April 21, 2017 (Fri)
Huanhuan Ma, a soprano, is from Chongqing, China. She earned her Bachelor Degree at Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, and completed her Masters of Music and Graduate Performance Diploma degrees at Peabody Conservatory with a full scholarship where she studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson. Ms. Ma was a resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts in 2014 to 2016.
Ms. Ma was the First Prize and Director's Grand Prize winner of the 26th Annual Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition in 2014. She was also a regional second prize winner at the Metropolitan National Council Audition in 2015, and the second prize winner at Madama Butterfly International Competition in Nagasaki, Japan in 2011. She is also the soprano winner of S&R Foundation Award in 2015.
Ms. Ma has performed in Switzerland, France, Panama, Costa Rica, Columbia, Japan and the United States. She has sung the role of Marguerite in Faust, and Gerogetta in Il Tabarro, and covered the role of Mimi in La Boheme with The Academy of Vocal Arts. She has also sung the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Madame Lidoine in the Dialogues des Carmelites at the Lyric Opera of Baltimore. She also performed the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Bel Cantanti Opera in Washington DC. Ms. Ma has performed as a soloist at the Annapolis Opera's 40th anniversary gala "Singable Feast", as well as with the Opera International at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.
Hailed by the Washington Post as "a pianist's pianist," Ryo has established himself as one of Canada's shining artists. His success includes winning the gold medal at the 10th San Antonio International Piano Competition, where he was also given special recognition for a performance of the complete Chopin Ballades. He is the grand prize winner of the Hugo Kauder International Piano competition and a laureate of the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, the Dr. Luis Sigall International Piano competition in Vina del Mar (Chile), and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.
Ryo has made concerto appearances with orchestras around the world, including the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, San Antonio Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Moroccan Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Kioi Symphonietta. His performances have taken him to such venues as the Kennedy Center, The National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Salle Cortot in Paris among others.
In addition to his solo career, he is much sought after as a chamber musician, performing in a wide range of settings from the duo sonata repertoire to large ensembles. Ryo is frequently invited as guest pianist to chamber music festivals across the US, in the capacity of both lecturer and collaborative pianist. He also presided as one of the core members of the Evermay Chamber Ensemble.
A recipient of many scholarships and awards, Ryo has been endowed twice by the Canadian Arts Council with a grant as an Emerging Artist, and is a recipient of the Arthur Foote Scholarship from the Harvard Musical Association. He was also awarded the Sony Foundation of America Career Grant through the Salon de Virtuosi of New York, and a Washington Award by the S&R Foundation of Washington DC. He has also been an artist-in-residence of the Maxwell Shepherd Fund of Connecticut. Ryo is increasingly recognized not only as a performer but as a pedagogue, and is in demand as adjudicator to competitions and as masterclass clinician in North America and Asia. He has also released two solo CDs consisting of works by Chopin and Debussy, as well as a CD in collaboration with the cellist Dai Miyata in Japan.
Ryo Yanagitani received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music under Boris Berman, a Bachelor Degree in Piano Performance from the University of British Columbia under Doctor Henri-Paul Sicsic, and an Artist Diploma from the Cleveland Institute under Sergei Babayan. He was an instructor for the Chamber Music Program at Yale, and was a visiting Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. He currently holds the title of Artistic Director of the Ryuji Ueno Foundation in Washington DC.