan Skelton
University of Michigan

Logan Skelton is a much sought after pianist, teacher, and composer whose work has received international critical acclaim. As a performer, Skelton has concertized widely in the United States, Europe, and Asia and has been featured on many public radio and television stations including NPR's Audiophile Audition, Performance Today, All Things Considered, and Morning Edition, as well as on radio in China and national television in Romania. He has recorded numerous discs for Centaur, Albany, Crystal, Blue Griffin, and Naxos Records, the latter on which he performed on two pianos with fellow composer-pianist William Bolcom. A frequent guest at music festivals, Skelton regularly appears in such settings as Gina Bachauer; Amalfi Coast; Gijón; Eastman; Tunghai; Chautauqua Institution; American Romanian; Eastern; New Orleans; Poland International; Indiana University; Hilton Head Island; and the Prague International Piano Masterclasses. He is a popular presenter at music teacher organizations including numerous appearances at MTNA national conventions and EPTA World Piano Conferences, as well as serving as convention artist for state conventions in New York, Illinois, Michigan, Louisiana, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Iowa. Moreover, he has given countless performances and masterclasses at colleges, conservatories, and conferences throughout the U.S., South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Poland, and Czech Republic. He is a frequent juror for international piano competitions. His Centaur Records compact disc, of all 20th century American solo piano music, is titled American Grab Bag: Piano Music of Our Time. American Record Guide described this as a "fascinating recording," commenting on Skelton's "superb, wonderfully subtle and elegant playing ... Bravo!"

As a composer, Skelton has a special affinity for art song, having composed well over a hundred songs, including numerous song cycles. Critics have noted the close fusion of text and music in Skelton's songs, how words are "... illuminated with brilliance and deep emotional power," American Record Guide. Others have found "... joy-a night unto ecstatic joy... in word and sound-play," Dial M for Musicology. In Fanfare magazine reviews, Skelton as a composer of song has been singled out for his ability to "... plumb the depths of emotion ... these are exquisitely crafted art songs in the American tradition ... we are in the hands of someone who lives and breathes song." His works have been performed throughout the world by a variety of musicians in settings such as Carnegie Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Tblisi in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, Australia, Sorrento, Italy, as well as numerous cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Tampa, New Orleans, Lincoln, Houston, Detroit, and many others. He composed the required work for the 1993 New Orleans International Piano Competition. His song cycle Anderson Songs: The Islander, was a recipient of the Music Composition Award from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.

Professor Skelton's principal teachers have included John Murphy, Rebecca Penneys, Lillian Freundlich, and Artur Balsam. A devoted teacher himself, his own piano students have repeatedly won awards in many national and international competitions including Hilton Head; San Antonio; Cincinnati World; Washington; Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofieff; Fischoff; Jacob Flier; Iowa; Frinna Awerbuch; Eastman; Crescendo; Dallas Chamber; Missouri Southern; Los Angeles Liszt; Wideman; Concorso Internazionale di Esecuzione Musicale; Schimmel, Liszt-Garrison; Grieg Festival; Del Rosario; Beethoven Sonata; Ithaca; Piano Arts; Heida Hermanns; Dubois; Schmidbauer; Peabody Mason; Janáček; Seattle; Kingsville; New York; Oberlin; Idyllwild; as well as numerous Music Teachers National Association competitions. His former students hold positions of prominence in music schools and conservatories throughout the world. He was honored by the University of Michigan as the recipient of the prestigious Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching. He has served on the faculties of Manhattan School of Music, Missouri State University, and is currently professor of Piano and director of Doctoral Studies in Piano Performance at U-M.
Douglas Humpherys
Chair of the Piano Department, Eastman School of Music

Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys' concert career has spanned four decades across four continents. During recent years, he has concertized in many of the major cities of Asia throughout China, Korea, Taiwan and Japan. A frequent guest artist in Beijing, he has performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. He has presented concerts and master classes throughout the Chinese conservatory system, including the Central Conservatory, the China Conservatory, the conservatories of Shanghai, Wuhan, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Cheng-Du, Xian, Dalian, Xiamen, and the Shenzhen School of the Arts. In 2002 he made his Korean debut in Seoul at the Kumho Art Hall.

In Europe, Mr. Humpherys has presented solo concerts in the cities of Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, with additional concert engagements in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has concertized throughout the United States and Canada at numerous universities and festivals. Most recently he was a guest artist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and played on the DiMenna Center Piano Series in New York City. Since 2008 he has been associated with Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur, a project sponsored in part by the United States Embassy in Argentina.

Mr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Piano Department.
During his student days he studied with Nelita True, Martin Canin, and Robert Smith. In high demand as a teacher, he has taught literally hundreds of master classes at conservatories and universities including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, and the Korean National University of the Arts. He has been appointed to visiting residencies or professorships at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory in Beijing, Yonsei University in Seoul, and the University of Michigan. His students have won numerous honors in competitions, including prizes at the Honens, Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Poulenc International Piano Competitions, the Osaka, Pacific, San Jose, Seattle, and Wideman Competitions, as well as three recent national first-prize winners of the MTNA Competition. He is currently a Steinway Artist, and was recently appointed Artistic Director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation.
Jean Saulnier
University of Montreal

Jean Saulnier leads an active career as a recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher. Over the years, he has developed broad experience in both the solo and the chamber music repertoire. He is a sought-after collaborator by the best musicians from Canada and abroad, which speaks eloquently to the flexibility, natural playing ability, and spirit of partnership he brings to every performance.
A recipient of numerous prizes in national and international competitions, including the William Kapell International Competition, the Prix d’Europe, and the Leschetizsky Competition, Saulnier has performed in Canada, the United States, South America, and Europe. He has been a guest soloist with renowned orchestras such as the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Rochester Philharmonic, and I Musici de Montréal. He has been heard in major Canadian music festivals and on CBC radio.
Performing with his long-time partners, cellist Yegor Dyachkov and clarinetist André Moisan, Saulnier has recorded many major works from the chamber music repertoire on the Pelléas, Atma, Analekta, and Doberman-Yppan recording labels. He unexpectedly discovered a rare 1848 Pleyel piano, leading him to engage in extensive research on the interpretation of Chopin’s works. His recording of a Chopin recital on this piano has been praised for its refinement and originality.
Saulnier studied with Marc Durand, Leon Fleisher and André Laplante. His doctorate from the Université de Montréal was saluted with the General Governor Academic Gold Medal. He is currently a Professor in the Music Faculty of the Université de Montréal, where he has been teaching for over twenty years. He is regularly invited to be a guest teacher at the Orford Arts Centre and to give master classes at institutions of higher education. He frequently serves as a jury member for national and international competitions, higher education institutions, and government agencies.