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Tuscarawas News Detail

Dr. Jerry Wong, Pianist, and Robert Waters, Violinist

Posted Mar. 14, 2011

World class musicians Dr. Jerry Wong, pianist, and Robert Waters, violinist, will perform together on March 28 at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Sponsored by the Artist/Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public, however tickets are required and will be available beginning March 21 at the Performing Arts Center Box Office, which is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are limited to four per person and must be picked up in person. They will not be available online.  The theatre doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The performance will feature selections from composers Franz Schubert, Eugene Ysaye, Claude Debussy and Paul Schoenfield. Wong is a Steinway Artist and will being playing the Performing Arts Center's Steinway Concert Grand piano that he helped select. The piano was donated by Dr. Daniel and Mary Miller of Walnut Creek.

Described by Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Martin Bernheimer as "eloquent and elegant…(with) passion and introspection…sensitivity and a finely honed sense of style" and praised by the Orange County Register for "clean technique, forthright sound and a straight forward approach to classical textures," pianist Jerry Wong has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Asia in such prestigious settings as the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, National Concert Hall of Taipei, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Opera City Hall in Tokyo, PianoForte in Chicago, Severance Hall in Cleveland, Shriver Hall in Baltimore and Weill Recital Hall in New York City. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 1996 Prix-Ville de Fontainebleau in France, which was personally presented to him at the American Academy of Fontainebleau by Philippe Entremont, the 1999 IBLA Grand Prize, and the 2009 Akron Area Arts Alliance "Outstanding Artist in Music." The latter led to features in the Akron Beacon Journal and Akron Life and Leisure Magazine.

In response to the 2010 release of his debut CD on the MSR Classics label featuring the works of Sergei Prokofiev, Phil Muse of Audio Society of Atlanta wrote: "Wong brings [introspection and gentle nostalgia to this music] better than anyone I have heard to assay the Eighth since the late Emil Gilels," and Patsy Morita of wrote: "Wong has no trouble at all with the technical demands and plays with good energy and strength. Yet, he also gives them a thorough and thoughtful musicality that might not necessarily be associated with such youthful music. Wong applies the same maturity to everything here, from the briefest of the Visions Fugitives to the fullness of the opening of the Sonata No. 8, the last of Prokofiev's "War" Sonatas."

Wong's performances and interviews have been featured on HCTV, KHSU, WCLV, WKSU, Finnish National Radio, Living & Travel Section of, Nippon Television and Radio Video Mediterranean. An avid chamber musician and collaborative pianist, he performs regularly at Kent/Blossom Music, where he has been featured with violinist Soovin Kim, the Miami String Quartet and members of The Cleveland Orchestra.

A graduate of Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music, where he completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree, Wong's major teachers have included Menahem Pressler, Ann Schein, Sara Davis Buechner and Byron Janis. Wong presently holds the position of associate professor of piano at Kent State University. During the summers, he is co-director of the Piano Institute at Kent State and a member of the Kent/Blossom Music faculty. Frequently sought after as adjudicator, clinician and lecturer, his masterclasses have brought him to such noted institutions as Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, Northwestern University, St. Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, Tainan National University of Arts in Taiwan, University of Michigan and Yong Sieh Tow Conservatory in Singapore. In addition, he has presented lecture recitals about the music of Seymour Bernstein to the Music Teachers National Association state conferences of Indiana, Ohio and New York, as well as the Music Teachers Association of California. His article, "How Do You Use DVDs and YouTube Videos of Historic Pianists in Your Teaching?" was recently published in Clavier Companion.

An active performer of solo, chamber and orchestral repertoire and founding member of the Jupiter Trio and the Callisto Ensemble, violinist Robert Waters has concertized throughout the U.S. and abroad.  In 2003, Waters was appointed associate professor of violin at the DePaul University School of Music in Chicago, where he now resides.  In 2008, he was appointed Concertmaster of the acclaimed orchestral/choral ensemble, Chicago's Music of the Baroque.  Previously, Waters was a member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1996, and Associate Concertmaster since 1998. 

As a member of the Jupiter Trio, Waters was awarded First Prize in the 2002 Osaka International Chamber Music Competition in Osaka, Japan. Chosen from 54 ensembles representing 19 countries, the Jupiter Trio was the first American ensemble in the history of the competition to win the gold medal, and was invited to return to Japan in 2004 for an 11-city tour.  In 2003, the Jupiter Trio was a finalist for the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.  Regularly performing and teaching across the country, the Jupiter Trio also released its first CD in 2004 on Bridge Records, featuring works of Beethoven and Shostakovich. The CD immediately received great critical acclaim, winning the Samuel Sanders Award for Collaborative Performance from the Classical Recording Foundation, and receiving numerous rave reviews. Additional recordings by the Jupiter Trio include a CD released by the Japan Chamber Music Foundation with music of Mozart, Hummel and Dvorak; a trio by Martin Bresnick, recorded for Canteloupe Music; and a trio by Kurt Westerberg, recorded for Southport Records. 

As a core member of the Callisto Ensemble, Waters performs regularly in what John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune calls "one of the city's finest new chamber groups." The Callisto Ensemble performs in and outside of Chicago, programming and premiering new works by the most compelling composers of our time alongside masterworks from the past.  Callisto was the featured performing and teaching ensemble for the 40th Contemporary Music Festival at Indiana State University at Terre Haute in 2006, and for the Outside the Box Festival of New Music at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 2008.  Waters is also a featured artist on the Ensemble's debut recording of chamber music by Augusta Read Thomas, which was released to many favorable reviews in the Fall of 2006. 

In addition to his full-time teaching position at DePaul, Waters has taught and coached students of music, of all ages, in Chicago and around the country. He was invited for five consecutive years to be on the Artist/Faculty roster of the Yehudi Menhuin Seminar in San Francisco, as well as seven years as Artist Faculty for the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra Summer Music Camp.  He is the Artistic Director for the DePaul Adult Chamber Music Workshop, and has given orchestral coachings to the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Classical Philharmonic. 

Waters has appeared at festivals all over the country, including El Paso Pro-Musica, Saratoga Chamber Music Festival, Caramoor Music Festival, and Marlboro Music Festival.  In addition to several summers at Marlboro, Waters toured the Eastern U.S. under the Musicians from Marlboro auspices and is a featured performer on its 50th Anniversary CD.  In the summers of 2007 and 2008, he was invited to serve as Artist/Faculty at the Stellenbosch International Music Festival in South Africa.  He has collaborated in performance with some of the great musicians of our time, including Claude Frank, David Soyer, Midori, and Felix Galimir, and has been featured on numerous national radio broadcasts of NPR's Performance Today, as well as local radio broadcasts in New York, Boston, Seattle, Chicago, and San Francisco. A vigorous advocate of contemporary music, Waters has worked closely with such composers as Krysztof Penderecki, Gyorgy Kurtag, Luciano Berio, Leon Kirchner, Martin Bresnick, Augusta Read Thomas, Shulamit Ran, Bernard Rands and George Perle.   

Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University Dr NE, in New Philadelphia


Media Contact:

Pam Patacca, 330.308.7473,

Kent State University at Tuscarawas

March 14, 2011