About The Piano Society of Greater Washington
The Piano society of Greater Washington, established in 2003, is a nonprofit group of Washington area pianists providing recitals of classical music five times a year at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Avenue, in Silver Spring, Maryland (20910), just south of the Capital Beltway and near the Forest Glen Metro stop. The church is blessed with a unique Steinway grand piano in an inspired setting.
The performers have careers in performance, sometimes balanced with other professions. Many study piano with some of the area’s finest teachers and concert artists. The caliber of playing is high, and some members participate in well-known competitions. Some members have their own studios teaching piano students.
Meet Our Members
Hyojin Ahn Hyojin Ahn has enjoyed a richly diverse musical career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral keyboardist, teacher, and accompanist. A graduate of Seoul National University and the University of Michigan, she earned her doctorate in Piano Performance from Rice University in Houston, TX. After graduation, she lived in Miami Beach, Florida playing primarily with the New World Symphony and Southwest Florida Symphony while teaching at Barry University. In the summer of 2012 she moved to Silver Spring, MD and joined the Piano Society of Greater Washington, the International School of Music piano faculty and the All Saints Lutheran Church and the Cantigas Choir as accompanist. She still maintains the Principal Keyboardist position in the Southwest Florida Symphony and River Oaks Chamber Orchestra and also appears as a guest artist with the Context Ensemble in Houston, TX.
Ms. Ahn was a recipient of the Presser Music Award with which she participated in music festivals in France, Austria, and Italy and also played as a soloist with the Berlin RIAS youth Orchestra. She has won prizes at several competitions, including the New World Symphony Concerto Competition, the Jacob Flier International Competition, and the Samick Piano Competition. She has appeared at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater as part of the Millennium Stage Conservatory Project in a performance aired live on NPR nationwide. As a member of Acanthes Piano Duo, she toured the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. She also toured France and Spain with the New World Symphony Orchestra sponsored by a Parisian opera company, Opéra-Comique. Recently, she presented a lecture-recital in the College Music Society International Conference in Seoul, Korea. Along with traditional music, Hyojin Ahn is a strong advocate of new music; she has premiered several new compositions for solo piano and a variety of ensembles. She also participated in contemporary music festivals and competitions, including Centre Acanthes in France and the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition in the Netherlands. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake she volunteered to teach at Holy Trinity Music School in Port-au-Prince.
Roger Coleman began piano studies at age 19, earning a BA in Music and a BFA in Piano Performance from SUNY at Buffalo. Continuing at the University of Maryland at College Park, he received a Master's Degree in Music focusing on piano performance and pedagogy. Roger is currently Professor of Music at Montgomery College in Takoma Park where he teaches guitar, piano theory and music appreciation.. He also teaches piano and guitar in private practice. Roger has performed throughout the Washington area as a soloist and with rock, jazz, theater and choral ensembles. He enjoys playing a wide variety of styles including Jazz with the Swingtime Big Band and Paramount Jazz Orchestra, and Rock with the Brighton Blackjacks.
Hilary Van Wagenen Henry gave her first solo recital at age seven, and has performed in Italy, Russia, and the United States. Recent performances have included soloing with the chamber orchestra I Soloisti di Perugiain Perugia, Italy, performing solo works by Brahms in Assisi, Italy, and giving solo recitals at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Performing Arts in Orange Park, Florida, the Steinway Societies of Nashville and Knoxville, TN, and many others. She was the featured musical performer for The Washington ARTS Group’s 30th anniversary gala, where she shared the program with artists from other disciplines. In a similar vein, Ms. Henry collaborated with painter Lauren Shea Little to create a multimedia experience recasting Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition.” Ms. Henry is a prizewinner in several competitions, including the National Federation of Music Clubs Student Competition, the Catholic University Concerto Competition, the Concert on the Green Young Artists Competition, and finalist in the International Young Artists Competition in Washington, D.C. She has participated in music festivals such as Pianofest Perugia in Perugia, Italy, Washington International Piano Festival, the Taubmann Institute, and Music Naturally in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Ms. Henry received the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Benjamin T. Rome School of Music at The Catholic University of America, where she studied with Dr. Ivo Kaltchev. Her other principal teachers were Ruby Morgan and Pamela Franklin. She is a 2011 La Gesse Foundation fellow, and has performed in France, Germany, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She lives with her husband, two-year old son (whose favorite composer is Beethoven) and greyhound in Silver Spring, MD. She teaches students of all ages at her home, and loves sharing her knowledge and love of music with others. When she’s not making music, she enjoys running, playing with legos, and learning about dinosaurs. www
Francesca Hurst received the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. She graduated magna cum laude from Tulane University in New Orleans with a BFA in Piano Performance and a BA in Italian. Her teachers include Dr. Ivo Kaltchev, Faina Lushtak, Vag Papian, Giuseppe Tanzini, and Maryen Herrett. She has received numerous scholarships from such organizations as the Italian Cultural Society of Washington, Catholic University, Tulane University, the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF), and the Italian Government.
A Washington native, Ms. Hurst has performed locally in such places as the National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Embassies of Finland and of the Vatican, the Ambassadorial Residences of Finland and the E.U., the World Bank, the Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria, VA, Fairfax Christian Church in Fairfax, VA, and Trinity Washington and Catholic Universities in Washington, DC. In 2011, Francesca gave the world premiere of two new piano works by Scottish-American composer Jennifer Margaret Barker in a lecture recital on Barker's piano works at the University of Delaware. She later performed these works at Catholic University in DC and Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She was a semifinalist in the Pancho Vladigerov International Piano Competition in Shumen, Bulgaria, and a prizewinner in the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington, DC. She performed in the Schlern International Music Festival in Trentino Alto-Adige, Italy, twice, and more recently, in MusicFest Perugia, where she made her European orchestral debut with I Solisti di Perugia.
In addition to performing, Dr. Hurst has been teaching for several years. She is on the music faculty at Trinity Washington University in Washington, DC, and an adjunct professor at Catholic University, also in DC. She maintains a small private piano studio, and is a member of the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Association and the College Music Society. She is often asked to judge various competitions, and recently served on the jury of the 2011 University of Delaware Concerto Competition. www
Alice Ji Equally at home as a soloist, collaborative pianist, and an educator, Alice Ji has been enjoying a diverse career in the United States and abroad. A prizewinner of MTNA Colorado State Young Artist Competition, Alice Ji has performed at Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, Vianden Castle in Luxembourg, Straus Auditorium, Yuldong Memorial Concert Hall and Nowon Arts Center in Seoul, Korea, Grusin Hall, and many others. She has also performed at various music festivals including Brevard Music Festival, Washington International Piano Festival, and Vianden International Music Festival. Alice Ji was selected to perform at multiple master classes including Pascal Rogé, Barbara Lister-Sink, Robert Weirich, and Christopher Harding. An advocate of Contemporary music, she was invited to perform at Pendulum new music concert series at CU-Boulder. An active chamber musician, Alice Ji was awarded a full graduate assistantship at CU-Boulder and served as a collaborative pianist. She was a recipient of numerous scholarship awards from Dongduk Women’s University, Mu Phi Epsilon International Music Foundation, Brevard Music Festival, and Vianden International Music Festival. As a dedicated educator, in addition to her years of experience as a private instructor, Alice Ji frequently held lectures at seventeen universities' pedagogy classes in Seoul and across Korea. She was also engaged in a music publisher and co-translated America’s piano pedagogical publications into Korean.
Alice Ji studied with a renowned pianist Hue-Am Park (a prizewinner at the Olivier Messiaen International Contemporary Piano Competition), earned her B.M. in Piano at Dongduk Women’s University where she studied with Prof. Hyo Sun Na, and received M.M. in Piano at the University of Colorado at Boulder under the tutelage of Dr. Andrew Cooperstock. She is currently a faculty member at the Academy of Fine Arts and the International School of Music in Washington D.C. metro area, and an adjudicator of Performance Evaluation and Certificate program at the International School of Music. She also teaches in her private studio in Gaithersburg, Maryland. www
Veronica Li started studying the piano at age seven in Hong Kong. Several years later, to her delight, her lessons were discontinued because her family moved to Taiwan. She restarted lessons voluntarily as a grownup, studying with various teachers in the DC area. Her current teacher is Leander Bien. Veronica is retired from the World Bank. She has published two books, Nightfall in Mogadishu, a spy thriller on Somalia, and Journey across the Four Seas, a true story of her mother’s life.
Robert C. Snyder, M.D. is retired Chairman of Pathology, Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring. An avid chamber musician, Bob has performed numerous recitals with professional artists including Marilyn Cotlow, Metropolitan Opera Soprano; Audrey Andrist, pianist (Julliard School of Music); David Fedele, flutist with the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society; Davyd Booth, violinist and John Eitzen, cellist (members of the Philadelphia Orchestra); and various chamber musicians at local embassies as former Music Director of the James Monroe Society. He has a greater than 40 year four-hand piano collaboration with Galen Deibler, retired professor of piano at Susquehanna University. He also performed at the Amalfi Coast Music Festival with internationally known pianist José Ramos-Santana. Having coached chamber music extensively with International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition Silver Medalist Susan Starr, he is presently studying privately with her in Philadelphia.
Ellen Tenenbaum currently studies piano with Leander Bien, having studied with Carolyn Lamb Booth from 2000 to 2009. Ellen performs in library, hospital, church, embassy, and senior living settings across the Washington area, in a volunteer capacity and for charitable events and causes. Her recital engagements involve discussing the music and composers followed by playing their works. She combines music with family and work as a study director at the evaluation research firm Westat.
Viscount Thurston began piano studies at age 7. At his first public performance at age 17, he played Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in Denver, Colorado with the orchestra led by his teacher, Antonia Brico. As a graduate student at Ohio State University, Viscount won the music school’s concerto competition and performed Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concert No. 1 with the university orchestra. Studying with Rosemary Platt and then Richard Tetley-Kardos, he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance in 1984. In 2003, he enjoyed the opportunity to reprise his performance of the Rachmaninov third concerto in Colorado, this time with the Littleton Symphony Orchestra. Viscount was the 1st prize winner in the 2010 Washington International Piano Arts Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2011 Boston Piano Amateurs Competition. He manages leadership development programs for the Federal Aviation Administration, and lives with his wife, Vickie, in Columbia, Maryland. Their four grown children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren all live in the Baltimore metro area.
Felicia Weiss began studying piano at age nine, and in high school formed a chamber ensemble that went on to win the Long Island, New York Teen Talent competition. Currently, she studies piano with Myriam Avalos, is a performing member of the Friday Morning Music Club, attends the AlpenKammerMusik summer festival in Austria, and actively participates in the Levine School of Music’s chamber music program.
Special Event: Masterclass Feb. 24, 2013
Sunday, February 24, 2013, 2:00 to 4:00 pm
The Steinway Gallery
11611 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda, MD 20852
All are welcome.
Free; contributions are welcomed. Light refreshments afterward.
RSVP: To firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone her: 301-793-1863 Your RSVP will help us set up the right number of chairs.
What is a Masterclass? Common in conservatories, a masterclass is an event featuring a few performers and a very experienced Masterclass commenter, often a faculty member or a concert artist. After each performance, the commenter gives helpful suggestions and insights, for the benefit of the general audience and the performer. The performer may try different approaches, and improvement may be heard immediately. Each performer may be given 20-30 minutes, before going to the next performer and piece. Everyone hears concert works, and gains insights, and it is a great musical and learning experience.
Who will be the commenters on Feb. 24? Vike Thurston, Francesca Hurst, and Robert Snyder will be commenters, in a collegial, positive and friendly style. They are performing members of Piano Society who have extensive experience with masterclasses.
Who will be the performers? Piano Society audience members and others we know who study with teachers and have repertoire that is performance-ready will be the performers on Feb. 24.
Sonata No. 5 in C Minor, Op. 10. No. 1 / Allegro molto e con brio (1st Movement) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Impromptu No. 4 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66 (Fantaisie-Impromptu) Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)
Sonata No. 12 in A-Flat Major, Op. 26 Andante con Variazioni (1st Movement) Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Dec. 2, 2012 3pm at the new Montgomery College Performing Arts Center, 7995 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring 20910
Jan. 27, 2013 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring 20910
Apr. 14, 2013 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring 20910
June 23, 2013 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring 20910
The typical concert may open with a welcoming Renaissance or Baroque work, perhaps a Bach suite or a group of Scarlatti sonatas. Two or three performers offer sets of works before intermission, and then two or three other performers play major works after intermission. Each performer first tells a bit about the composer or the work, giving the audience context and background. A single concert may include 4 to 6 performers sharing wide-ranging music across the piano repertoire. Guest artists often participate, enriching the experience.
Following the concert is a reception for all to enjoy. Listeners and performers mix, over hors d’oeuvres, homemade sweets, and drinks, all supplied by Piano Society members. A free will offering is appreciated, covering the maintenance of the piano and the use of the sanctuary. All donations are deeply appreciated, with a $5 minimum donation requested.Past Performances
July 15, 2012 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring 20910
Sept. 30, 2012 at Calvary Lutheran Church, 9545 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring 20910
View Larger Map
The church is at Georgia Avenue and the Beltway (495). Exit the beltway at Georgia going south toward Silver Spring. Immediately see the church on your left. Easiest way to actually get there: As you exit the beltway, on Georgia going south, immediately get in the far RIGHT lane. After about like 20 seconds, turn right at Shell Station/Seminary Plaza shopping center, with a CVS and a Stapes there. Curl around left, and come out at Seminary. Go left onto Seminary and you’ll get a light! Be in the right lane and, when the light turns, you can turn left onto Georgia. Then get in far right lane. Turn right onto Flora Lane and park in the neighborhood. Or, just past Flora Lane, turn right into the church driveway, and make your way through the tiny lot and off to the right, again into the neighborhood.
Red line, exit at Forest Glen. Allow for about a 15-minute walk south, on Georgia. Walk under the beltway. The church is on your left.
A number of lines go up and down Georgia, stopping at Seminary – for example, the Y5 and other Y buses; the S2 bus. From that stop it’s about a 5-to-8-minute walk to the church. Call Metro at 202-637-7000.