Pianists

2019-2020

Born in Helsinki, 1992, Markus Kaitila began to play the piano at age six. After high school and six years of Junior Academy at the Sibelius Academy with Dr. Hui-Ying Liu-Tawaststjerna, he started university at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany, with Prof. Till Engel. In spring 2017, he graduated cumlaude with Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Aaron Copland School of Music, City University of New York Queens College, where he studied with Dr. Nina Lelchuk. Markus has participated in masterclasses i.a. with Thomas Adès, Paul Badura-Skoda, Leon Fleisher, Alan Gilbert, Angela Hewitt, Leslie Howard, Jerome Lowenthal, Robert McDonald, Jon Nakamatsuand Boris Slutsky. He has performed as a soloist of Joutseno Art Summer, Wratislavia, St. Peter’s Festival, Queens College and Jackson Heights chamber orchestras as well as One World and New Amsterdam Symphony orchestras with conductors such as Tong Chen and Charles Neidich, and conducted J. S. Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 2 in E Major, BWV 1053, from the piano in LeFrak Concert Hall, NY, in 2016. In June 2013 he won the Köhler-Osbahr piano competition in Duisburg, Germany.Additionally, he has won First and Second Prizes in national chamber music competitions (Juvenalia, E. Melartin) and remains an active and widely experienced chamber musician “on the line between mere gesture and great feeling” (Barbara Kaiser, GeneralNewspaper of the Lüneburg Heath, 08/2012). “Very much artistic substance. . .a promising young individual. . .an uncompromising performer” (Ingo Hoddick, Rheinische Post, 05/2013). “Full of spirits. . .exceptional pianist. . .a uniquely original hand: awareness of form and crystalline clarity. . .Romantic salon culture at the highest level” (Konstanze Führlbeck, WestdeutscheAllgemeine Zeitung, 10.11.2013).

Markus’ appearances in Europe and the US include Wiener SaalSalzburg, Austria (2010); Musica Mundi Festival 2008, Belgium; Yamaha Artists Services Europe, Paris (2012); Theater Duisburg and Jahrhunderthalle Bochum, Klavier-Festival Ruhr 2013, Germany; Embassy of Finland, Budapest (2008); Palazzo Ricci, Montepulciano, Italy (2013); Muziekcentrum Enschede, the Netherlands (2010); Helsingborg pianofestival, Sweden (2009); RNCM, Manchester, the UK (2010); as well as Mannes, Merkinand Carnegie Halls, New York (2012-). He has kindly been awarded grants and stipends by Vantaan Perinnejazz ry, Wihuriand Finnish Cultural Foundation, Sibelius Academy’s endowment funds and Queens College Foundation. Markus received the Stephen Schaible and Daron Builta Scholarship to attend Music Academy of the West’s solo piano fellowship program in Santa Barbara, CA in summer 2015 and, in subsequent years, completed residences at Chautauqua Institution in New York, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada and Pianofest in the Hamptons. He is a graduate student of Eteri Andjaparidze at NYU Steinhardt, where he also teaches piano and keyboard skills.

Pianist Jonathan Bley has performed solo, chamber music and concerto repertoire throughout the United States. He was a founder and artistic director of several chamber music festivals including The Fellowship Concert Series in San Francisco, and the Southampton Chamber Music Festival, on Long Island. He has accompanied many choirs, including The San Francisco Girls Chorus, The Gay Men’s Choir of San Francisco and All-County Choirs for both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. It is with pleasure that he is accompanying E Voco. Mr. Bley is the Director of Choirs for Brentwood High School, on Long Island. He also maintains a class of private piano students at his Manhattan studio.

Brianna Brickman is a second-year graduate student at Hofstra University working toward an MA in Music Education with a concentration in choral conducting. She is currently an elementary school music teacher in the Rockville Centre School District and serves as the pit orchestra conductor for the high school musicals. She is an active collaborative pianist on Long Island and also maintains a studio of private piano and voice students. Whether she is standing among the voices or sitting at the piano bench, she is deeply honored to be part of the dance. 

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