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Music & Music Education
In the Department of Arts & Humanities
As a pianist, soprano, and conductor, Nicole Becker has performed in concerts and recitals throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan. Dr. Becker received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Yale University, a Masters of Music in Piano from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also studied piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Music and Music Education Program at Teachers College, where she teaches Piano and Choral Pedagogy. Dr. Becker also directs the Teachers College Lab Chorus, which she co-founded with Jeanne Goffi-Fynn in 2008. Dr. Becker has taught general music at the elementary and middle school levels, and is certified in Orff and Kodaly methods. Her research interests include student-centered approaches in ensemble settings; narrative autoethnography as a methodology for teacher research; and borrowing lenses of neuroscience and cognitive science to interpret teaching and learning in the applied lesson setting.
The New York Times hailed Evelyn Chen as "a pianist to watch," praising her "brilliant technique, warm, clear tone, and exacting musical intelligence." Ms. Chen’s recent engagements have brought her to five continents at venues including Avery Fisher and Alice Tully Halls of Lincoln Center, Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Symphony Hall in Boston, Mozarteum in Salzburg, Wolf Trap, National Concert Hall in Taipei, Central Conservatory Concert in Beijing, and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.
Ms. Chen has performed with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra of London, New Zealand Symphony, National Symphony of Taiwan, and has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Riccardo Muti, Leonard Slatkin, Keith Lockhart, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, JoAnn Falletta, and Joseph Silverstein.
Ms. Chen’s recent recordings have received international critical acclaim. Her recording of Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with Leonard Slatkin and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London on BMG was among the top ten best-selling classical recordings in Great Britain. Her performances have been broadcast throughout the US, Europe and Asia. She has also performed before prominent dignitaries including the Princess of Thailand and the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
A Steinway Artist, Ms. Chen has been winner of several international competitions. As the youngest competitor, she won First Prize in the 1981 Bach International Competition in Washington DC. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts from the Juilliard School, a Master of Music from the New England Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Arts in composition from Harvard University. Ms. Chen is currently Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.
John Gavalchin has performed internationally as concert pianist throughout North and South America. A critically acclaimed pianist, his solo recital at the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Argentina prompted an invitation from the Colon’s director for a concerto performance with orchestra. He has also been the guest artist for the International Music Festival at the Domain Forget in Quebec, Canada. Concert tours have included several radio and television appearances. In New York, he has performed on WQXR’s Listening Room radio program with Robert Sherman. He frequently appears as soloist and with ensembles in the northeast U. S.
A Ph.D. graduate of New York University, Dr. Gavalchin’s dissertation “Temporality in Music: a conceptual model based on the phenomenology of Paul Ricoeur” received the departmental award for outstanding dissertation in the field of music. Dr. Gavalchin also received Bachelor and Master Degrees from the Juilliard School as a piano student of Mme. Ania Dorfmann. He was also a pupil of the renowned Russian pianist and pedagogue Alexander Eydelmann, who was a student of Felix Blumenfeld (teacher of Vladimir Horowitz). Eydelmann was also the teaching assistant of Heinrich Neuhaus, (professor of the legendary Russian pianists Emil Gilels and Sviatoslav Richter) at the Moscow Conservatory. Dr. Gavalchin’s other notable teacher was the important American teacher and pedagogue Dorothy Taubmann.
Dr. Gavalchin also teaches piano at the College of Saint Elizabeth and is Adjunct Professor of Music at Iona College. He has given piano master classes in the U.S. and abroad.
Andrew Henderson is Director of Music & Organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, where he oversees an extensive liturgical and choral program, including the Saint Andrew Chorale, the New York City Children’s Chorus, in addition to the Saint Andrew Music Society’s Music on Madison series. He also serves as the Associate Organist at New York City’s Temple Emanu-El, as a member of the organ faculty at the Manhattan School of Music, and as the organ instructor at Teacher’s College, Columbia University. Dr. Henderson, a native of Thorold, Ontario, holds degrees in music from Cambridge and Yale Universities, and in 2007 he was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at The Juilliard School. He was a finalist in the international competition Grand Prix de Chartres in 2002, and won first prize in the Royal Canadian College of Organists’ National Organ Playing Competition in 2003. Recent performances include organ and continuo playing with the New York Philharmonic, American Symphony Orchestra, Musica Sacra, Voices of Ascension, The Oratorio Society of New York and The Collegiate Chorale, and solo recitals in Poland, Canada, and throughout the USA. His first solo CD, Andrew Henderson at St. John’s, Elora, was released in 2010. A Fellow of the Royal Canadian College of Organists, his teachers have included John Tuttle, Barrie Cabena, David Sanger, Thomas Murray and John Weaver. Visit www.andrewhenderson.net.
Eve Wolf has appeared in solo and chamber music recitals in the United States and Europe. She has taught piano and chamber music in New York for the past twenty-five years, has lectured at The Juilliard School and has recently joined the faculty of The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Ms. Wolf is the Executive Artistic Director of Ensemble for the Romantic Century (ERC), which she founded in 2001. ERC, now in its thirteenth season, produces theatrical concerts, which interweave dramatic and fully staged scripts with chamber and vocal music. Ms. Wolf writes scripts and performs extensively with the group. ERC has, to date, created over 40 original productions and has partnered with and performed at such institutions as Symphony Space, The Jewish Museum of New York; the Archivio Fano at the Teatro La Fenice of Venice, Italy; the Festival de Musique de Chambre Montral; the French Institute-Alliance Franaise/FIAF, New York; the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University; the Italian Cultural Institute of New York; and the City University of New York (CUNY), among others. In 2011 Seduction, Smoke and Music: The Love Story of Chopin and George Sand, a theatrical concert co-produced with IMG Artists was performed in Italy at The Tuscan Sun Festival, with Jeremy Irons as Chopin and Sinad Cusack as George Sand. In the summer of 2013 ERC performed, to great critical acclaim, in partnership with Shakespeare & Company, ten performances of Ms. Wolf's script None but the Lonely Heart: The Strange Story of Tchaikovsky and Madame von Meck. Ms. Wolf studied piano with Seymour Bernstein, Richard Goode, and Peter Serkin, and music theory with Carl Schachter and Robert Levin. She received a BA in Art History from Columbia University and an MA in Piano Performance from New York University. Her much-in-demand seminar, Confronting Memory, deals with memorization techniques for pianists and has been presented in the United States and abroad.
Yung-Yung Elsa Lee
Dr. Yung-Yung Elsa Lee has appeared in solo and chamber recitals in Hong Kong, Australia, United States, England, and Poland. Her performance in Kraków, Poland was praised “…extraordinary, expressive, powerful, and technically perfect…” -Wiadomości24.pl
Under the tutelage of renowned pianist Barry Snyder and conductors Brad Lubman and Neil Varon, Dr.Lee earned her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music, with a minor in Instrumental Conducting. During her studies at Eastman, she was awarded the Vaughan Scholarship. She also worked as a studio accompanist and orchestral pianist of Eastman ensembles and orchestras. She attended the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts for her undergraduate degree. While she was pursuing the Professional Diploma at the Academy in 2007, she was awarded the prestigious Molly McAulay Memorial Scholarship, which sponsored her with full tuition scholarship and living expenses for her Master of Music Studies (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia.
During her study in Sydney, she also appeared as the orchestral pianist for the Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra.
Aside from performing, Dr. Lee has been teaching students of all ages and levels since 2001.
Xiaohang Li, pianist born and raised in Qingdao, China, has trained classically since five years of age. During her eight years living in the United States, she completed her Bachelor’s degree at Berklee College of Music majored in Music Production and Engineering and is now pursuing her Master’s degree in Music and Music Education at Teachers College Columbia University. She studied piano with famous classical and jazz pianists including Ray Santasi, Russ Hoffmann and Evelyn Chen, and studied music production and recording with three times Grammy award winner Prince Charles Alexander. In her studies, she has gained a deep understanding of music recording, production and classical and pop piano performance.
Xiaohang has performed in concerts and ensembles around the United States and China and contributed to music recordings in The Village Studios for PSY, Coldplay, Johnny Depp and many more. She co-founded Silver River Music Academy in Arcadia, Los Angeles, which has brought the highest quallity of music education to the Arcadia community for over two years. As an accomplished pianist for many years, Xiaohang has helped more than 100 students prepare for music conservatory auditions, CM tests and piano competitions. As a music teacher, Xiaohang is deeply committed to a high standard and excellent quality of musical education. Currently Xiaohang is working at Columbia University Teachers College as a piano applied lessons instructor and has worked with nearly 30 students.