Dean Peter Landgren has announced two new additions to CCM’s already-illustrious roster of piano faculty members. Acclaimed performers and pedagogues Dror Biran and Ran Dank have both been appointed to full-time faculty positions with CCM’s Division of Keyboard Studies.
“Both men have distinguished themselves internationally through numerous competition wins,” Landgren commented. “Their impressive artistry coupled with their vast teaching experience will make them excellent additions to our already exceptional piano faculty.”
Dror Biran’s playing has been described as “powerful, but also beautifully sensitive,” by Die Bleed magazine. He is winner of the top prizes at the M.K. Ciurlionis International Piano Competition and the Cleveland International Piano Competition (where he also received a special prize for best performance of works by Chopin), along with other competitions in Spain, Israel and the US.
Biran joins CCM as Associate Professor of Piano in August 2016 after serving as Visiting Adjunct Professor of Piano during the 2015-16 academic year. A graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory and Tel-Aviv University in Israel, Biran holds a Doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. A native Israeli, he has been the recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for Distinguished Musicians.
Described as, “a strong player with technique and imagination,” by the New York Times, Ran Dank has received numerous awards, including a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists roster in 2009. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Competition, the Naumburg Piano Competition, the Sydney International Piano Competition and was First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
Dank joins CCM as Assistant Professor of Piano in August of 2016 after serving as the Director of Piano Studies at the College of Charleston. He holds degrees from Tel Aviv University in his native Israel, as well as Master’s and Artist Diploma degrees from the Juilliard School in New York City. Dank joins his wife, Soyeon Kate Lee, who became a member of CCM’s faculty in August of 2014.
“In my opinion,” Landgren added, “the hires of Dror Biran and Ran Dank will continue to strengthen CCM’s status as a preeminent institution for the performing and media arts in the US, while also enhancing our global reputation as a leader in arts education.”
Please join us in welcoming Dror Biran and Ran Dank to the CCM family! You can learn more about both pianists below.
About Dror Biran
Dror Biran has been described by the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier as “mesmerizing in the intensity and emotionalism of his playing. His fingering in the fast passages was breathtaking, and the loving care he gave to the sweetly lyrical passages was riveting.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer added, “his fortissimos crashed and roared, but next to them came pianissimos that whispered seductively… he has technique to burn and uses it effectively.” Biran’s superb tonal control combined with interesting phrasing and voicing has won him consistent critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences.
Born in Israel, Biran is a top prizewinner of several national and international piano competitions. He is a graduate of the Givatayim Conservatory where he studied with Mrs. Lily Dorfman, as well as the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel-Aviv University where he studied with Professor Arie Vardi. Biran received his Doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where he studied with Mr. Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro.
Biran won top prizes at the M.K Ciurlionis International Piano Competition (1995), and the Cleveland International Piano Competition (1997) where he also received a special prize for the best performance of works by Chopin. His honors include the first prize at the “Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition” in Zaragoza, Spain (1998), first prize at the Israeli Rubin Academy Piano Competition (1998) and the Rafi Goralnik prize for pianists, in the Aviv Competition (2000). Biran has been a recipient of multiple scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation for distinguished musicians.
Biran has performed widely as a soloist with major orchestras including the Lithuanian Philharmonic Orchestra, RTVE Symphony Orchestra of Spain, Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. He has played under the batons of Etinger, Rodan, Gueller, Gacia Asensio, Mester, Lane and others. His concert tours have taken him to the United States, Israel and South America, along with Eastern and Western Europe.
As a chamber musician Biran has appeared on a regular basis with different music ensembles such as Carmel and Aviv String Quartets. He has also performed with members of the Cleveland Orchestra in different venues. His concerts have been broadcast by WUOL, WCLV, WQXR, The Voice of Music – Israel and Classic FM South Africa, among others. Biran can be heard on the JMC (Jerusalem Music Centre) labels featuring ballades by Brahms and Chopin.
Prior to his CCM appointment, Biran taught at the University of Louisville, Youngstown State University and Case Western Reserve University.
About Ran Dank
Israeli pianist Ran Dank has been hailed as a “superb pianist… absolutely splendid: dashing, impetuous and full of imagination” by the Washington Post.
A favorite of New York audiences, Dank performs in New York City’s most notable venues to frequent critical acclaim by the New York Times. In recent seasons, he has been heard in recitals in Town Hall and Symphony Space. As a soloist, he has performed Prokofiev’s Second Concerto with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall and Tobias Picker’s Keys to the City at Columbia University. In September of 2013 he and fellow CCM faculty member Soyeon Kate Lee performed the world premiere of Fredric Rzewski’s Four Hands at (le) Poisson Rouge to a glowing review by the New York Times.
Dank’s other recent performance highlights include recitals at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Washington Performing Arts Society at the Kennedy Center, the Chopin Festival in Warsaw, Finland’s Mantta Festival and performances of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Kevin Puts’ piano concerto with the Mobile Symphony. His recent chamber music performances include appearances at the Santa Fe, Great Lakes, Maverick, Seattle, Montreal, Tokyo Chanel and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals.
Last season, Dank returned to his native Israel for a double-bill concert featuring Liszt’s Concerto No.1 and Totentanz with the Jerusalem Symphony.
His upcoming engagements include a performance at the prestigious Ravinia Festival, recitals in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico and a return engagement with the Kansas City Symphony.
A recipient of numerous honors, Dank won a coveted place on the Young Concert Artists’ roster in 2009 and subsequently made his New York recital debut. He is a laureate of the Cleveland International Piano Competition, where he also won the Bach Prize, the Naumburg and Sydney International Piano Competitions, and was the First Prize winner of the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
A graduate of the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and the Juilliard School, he has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Ursula Oppens and Robert McDonald.
In 2014 Dank joined the faculty of the College of Charleston as the Director of Piano Studies and Assistant Professor. He also serves as Artistic Director of the College of Charleston International Piano Series.
In addition to concertizing and academic posts, Dank established a series of concerts with his wife, pianist Soyeon Kate Lee. Dubbed “Music by the Glass,” this series is held in a New York So-Ho art gallery, where young professionals mix and mingle with performing artists, who play solo pieces and chamber works. The performances are accompanied by sweet and savory treats paired with wines by the glass. Learn more about these popular events by visiting www.musicbytheglass.com.
Learn more about CCM’s preeminent piano faculty by visiting ccm.uc.edu/music/keyboard/faculty.