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Grand Opening – The Gurwitz 2024 International Piano Competition

26 January | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


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Raise a glass to The Gurwitz 2024 International Piano Competition and be immersed in a world of piano brilliance with performances by the international 2024 competition jury, bites and bubbly by Bistr09, and a drawing of the contestants’ performance order. Performances by Maestro Scott Yoo (violin), Sergio Tiempo (piano), Lilya Zilberstein (piano), Mikhail Voskresensky (piano), and San Antonio jazz master Aaron Prado (piano) with George Prado (bass).

~ Event Sponsored by H. E. Butt Foundation
~ Venue Partnership with UTSA Arts
~ Bites & Bubby Courtesy of Bistr09


Maestro Scott Yoo, violin

American conductor Scott Yoo is the Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Mexico City Philharmonic and the Music Director of Festival Mozaic. He is also the Host and Executive Producer of the all-new PBS series Now Hear This presented by Great Performances – the first show about classical music on American prime time TV in 50 years. He is the Conductor of the Colorado College Music Festival, and the founder of the Medellín Festicámara, a chamber music program that brings together world-class artists with underprivileged young musicians.

Mr. Yoo has led the Colorado, Dallas, Indianapolis, New World, San Francisco and Utah Symphonies, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in their Elliott Carter Festival and in his Carnegie Hall debut. In Europe, he conducted the English Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, the Britten Sinfonia, L’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Odense Symphony and the Estonian National Symphony. In Asia, Mr. Yoo has led the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo and the Seoul Philharmonic and Busan Philharmonic in Korea. Mr. Yoo recently conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in recordings for Sony Classical.

A proponent of the music of our time, Mr. Yoo has premiered 76 works by 39 composers. With the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, Mr. Yoo recorded Mark O’Connor’s American Seasons for Sony Classical; John Harbison’s chamber orchestra works with soprano Dawn Upshaw for Bridge Records, nominated for a National Public Radio Performance Today Award; and song cycles of Earl Kim with sopranos Benita Valente and Karol Bennett for New World, named a Critics Choice by the New York Times. Other recording projects include complete orchestral works of Earl Kim with the RTE National Orchestra of Ireland for Naxos; the works of Carter, Lieberson, and Ruders; and the cycle of Mozart Piano Concertos.

As a violinist, Mr. Yoo has appeared as soloist with the Boston Symphony, Dallas Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, New World Symphony, and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. He has also made guest appearances with chamber music festivals throughout the United States, including Bargemusic, Boston Chamber Music Society, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, Laurel Music Festival, New Hampshire Music Festival, and Seattle Chamber Music Festival.

After beginning his musical studies at age three, he received First Prize in the 1988 Josef Gingold International Violin Competition, the 1989 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, and the 1994 Avery Fisher Career Grant. In 1993, Mr. Yoo founded the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra, conducting the ensemble in its subscription series at Jordan Hall in Boston and the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall in Troy, NY, and on tour at such venues as Avery Fisher Hall and the 92nd Street ‘Y’ in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington.

Scott Yoo was born in Tokyo and raised in Glastonbury, CT. He attended Harvard University, where he received a bachelor’s degree. He studied violin with Roman Totenberg, Albert Markov, Paul Kantor and Dorothy DeLay, and conducting with Michael Gilbert and Michael Tilson-Thomas.

Sergio Tiempo, piano

In the last five years alone, pianist Sergio Tiempo has performed with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, LA Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo and Berliner Philharmoniker. He has played with conductors including Claudio Abbado, Marin Alsop, Christoph Eschenbach, Thierry Fischer, Emmanuel Krivine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Rafael Payare, Alexander Prior, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas and, maybe most of all, with his fellow countryman and friend Gustavo Dudamel. Particularly well known for his performances of Ginastera’s Piano Concerto No.1, Tiempo has also premiered Esteban Benzecry’s new piano concerto Universos Infinitos, and regularly plays Beethoven, Chopin, Grieg, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, and Tchaikovsky.

As a recitalist, he has appeared at Konzerthaus Wien, Wigmore Hall, Berliner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Edinburgh International Festival, at Klavier Festival Ruhr, the George Enescu Festival, the Warsaw and Brussels Chopin Festivals, Dias Da Música, and on recital tours across China, Korea, Italy, and North and South America.

Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Tiempo first studied with his mother, Lyl Tiempo. He pays tribute to her and some of his closest musical mentors in his new album ‘Hommage’ (2023). Among them are his sister and regular recital partner Karin Lechner, Martha Argerich Nelson Freire, Alan Weiss and Mischa Maisky. He made his professional debut aged 14 at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and later went on to study at Fondazione per il Pianoforte in Como, Italy, where he worked with Dimitri Bashkirov, Fou Tsong, Murray Perahia and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.

Lilya Zilberstein, piano

Since winning First Prize in the 1987 Busoni International Piano Competition, Lilya Zilberstein has established herself as one of the finest pianists in the world. In demand as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher, in 2014 she became the first woman to chair the classical piano department at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Ms. Zilberstein has appeared in North America with the symphonies of Chicago, Dallas, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Oregon, Colorado, Jacksonville, Pacific, Montreal, Vancouver, Quebec, The Florida Orchestra, and the Naples Philharmonic, among others. Worldwide engagements have included the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Dresden Staatskapelle, Konzerthausorchester/Berlin, Czech Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, RAI Symphony/Torino, La Scala Orchestra, NHK Symphony/Tokyo, Taipei Symphony, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Orquesta Sinfónica de Mineria/Mexico, Orquestra Filarmônica de Minas Gerais/Brazil, and the Qatar Philharmonic, among others.

She has collaborated with renowned conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Andrey Boreyko, Semyon Bychkov, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Vladimir Fedoseyev, Iván Fischer, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Gilbert Varga, Marcello Viotti, and Antonin Witt.

An enthusiastic recitalist, Lilya Zilberstein’s engagements include her recent debut at the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie in a duo recital with Martha Argerich, as well as Paris, Vienna, Florence, Dresden, Siena, Taipei, and Beijing, to name a few. Festival appearances include Campos do Jordao/Brazil, Ireland Chamber Music, Lugano, Mondsee, Peninsula, Chautauqua, Mostly Mozart (both in New York and Japan), and recently, the Salzburg Easter Festival, performing with musicians of the Staatskapelle Dresden.

Ms. Zilberstein has presented numerous recitals with Martha Argerich. In addition to show-stopping performances in France, Germany, Italy, and Norway, a CD of the Brahms Sonata for Two Pianos played by Ms. Zilberstein and Ms. Argerich was released in 2003. Highlights of recent collaborations with Martha Argerich include performances in Hamburg and Bremen. Ms. Zilberstein has also toured extensively with Russian violinist Maxim Vengerov in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Featured on the EMI recording Martha Argerich and Friends: Live from the Lugano Festival, Mr. Vengerov and Ms. Zilberstein’s performance of the Brahms Sonata No. 3 for Violin and Piano won a Grammy nomination for best classical CD, and best chamber music performance. She has recorded eight CDs for Deutsche Grammophon, including the Rachmaninoff Concerto Nos. 2 and 3 with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Grieg Concerto with Neeme Järvi and the Göteborg Symphony.

A new collaboration is developing between Lilya Zilberstein and her two sons, Daniel and Anton, both of whom have become excellent pianists. They have toured as a family all over Italy and appear occasionally in North America.

Ms. Zilberstein has recorded extensively for Deutsche Grammophon, including the Rachmaninoff Concerti Nos. 2 and 3 with Claudio Abbado and the Berlin Philharmonic; the Grieg Concerto with Neeme Järvi and the Göteborg Symphony; and solo works of Rachmaninoff, Shostakovich, Mussorgsky, Liszt, Schubert, Brahms, Debussy, Ravel, and Chopin. On a recent recording, released in 2014 on the Oehms label, she is featured with the Gürzenich Orchestra/Cologne under Dmitri Kitajenko, playing Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

A native of Moscow, Lilya Zilberstein is a graduate of the Gnessin Pedagogical Institute. In addition to the Busoni Competition Gold Medal, she was named “1998 Prizewinner” of the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy (other recipients include Gidon Kremer, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Esa-Pekka Salonen). After her 25-year tenure as Guest Professor of Piano at the Hamburg Musikhochschule, she and her family moved to Vienna to begin her new position at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.

Mikhail Voskresensky, piano

Famous Russian pianist Mikhaïl Voskresensky continues to intensively concertize around the world for more than 60 years. The top prize winner of many international piano competitions, including The First Van Cliburn competition, Voskresensky has captivated audiences with his electrifying interpretations of the great piano literature of all styles.

Born in the city of Berdyansk (Ukraine), Voskresensky graduated from Moscow Conservatory. His teachers were the famous Lev Oborin (first prize winner of the First Chopin Competition in Warsaw), Ilia Klyachko, Jacob Milstein, Boris Zemliansky and Leonid Roizman (organ). Voskresensky’s career began with a performance of Chopin’s 2nd Piano Concerto in Warsaw with the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra under the baton of Eugeny Svetlanov. In 1957 he played the premiere of Shostakovich Second Piano Concerto in the Prague Spring Festival in the presence of the composer himself, who held his performance in high esteem. 

On his YouTube channel “Mikhail Voskresensky – pianist” there are more than 100 videos and recordings of his recitals and concertos with orchestra. The last live recordings include: the 27 piano concertos of Mozart, all of Beethoven’s concertos and the Choral Fantasy, and many recitals. Voskresensky is a distinguished professor of Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, serving as chair of the piano faculty. Since 1992 he is also a guest professor of Toho Gakuen School in Tokyo.

His pupils have won more than 120 international prizes, including 61 gold medals. He has adjudicated many international competitions as well as the Tchaikovsky and Scriabin (chairman of jury) competitions in Moscow. Voskresensky was awarded the highest artistic  title in Russia – People Artist of Russia (1989), the Japanese Order “the Rising Sun”, the Russian Imperial House medal of Saint Anne, the Nicolai Rubinstein gold medal of Moscow conservatory, to name a few. In June of 2022 Voskresensky left Russia with his family as a protest against the war in Ukraine, and in August immigrated to the U.S.A. Currently he is an Artist-in-Residence of the Juilliard School of Music in New York.

Aaron Prado, piano

Dr. Aaron Prado is a pianist, composer, educator, and radio personality based in San Antonio, Texas. Prado received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance at the University of Texas at Austin’s Butler School of Music in 2014. Prior to doctoral study, Prado attended Columbia University for undergraduate study and New York University for a Master’s Degree. From 2003-2009, Prado was Music Director and announcer at Trinity University’s jazz radio station – KRTU 91.7FM – and is currently the host of “Aaron Prado Presents” – heard Sundays 2:00 – 4:00 p.m. In 2011, Prado debuted his “San Antonio Jazz Suite” – a large-scale composition scored for big band, string quartet, and narration depicting the story of San Antonio. In 2015, Prado published a book of transcriptions of solo recordings by jazz pianist Bill Evans (published by Hal Leonard). In 2018, Prado received the Paul Elizondo Grant for the Performing Arts from The Artist Foundation of San Antonio to compose a concert work called “The Hero’s Journey” and the piece premiered at Luminaria 2018 at the Instituto Cultural de Mexico. In 2019, Prado released two new CDs “Live at Jazz, TX” with his sextet and a trio album of original music titled “And Now…” Prado teaches music at Northwest Vista College and performs regularly in the South Texas area with his ensembles.

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26 January
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Musical Bridges Around the World


Coates Chapel, UTSA Southwest Campus
300 Augusta St
San Antonio, TX 78205 United States