Cole Burger teaches class piano and piano pedagogy at Bowling Green State University. He also teaches at Lutheran Summer Music and served for twelve summers on the faculty at Camp Encore/Coda. He was a guest professor at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, while a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster, sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
As a solo and collaborative pianist, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Rome’s Teatro di Marcello, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, the Goethe Institute in Bangkok, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the United States Ambassador’s Home in Malaysia. The American Record Guide calls his playing “both extraordinarily strong and achingly tender” in his CD, Beyond the Traveler: Piano Music by Composers from Arkansas. He has won prizes at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, the American Prize in Piano Performance, and the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Performance Competition. He has also organized and performed in various benefit recitals for non-profit organizations that have raised more than $60,000.
Dr. Burger holds degrees in piano performance and economics from Northwestern University and the University of Texas. His primary studies were with Anton Nel, David Renner, and Sylvia Wang, as well as masterclasses with Claude Frank, John Perry, and Douglas Humpherys. He also gratefully acknowledges Marcia Bostis, Sophia Gilmson, and Martha Hilley for their deep influence on his teaching.
Sandra Coursey is a solo pianist, collaborative pianist, and piano teacher. As a performer, her repertoire choices aim to support the performance of living and underrepresented composers. Sandra has won numerous competitions, such as the Oklahoma Young Artist Competition, and the Oklahoma City University Concerto Competition. Recent concerto performances include Iman Habibi’s Amesha Spenta Concerto for two Pianos, Khachaturian’s Piano Concerto, Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G, and Poulenc’s Double Piano Concerto.
As a collaborator, Sandra is a founding member of the new music quintet, Newphonia, and its branch-off, Diverge Trio. Both chamber ensembles focus on premiering and performing works by living composers. In March 2021, Diverge Trio was a featured chamber ensemble at the Women in Music Festival held by Mississippi Women’s University. Newphonia won first prize at the 2021 Douglas Wayland Chamber Music Competition and completed a chamber residency at the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Sandra was awarded first place in the 2021 Dr. Marjorie Conrad Art Song Competition.
A dedicated and in-demand teacher, Sandra currently teaches students across Ohio and the United States. Her students regularly participate and excel in local festivals, competitions, and recitals. Sandra is the president of Bowling Green State University’s Music Teachers National Association, whose mission is to provide music teaching and learning opportunities to BGSU students and the surrounding community.
She is currently working on her Doctorate in Contemporary Music under the direction of Dr. Solungga Liu. She graduated with an MM from Bowling Green State University, and received her BM in Piano Performance at Oklahoma City University under Dr. Sergio Monteiro.
Humay Gasimzade is pursuing her doctoral degree in the Contemporary Music program under Robert Satterlee at Bowling Green State University. She works as a Teaching Assistant in the College of Musical Arts. She received her Master of Music degree in Contemporary Performance in the studio of Professors Anthony de Mare, Christopher Oldfather and Margaret Kampmeier at the Manhattan School of Music, New York from 2016 – 2018.
Born in Baku, Azerbaijan, Humay received her BM in Piano Performance at the Baku Music Academy (2007-2011) with Adila Vakilova, and MM with Einar Rottingen at the Grieg Academy in Bergen, Norway (2012-2014). She was awarded a post-graduate Diploma in Piano Performance under Daniel Rohm at the Institutt for Musikk og Dans/Stavanger University.
Outstanding musical achievements include her participation in many concerts and festivals such as Bang on a Can Festival in Massachusetts, Cortona New Music Festival in Italy, Bridging the Gap Music Festival in New York, Avgarde, International Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, Norway, Youth Chamber Music Festival in Stavanger, and Borealis Contemporary Music Festival in Bergen, Norway as both a soloist and chamber music performer. She is a winner of Cortona Contemporary Performance Competition, Chamber Music Competition at Stavanger University in Norway, and the Conrad Art Song Competition at Bowling Green State University.
Solungga Liu has been acclaimed as a pianist of great breadth. She is a champion of early twentieth-century American music and underrepresented works of the standard repertoire. She is also known as an uncanny interpreter of new music. She has released recordings by Albany, Beauport, Bridge, Cantaloupe, Centaur, MSR, and Nonesuch labels.
Her 2017 solo recital debut at the Library of Congress was praised for its “rhythmic precision, expression and a finely calibrated sense of balance between all of the moving parts.” The American Record Guide described her recording “The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes” for Centaur Records, as having “excellent sound, sensitivity and beguiling color”. This recording led to the special request by the Library of Congress that she premiere Griffes’s 1915 piano transcription of Debussy’s Les parfums de la nuit from his orchestral work Iberia, once thought lost by Griffes’s biographers. About this world premiere, the Washington Classical Review wrote, “The piece retained an orchestral spectrum of colors in Liu’s hands. She served as the knowing conductor—the glue that held it all together while still allowing the transcription to shine through on its own merits”.
A dedicated performer of new music, Liu has had numerous premieres, recordings, solo and concerti performances of contemporary works and has collaborated with many composers of our time. An active recitalist, Liu enjoys a career across five continents. Notable venues include Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, the Goethe Center in Bangkok, the São Paulo Cultural Center, and the Weill Recital Hall.
Liu is Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University. Liu holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music.
Laura Melton, Professor of Piano and Chair of Music Performance Studies at Bowling Green State University, has won competitions and awards including the Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin and a Fulbright Grant for study in Germany (Freiburg Musikhochschule). She has performed with major orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra (Kennedy Center in Washington, DC), the San Francisco Chamber Players, and the Toledo Symphony, and has been featured on Südwestfunk Radio (Germany), Kol Israel, Radio Nacional de España and National Public Radio’s Performance Today in celebration of the birthday of composers, John Corigliano and Samuel Adler.
Melton received rave reviews for her Naxos American Classics Series CD, Solo Piano Works of Sebastian Currier. Gramophone hailed her as “an artist who can tame formidable technical beasts and bring colorful delineation to a multiplicity of moods and textures. The New York Times praised her playing as “expressive and with dexterous flair.” Her principal teachers included Nelita True, John Perry and Robert Levin. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and student of Michael Coonrod, Melton taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp for 12 years. Her students have won numerous competitions and awards, and have continued their studies in programs such as Juilliard, Peabody, Eastman, Oberlin, New England Conservatory, and Curtis.
Pianist Robert Satterlee has developed a reputation as an accomplished and versatile solo recitalist and chamber musician, playing regularly throughout the United States. He has completed many tours of China, and has played concerts at the Romanian-American Festival in Romania, the World Piano Conference in Serbia, the Piano Plus Festival and the Corfu Festival in Greece and has also performed in Thailand, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Kenya.
Music of our time plays an important role in Satterlee’s performing activity. In June of 2004 he was invited to perform at the Music04 festival in Cincinnati, where he shared a program with the composer and pianist Frederic Rzewski. He has released two CD’s of his music, and the first was selected by the New York Times as one of the outstanding classical recordings of 2014.
Satterlee was appointed in the fall of 1998 to the piano faculty of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, where he teaches a studio of students from all over the United States and abroad. His students have been prize-winners in many competitions and hold teaching positions throughout the United States and China. Satterlee teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp in the summer, and holds degrees in piano from Yale University, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music.
Yevgeny Yontov has established himself as one of the most promising Israeli pianists of his generation. As finalist in the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, he received the Prize for Best Performance of Chamber Music, and the Prize for the Best Israeli Pianist. Other international top prizes include gold medals at the Wideman International Piano Competition and Berliner International Music Competition, as well as additional prizes at the Boesendorfer International Piano Competition, the Olga Kern International Piano Competition, and the Pinerolo International Piano Competition, among others.
A founding member of icarus Quartet, an award-winning 2piano/2percussion group, Mr. Yontov holds chamber music close to his heart. He has performed chamber music worldwide, in venues that include Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Mr. Yontov has also performed in numerous chamber festivals, most notably returning visits to Chamber Music Northwest.
As a soloist, Mr. Yontov has performed on stages across Israel, the US, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and many European countries. Orchestral engagements include numerous orchestras in the US and all major Israeli orchestras. Mr. Yontov’s debut CD, “Schubert: Piano Variations,” was released on Naxos Records in 2017, and includes seldom performed piano pieces by Schubert, including his relatively newly discovered Grazer Fantasie.
Mr. Yontov began his musical studies at the age of six with Adela Umansky, and later received his B.Mus degree summa cum laude from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, where he studied with Prof. Arie Vardi. He then moved to the US to study with Prof. Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music, from which he received his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees. In 2018, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University.