Bram Wijnands - Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Bram Wijnands began playing piano at an early age. By the time he turned eight, he studied Barrelhouse Blues (Boogie Woogie) and stride-piano recordings of Fats Waller, James P. Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis, Jack Dupree and Memphis Slim. One thing led to another and in 1991, he graduated in Jazz instrumental education and performance at the Hilversum Conservatory in the Netherlands, the largest school of Jazz in Europe. During and after graduation, he performed with Jazz-artists Slide Hampton, Gene Connors, Jos Moons, Richard Ross and Deborah Brown, then immediately embarked with his trio on a tour throughout eastern Europe, Russia, western Europe and the United States. Performances included the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival, 18th&Vine Heritage Festival and the Topeka Jazz Party. Currently he is involved with the UMKC Conservatory of Music headed by Bobby Watson teaching Jazz-piano, arranging for small bands, combo and Jazz piano techniques and theory. Also he teaches Jazz piano and bass at Kansas City Kansas Community College in Jim Mair's program. This creates a unique opportunity for conservatory students to fill in or sit in at the Majestic and get some live experience. Lately this pianist performed with such luminaries as Hal Melia, Bob Kindred, Marilyn Maye, Bobby Watson, Jimmy Slide, Warren Vache, Jon Hendricks,Duke's Boys, James Carter and the world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.
Born in Izhevsk, Udmurtia, near P.Tchaikovsky’s birthplace in a family of professional musicians, Asiya Korepanova started playing piano at the age of four. She made her solo debut recital at the age of eight and subsequently appeared with orchestra performing Mozart’s Eighth Concerto with her own cadenza. She completed her tertiary school education in Moscow Central Music School, graduated with degrees both in piano performance and composition. Between 2001 to 2006, Asiya studied with Professor Elisso Virssaladze in the Moscow State Chopin College and the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. In 2009 she was chosen as the best graduate from the piano studio of Peter Laul of St. Petersburg Conservatory. Currently she is in a DMA program in the Frost School of Music, University of Miami, studying with Professor Santiago Rodriguez. She has also taken part in master classes with such great musicians as Roselyn Tureck, Menahem Pressler, Robert Levin, Susan Starr and Claude Frank. Asiya has been a prizewinner of numerous international piano competitions, the most recent of which was the Wideman International Piano Competition in Shreveport, Louisiana, where she won the First Prize and the Gold Medal in 2012. Other prizes won have been at the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris and the Classical Heritage and Young Artists Skriabin Competitions in Moscow. She was given at the age of 12 The Russian Federation’s President Award for “Exceptional Achievement in the Arts”. Since 1999 she’s been supported by the International Charity Foundation of Vladimir Spivakov. Her talent has also been recognized by the “National Award” from the Republic of Udmurtia (2002), the “Berliner Salon” Award (2003) and prestigious Russian prize for the encouragement of the achievements in art and literature "Triumph" (youth category, 2005). In 2009 she became an Honored Artist of her native Udmurtia Republic and a soloist of Moscow Philharmonic Society. Her extensive repertoire includes more than 50 concertos with orchestra including complete concertos of Prokofiev, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Brahms, Liszt, Chopin and Ravel. The special place among the solo programs of her repertoire is occupied with fundamental cycles – The Well-Tempered Clavier of Bach (both volumes) and his Goldberg Variations, Liszt’s Twelve Transcendental Etudes, Chopin’s complete Ballades, Scherzos, Impromptus, and significant works of Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms and Tchaikovsky among others. Since childhood Asiya was very interested in graphic arts and writing poetry. In 1994 and 1998 she published two collections of her combined poems and graphics. Since 2007 she has implemented an unique project where she is presents fundamental piano cycles by great composers together with her commentary on each of the works in forms of pictures and poems. Her first project “Euphoria on the Liszt” included a compact disc with the recording of the twelve Transcendental Etudes of Liszt as well as a personal recording of her poetry. An accompanying printed visual contained her personal drawings and poems which correlated with each of Liszt’s etudes. This project has had enthusiastic critical response and has been recognized as unique in the performing arts. In 2008 Asiya gave a presentation of her second project performing The First Volume of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier with 24 personal drawings for each piece and in 2010 she issued her newest project combining original poetry and watercolors with Tchaikovsky's 18 pieces op. 72, dedicated to the 170th anniversary of composer's birth. Asiya appeared as an orchestral soloist with the State Academic Svetlanov Symphony Orchestra of Russia under Mark Gorenstein, “The Moscow Virtuoses” chamber orchestra and National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia under Vladimir Spivakov, Hans Graf, Enrique Mazzola and Ion Marin, Ural Philharmonic Orchestra under Dmitri Liss, St.Petersburg Academic Symphony Orchestra, and many others. She has made numerous appearances on television and radio. She also performed in solo recitals and with various symphony orchestras in major concert halls in Russian Federation, Germany, Austria, Greece, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Israel, Kuwait, Syria, India, United States, Great Britain and Australia. She has been invited to international music festivals including the Sarasota Music Festival, Endless Mountain Music Festival (Pennsylvania), Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival (Great Britain), Vladimir Spivakov’s International Music Festivals in Colmar (France), in the Theatre Chatelet (Paris), and Tchaikovsky International Festival at the Tchaikovsky birthplace in Udmurtia. The highlights of the 2013-14 season include solo recitals in the Phillips Collection of Washington, DC and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, as well as appearances with Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, to name a few.
violinist Diana Seitz made her first public performance as a soloist with a chamber orchestra in Moscow, Russia, at the age of nine. As a teenager, Diana became a laureate of the Azerbaijan National Violin Competition and appeared as a soloist with the National Azerbaijan Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Niccolo Paganini’s Violin Concerto No.1 in D major with the Cadenza by E. Sauret. Seitz received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Tchaikovsky Moscow Conservatory, where she studied with Olga Kaverzneva – a student of renowned Russian violinist David Oistrakh. During her studies in Moscow, Diana had numerous opportunities to perform in Moscow area and served as the Associate Concertmaster of the Moscow Bach Center Orchestra. Forced to flee her Homeland due to severe ethnic persecution, Seitz continued her studies in the United States. She received her Master’s Degree and DMA in violin performance from the University of Oklahoma, where she studied under Felicia Moye, while serving as the Assistant Concertmaster of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra and first violinist of the Crouse String Quartet. Dr. Seitz is presently serving as Assistant Professor of Applied Violin at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in Edinburg, TX and performs as Associate Concertmaster of the Valley Symphony Orchestra. Prior to that, DIana served as the Assistant Professor of Violin and String Area Coordinator at Washburn University (Topeka, KS). Diana is very excited to have an opportunity to come back to Rio Grande Valley, where she already served as the Assistant Professor of Violin in 2008 – 2011 at the University of Texas – Pan American. Diana’s professional experience includes conducting the annual Seitz and Sounds violin workshop in Columbus, OH, as well as teaching at the Indiana University Summer Music Clinic (Bloomington, IN), Kinhaven Summer Music School (Weston, VT), Meadowmount School of Music (Westport, NY), and teaching residency at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Dr. Seitz is on the string faculty of the Endless Mountain Music Festival in Mansfield, PA and will be performing as concertmaster of the EMMF orchestra this summer. A soloist in demand, Diana appeared with the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Azerbaijan (Baku, Azerbaijan), Valley Symphony Orchestra (Edinburg, TX), Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra (Kansas City, KS) and Kansas City Civic Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Seitz collaborated with Felicia Moye, Haysun Kang, Michael Murray, Cheng Hou Lee, James VanDemark and Christopher Taylor. Her upcoming engagements of this year include performances and master classes in Moscow, Russia and Paris, France, as well as a solo appearance with the Endless Mountain Music Festival orchestra (Mansfield, PA), where she will be performing Aram Khachaturian’s Violin Concerto in D minor. Dr. Seitz plays a 1759 Paolo Testore violin.