Watch CCM piano majors perform in 3-part ‘COVID Etude Project’

CCM presents three concert streams featuring piano students performing in Robert J. Werner Recital Hall and in other performance spaces throughout the world!

Presented in conjunction with the CCMONSTAGE Online series of concert streams, the COVID Etude Project showcases three complete sets of etudes by composers Franz Liszt, Claude Debussy and William Bolcom, performed by CCM students and streamed online nightly from Friday, March 26 through Sunday, March 28. Each concert will stream simultaneously on CCM’s websiteYouTube channel and Facebook page.

“The COVID Etude Project is a joint-studio project of mine and Professor Ran Dank,” says CCM Associate Professor of Piano Soyeon Kate Lee. “It was conceived to keep our students motivated and create a sense of purpose and community during this unprecedented time.”

“Many of our students are overseas, some whom we have never met in-person, and we have tried to make the most of our time on Zoom together and build a studio community despite the circumstances.”

As explained by arts writer Janelle Gelfand in her preview of CCM’s COVID Etude Project for the Cincinnati Business Courier: “Etudes are difficult studies for mastering a technical challenge, such as runs, leaps, octaves or arpeggios. They are also engaging musical works. Composers such as Chopin, Debussy, Liszt and Rachmaninoff wrote etudes meant for the concert hall.”

The first concert stream at 7:30 p.m. EDT on March 26 features Liszt’s Transcendental Études, a 12-part piece published in 1852. The episode is roughly one hour long.

The second stream at 7:30 p.m. EDT on March 27 showcases Debussy’s Twelve Études, composed in 1915 and regarded as one of the more challenging works in the piano repertoire. The episode is approximately 50 minutes long.

The final stream at 7:30 p.m. EDT on March 28 shares Bolcom’s Twelve New Etudes written between 1977 and 1986. The episode is 45 minutes long.

After each premiere broadcast, all three installments of the COVID Etude Project will remain available for on-demand viewing on CCM’s websiteYouTube channel and Facebook page.

Students recorded one etude each wherever they were — some students performed in CCM’s Robert J. Werner Recital Hall, while others gave their performances at home or in piano showrooms near their residences.

“Seeing our students take up this challenge with so much energy, professionalism and positive spirit is so gratifying to see, and definitely has been one of the highlights for me at CCM,” said Lee.

CCM’s COVID Etude Project is produced by Joel Crawford Recording and is made possible by generous support from Louis and Susan Meisel.

Learn more about CCM’s upcoming video releases courtesy of Janelle Gelfand and the Cincinnati Business Courier.

Streaming Premiere

  • Liszt’s Transcendental Études: 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday, March 26, 2021
  • Debussy’s Twelve Études: 7:30 p.m. EDT Saturday, March 27, 2021
  • Bolcom’s Twelve New Etudes: 7:30 p.m. EDT Sunday, March 28, 2021

Performance Details

Liszt’s Transcendental Études Performers and Repertoire

  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 1, “Preludio”
    • Performed by Robert Brooks Carlson, Master of Music student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 2, “Fusées”
    • Performed by Robert Brooks Carlson, Master of Music student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 3, “Paysage”
    • Performed by Sooyeon Baik, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 4, “Mazeppa”
    • Performed by Lywon Yeo, Artist Diploma student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 5, “Feux Follets”
    • Performed by Wen Pan, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 6, “Vision”
    • Performed by Jiwon Son, Artist Diploma student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 7, “Eroica”
    • Performed by Mu-tien Lai, Master of Music student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 8, “Wilde Jagd”
    • Performed by Tianmi Wu, Master of Music student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 9, “Ricordanza”
    • Performed by Zhaoyi Long, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 10 in F Minor
    • Performed by Gwangwon Park, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 11, “Harmonies du soir”
    • Performed by Jeremy Ho, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Liszt: Transcendental Études, No. 12, “Chasse-neige”
    • Performed by Nicholas Ho, Doctor of Musical Arts student

Debussy’s Twelve Études Performers and Repertoire

  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 1, “Pour les cinq doigts” (d’après Monsieur Czerny)
    • Performed by Ye Qian, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 2, “Pour les tierces”
    • Performed by Shaoming Yang, Master of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 3, “Pour les quartes”
    • Performed by Chisato Fuji, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 4, “Pour les sixtes”
    • Performed by Yiyue Su, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 5, “Pour les octaves”
    • Performed by Anjun Zheng, Master of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 6, “Pour les huit doigts”
    • Performed by Angela Pui-Yee Lau, Master of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 7, “Pour les degrés chromatiques”
    • Performed by Dongqin Yu, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 8, “Pour les agréments”
    • Performed by Yuyao Qu, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 9, “Pour les notes répétées”
    • Performed by Helena Kim, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 10, “Pour les sonorités opposées”
    • Performed by Hyrum Arnesen, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 11, “Pour les arpèges composés”
    • Performed by Gavin Davis, Bachelor of Music student
  • Debussy: Twelve Études, No. 12, “Pour les accords”
    • Performed by Jiao Sun, Artist Diploma student

Bolcom’s Twelve New Etudes Performers and Repertoire

  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book I, No. 1, “Fast, furious”
    • Performed by Stuart Zhang, Master of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book I, No. 2, “Récitatif”
    • Performed by Stuart Zhang, Master of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book I, No. 3, “Mirrors”
    • Performed by Seran Lee, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book II, No. 4, “Scène d’opéra”
    • Performed by Catharine Baek, Bachelor of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book II, No. 5, “Butterflies, hummingbirds”
    • Performed by Ming-Li Liu, Master of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book II, No. 6, “Nocturne”
    • Performed by Joseph Vaz, Master of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book III, No. 7, “Premonitions”
    • Performed by PyeongAn Kim, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book III, No. 8, “Rag infernal (Syncopes apocalyptiques)”
    • Performed by Yaoyue Huang, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book III, No. 9, “Invention”
    • Performed by Yu-Chia Kuo, Master of Music student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book IV, No. 10, “Vers le silence”
    • Performed by Ariadne Antipa, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book IV, No. 11, “Hi-jinks”
    • Performed by Vikki Chen, Doctor of Musical Arts student
  • Bolcom: Twelve New Études – Book IV, No. 12, “Hymne á l’amour”
    • Performed by Scott Sherman, Doctor of Musical Arts student

Creative Team

CCM COVID Etude Project Directors
Ran Dank, Assistant Professor of Piano
Soyeon Kate Lee, Associate Professor of Piano

COVID Etude Project Produced By
Joel Crawford Recording
http://www.joelcrawfordrecording.com

Keyboard Studies Division Head
Michelle Conda

Piano Technicians
Rebekah Whitacre
Eric Wolfley

Senior Director of Performance Operations
Rayburn Dobson

CCMONSTAGE Online Series Concept Developed and Managed by
Curt Whitacre 

CCM Digital Content Team
Kenneth D. Allen
Clarence M. Brown
Kevin Burke
Rebecca Butts
Rayburn Dobson
Mikki Graff
Melissa Neeley-Nicolini
Jeanne Rose
Simón Sotelo
Stephanie Temeles
Curt Whitacre


A preeminent institution for the performing and media arts, the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music offers nearly 120 possible majors, along with a wide variety of pre-collegiate and post-graduate programs.

The synergy created by housing CCM within a comprehensive public university gives the college its unique character and defines its objective: to educate and inspire the whole artist and scholar for positions on the world stage.

For more information, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.


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CCM Student Piano Duo Wins Third Prize at International Competition in Tokyo

Graduate students Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman have performed and competed as a piano duo since they arrived at CCM in 2015. Recently their teamwork led them to take third place at the prestigious International Piano Duo Association’s 20th Piano Duo Competition in Tokyo — they were the only duo from the U.S. to advance that far in the competition.

Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman.

Yaoyue Huang and Scott Sherman. Photo provided.

Compromise is the ultimate challenge when working with another musician, Huang says, and the duo’s ability to work well together has contributed greatly to their success. Huang and Sherman met in 2011 during their time as undergraduates at Michigan State University, and their musical connection quickly grew into a closer relationship. The piano-playing couple hadn’t given much thought to forming their own piano duo before coming to CCM, but professors Soyeon Kate Lee and Sandra Rivers encouraged them to channel their abilities and connection into their new specialty.

“Forming a duo with a loved one is a double-edged sword,” Sherman says. “Our rehearsals are always so raw, and at times we can be so brutally honest. It really tests your mental strength. But, if a duo can come out through the intensity and find a natural ebb and flow, it will be a successful partnership in the end.”

The duo traveled to the competition in Tokyo with financial support from the Office of the Dean. The International Piano Duo Association’s performance competition occurs every three years, with a composition competition and a gap year in between. It’s open to pianists of all ages and consists of three rounds. This year, 13 duos were accepted into the finals, and Huang and Sherman were the only duo from the U.S. who advanced that far in the competition. As third prize winners, the duo won 100,000 yen, which is the equivalent of $900.

One requirement of the competition is that the players perform the winning piece from the previous composition competition. This year, that piece was Oliver Kolb’s Three Epigrams for four hands. A video of their performance is on the competition’s YouTube page:

“Pianists are so fortunate to have an almost limitless library of music, and yet so many of us find difficulty incorporating lesser-known works or pieces that require a new way of thought,” Sherman says. “I believe it is a dangerous road to only understand and play one dialect of music.”

Not only did they receive a top prize at the competition in Tokyo, but Huang and Sherman also took second place in the Ohio International Duo Piano Competition with an award of $500. With all of their recent success, it should come as no surprise that Huang and Sherman will compete again in January at the finals of the United States International Duo Piano Competition.

The duo thanks professors Lee and Rivers, “who have been so supportive of our efforts to step out into the music world.” They both study piano with Lee and receive duo coaching from Rivers.

“The piano department here always has great interest in supporting all of its students and creating so many diverse opportunities that truly make a difference down the road,” Huang and Sherman said.
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Story by CCM graduate student Alexandra Doyle

CCM News Student Salutes