CONFERENCE | 2022

“This is true talent, a genuine diamond that you so rarely see.”–St. Petersburg Times

An Inca Indian and a native of Perú, pianist and composer Hwaen Ch'uqi is a world-renowned soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. He has performed throughout the United States, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Russia, Taiwan, Japan, and Perú at such venues
as Seiji Ozawa Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, and Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Mr. Ch'uqi holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied under Natalya Antonova. He quickly distinguished himself as one of the rare pianists to be three times invited as a fellow to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Center; there, he studied with such luminaries as Gilbert Kalish and Leon Fleisher. He was a semifinalist at the Second Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition in Moscow and was awarded the Special Prize.

Although he began his career strictly as a performer, Mr. Ch'uqi could not help but gradually entertain an itch that had plagued him since childhood - namely, the desire to compose. Practical considerations of survival in the murky waters of freelance music making provided him
the necessary spur, and his gifts as a composer of the highest order have been increasingly recognized. In 2009, he, in collaboration with five other composer-pianists, was commissioned to produce a second book-in like manner and structure-of Hexameron Variations. The work
was a feature of the 2010 conference of the American Liszt Society. In March, 2012, he was a finalist at the 17th International Piano Duo Composition Competition in Tokyo, Japan. More recently, he has received commissions from Notes and Tones Music Studio, the Taipei
Civic Symphony Orchestra, the Myanmar Music Festival, the Nicholls State University Wind Ensemble, and the University of British Columbia. He has completed a massive piano sonata, several chamber sonatas, a song cycle, suites for piano solo and four hands, and a children's musical.

Mr. Ch'uqi is truly honored and excited to supply a new work for NYSMTA. The working title is "Suite in the Baroque Manner" and will be scored for two pianos, four hands. It will be debuted at the NYSMTA convention in October and is slated to be performed by Duo Q'inti, the professional duo of pianists Hwaen Ch'uqi and Emi Okumura.

If you would like to get a sense of Mr. Ch'uqi's pianism as well as his compositional language, you are invited to investigate his youtube channel, called Inca Warrior: Clicking on the playlist titles will reveal the complete holdings. In particular, you may be interested to hear his Twenty-Five Preludes, CWV 19, for piano, four hands as well as his pedagogical work for late
intermediate/early advanced piano students called De Mes Amis, Les Animaux (Of My Friends, The Animals), CWV 34. Links are provided
below.

It is Mr. Ch'uqi's fervent prayer that such music as he is privileged to render might serve as a catalyst for wondrous change in the lives of all who hear it.

Emi Okumura, piano

Hailed as a “magician of the piano” by the world-renowned pianist and judge Hiroko Nakamura, Dr. Emi Okumura is an active recitalist and chamber musician who has performed live and on broadcasts throughout the United States, Japan, France, Chile, Taiwan, Italy, Russia, and
England. She routinely performs domestically and abroad alongside members of both Milwaukee and Chicago Symphony Orchestras as well as with faculty of Northwestern University. She is currently a pianist for the Boston Ballet, Boston Conservatory, and Berklee College of Music. She is also a piano instructor for the Office For the Arts at Harvard University and the founder of the Back Bay Music Academy.

 

Dr. Okumura holds a BM from the Eastman School of Music, an MM from Mannes College of Music, and was concurrently enrolled at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and the Eastman School of Music, earning respectively a GPD and a DMA in piano performance. Her
teachers include Natalya Antonova (under whom she also served as Teaching Assistant), Pavlina Dokovska, Faina Kofman, and Boris Slutsky. She received ear training instruction from Ludmila Khazan, a teacher of rare talents such as Evgeny Kissin and Boris Slutsky. She is the 1st prize winner of 18 national and international piano competitions including the Harvard University Scholarship Competition, Moulin D’ande International Piano Competition, and the Chopin Foundation Of the United States Competition.

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