Boston International Piano Competition 2019
Competitors A-G H-M  N-Z

Rady Almadany
Canada

Rady Almadany works as a Physician-therapist who uses sound and music to improve developmental problems like autism, hyperactivity and learning difficulties. He studied piano from childhood and obtained his piano performance degree from Ecole Normal de Musique de Paris. He studied piano with well-known performers (F.Clidat, V.Bunin, F.Thinat). After obtaining his diploma in music therapy, Ramy developed his special approach of using music in clinical situations. A professional in sound-listening therapy (Tomatis Method), he offers efficient skills development to his clients. 

Preliminary Round 
Debussy - Preludes: 
Book I, No. 2, “Voile”
Book I, No. 8, “La fille aux cheveux de lin”
Book II, No. 8, “Ondine”
Book II, No. 12, “Feux d’artifice”

Semi Final Round 
J.S. Bach – Aria, from the Goldberg Variations
Ravel – Ondine, from Gaspard de la nuit

Final Round 
Chopin - Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2 
Liszt - Sonetto 104 del Petrarca 
Sonetto 123 del Petrarca
Dutilleux - Le jeu des contraires

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Sibylle Barrasso
Massachusetts

Sibylle Barrasso has an MBA from UCLA and is an author of mystery novels, a pianist, a mother and a business consultant. She studied piano as a child in Germany. Her business career includes working for Bain & Co. and IBM. Her love for the piano re-ignited while writing a novel about the Rachmaninoff 3rd piano concerto. She studies with Roberto Poli and takes piano performance classes at New England Conservatory and the Rivers Conservatory.

Preliminary Round 
Chopin – Prelude Op. 28, No. 15, “Raindrop" 
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in C-sharp Minor, Op. 3, No. 2 
Chopin - Nocturne C-sharp Minor, Op. Posth.

Second Round 
Ckylte - Arietta
Chopin - Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1 
Chopin - Waltz in A Minor, Op. 34, No. 2 

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Robert J Biber MD
Colorado

Dr Robert Biber recently retired from a busy surgical practice. During his 37-year career there was little time for regular practice or performance. He and his wife of 42 years have 4 daughters, three of whom are triplets, and two of whom are professional musicians (cello and clarinet). Musical pursuits were limited to collaboration with his two daughters throughout high school and college recitals, the pinnacle of which was performing the Beethoven piano, cello, clarinet trio for their respective conservatory senior recitals. Upon retirement and a move to Colorado, Dr Biber refocused his time with the goal of raising performance skills and competing in amateur competitions. Dr Biber loves all Colorado mountain pursuits but most important, he revels in spending time with his 8 grandchildren.

Preliminary Round 
Mendelssohn - Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 
Gershwin - Three Preludes for Piano 

Semi Final Round 
Chopin - Scherzo No. 1 in B Minor, Op. 20 
Ravel - Jeux d'eau 

Final Round 
Mozart - Variations on "Ah vous dirai-je Maman" 
Chopin - Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 31 
Grieg - Notturno Op. 54, No. 4 
Prokofiev - Etude Op. 2, No. 1


Mark Cannon
New York

Mark Cannon is a psychiatrist in private practice in New York. Born in West Germany, he grew up in New York and studied piano as a child with "that little old lady around the corner," who, it turned out, had been a performer of some note in Russia. His principal studies thereafter have been with Malcolm Bilson, Seymour Bernstein, and Eric Heidsieck. He has given many solo recitals and performed Beethoven's Emperor Concerto with the Doctors' Orchestral Society. He has been a big fan of BIPC since its inception and has attended all the competitions as either a contestant or audience member.

Preliminary Round 
Chopin - Etude in F Minor, Op. 25, No. 2 
Scriabin - Etude in B-flat Minor, Op. 8, No. 11 
Beethoven - Sonata in F-sharp Major, Op. 78 
1. Adagio cantabile – Allegro ma non troppo
2. Allegro vivace

Semi Final Round 
Scriabin - Sonata No. 10, Op. 70

Final Round 
Schubert - Sonata in A Major, D. 664 
Chopin - Polonaise in F-sharp Minor, Op. 44 


Andrew Celentano
Massachusetts

Andrew studied violin and performed at Carnegie Hall with the MIT Symphony Orchestra with Brian Epstein. He was self- taught on the piano starting at age 13 and started taking serious classical lessons about 15 years ago. Andrew plays occasionally at the BSO Café in Symphony Hall and also composes his own material (see www.ThoreauCD.com). Andrew & Hilary have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. He is also an active Big Brother in the Big Brother program and teaches seminars in solving Rubik’s cube and memorizing large numbers. Andrew is also exploring ways to generate electricity from gravity. 

Preliminary Round 
Gluck/Sgambati - Theme from Orpheus
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5
Debussy - Reflets dans l'eau, from Image Bk 1

Second Round
Grieg - Notturno from Lyric Pieces, Op. 54, No. 4 
Rachmaninov – Polichinelle, Op. 3, No. 4 
Andrew Celentano, Ode to Delej


Gorden Cheng
California

Gorden Cheng is a classical concert pianist and information security professional, currently living in San Diego, California. He attended University of Texas at Dallas, where he graduated with a B.S. in Computer Science. As Director of Information Security for Oracle Corporation, Cheng reviews security architecture focusing on compliance and risk management. He enjoys playing local concerts and spending time with his wife and two young boys.
Preliminary Round
Schumann – from Kreisleriana 
Äußerst bewegt 
Sehr innig und nicht zu rasch 
Sehr aufgeregt

Semi Final Round
Schumann – from Kreisleriana
Sehr langsam 
Sehr lebhaft 
Sehr langsam 
Sehr rasch 
Schnell und spielend

Final Round
Beethoven - Sonata in C Major, Op. 2, No. 3 - Allegro 
Schubert - "Wanderer" Fantasy, Op. 15, D. 760
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John Cheng
Virginia

John Cheng is owner of Veracient, LLC which performs technical management and development in the fields of Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. John received his S.B. degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. John started piano in California at the age of 9. He has studied with Ms. Lucille Boger, Dr. Joseph Matthews (faculty at Chapman University), Ms. Joanna Hodges (faculty at CSU Long Beach), and Ms. Nina Scholnik (faculty at UC Irvine). John has two girls who are also piano players so his house is always full of music! 
Preliminary Round
Beethoven - Sonata in E Minor, Op. 90
Mit Lebhaftigkeit und durchaus mit Empfindung und Ausdruck 
Nicht zu geschwind und sehr singbar vorgetragen

Second Round
Chopin - Scherzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 31
Schubert - Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3


Pavel Chistyakov
Russia

Pavel Chistyakov studied geography at Moscow State University. He is co-founder and vice-president of an independent think tank which focuses on infrastructure development and regional economics in Russia and internationally. Pavel has played piano since he was 7 years old, but much less than he wants to. 
Preliminary Round
Liszt – Consolations, Nos. 1, 2 and 3 
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in D Minor, Op. 23, No. 3 
Prelude in B-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 2

Semi Final Round
Haydn - Sonata No. 47 in B Minor, Hob. XVI:32 
Scriabin – Etude in B-flat Minor, Op. 8, No. 11
Etude – D-sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 12

Final Round
Medtner - Sonata-Romantica, Op. 53, No. 1
1. Romanza
2. Scherzo
3. Meditazione
4. Finale


Jeanne Backofen Craig
Virginia

Since 2016, Jeanne Backofen Craig has been a semi-finalist at the Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, and a prizewinner at WIPAC, the Bradshaw & Buono Competition, and the Concerto Competition at PianoTexas. She has performed in recital at the Kosciusko Foundation in Washington, D.C., Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, and the Gasteig in Munich, Germany. In June 2018, she performed with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Jeanne is a graduate of Virginia Tech and Marymount University, and is employed by Bedford (VA) County Public Schools, where she directs the Show Choir and teaches Music Appreciation at Forest Middle School. 
Preliminary Round
Mozart - Sonata in B-flat Major, K. 333 - Allegro 
Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel - Notturno in G Minor 

Semi Final Round
J.S. Bach - French Suite No. 5 in G major - Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Gigue
Debussy - from Estampes 
2. La soirée dans Grenade
3. Jardins sous la pluie 

Final Round
Haydn - Sonata in E-flat Major, Hob. XVI:52 
1. Allegro (Moderato)
2. Adagio 
3. Finale: Presto
Chopin - Ballade No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 23  

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Judy Darst
Oregon

Judy Darst has a degree in Piano Performance from the University of Colorado, and taught piano as a nationally certified teacher of MTNA and adjudicated for the National Guild of Piano Teachers. She was active in performing groups in Colorado and Seattle and since moving to Bend, Oregon has started a soiree group. The preparation for amateur competitions is so valuable now in a small town where there are few performance opportunities. She has been a serious equestrian and taught line dancing. 
Preliminary Round
Schubert – Sonata No. 10 in C Major, D. 613 - Scherzo 
Chopin – Prelude in E Major, Op. 28, No. 9
Mazurka in A-flat Major, Op. 59, No. 2 
Mendelssohn – Song Without Words, Op. 38, No. 6, “Duetto” 
Granados – Galante Minueto, from 12 Danzas Espanolas, Op. 5

Second Round
Brahms - Intermezzo Op. 117, No. 1 
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5 
Granados – Mazurka, from Escenas Románticas 
Serge Lancen - Zweifache

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Carl DiCasoli
Massachusetts

Carl DiCasoli is an associate director of biostatistics at Apellis Pharmaceuticals in Waltham, Massachusetts. He earned his masters and PhD degrees in statistics at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. Prior to that he attended the New England Conservatory of Music as a piano performance major under the guidance of Russell Sherman and was the winner of the concerto competition at the conservatory in 2001. Recently, Carl was the second prize winner of the 2008 Concours International de Grands Amateurs in Paris, the third prize winner in the 2011 and 2013 Boston International Piano Competitions, a finalist and honorable mention winner in the 2012 International Chopin Competition for Amateur Pianists in Warsaw, Poland, winner of a special prize for best performance of a composition by Ignace Paderewski in the 2018 International Chopin Competition for Amateur Pianists in Warsaw, Poland, and the 4th prize winner (honorable mention) at the 2018 Bienal Concurso Internacional de Piano in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico.
Preliminary Round
Chopin - Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 31 
Liszt – Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor

Semi Final Round
Chopin - Variations on "La Ci Darem La Mano", Op. 2 

Final Round
J.S. Bach – Toccata from Partita No. 6 in E Minor, BWV 830
Paderewski - Melodie in G-flat Major, Op. 16, No. 2 
Paderewski - Cracovienne fantastique, Op. 14, No. 6 
Rachmaninoff - Sonata No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 36 (1931 edition) 
Allegro agitato 
Non allegro—Lento
Allegro molto

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Marco di Marzio
Ireland/Italy

Marco started to play piano as a 7-year old and at age 10 he entered the Conservatory of Music Luisa D'Annunzio city of Pescara Italy, but stopped 3 years before his final Diploma. After moving to Dublin in 2001 he entered the Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM). After 2 years at RIAM he met the person that changed his life: his teacher Archie Chen, an American/Taiwanese pianist. He has been the mentor that Marco never had, and he has been helping him in mending all the pains accumulated in the years he studied in Italy. Marco started to take part in national and international competition and also undertook the LTCL Diploma in Piano Performance in May 2014. After competing in the Cliburn amateur competition in June 2016, he decided to go back to college to do the full Bachelor in Music and complete his studies. Currently he is two years into a BMus degree and working as a clinical pharmacist in a geriatric hospital and in a drug treatment center for drug addicts.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach - Italian Concerto, BWV 971 - 1. Allegro
Schubert - Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3, D. 899 
Conor Linehan - Intermezzo

Semi Final Round
Mozart - Sonata in D Major, K. 576
Allegro
Adagio
Allegretto

Final Round
Beethoven - Sonata in D Minor, Op. 31, No. 2, “Tempest”
1. Largo – Allegro
2. Adagio 
3. Allegretto
F.Liszt- Concert Etude No. 2, “La leggierezza”


Arthur Dimond
Massachusetts

Arthur Dimond, a native of Brooklyn, NY, began taking piano lessons at the age of six with his mother’s teacher, Gertrude Kovacs, one of the last of the generation that made piano “house calls”. As a student at the University of Pennsylvania, he took a hiatus from lessons, but continued to play, on his own and as accompanist for the Glee Club. Following Peace Corps service in Turkey, where he periodically found a piano to practice on in the most surprising places, he eventually settled in Washington, DC, where he resumed lessons with Willis Bennett, a member of the American University music department who substantially broadened Arthur’s musical horizons. After moving to Boston for work in the public relations field, he bought his first “serious” grand piano, and explored new musical opportunities, first in a chamber music group, and ultimately in lessons with Kevin McGinty at the All Newton Music School. During this period, he has performed in several recitals focused on the works of Schumann and Brahms, monthly BPAA gatherings, regular gigs at Symphony Hall’s BSO Café and community events. This is his first foray into amateur competitions.
Preliminary Round
Copland - Piano Sonata, 1st and 2nd mvts.

Second Round
Faure - Nocturne No. 1 in E-flat Minor, Op. 33, No. 1
Brahms - Intermezzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2

Paul Doerrfeld
Illinois
Paul Doerrfeld is the office manager for his family tool and die manufacturing business in Algonquin, Illinois. He received a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from DePaul University as a pupil of Mary Sauer. Paul enjoys entering Amateur competitions to meet other amateur pianists, and to keep his piano playing skills sharp.
Preliminary Round
Granados - Valses poeticos
Turina – Zapateado, from 3 Danzas Andaluzas, Op. 8

Semi Final Round
Debussy - Masques
Faure - Barcarolle No. 8, Op. 96
Bill Doerrfeld - "Flurious" 

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Marina Fish
Canada

Marina is an avid lover of classical piano. She enjoys participating in amateur piano competitions and is continually inspired by other pianists who share the same passion. When not practicing or working, she enjoys hiking with her husband, reading, and cooking. Favorite composers are Rachmaninoff, Chopin, and Scriabin as reflected in her repertoire for this competition. 
Preliminary Round
Bach-Busoni - Adagio - Toccata in C Major 
Chopin – Polonaise No. 15 in B-flat Minor, Op. Posth, “Adieu”
Rachmaninoff - Etude-Tableau in C Minor, Op. 33, No. 3 

Semi Final Round
Chopin - Nocturne in B Major, Op. 32, No. 1 
Scriabin – Impromptu in B-flat Minor, Op. 12, No. 2 
Scriabin - Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9, No. 2 

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George Foukal
Canada

Born in Prague, George Foukal emigrated with his parents shortly after his birth to Montreal. His parents bought him a piano at 9 years of age thinking that because he was always singing he may have some musical talent. Or was it to divert him away from song? After 7 years of lessons came many years of college leading to neither singing nor piano, rather veterinary medicine. After a long hiatus from serious practice he has, over the last 10 years, studied with Dimiter Terziev and Joseph Berarducci, as well as lessons with visiting pianists Sergei Saratovsky and Charles Richard-Hamelin. Recently retired after a long career in veterinary surgery he has turned more attention to his other interests which include, aside from music, architecture and history, cross country skiing, competitive sculling and road biking. He is a founding member of the Vernon Piano Club as well as a regular host for visiting concert pianists. He and his wife Marie, an amateur cellist regularly host house concerts in their home in Vernon, B.C.
Preliminary Round
Schumann - Fantasiestücke Op. 12, No. 2 “Aufschwung”
Fantasiestücke Op. 12, No. 1, “Des Abends”
Chopin - Prelude in G Major, Op. 28, No. 3
Janacek - In the Mists – 1. Andante  
Chopin - Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 42

Second Round
Mozart – Fantasia in C Minor, K. 475 café 
Liszt - Soirées de Vienne No. 6 in A Minor

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Elena Gantvarg
Massachusetts

Elena Gantvarg was born in Belarus. At the age of 18 she went to the Netherlands to study computer science and math at the University of Nijmegen. After graduation she worked in telecom and management consulting and completed an MBA at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands. In 2004 she moved to Israel. Since 2007 Elena resides in the US, together with her husband and 3 children, ages 14, 11 and 5, and works in Venture capital. She got tired of telling her kids to practice piano and decided to resume practicing herself instead.
Preliminary Round
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12
Beethoven - Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13, “Pathetique” – 1. Grave – Allegro di molto e con brio

Semi Final Round
Brahms – Rhapsody in B MInor, Op. 79, No.1
Scriabin - Etude in D-sharp Minor, Op. 8, No. 12


Robert Gemmell
Georgia

Robert Gemmell is a semi-retired technology entrepreneur turned educator. He began playing piano by ear at age 4 and has studied classical piano since age 5. He minored in music in undergraduate school while majoring in electrical engineering. After a long entrepreneurial career in the semiconductor and wireless industries, Gemmell transitioned to a teaching career and has taught in the business schools at Georgia Tech, Wake Forest University and Georgia State University. Gemmell has BS/MS degrees in engineering from Georgia Tech, an MBA from Duke University and his Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. 
Preliminary Round
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12 
Liszt - Funérailles, from Harmonies poétiques et religieuses

Semi Final Round
Brahms - Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5, mvts 1 & 2

Final Round
Ives – Sonata No. 2 “Concord”, 3rd mvt “The Alcotts” 
Schubert - Sonata in B-flat Major, D. 960, 1st mvt 
Rachmaninoff - Etude Tableau in E-flat Minor, Op. 39, No. 5