Kenneth P. Ayoob earned a Doctor of Arts degree in instrumental conducting and clarinet performance from the University of Northern Colorado. In addition, he holds a Masters of Music Education from the University of Oregon and a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and performance from San Francisco State University. He is currently a Professor of Music at Humboldt State University and serves as Dean of the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
He began his teaching career in Vacaville, California where he taught elementary and high school instrumental music. During his tenure, Vacaville High School was considered among the most outstanding instrumental music programs in Northern California. Since leaving Vacaville, Dr. Ayoob has served as Director of Bands at Northeastern University in Boston, State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh, and SUNY Fredonia. In addition, Dr. Ayoob has served in leadership roles in the California Music Educator's Association, College Band Director's National Association, Northern California Band Director's Association, and the California Band Director's Association. He remains active as a performer on both saxophone and clarinet. He has performed in recitals of solo and chamber music in California, Oregon, New York, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and has appeared on National Public Radio. Dr. Ayoob has served as conductor of the Eureka Symphony, HSU Symphonic Band, Humboldt Symphony, North Coast Wind Ensemble, the Curry-Del Norte Chamber Orchestra, and the Jamestown (New York) Orchestra of Youth.
Professor Liping Jiang is one of the most important piano pedagogues in China. She served as the chairman of the piano department of Wuhan conservatory of Music from 1998 to 2011. She is also a visiting professor at Hubei Minzu University and at Hubei Normal University.
For the last 20 years, she has been invited to serve on the jury panel for many important Piano Competitions in China. Recently she has served as jury member in China's CCTV National competition on piano and violin, Asian Piano Competition for Young Artists in Hongkong and China's "Wenhua" prize. As a frequent contributor of music education, she has published dozens of articles and essays in many important academic publications such as “huangzhong” “Music Discovery” etc. Her student has won numerous prizes from all kinds of national and international piano competitions. Such as: Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition for young artists; Eastman International Young Artist piano Competition; The Fifth Chopin international Piano Competition in Budapest, etc.
Thomas Schumacher has a BM, Manhattan School of Music; Diploma, MS, doctoral studies, Juilliard.
He studied piano with Fisher Thompson, Robert Goldsand, Beveridge Webster, Adele Marcus. Chamber music studies with Bernard Greenhouse, Rachmael Weinstock, Raphael Hillyer, Raphael Bronstein, and Hans Letz.
His awards include Harold Bauer Award (highest honors at Manhattan), Loeb Memorial Prize (highest honors at Juilliard). Prizewinner, Busoni International Piano Competition (1962), JUGG Award Competition (1963), resulting in New York Town Hall debut recital. Maryland Creative and Performing Arts Award (1984), Distinguished Faculty Award, University of Maryland (1991).
He has been a soloist with major orchestras including New York Philharmonic (1967 world premiere of David Diamond’s Piano Concerto), Toronto Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony. Extensive tours of United States, Canada, Europe, Japan, China, and Far East.
His recordings on Elan label.
Schumacher has been active as a recitalist, adjudicator, lecturer, and in master classes throughout United States, Canada, Italy, Sweden, Belgium, China, Taiwan, and Japan.
His publications for Zen-on Music (Japan) include study guides on Brahms, Albeniz, Rachmaninoff (expected 2006) as well as a new critical edition of Albeniz’s Iberia. Students have won prizes in major competitions.
Schumacher has been a United States representative on the board of Concours de Musique de Canada (1988); national finals jury of the Canadian Music Competition (1999). Chairman, William Kapell International Piano Competition jury (1994).
He has served as faculty, University of Maryland (1969-95; chair of piano, 1993-1995); associate artist faculty, Levine School of Music, Washington, DC (1987-1995); Eastman (1995- now); visiting professor, Shenyang Conservatory of Music (2002- now).
Barry Snyder is an internationally acclaimed pianist and teacher, whose entry onto the international stage came after winning three major prizes at the 1966 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: Silver Medal, Pan American Union Award and the Chamber Music Prize. Since then, Snyder has toured the world performing concerti, presenting solo collaborative recitals, and leading master classes.
Snyder has performed with conductors such as Robert Shaw, Leopold Stokowski, David Zinman, Charles Dutoit, Sixten Ehrling and Arthur Fiedler. A well-known collaborator, Snyder has appeared with artists such as Hermann Prey, Jan DeGaetani, Zvi Zeitlin, Ani Kavafian, Sylvia Rosenberg, Bonita Boyd, Steven Doane, and the Chilingarian and Cleveland Quartets. Many of these collaborations can be heard in Snyder’s substantial discography of over 40 recordings.
Held in high esteem by the professional community, Snyder is a widely sought-after teacher. Since 1970, Snyder has been professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and he is listed in the publication The Most Wanted Piano Teachers and has given master classes in the United States, Europe and Asia. As a juror, Snyder has chaired the jury for the World International Piano Competition in Cincinnati and was a member of the jury for the Glasgow Young Artists Competition.
Snyder is committed to performing 20th and 21st century repertoire, and has given world premieres of works by such composers as Syndey Hodkinson, Toshio Hosakawa and Augusta Read Thomas. Many compositions, such as those by Carter Pann and Verne Reynolds, have been written specifically for him. Barry Snyder studied solo piano with renowned teachers Wilbur Hollman, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Cecile Genhart and studied chamber music with John Celentano and Brooks Smith.
"Barry Snyder was brilliant." -- The New Yorker
"His sparkling, inordinately flexible and lively piano playing literally tore one from the seat." -- Vienna
"Stunning doesn't come close to describing Snyder's performance. His virtuosity completely captivated everyone." -- Terre Haute
Professor Xiaoqiang Wang graduated from Shenyang Conservatory of Music, under one of the most influential pianist and pedagogue in China -- Prof. Yafen Zhu’s studio. After graduation, Prof. Wang has been chosen to be the youngest piano faculty member at Shenyang Conservatory of Music and been served as the chairman of Piano Department on Dalian Campus since 2000. Prof. Wang has been judging many international piano competitions such as Russia International Piano Competition, Asia Public Piano Competition (Hong Kong) etc. In 2008, Prof. Wang has given master class tour in Germany for four different major music institutes.
Prof. Quming Zhang is a distinguished professor in China. She taught at Shenyang Conservatory of Music for 24 years. After retiring in 2012, Prof. Zhang moved back to Shanghai and served as piano professor at Shanghai Dongfang Xingzhi Piano School.
A frequent adjudicator, Prof. Zhang has served on the jury of “Gu Lang yu” Piano Competition, Hong Kong Piano Competition, Osaka Piano Competition in Japan, Asia Piano Competition, Rachmaninoff Piano Competition (China), Chopin Piano Competition (China) and Chopin Piano Competition (China).
As a distinguished piano professor, Ms. Zhang’s students have been winning many competitions including the “Pearl River” Piano Competition, KAWAY Piano Competition, “Steinway & Songs” Piano Competition, China International piano Competition, Ettlingen International Competition, Young Tchaikovsky Piano Competition, the Oberlin International Piano Competition, and more.