Competition Judges

  • Michelle Cann

Concert pianist Michelle Cann is a young artist with a deep musical commitment to performing a wide range of repertoire and to bringing the arts to local communities. Michelle made her orchestral debut at age 14 and has since soloed with various orchestras including the Florida Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, and the Knoxville Symphony. Michelle has been frequently featured on both WRTI 90.1 and WHYY TV in Philadelphia on such shows as Creatively Speaking with Susan Lewis, Onstage at Curtis, and Philadelphia Music Makers where she was the host of the hour-long program which alternated between her own personal reflections and solo performances. Michelle has recently appeared as Cohost/Collaborative pianist for 3 shows with the nationally broadcasted program #NPRsFromTheTop appearing in Interlochen, MI. with actor/conductor Damon Gupton and in Boston, MA. with violinist Leila Josepfowicz and in LaJolla, CA. with violinist Vijay Gupta.  Michelle regularly concertizes throughout the US and abroad including over 30 states, Bermuda, London, Mexico, China, and South Korea. Michelle received her Bachelor and Master degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Paul Schenly and Dr. Daniel Shapiro and received an Artist Diploma from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia studying with Robert McDonald. Soon after, she was placed on the Curtis staff as a Collaborative Staff Pianist. Along with this post she serves as Music Director of the First Baptist Church of Philadelphia and Artist in Residence at the summer festival Pianofest in the Hamptons. Michelle is under the management of Lisa Sapinkopf Artists. Michelle Cannjoined LMC faculty in 2015. 

  • Dr. Elizabeth Child
Born in Georgia, Elizabeth Child gave her first solo recital at age ten and made her televised orchestral debut at age twelve, eventually leading to a New York debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Will Crutchfield of the New York Times stated in his review, “one always sensed that something was happening in her playing, and that made it easy to enjoy.”     Her orchestral appearances include the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, the summer festival orchestras of Interlochen and Brevard, and the symphonies of Columbus GA and Spartanburg SC. As first prize winner of the Twelfth Artists International Auditions, she was the featured soloist in the PBS television special “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?,” an intimate portrait of a young artist preparing for her professional debut. A winner in the New York Piano Teachers Congress and the Society of American Musicians competitions, Child has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the United States and Taiwan.   Child holds a doctorate from The Juilliard School, a master’s degree from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree from Converse College – all in piano performance. She studied with Josef Raieff, Dmitri Paperno, Louis Nagel, Henry Rauch, and Dorothy Taubman   Child’s Asheville appearances have included the Pianoforte Series, Asheville Chopin Club Concerts, and Asheville Area Piano Forum Benefit Concerts. She maintains a private studio in Tryon NC. 
  • Dr. Anna Hayward
Dr. Anna Hayward has been active as a performer and teacher of piano throughout most of her life.  Her solo performing activities include a concert tour of Micronesia sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, state convention artist for the Virginia Music Teachers Association and solo recitals in the United States, England, France, Germany, Australia and the Bosendorfer Saal in Vienna, Austria. Dr. Hayward was Associate Professor of Piano at Georgia State University in Atlanta where she developed and directed the graduate Piano Pedagogy program. She was a piano faculty member of the summer music festivals of Breckenridge, Colorado, the University of Illinois Summer Youth Festival and the Musique Session Internationale in Grenoble, France.  Her degrees are from the University of Illinois and the University of Northern Colorado, where she completed the Doctor of Arts degree in piano performance. From 1986 to 1996 she traveled throughout the United States, Europe, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia as a clinician for Alfred Publishing, who also published her intermediate level compositions with distribution in the United States, England and Australia. Her articles on meditation and performance have been published in journals in both the U.S and England.
  • Dr. Brad Hunnicutt

Dr. Bradley C. Hunnicutt teaches piano and music theory at Shaw University and leads the music at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Garner.  He holds a Master's degree in piano performance and pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught piano in Kassel, Germany for three years and was awarded a Fullbright fellowship for music research in Leipzig, Germany. He is a Shape-Note Singing enthusiast. His arrangements of Shape-Note Tunes for Organ are available through GIA publications.

  • Dr. Grace Lee 
South Korean native Koeun Grace Lee is an avid performer, educator, and conference lecturer across the U.S. She holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and a Post Master's Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy and an Artist Diploma from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. She made her first debut with Pan Harmonia, Asheville, NC’s award-winning chamber music repertory company.  Dr. Lee has presented at numerous lecture-performances at conferences of the College Music Society in the U.S. and South Korea. She has been a featured performer at the Composition in Asia International Symposium and Festival and the recent guest artist at the University of South Florida. She frequently performs as a solo and collaborative guest artist at numerous venues. She recently performed at Furman University, Jacksonville University, and Kansas State University.   Dr. Lee is a frequent solo concert artist at the Asheville Art Museum Pianoforte SeriesShe is currently on piano faculty at Brevard College, Mars Hill University, and the Academy for the Arts at First Baptist Church of Asheville. She is an active member of Asheville Area Piano Forum, Music Teachers National Association, College Music Society, Suzuki Association of the Americas, American Musicological Society, and North Carolina Federation of Music Clubs.  
  • Dr. Sophie Wang
Sophie Wang is an active concert artist and pedagogue. Recent engagements include a lecture-recital and masterclass in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2018, as well as her Carnegie Hall solo debut in May 2016. Other notable appearances include her European debut at the Internationaler Musiksommer auf Kulturverein-Schloss Rosenegg in Austria in 2011, shortly after her critically-acclaimed Taipei recital in 2010. Within the U.S., Wang has served as a clinician at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference; laureate of the MTNA Steinway Artists Competition in 2002 and 2004; and organizer-performer for Pianopalooza at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2013 and 2014. In 2002, she appeared as soloist with the University of Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra in the rarely-heard Moszkowski Concerto. Last December, she performed the Beethoven C Minor Concerto with the Cincinnati Community Orchestra. Recent presentations include Music Transformed: The Piano Transcription and Its Evolution,  A Walk onthe (Earl) Wild Side, MacDowell: A Poetic Voice as Seen in the “Keltic” Sonata, and Worth A Thousand Words: Poulenc’s Musical Depictions in Les Soirées de Nazelles. 
 
Concurrent with her performances and projects, Wang has held teaching positions at Gulf Coast State College, Florida State University, CCM, and Northern Kentucky University, where she served as Keyboard Area Coordinator. She joined the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Fall of 2018. Wang received the MM from Florida State University and the DMA in Piano Performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  
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