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UGA Piano Symposium

2024 Headlining Guest Artist: YONG HI MOON

This event is free and open to the public.

The 2024 Piano Symposium will take place in Edge Recital Hall at the UGA Hugh Hodgson School of Music, 250 River Road, Athens, GA, 30602
Pre-registration is requested. Please email Dr. Alan Woo ( to pre-register.

SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE (subject to change):

9:30-10:00 Registration/Check-in 

10:00-11:00 Synthesizing Physical Approach through Musical Context
Yong Hi Moon, guest headliner
Assisted by student performers: Ken Hu, Jayden Chong, Haoying Wu
How can an understanding of harmony and structure support one’s physical command at the keyboard and vice versa? Using excerpts from Chopin’s music, this workshop explores the concept of piano technique through one’s awareness of the music, instrument, and use of hand. With the help of student demonstrations, Professor Moon will discuss how this relationship can be used to refine physical concepts of rotation and hand position in representative pianistic patterns.

11:10-11:25 Mini-Recital: Piano Etudes
UGA student performers

11:30-12:30 Mini-Sessions by UGA Piano Faculty 
Professors Grace Huang, Liza Stepanova, Alan Woo 

12:30-1:45 PM LUNCH           
Feel free to join us at the UGA Village Summit Dining Hall!

2:00-2:30 Q+A with Evgeny Rivkin
Professor Evgeny Rivkin, with Jacob Skiles
Russian Piano School and other topics.

2:30-3:30 PM Master Class with Pre-College Pianists
Professor Moon, with student performers 

3:45-4:15 PM Q+A with Yong Hi Moon
Professor Moon, with Alan Woo

Pianist, YONG HI MOON Accomplished pianist and teacher Yong Hi Moon made her solo debut with the Seoul Philharmonic at age 10 as winner of the National Korean Broadcasting Competition. Ms. Moon has won top prizes in the Elena-Rombro Stepanow Competition in Vienna, the Viotti International Competition in Vercelli, Italy, the Vienna da Motta Competition in Lisbon, Portugal, and also received the Chopin Prize from the Geneva International Competition in Switzerland.

Ms. Moon performs extensively throughout Asia, Europe and the US as recitalist and soloist, having appeared with the Korean National Symphony and the Osaka, Seoul, and Tokyo Philharmonics. 

To celebrate Mozart’s bicentennial year in 1991, she participated in a cycle of the composer’s complete piano concerti with the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1997, Ms. Moon undertook the complete solo piano works of Schubert, performing them in six recitals in both Korea and the US. The summer of 2000 marked her first extensive concert tour of Korea, which included solo recitals in five cities. In addition, she performed with all the major orchestras in Korea and participates regularly in such summer festivals as Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Art of piano in Cincinnati among others.

Ms. Moon is in high demand as a guest master class teacher and adjudicator. In 1993, she released a popular teaching video in Korea entitled Artistic Piano Playing. In addition, she is a frequent visitor to Beijing where she regularly gives master classes at the China Conservatory as well as the Middle School of the Central Conservatory.

She has served on the juries of the CCC Toronto International Piano Competition, Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy, Gilmore International Piano Competition, Gina Bachauer International Competition, the Virginia Waring International as well as numerous MTNA competitions throughout the US. She has also served as a screening judge in the William Kapell and the Hilton Head International Competition. In March of 2014, she chaired the jury at Seoul International Piano Competition.

Ms. Moon was a professor of piano at Michigan State University School of Music for fifteen years, and since 2002 she has been a professor of piano at Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University and from 2017 to 2020, she served as the chair of the piano department. 

Ms. Moon studied at the Vienna Academy, graduating with the highest honors. She continued her studies in London before pursuing an Artist Diploma at Indiana University in Bloomington. Her major teachers include Dieter Weber, Maria Curcio, György Sebok, Leon Fleisher, Wilhelm Kempff and Fou T’song, who have always been inspirations in her work.

Most recently, she was invited to judge 2023 Cleveland International Piano Competition and also to teach at Tianjin-Juilliard Piano Festival this past summer.

Symposium Faculty Bios

Grace Huang is Lecturer in Piano Pedagogy and Class Piano Coordinator at the Hugh Hodgson School of Music. Praised for her “lovely and vivacious” playing (Fort Worth Star- Telegram), she has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Huang has taught on several pre-college and college faculties, including the Cleveland Institute of Music and Millikin University. In demand as a teacher, her students have received honors and acceptances to music programs across the country. She is an active adjudicator and presenter at local, state and national levels, and recently initiated the “Play On, Athens!” public piano project.

Evgeny Rivkin was born in Russia and earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where he studied with Professor Evgeny Malinin. He has been the recipient of many major awards, including top prizes in the USSR National Piano Competition in 1977, the Sixth International Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, the Bayerishe Rundfunk Competition in Munich, 1985, and the L. MacMahon International Competition in Lawton, Oklahoma. He has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician in Italy, France, Hungary, Germany, Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Yugoslavia, USA, Canada, Brazil and other countries.

Before joining the UGA faculty, Liza Stepanova taught at Smith College and The Juilliard School. She holds a DMA from Juilliard and has also studied in Berlin, Germany. In the 2022-2023 season, she joins the faculty at the Brevard Music Festival, returns to Bowdoin, Songfest, and American Liszt Society festivals, performs a headliner solo recital at the TMTA State Conference, and tours with the Lysander Piano Trio at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, in New York City, Arizona, Florida, Mississippi, Wyoming, and in Canada. Stepanova’s most recent solo CD “E Pluribus Unum” (2020) earned her the distinction of New Artist of the Month by Musical America Worldwide and has been praised in International Piano, Piano Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, and Gramophone.

Joining the piano faculty at UGA in January 2022, Alan Woo previously taught at Elizabeth City State University and the Peabody Institute. Woo is a graduate of The Juilliard School and Peabody Conservatory, where he completed degrees in piano performance under Robert McDonald and Yong Hi Moon. He made his Lincoln Center debut with the Juilliard Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin and has since made concerto appearances with the Houston and Fort Worth Symphonies. Woo has performed solo recitals throughout the United States, Europe and Asia, and in series such as the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society and La Jolla Music Society’s SummerFest as chamber musician.

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