Daria Rabotkina holds the position of an Assistant Professor of piano at Texas State University. Born in Kazan, Russia, into a family of musicians, she gave her first solo recital at the age of ten. She received her education at the Kazan State Conservatory and Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of Vladimir Feltsman. Rabotkina holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree and the Artist Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with Natalya Antonova.
She has taught at the Kazan State Conservatory, the Music School of New York City, and the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Rabotkina’s concerto highlights include San Francisco and New World Symphonies, Kirov (Mariinsky) Orchestra, Moscow State Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Hudson Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepción and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra (Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety). Her orchestral collaborations include conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Feltsman, Julian Kuerti, JoAnn Falletta, Benjamin Shwartz, and Giancarlo Guerrero. Dr. Rabotkina has given recitals at the Kennedy Center (Washington Performing Arts Society), Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, Ravinia’s Rising Stars, Dame Myra Hess and PianoForte Salon Series in the Chicago area, the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory and in Denmark, Switzerland, and Japan.
Winner of the 2007 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Dr. Rabotkina has received top prizes at many international competitions and participated in Russia’s White Nights Festival, Finland’s Kuhmo Festival, Copenhagen’s Summer Festival and Germany’s MusikFest in Kreuth. In the United States, Dr. Rabotkina has appeared at the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, International Keyboard Institute and Festival, Music Academy of the West, and PianoSummer at New Paltz. Her debut recital disc, spotlighting the Tchaikovsky Grand Sonata and Prokofiev’s Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet, garnered universal critical praise. Her second solo CD, on CAG Records (2012), features Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. Dr. Rabotkina’s third project involved live recording of three concerti is as part of the Victor Elmaleh Collection.
Originally from Minsk, Belarus, pianist Alena Gorina is a lecturer at the Texas State University at San Marcos. Dr. Gorina holds a DMA in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s Degree from the Bowling Green State University, and the Diploma of the Belarusian National Conservatory. Her principal teachers over the years have been Nancy Garrett, Maxim Mogilevsky, Vladimir Dulov, and Ariadna Guzhalovskaya.
In Belarus, Ms. Gorina taught at the College of Music, the Belarusian Academy of Music, and the National Music School. She performed with various instrumentalists and served as an accompanist with the balalaika ensemble “Zolotaya Gorka” (“Golden Hill”) between 1998 and 2000. Her admiration of twentieth-century music brought her to Vienna, where she participated in master classes with Emmy Henz-Diémand. In 2001, the Bahrain Music Institute invited Alena Gorina to lead their piano department.
Dr. Gorina’s recognition in America began after a live broadcast as a soloist on WGTE FM 91 in Toledo, Ohio. She frequently appears with the “Musical Bridges Around the World” (MBAW) series in San Antonio, presenting a variety of programs and styles including “Schubert’s Birthday”, “A Date with Rachmaninoff”, “Women in Music”, and “French Impressions.” A Naxos recording of her performance of Lucas Foss’s “Psalms” with the University of Texas Chamber Singers under conductor James Morrows was released July 2010. In December 2011, Dr. Gorina participated in a unique performance of Liszt’s “Hexameron” for six pianists/twelve hands as part of “Golden Fingers and Golden Toes” for MBAW. Dr. Gorina’s piano solo album “Magical Evenings” is available on Amazon.
In 2013, she organized the piano duet AleAnya with Anya Grokhovsky (DuoAleAnya.com). The duet is gaining national recognition, including a Puerto Rican tour, collaborating with composers and choreographers to enrich the repertoire. In Summer 2017, the duet will perform a European tour. In her free time, Dr. Gorina performs community outreach concerts at schools and retirement homes, both as a soloist and as part of the duet.
Pianist Jason Kwak has already enjoyed a successful career, both as an artist and as a pedagogue. Born in Seoul, South Korea, Dr. Kwak began his piano studies at the age of four. He has earned his degrees in Piano Performance from Eastman School of Music and The University of Texas at Austin. His principal piano teachers include David Watkins, Douglass Weeks, Barry Snyder, and Nancy Garrett. Dr. Kwak is currently Professor of Piano and Keyboard Area Coordinator at Texas State University. Previously, he has held teaching positions at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas Extension Program, and the Austin Chamber Music Center. He is consistently in high demand for performances, masterclasses, lectures, and adjudications on a state, national, and international level.
Dr. Kwak has received top prize in many piano competitions including the Atlanta Steinway Society Competition, Handok Piano Competition, Southern Keyboard Competition, Atlanta Music Club, and the Clara Wells Piano Competition. He has made numerous national and international appearances as a solo pianist including performances with the Victoria Symphony, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Daegu Symphony Orchestra, The University of Texas Wind Ensemble, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Wind Symphony, The Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Round Rock Symphony, Gangnam Symphony Orchestra and the Rocky Ridge Orchestra. Recent international engagements have taken Dr. Kwak all over the world, including stops in England, Turkey, Germany, Malaysia, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Italy, Brazil, Bulgaria, Norway, and South Korea
Dr. Kwak has also given solo performances in many notable venues and festivals, including performances at Seoul Arts Center, Jeju National Museum, Bundy Arts Center, Daegu Culture Center, Museu de Arte Moderna (Brazil), and Fox Theatre in Atlanta as well as solo performances in over 30 U.S. College Campuses and many International college campuses including Kei Myung University (South Korea), Adnan Menderes University, Yasar University (Turkey),University of Malay (Malaysia), Kuang Jen Catholic School, Chinese Culture University (Taiwan) and Birmingham Conservatory (England). An avid chamber musician, Dr. Kwak has collaborated with many distinguished artists including performances with Mezzo-Soprano Shin Ja Kim, violinist Vincent Fritell, and trumpeter Billy Hunter and Craig Morris. In 2008, Dr. Kwak, along with Dr. Ian Davidson and Professor Daris Hale, formed 'Trio 488', a chamber group comprised of applied music faculty at Texas State University. With goals to promote and commission new music, Trio 488 has already performed at the College Music Society International Conference, International Double Reed Society Conference, Bear Valley Music Festival, NACUSA International Conference, RioWinds Festival, and at the Mysterium of Modern Music Concert along with several performances in various concert series. An advocate of new music for this instrumentation, 'Trio 488 has already commissioned and premiered several new pieces and has plans to release their first CD of new music in the very near future.
As an educator, Dr. Kwak is a dedicated teacher who has been recognized numerous times for his teachings. Most notably, in 2011, Dr. Kwak was the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State University. In 2004, Dr. Kwak received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He has presented many lecture performances including lectures for Victoria Symphony, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Corpus Christi Music Teachers Association, Kingsville Music Club, Austin District Music Teachers Association, Jeju National Museum, Texas Music Educators Association Convention and The University of Texas at Austin. Further, Dr. Kwak’s students garnered several recognitions in competitions at the regional, national and international level. Dr. Kwak was recently featured by Texas State University in their ‘Profiles in Teaching’ series.
Dr. Kyung-Ae Lee, native of South Korea, began her piano study at the age of three and made her first public performance at the age of six. After graduating from Seoul Arts High School and Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, she moved to the US to further her piano studies. She received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Literature from Eastman School of Music and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance from The University of Texas at Austin.Dr. Lee has received numerous honors and awards in her career. Those recognitions include the Getty Fund Scholarship, American Association of University Women (AAUW) PhD Fellowship, Teaching Assistantship at The University of Texas at Austin, Dalies Frantz Endowed Scholarship, Sydney Wright Endowed Scholarship, and Korean Honor Scholarship-awarded twice from the South Korean Embassy in Washington D.C. In summer 2006, she was recognized as ‘One of the most honorable musicians representing Jeju Province’ in South Korea.She has won several piano competitions in her life including Alma Jeane Ward Memorial Piano Competition, Sydney Wright Piano Accompanying Competition, Clara Wells Piano Competition, and Jeju KBS (Korean Broadcast System) Music Competition.In 2001, immediately after receiving her DMA degree, she returned to Korea to join the faculty at the Ewha Women’s University and Cheju National University while maintaining a busy performing schedule. As a performer, she performed actively in solo recitals, chamber concerts and lecture recitals, and had frequently appeared in concerto performances as a soloist. She has performed in the USA, South Korea, Japan, and Russia. Her most notable concerts include a solo recital at the Seoul Arts Performance Center, performances with Korea Wind Orchestra, Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra, Kwangju Philharmonic Orchestra, Daegu Philharmonic Orchestra, and Gangnam Symphony Orchestra. She had also appeared as a guest artist at Ewha Women’s University, Jeju National Museum, College Music Society International Conference, and Bear Valley Music Festival. Her performances had been broadcast on KBS, CBS (Cheju Broadcast System), KCTV (Korea Cable TV).Dr. Lee has also participated in the publications of two articles: Classic Piano Music—Beethoven Piano Variations and Romantic Piano Music—Schubert Piano Sonatas by Il-song Media Publication in Korea. She also gave a treatise presentation at the 2006 Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii.In 2005 she had moved back to the US and joined the faculty at Texas A&M University - Kingsville. Since 2008, she joined the music faculty at Texas State University. Other previous teaching positions include faculty at the Austin Chamber Music Center and the InterHarmony International Music Festival in Italy.
Shortly after pianist William McNally’s ninth birthday, he performed for the first time in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the AMSA World Piano Competition, and has returned often, including once in Stern Auditorium as principal bassist of the Mt. Lebanon H.S. Orchestra, and more recently in Zankel Hall as director of two opera-shorts presented by the Remarkable Theatre Brigade. He has also performed in Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall, Elebash Hall, and other venues in New York.
In 2013, Dr. McNally released a CD of works by Brahms, Reger and Busoni as part of the Victor Elmaleh Collection, which the New York Times called “exhilarating” “adventurous,” and “commanding.”
Dr. McNally has been recognized as a ragtime pianist and composer of numerous ragtime-styled works. He is the first three-time winner of the World Championship Old-Time Piano Playing Contest’ New Rag Contest and also a winner of the main Regular (performance) Division, appearing at ragtime festivals around the country. A CD release (Chickens ‘n’ Kittens: a Ragtime Coup) follows his interest in modern and classically trained ragtime composers. He has presented papers on the transatlantic voyages of ragtime at the Society for American Music 2014 Conference and at the Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO.
He is a veteran of numerous summer festivals, including Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and Mannes’ International Keyboard Institute and Festival. In 2010, as a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, he collaborated with the Mark Morris Dance Company, coached with musicians including Emanuel Ax, Peter Serkin, Dawn Upshaw and Oliver Knussen, and his performance of George Perle’s “Concertino for Piano, Winds and Timpani” was hailed as a “powerful performance” by the New York Times. Dr. McNally’s affiliation with Pianofest in the Hamptons spanned five seasons, where he served as Dean of Students.
Receiving degrees from the Mannes College of Music and Temple University, Dr. McNally studied with Jacob Lateiner, Jerome Rose, Harvey Wedeen and Lambert Orkis. He has performed in the master classes of Sergei Babayan, Claude Frank, Paul Schenly, Peter Serkin, Arie Vardi and Earl Wild, among others. In 2015 he completed a Doctor of Musical Arts degree together with a Doctoral Certificate in American Studies at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center; there he studied with Ursula Oppens. His dissertation, Ragtime Then and Now: Composers and Audiences from the Ragtime Era to the Ragtime Revival, is currently being prepared for publication. Previously, he has served on the faculties of Temple University, Queens College, and Baruch College. Dr. McNally joined the faculty of Texas State University in 2016. www.williammcnally.com