Speakers I-Q

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Iswargia R Sudarno

Iswargia Renardi Sudarno was born in Bandung, Indonesia, and started his piano lesson there at the age of eleven. After finishing his bachelor degree in architecture at the Bandung Institute of Technology, he continued his musical education at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, USA, and completed his study with a Master of Music degree, under the tutelage of reknown pianist and pedagog, the late Karl Ulrich Schnabel. Whilst in New York he took conducting courses with David Gilbert at the Manhattan School of Music and Vincent La Selva at The Juilliard School Evening Division. During summers he also worked with Bela Siki at the Johannesen School of the Arts (Victoria, Canada), Gabriel Chodos and Rita Sloan at Aspen Music School (Aspen, USA), and Robert Levin at Mozarteum International Summer Academy (Salzburg, Austria). Mr. Sudarno received a full scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Services (DAAD) to study for one semester at the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik Freiburg, Germany, under the guidance of the late Hansjoerg Koch. Other awards received include the Aspen Music School Scholarship and Norman Stanley Smith Award from the Manhattan School of Music (for the best achievement in piano pedagogy learning).

Mr. Sudarno has performed as a soloist with many orchestras in Indonesia, among others the Jakarta Concert Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Indonesia, Indonesian Arts Institute Symphony Orchestra. and Nusantara Symphony Orchestra. Currently he is the music director of the Jakarta Sinfonietta as well as the Jakarta Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician he has appeared with many international experienced musicians in USA, France, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norwey, Sweden, Finland, Korea, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, India, Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia. Along with other leading Indonesian musicians, he founded the Jakarta Conservatory of Music, and currently is appointed to be the conservatory's director. Besides teaching at the conservatory, he is in frequent demand for masterclasses, conferences and competition throughout Indonesia and Asia. His students have won many national and international piano competition.

Beside playing and teaching piano, his other major activity is conducting. Currently he is the music director of Jakarta Sinfonietta and Jakarta Conservatory Chamber Orchestra. Previously he has been the music director of National Youth Orchestra of Indonesia, and the tutor of Nusantara Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Jacob Dalager

Dr. Jacob Dalager is a trumpet player, composer, and educator on faculty at The Catholic University of America, Frostburg State University, and Frederick Community College, teaching trumpet, jazz history, music theory and ear training, and American popular music. In addition, he teaches at the International School of Music and maintains a private trumpet studio.

Dalager made his U.S. concerto debut in 2016 with the Austin Symphony Orchestra and returned in 2019 with his original composition, 3ɟutures for trumpet and orchestra. Prior to that, he soloed with the Jesselton Philharmonic (Malaysia), Te Deum Chamber Orchestras (Singapore), St. Olaf Band, and St. Olaf Orchestra.

He is principal trumpet of the Washington Chamber Orchestra and has been a guest performer with the National Philharmonic, Rochester Philharmonic, Symphoria, Singapore Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony, and Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestras, among others.

Dalager is the principal trumpet of Parkway Brass and M Street Brass Quintets. A versatile crossover musician, Jacob is the lead trumpet player of the renowned world fusion band, Black Masala and the Wammy-award-winning reggae outfit, Shamans of Sound.

Dalager’s compositions have been commissioned and performed by the Austin Symphony, Parkway Brass, St. Olaf Band, Ancia Saxophone Quartet, and the Lyrica Chamber Orchestra. He was a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award in 2011 and won Second Prize the 2019 Robert Avalon International Competition for Composers.

Dalager holds a D.M.A. in music performance from Catholic University (2020), M.M. and Arts Leadership Certificate from the Eastman School of Music (2012), and a B.A. and B.M. in theory/composition and Trumpet performance from St. Olaf College (2009).

Jeffrey Solares

Jeffrey Solares is the executive director and associate conductor of the Manila Symphony Orchestra (MSO) and is one of of the most active figure in promoting classical music in the Philippines through his multiple roles as arts advocate, violinist, conductor, educator, music arranger, and concert annotator.

With his belief in the importance of the arts in developing a nation he helped re-organize the MSO into an entity capable of sustaining its artistic mission with the support of various individuals and corporations. Since then he has spearheaded MSO’s Annual Gala Concert Series in major concert venues in Metro Manila and in 2013 he initiated the MSO Rush Hour Concerts at the Ayala Museum to develop a fresh audience for music in the city.

In 2014 he helped establish the MSO Music Academy, now one of the leading training centre for aspiring young musicians with over 200 students in three studios around Metro Manila. He also founded the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra (MSJO), a youth orchestra composed of some of the country’s top young musicians which won First Prize prize at the 12th Summa Cum Laude International Music Festival to be held in Vienna and had concerts in various European cities. He is a certified Suzuki Violin Teacher and is a frequent guest teacher of the Korea Suzuki Association (KSA).

Jessica Leong Wai Yan

Jessica Leong Wai Yan completed her Master Degree in Solo performance with distinction at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and Advance accompaniment with distinction with full scholarship. She is privileged to have been under the tutelage of John Thwaites, Graeme Mcnaught, Fali Pavri and Aaron Shorr. She has also played in masterclasses by Steven Osborne, Grigory Gruzman and Rolf Hind and Professor Ambrossini (for prepared piano).  

As a student, she won the Tony and Tania Webster adjudicated by Murray McLachlan and the academy's concerto competition. In Novemeber 2008 she performed the Shostakovich Concerto no.1 with trumpeter Tom Poulson accompanied by the academy orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury. For recent years, she has been attending summer school at the Moscow Conservatory, taking lessons with Yuri Slesarev, Alexander Fomenko, Natalia Trull & Irina Plotikova.

She is now a freelance musician and accompanying mostly in Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

Joanna Gill

Joanna Gill is an award-winning Composer and Musician from Perth Scotland, based in London. Her compositions are published by Universal Edition, and have been performed amongst a variety of ensembles including the BBC Singer's, London Symphony Chorus and LSO Brass/Percussion.

Joanna's music has been Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as well as performed in many venues across the UK including: The Royal Albert Hall, Barbican, Hampton Court Palace, Stirling Castle and Canterbury Cathedral.

Joanna was awarded the Cappella Nova Competition Prize after writing 'Immortal Peace' to mark 100 years since the Woman's Suffragette. Adjudicated by James Macmillan, it was then premiered in Stirling Castle.

Joanna was due to premiere two new pieces in America this year, but due to Covid-19 these have both been postponed, including her first symphony. In the meantime she has launched a new project Composing pieces of people's loved ones in lockdown alongside working closely with the Holy Trinity Brompton Chamber Choir at her local church creating virtual choir recordings for weekly online services and supporting musicians through lockdown.

Kevin Lefohn

Violinist Kevin A. Lefohn maintains an international career as recital soloist, chamber musician, and pedagogue. His performances have earned considerable acclaim, with performances, workshops, and masterclasses presented throughout Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and South East Asia.

He studied with Dorothy DeLay, Piotr Milewski, and Kurt Sassmannshaus at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, Kathryn Lucktenberg at the University of Oregon, and with members of both the Emerson and the Tokyo String Quartets.

He has held faculty teaching positions at the University of Oregon and the University of Otago where he was Professor of Violin and founding Director of the renowned Marama Strings Project from 1998-2007. He was the founder and Artistic Director of New Zealand’s Queenstown Violin Summer School and Festival of Chamber Music. As an executive arts administrator, he has served as Manager of Artistic Planning for the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra and as Executive Director of the Portland Youth Philharmonic.

Throughout his career, he has contributed to the international music education community as a clinician, examiner, and competition adjudicator. He served as an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board, examining in Australia, New Zealand, and widely throughout South East Asia.

He performs with the Bodhi Trio and currently holds faculty teaching positions at the University of Portland and Pacific University. He maintains a Portland-based private studio, an international studio via online video lessons, and frequently travels overseas for performances, masterclasses and teaching residencies.

He is the founder of virtuosity.online, an international online learning platform created as a response to a quest to grow connections among musicians to follow the path of a constantly curious mind.

Kyle Horch

Kyle Horch studied with Frederick Hemke at Northwestern University in Chicago, and with Stephen Trier at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. As a young musician, he won numerous prizes at competitions in Britain, Europe, and the USA.

He made his London debut at the Purcell Room in 1989, and since then has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at many venues in Britain and abroad. His recordings ChamberSax, AngloSax, and Flotilla have received international praise: “This is a stunning album.” American Record Guide (for AngloSax). As a freelance musician, he has performed on concerts, broadcasts, tours, and recordings with many ensembles including Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, the chamber ensemble ‘Counterpoise’, and Michael Law’s Piccadilly Dance Orchestra.

He has been a saxophone professor at the Royal College of Music in London since 1991, and saxophone teacher at Royal Holloway University of London since 2011. He has given masterclasses in Britain, France, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Belgium, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and the USA.

Lee Shiak Yao

Lee Shiak Yao is one of the most exciting Malaysian musicians of his generation. A graduate from the University of Hull, UK with an MMus in Conducting, he has studied with Andrew Penny and Dr. Lee Tsang, piano accompaniment with June Stephenson, singing with Ralph Macdonald, Lim Cheng Hock, Paul Wade and Dr. Michela Bertagnolli.

As a multiple prize and award-winning performer and clinician in the local as well as on international stages, he has performed and lectured in more than 35 countries around the world, across Scandinavia, Europe, USA, South America, Asia and South Africa. Aside from international engagements, he is affiliated with the International Federation of Choral Music, World Youth Choir, World Chamber Choir and Asian Youth Choir; serving as the Vice-President of Malaysian Choral Federation, Music Director of Klang Music Festival, Artistic Director of Time Ensemble among other prominent positions in the country.

Lee Wan Zhen

Ms. Lee Wan Zhen is a lecturer of physiotherapy programme, School of Rehabilitation Sciences, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin (UniSZA). She is currently doing her PhD research under the supervision of Dr Garry Kuan.

Her research examines the effects of virtual reality (VR) and music on upper limb movement, EEG, mood, arousal, and quality of life among stroke patients. Since 2018, she has completed her Master’s in Exercise and Sport Sciences at Universiti Sains Malaysia. Previously, she completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy at Manipal India in 2015.

Beforehand, she works as physiotherapist in Columbia Asia Hospital Taiping to provide physiotherapy services to patients affected by injury, illness or disability through movement and exercise, manual therapy, education, and advice patient to prevent injury or disease.

Lee Yun Xin

Lee Yun Xin, born and raised in Singapore started her piano lesson at a tender age. After obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Music from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts under the tutelage of Miss Lim Tsui Fang, she continues to pursue her Master of Music in Collaborative Piano from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale, USA. While in the States, she had performed with Wind ensemble in 2011, SIUC choir in the 2012 ACDA Central Division Conference in Fort Wayne and a chance to meet and work with Morten Lauridsen in the 2012 Outside the Box. Yun Xin is also very active in accompanying young musicians from Talent Education School of Southern Illinois/Heart String while having piano studies with Dr. Paul Transue, Dr. Yuto Kato and Dr. Junghwa Lee.

Locally, Yun Xin is currently the accompanist for Hallelujah Oratorio Society in their musical events. Internationally, she is one of the accompanists for the International Christian Choral Conductor Society camps and workshops in Taiwan (2009), Hong Kong (2009) and China (2014). Yun Xin enjoys performing with her friends in their recitals.

Lance Low Wen Hong

Low Wen Hong (Lance), is currently a member of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in Finland as a bass trombonist (with sub on tenor trombone). He is also an active music arranger.

Lance came from the quiet village of Serdang, Kuala Lumpur. He then went on to complete his Bachelor Degree of Music in Taiwan SooChow University (台灣東吳大學) and his Masters was completed in the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München).

Lance has had the opportunity to learn from Eric Lee (Malaysian NSO) , Kuang-Ching Sung (Taiwan NSO), Meng-Hsin Tsai (Taiwan Evergreen Symphony), Uwe Voigt & Frank van Nooy (Staatskapelle Dresden), Prof. Olaf Krumpfer (Hochschule für Musik Dresden), Prof. Wolfram Arndt (formal Berliner Philharmoniker and Hochschule für Musik München), Uwe Füssel (Bayerisches Staatsoper and German Brass).

Lance has been chosen for the Taiwan NSO Academy of 2013-2015, Asian Youth Orchestra 2016 (trombone and euphonium), active participant of Christian Lindberg's Trombone Masterclass in Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival 2017 in Germany, and the Summer Music Academy of Schloss Hundisburg 2018 in Germany (bass trombone).

Lance has actively performed as a soloist, joint collaboration and chamber recitals. As well as wind ensembles and orchestras in Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Germany, France and Finland. He has been invited as guest player in Taiwan NSO, Taiwan Evergreen Symphony, KaoHsiung City Symphony and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a founder and arranger of the KL Brass Project, Lance wishes to promote brass playing in Malaysia by presenting brass ensemble recitals and videos.

Lance enjoys audio and video producing, cooking, composing, arranging, and discovering nature around his place.

Manuel Lipstein

The cellist and composer Manuel Lipstein was born in 2001 in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany. As early as with ten years, he became a young student of Cologne Music University where he studied with Prof. Katharina Deserno from 2011 to 2015 and with Prof. Maria Kliegel from 2015 to 2019. Since September 2019, he has been a student of Kronberg Academy and Frankfurt Music University with Prof. Frans Helmerson. Manuel gains further inspiration through masterclasses with many great cellists.

Manuel performs world-wide on important stages, amongst them Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Beijing Concert Hall, where he plays with outstanding orchestras as Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and WDR Symphony Orchestra. His concert tours lead him not only through whole Europe but also to countries such as China, Japan and Armenia.

Furthermore, Manuel was invited to prestigious festivals, e. g. Aurora (Sweden), BTHVN 2020 (Bonn) and AchtBrücken (Cologne). His prizes include amongst others the Prémier Grand Prix at Concours Flame (France), first prize and special prize at Concours Edmond Baert (Belgium), second prize at Antonio Janigro Competition (Croatia), WDR 3 Classicism Prize (Münster) and third prize as the youngest participant at TONALi18 competition (Hamburg).

Additionally, Manuel receives composition lessons with Prof. Gerhard Müller-Hornbach and conducting lessons with Prof. Vassilis Christopoulos as of 2020. He was awarded several composition prizes and his internationally performed and broadcasted works are publicized by publishing houses in Germany and England.

Marcello Defant

Marcello Defant was a pupil of Ruggiero Ricci, Salvatore Accardo and Franco Mezzena. He has also studied viola and composition and was granted his doctorate in musicology in 2004 at the University of Bologna.

Since his first public performance at the age of 15, he has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in a long and rewarding career, which has taken him to China, the United States, Turkey, Japan, South America, Africa, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands; France, Spain, Sweden, UK and Italy.

He gives regular violin and chamber music masterclasses in France, Spain, Italy, Austria, China, United Kingdom and Sweden. He also teaches actively at the online music academy “MusicU.live”.

He is Academic Violin Professor at the Verona Music Conservatoire in Italy.

He has collaborated as concertmaster with outstanding orchestras such as "Zürcher Symphoniker", “Orchestra Internazionale d’Italia”, “Teatro La Fenice” in Venice, “Milano Classica” chamber orchestra in Milan, “Haydn Orchester” in Bolzano, “Orchestra Filarmonia Veneta” in Treviso.He has worked with conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Lorin Maazel, Carlo Maria Giulini, Sir Neville Marriner, James Levine, Vladimir Delman, to name a few.

He is often invited as jury member in important international competitions (“Emil Kamilarov” in Sofia, Bulgary, “Beethovenwettbewerb” in St. Pölten, Austria).

He has recorded for the Süddeutsche Rundfunk, DLF, BOS.REC, Symposion Phoenix Classics and Wergo labels with a wide repertoire of recorded music (Works by D. Milhaud, M. Anzoletti, A. Vivaldi, F. Schubert, N. Paganini and many more).

Datuk Mustafa Fuzer Nawi

Datuk Mustafa Fuzer studied Violin from 1996-1991 at the Hochshule für Musik und Theater, Hannover Germany with Prof. Osca C. Yatco under the federal government scholarship and was appointed the first Concert Master of the newly established the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) of Malaysia in 1993 until 1997.

In 1997, he received a Cultural Grant to study conducting at the Conservatorium Hogelschool Enschede, Netherlands under Prof. Kerry Woodwards and Prof. Kees Stolweijk. After his studies in 1999, Datuk Mustafa Fuzer was appointed Chief Conductor and Music Director of the National Symphony Orchestra of Malaysia, to great acclaim for his works in Kuala Lumpur and international such as;

The International Piano Festival at Istana Budaya for five seasons from 2000 – 2004, the Commonwealth Youth Orchestra Week in 1998, conducted the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) in 2004 and 2015, NSO at the Singapore Esplanade in 2008, NSO at The ASIAN Orchestra Week 2004 in Tokyo and Osaka Japan, The Sarajevo Philharmonic Orchestra Bosnia in 2004, Collaborated with Maestro Vladimir Kaminski in 2003 at the Sydney Opera Company Australia, his highly acclaimed operatic conductor appearance with Puccini’s Tosca premiered in July 2003 and Franz Lehar’s Merry Widow in 2004.

For his distinguished service to the Malaysian music industry, he was awarded Ahli Mangku Negara (AMN) in 2008 and Panglima Mahkota Wilayah (PMW) in 2018, which carries the title Datuk.

Since its inception in 2010, Datuk Mustafa Fuzer is the Music Director & Conductor of Genius Seni Muzik ( GSM ), a special program dedicated to gifted children in music.

Retired from NSO in 2020 after serving more than 27 years as Concert Master, Music Director and Conductor.

He is currently busy teaching privately and very much active in promoting Early Music Development in his capacity as Music Director and Conductor of GSM.