Renowned pianist Brian Ganz led a master class for four students from around the Washington metropolitan area on Feb. 3 at the in North Bethesda.
The class came eight days before at the Music Center Strathmore as the second performance of his quest to play all 250 of Chopin's piano pieces. was at the music center in January 2011. He predicts it will take about a year to complete his musical journey.
The students were:
- Ofer Kimchi, a 17-year-old senior at Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, from Potomac, played Schubert's "Impromptu, Op. 90 No. 4." Kimchi has been studying with Junko Takahashi since second grade. He won first place in the Maryland State Music Teachers Association Spring Solo Festival in May. He also has received high honors at several Montgomery County Music Teachers Association-judged recitals and participated in a master class with Ann Schein. Kimchi is captain of the mock trial team at Charles E. Smith, and is a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist and a Presidential Scholar nominee.
- Nicholas Troccoli, a 17-year-old senior at the Maret School in Washington, D.C., from Bethesda, played Bach's "Prelude—English Suite II BWV 807." He has studied for 11 years, including nine years under Immanuela Gruenberg. He often performs in recitals and competitions sponsored by the MSMTA, the MCMTA and the Washington Music Teachers Association. He has won top prizes at various competitions, including earning high honors at the recent WMTA-judged recital. Troccoli was selected to participate in a master class with Marvin Blickenstaff at the 2011 Maryland State MTA Conference. Troccoli plays piano in his school's Jazz Combo and Jazz Band, and clarinet in the band.
- Chaoyang Wang, a 14-year-old freshman at , from North Potomac, played Kabalevsky's "Allegro con moto—Sonata, Op. 46." Wang, who has played piano for six years, studies with Cherie Jeng and Faye Bonner. He has won the MSMTA solo competition, the Gertrude S. Brown Memorial Concerto Competition and the Potomac Piano and Strings Competition. He has placed in the Gottlieb Competition and the recent Music Teachers National Association competition, and participated in Ingrid Clarfield's master class. Wang also plays violin in Wootton High's orchestra. In his free time, he enjoys reading, swimming, and, of course, playing the piano.
- Mary Enxin Wan, a 14-year-old freshman at in Oakton, Va., from Herndon, Va., played Bartók's "Ostinato (Mikrokosmos)." Wan was born in Shanghai, China and came to Virginia as a 7-year-old. She started playing the piano at age 8, studying under Juliana Kuo and Li-Ly Chang. She took first place at the Rockville Competition for Piano and Strings and third place at the Henri Carol Memorial Competition. Her hobbies include playing sports, singing, debating, drawing and making ceramics. She is a student of John Healey.