Special Guests

Yilan Zhao

Pianist Yilan Zhao is a prize winner of international competitions including the 70th “Giovan Battista Viotti” International Music Competition, the 2nd Marbella International Music Competition in Spain, the IX International Frederick Chopin Competition in Russia, and the Kosciuszko Chopin Competition in New York. She won the first prize in Munz competition at the Juilliard School, as well as the first prize of the Duttweiler-Hug Wettbewerb at ZHdK. Solo appearances include venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Tonhalle Maag, Palau de la Musica, and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center.
Yilan was born in Hunan Province in southern China. She began playing the piano at the age of seven. In September 2011 at the age of 15, she entered the Juilliard School Pre-College program and studied with Choong-Mo Kang. She continued her Bachelor of Music studies at the Juilliard School from 2014 to 2018. During this period she worked with Hung-Kuan Chen, Robert D. Levin, and Matti Raekallio. Since September 2018, she has being studying under Konstantin Scherbakov at the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste.

Cristina Gerling

A leading figure in the musical circles of her native Brazil, pianist and scholar Cristina Capparelli Gerling appears frequently as soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, guest teacher, and lecturer in the United States, Canada, England, Germany, France, and Portugal.

A prizewinner of the Anne and Aaron Richmond Piano Competition, Cristina made her home in Boston for several years, where she was a founding member of the Longyear Chamber Music Series. As pianist with Trio Panamericano she toured throughout Brazil and the northeastern United States to critical acclaim. Her performances have taken her to prominent venues across the world, including Boston’s Jordan Hall and London´s Wigmore Hall.

Cristina has taught at the New England Conservatory Preparatory Division, the Boston University School of the Arts, the Rivers School of Weston, MA, and the Preucil School, and has been a frequent guest performer and master teachers at highly distinguished American Music Schools. In Brazil, Dr. Gerling was instrumental in establishing the highly respected Graduate Music Program at the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, in Porto Alegre, where she is Professor of Music. Her former students have gone on to study and hold faculty positions in renowned music schools throughout North and South America.

Thrice a recipient of Fulbright Grants for study in the United States, she holds a Masters Degree with honors from the New England Conservatory where she studied with Victor Rosenbaum-piano; Benjamin Zander and Eric Rosenblith-chamber music, and Ernst Oster- Schenkerian analysis. She also holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Boston University School of the Arts where she studied with Bela Nagy-piano and Joyce Mekeel- musical analysis.

Committed to playing all styles of piano music, Dr. Gerling has recorded the solo piano music of Bruno Kiefer, a southern Brazilian contemporary composer, and a CD of Latin American piano music including music of Villa-Lobos and Camargo Guarnieri. Her ongoing research project on Latin American piano music is attracting the attention of pianists and scholars worldwide, and can be seen on the World Wide Web at www.ufrgs.br/gppi. She has recorded the complete works of Camargo Guarnieri as well as a collection cello pieces by f Brazilian composers with cellist Tania Lisboa for the the Meridian label. She also recorded a Cd of Brazilian Piano Music by two composers from Salvador, Bahia (2011) and contributes with two Sonatinas and the formidable Piano Sonata by Camargo Guarnieri in a CD produced with her fellow teachers at UFRGS.

Having published regularly and extensively on issues closely related to her research on  effective instrumental practice, musical memorization, projection of expressivity in performance and anxiety of musical performance, currently Dr. Gerling is Guest Co-Editor of Frontiers on Psychology-Performance Science.

Jackie Herbein

Pianist Jacqueline Herbein, honored with Pennsylvania Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year award in 2005, is an active soloist, ensemble performer and teacher in the Pittsburgh area. She considers the development of physical perception to be a cornerstone of her teaching and she recently added the ProformaVision technology (sEMG biofeedback) to her studio as a teaching enhancement. A Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology from the Massage Therapy Institute of Western Pennsylvania provides a solid academic foundation while independent work in Alexander Technique and teacher certification in therapeutic yoga heighten the movement insights she brings to this new technology and her work in general.

Jacqueline Herbein regularly works with teachers and students of all ages and performance levels both in private lessons and master classes. She has become known for her creative approach in unraveling musicians’ pain and injury issues by working with biofeedback, imagery and alternative therapies in order to awaken connections within the body. Her articles have been published in The American Music Teacher, The Canadian Music Teacher and Clavier Companion journals and she regularly presents sessions on technique, perception and wellness to organizations and university pedagogy classes around the country, including the MTNA National Conference in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013, the American Music Therapy Association Mid-Atlantic Region Conference, the Mississippi Piano Showcase, the Goshen College Piano Workshop and Academy and the Greater Pittsburgh Suzuki Institute.

Lisa Yui

Described as “a musical phenomenon” (Pianiste magazine), Canadian pianist and Yamaha Artist Lisa Yui enjoys a multifaceted musical career as performer, lecturer, teacher, author, and musical director. Since making her concerto debut at the age of seven, Lisa Yui has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra. She is the top prizewinner of the Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy, the Super Classics International Auditions in Tokyo, and has twice been the recipient of a Canada Council Scholarship.

Lisa Yui has performed as soloist with prominent orchestras such as the Tokyo Symphony, Polish National Radio, Toronto Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Krakow State Philharmonic. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York), CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation), CJRT-FM (Ontario, Canada), and STV (Sapporo, Japan). She has performed in Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum in Budapest, among other major concert venues around the world.

In 2005, Ms. Yui was chosen from over 1000 applicants as one of the few Canadian artists to participate in the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan, where she performed and hosted in English, Japanese, and French. She performed a program of works by Liszt, Ravel, and Canadian composers Francois Morel and Colin McPhee. She has been invited twice to be the featured guest artist on the 101 Days Around the World Tour of the Japanese cruise ship Nipponmaru.

As a lecturer and performer, Ms. Yui originated The Lives of the Piano, Manhattan School of Music’s first piano lecture/concert series, now in its nineteenth season. She has been invited as a guest lecturer to many distinguished universities and conservatories around the world. She has performed and given masterclasses in various music conferences, including the MTNA National Conference and NAMM.

Lisa Yui has worked extensively with the Yamaha Disklavier, having given numerous performances, including a solo recital of music for four hands, two pianos, and piano and orchestra, as well as long-distance “remote lessons.” A short film on her work with the Disklavier, sponsored by Cisco, was filmed in 2010.

Lisa Yui’s CD of the music of Carl Maria von Weber and Jan Ladislav Dussek was awarded the highest rating, the “Pianiste Maestro,” by the French music magazine, Pianiste. Her DVD/Blu-ray recording of four Beethoven Sonatas with commentary was released on the Aurora Classics label, garnering rave reviews.

Lisa Yui’s insightful writing on music has appeared in numerous publications such as Clavier Companion, EPTA Journal, and Listen, on a variety of topics including the life and influence of the virtuosic 19th-century pianist Marie Pleyel, on whom Dr. Yui wrote her doctoral thesis.

Lisa Yui’s principal teachers and mentors include Byron Janis, Marc Silverman, Giovanni Valentini, Oxana Yablonskaya, Edna Golandsky, David Dubal, Jean-Paul Sevilla, and Leonid Hambro. She received her bachelor’s degree at the Juilliard School, where she received the Humanities Award, and her master’s and doctor of musical arts degrees at Manhattan School of Music, which awarded her both the Roy M. Rubinstein Award, given to a graduate with exceptional promise in piano, and the Helen Cohn Award as outstanding doctoral graduate. She has also participated in master classes with Emanuel Ax, Alicia de Larrocha, Conrad Hansen, Leon Fleisher, Eugene Istomin, and Anton Kuerti.

In addition to producing The Lives of the Piano series at Manhattan School of Music, Lisa Yui teaches graduate piano literature, keyboard skills, Historical Recordings of Great Pianists, and The 32 Beethoven Sonatas at Manhattan School of Music, where she is also Associate Dean of Assessment and Academic Programs. She is the recipient of the School’s 2018 President’s Medal for Distinguished Service.

Lisa Yui is on the piano faculty at John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. She has served as department chair of the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and has taught a course on the social history of the piano at Marymount Manhattan College for many years. Lisa Yui has served as a member of numerous competition juries including the National Finals and the Stepping Stone of the Canadian Music Competition as well as the Canadian Chopin Competition.

Father Paul Maillet

Before studying for the Catholic priesthood, Father Paul Maillet, P.S.S. concertized extensively and taught at Peabody and Eastman, having studied with Cecile Staub Genhart, Leon Fleisher, and Dorothy Taubman.  As a student of Dorothy Taubman for many years, he became a strong proponent of her work, teaching as a member of the faculty of the Dorothy Taubman School of Piano both at Amherst and Williams.  He has continued to give masterclasses as well as lectures on piano technique using the Taubman approach, most recently at the Taubman Festival at the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.

He has performed as soloist with such orchestras as the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the San Antonio Symphony, and orchestras in Europe and South America.  He has given recitals extensively in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  Concert venues at which he has performed in the United States include the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Weill Recital Hall in New York, and the Stanford Lively Arts Series.

Fr. Maillet was ordained for the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2001.  As a priest of the Society of Saint Sulpice his ministry is dedicated to the initial and ongoing formation of priests. In preparation for his teaching in this capacity,  he received his doctorate in Biblical Studies from The Catholic University of America in 2010 and is currently on the faculty at St. Mary’s Seminary & University in Baltimore, where he teaches Scripture, Biblical Hebrew, and Koine Greek.  He still gives recitals, plays chamber music and gives piano masterclasses and lectures when his schedule permits.

Nancy Modell

Nancy Modell, Suzuki Teacher Trainer with Taubman Approach

Nancy Modell, an Ithaca College School of Music graduate in both piano
performance and music education, is very passionate about teaching music. In the 1980s, as a Teacher Trainer, she pioneered the Suzuki Piano Approach in Israel where she taught students and trained local piano teachers in Jerusalem.
Since 1992 she has been teaching in Springfield, NJ, inspiring students to reach their potential through innovative learning opportunities, including original composition, music events and field trips. Nancy continues to train teachers in the Suzuki Approach at Suzuki Summer Institutes throughout the USA. She has explored ways to introduce composition to students of all levels and has presented her approach at various teachers’ forums, including NAfME, NJMEA, NJMTA, MEA-NJ, PTC of NY, PTF, The Taubman Festival, the SAA, and most recently at 1era Convención Suzuki de las Américas in Cancun, Mexico. She has trained piano teachers at institutes, college courses and privately, and frequently teaches ECC!©. She is Piano Coordinator of the NJ Suzuki Workshop and is the Immediate Past President of MEA-NJ.

Dan Crisci

Dan Crisci, pianist and composer, has been performing in the New York/New Jersey area since 1984.  He has performed jazz as a soloist and in various group settings at venues such as Birdland and The Squire in New York City, and Trumpets, The Old Bay, Watchung Arts CenterVan Gogh’s Ear, and Shanghai Jazz  in New Jersey.  Dan has performed regularly with Brynn Stanley since 2013 at venues such as Shanghai Jazz in Madison, Rod’s Steakhouse in Morristown, Rudolph’s in Bernardsville, the Morristown Performing Arts Center Summer Concert Series, and the Parsippany Library Concert Series.

In 2018, Dan released Home Again, an album featuring his own original compositions.  His CD release performance at Shanghai Jazz featured grammy award winning violinist Zach Brock and woodwind player Anton Denner, among others.  In 2019 came the release of another original recording, Asked and Answered.

Through the years, Dan’s jazz quartet has been featured in concerts in New Jersey at St. George’s Church in Maplewood, Montclair Unity Church, Summit Central Presbyterian Church, the Tower Center Summer Concert Series in East Brunswick, the Carnegie Center Summer Concert Series in Princeton, the Metuchen outdoor concert series, Maplewood Jazzfest, the Bridgewater Library Concert Series, various New Years Eve First Night Performances, and a recent performance with saxophonist/flutist Anton Denner at Drew University for the 90th Anniversary Concert for the Music Educator’s Association.   Dan was a featured pianist in a February 2019 concert for the Musical Club of Westfield.

Dan has played many gala fundraising events for various organizations, including a performance at NJPAC for Overlook Hospital, where his jazz group opened for Mandy Patinkin and Patti Lapone.

Dan has been showcased with the Triad Arts Ensemble, a performing arts group that features music, theatre, and dance.  He has performed in their annual Canticles for Life AIDS benefit concert as a soloist, choir accompanist, and with his jazz trio and quartet.  He has regularly performed original jazz compositions at these concerts as well as composing some pieces for the choir to perform.

Dan has served as co minister of music at the Springfield Emanuel United Methodist Church along with his wife, Virginia Johnston, and he continues to fill in as pianist at various local churches when needed, including at his home church, Ignite UMC in Kenilworth, NJ.

Dan has performed in several events presented by the Discovery Orchestra, including a concert for singles with jazz vocalist Bill Robinson, the Viennese Masked Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, a lunchtime concert for the Mind Body Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, various gala fundraising events at NJPAC, and an in home holiday concert with vocalist Brynn Stanley.  Dan appears in two episodes of their television show “Fall in Love With Music”, which was broadcast nationwide on public television from 2016-2019.

Dan has studied jazz piano with Keith MacDonald, Dave Braham, and JoAnne Brackeen, and jazz ensemble with Chris White at Montclair State College in New Jersey.  In 2000 he graduated from the Certificate Program in Piano Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.  Since 2014, Dan has studied the Taubman approach to piano playing with Sondra Tammam. From 2015-2019, Dan has presented a workshop at the Taubman Piano Festival at Montclair State University about incorporating the Taubman Approach in to jazz piano playing.