Faculty & Staff

Dr. Sarkis Baltaian

Dr. Sarkis Baltaian

Director, Instrumental Music; Coordinator, Pianist Program

sarkis.baltaian@ocsarts.net

Dr. Sarkis Baltaian has gained an international reputation as a concert pianist, chamber musician, recording artist, and pedagogue. He has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone and ability to project even the most delicate pianissimos” and compared to George Gershwin and Oscar Levant for his performance of Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Dr. Baltaian made his Carnegie Hall Debut in 1999 and has performed extensively both as a recitalist and concerto soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Dr. Baltaian is a dedicated teacher whose students have won various national and international competitions and have been accepted at many prestigious schools, such as Manhattan School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, USC, UCLA, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Barbara, Pomona College, and University of Colorado at Boulder. Dr. Baltaian has held teaching positions at the Colburn School, Pan Pacific Festival in Australia, UAHuntsville, and CSULA. He currently serves on the faculty of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and also maintains a private studio in Orange County and Los Angeles, working with award winning students.

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Dr. Judy Huang

Dr. Judy Huang

Instructor

Teaches: Piano 7/8, Piano Ensemble A, Piano Master Class A, Chamber Music

judy.huang@ocsarts.net

Judy Huang made her professional debut at age eleven with the Fine Arts Orchestra in Taiwan. She was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2004 Carmel Music Society.

She has given concerts in Taiwan and in the United States, as well as in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England, and Poland. Sharing her passion of chamber music, Dr. Huang is dedicated to community outreach programs and has collaborated with members of Pacific Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

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Dr. Bong-A Jung

Dr. Bong-A Jung

Instructor

Teaches: Piano Seminar 7/8, Piano Sight-Reading 7/8, Piano Sight-Reading 9/10, Piano Seminar B, Theory

Dr. Bong-A Jung has been praised for the "sensitivity, personality, deep musical color" through her performance. Dr. Jung, the 1st prize award winner at Pi Kappa Lambda Competition in Philadelphia, PA, was the recipient of the Olga Gagliardi Getto award. She has also received the Graduate Fellowship Grant from Michigan State University. As a solo pianist, Dr. Jung has performed internationally and nationally in prestigious recital halls and festivals, including Carnegie Hall and Gilmore festival. As an active chamber musician and orchestral pianist, she has collaborated with leading instrumentalists and singers, and symphonies throughout South Korea and the United States. She is a co-founder of unique jazz and classical collaborative project, Zamar Ensemble.

Dr. Jung received her Doctorate of Musical Arts from Michigan State University. She is a member of Music Teacher-Association of California, dedicated to teaching her students in the Orange County area.

Shannon Kauble

Shannon Kauble

Instructor

Teaches: Musicianship A

shannon.kauble@ocsarts.net

Shannon Kauble holds a master’s degree in vocal performance from California State University, Fullerton, as well as bachelor’s degrees in piano and vocal performance from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. Since 1999, she has taught piano and voice privately, and she was also a church choir director from 1999-2006. Additionally, she is the president of the Lakewood-Cerritos branch of MTAC, and regularly serves as a piano and voice evaluator for CM evaluations and other local festivals.

As a freelance vocalist and accompanist, she performs for a variety of functions and in many locations mostly around the country and occasionally abroad. She also frequently appears as a singer and pianist with the chamber ensemble, Musica Anima. Furthermore, she has performed as a soprano soloist with the Pacific Symphony and has sung operatic roles with Opera of the Foothills, Antelope Valley Symphony, Bakersfield Symphony, California State University Fullerton’s Opera Theater, International Lyric Academy of Rome, and Blue Danube Musikimpresario of Bulgaria. Other ensemble appearances have been with Long Beach Opera, Euterpe Opera Theater, Opera of the Foothills, and Lyric Opera of Los Angeles.

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Dr. Wenjing Liu

Dr. Wenjing Liu

Instructor

Teaches: Musicianship B, Piano Ensemble B, Directed Practice, Piano Seminar A

wenjing.liu@ocsarts.net

Wenjing Liu, a solo performer and chamber musician, has intensely performed throughout the United States, China, and Italy. A scope of her concert engagement expands from prestigious professional concert venues, such as Carnegie Hall, and Steinway Hall, to major academic institute worldwide, such as University of Southern California, California State University-Fullerton, and the University of Tennessee as a guest artist. She performed in various music festivals including Amalfi Coast Music Festival (Italy) and Schlern Music Festival (Italy).

A solo pianist of national and international acclaim, Liu is a price winner of multiple competitions. Such as American Protégé International Competition in New York City, Asia Teenager Piano Competition in China, American Piano Competition of Yantai China. As a chamber musician, she performed in various groups and venues including Carnegie Hall in New York City and Vὅls Town Hall in Italy. She started to collaborate with saxophonist John Hallberg since 2014, and the duo frequently appears in major concert halls and institutes in United States and China.

She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance from Shandong University in China, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from Illinois State University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts from University of Iowa.

Dr. Hyun Jung Ro

Dr. Hyun Jung Ro

Instructor

Teaches: Music History, Theory

Hyun Jung Ro holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in historical performance practices from Claremont Graduate University. There, she studied fortepiano with Professor Preethi de Silva, piano and toy piano with Nadia Shpachenko, and harpsichord with Robert Zappulla. From 2005 to 2006, she went abroad and continued her professional development in England, including participation in the Oxford International Piano Festival. Pianists she has worked with include John Lill, Alexander Satz, Marios Papadopoulos, Nancy Bricard, Robert Watson, Susan Svrcek, and Dennis Alexander.

As trained in historical performance practice, Dr. Ro presented fortepiano lecture-recital and fortepiano/harpsichord chamber music concerts in collaboration with members of Pacific Symphony and Pomona College Orchestra and completed a research project titled: Rhetorical and Performance Practices of Early Beethoven Piano Sonatas. In addition, Dr. Ro premiered two toy piano compositions: Kalimba for You Piano & CD Playback and 3 Kanons fur 3 Spielzeugklaviere. Since 2014, she has been the founder and music director of Musika Anima in which she performs as a soloist and chamber musician. Dr. Ro currently serves on the faculty of St. John’s Music Conservatory as well as an interim music director at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Pasadena and maintains a private studio in Orange County, CA.

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Füreya Unal

Füreya Unal

Instructor

Teaches: Piano Master Class B

Füreya Unal was born in Istanbul where she started playing the piano at the age of three. Her formal music education began at five years of age at Istanbul University State Conservatory. In 1996, Ms. Unal earned her bachelor’s degree from Istanbul Conservatory. She has also been awarded two master’s degrees, the first from Istanbul Conservatory and the second from the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt am Main.

During her education, she has studied with Irina Zaritskaya, Mikhail Voskresenski, Anatol Ugorski, and Leontina Margulis. Throughout 1995 and 1996, she studied in Monaco with Hüseyin Sermet at the Monaco Music Academy.

Ms. Unal is a member of faculty at California State University, Fullerton. She has performed in a number of concerts and recitals in Turkey, Germany, Monaco, France, Bulgaria, Portugal, and the United States.  She was a recipient of Cultural Exchange Fellowship in 2012 by the Turkish Cultural Foundation to give concerts and master classes in The People’s Republic of China. She is the founder, artistic director, and pianist of the new music ensemble Divan Consort. The group has released their first album, “Refuge” on Albany Records, which was awarded with Gold and Silver Medals by the Global Music Awards. 

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Advisory Board

Nina Scolnik

Nina Scolnik

Associate Chair for Performance

Professor, UCI

University of California, Irvine

  

Pianist Nina Scolnik has concertized in the United States and abroad as a recitalist, soloist with orchestra, chamber musician and collaborative pianist.

She has been a guest artist with the American, Angeles, Lydian, and Blaeu String Quartets and has collaborated with international cellists Nathaniel Rosen, Gerhard Mantel and Vagram Saradjian.  Recent European venues include performances at the Rudolfinum in Prague with principals of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam and the Palais Auersperg in Vienna as a soloist with the Wiener Residenzorchester. Scolnik has performed and taught at celebrated music festivals in Europe and in the United States including the Schlern International Music Festival in Voels am Schlern, Italy, the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Czech Republic, Pianofest Austria in Bad Aussee, Austria, the Williams International Piano Festival, Tulane University Keyboard Festival, and the Amherst, New World, and Aspen Music Festivals. 

Widely recognized for her master classes, lectures, and work with injured pianists, Ms. Scolnik has presented at music conferences, universities, and festivals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. She served as a faculty member of the Taubman Institute of Piano from 1979 to 2002, and at the Golandsky International Piano Institute at Princeton University in 2004.  She currently serves on the piano faculty and as Associate Chair for Performance at the University of California, Irvine, where she has groomed pianists for serious careers as performers and teachers for over 25 years.

Born in Lewiston, Maine, Ms. Scolnik is a graduate of both the Oberlin Conservatory and the Juilliard School of Music.  Her teachers have included Edna Golandsky, Dorothy Taubman, Artur Balsam, Joseph Schwartz, Martin Canin, Lenore Engdahl, and Natasha Chances.

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Dr. Derek Kealii Polischuk

Dr. Derek Kealii Polischuk

Director of Piano Pedagogy

Associate Professor of Piano

Michigan State University

Derek Kealii Polischuk is associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State University College of Music. Originally from San Diego, Polischuk studied with Krzysztof Brzuza before attending the University of Southern California, where he received the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Piano Performance with distinction under the tutelage of Daniel Pollack.  

An enthusiastic supporter of the education of musicians at every age, ability and background, Polischuk has presented at conferences around the world, including the Music Teachers National Association, the National Group Piano and Pedagogy Conference, the Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy Conference, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, the DOCTRID Conference in Ireland, the ABLE Assembly at Berklee College, and at universities and conservatories across China. Polischuk serves on the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy’s Committee for Teaching Students with Special Needs and the Advisory Board of the Orange County School of the Arts Pianist Program. Polischuk is a founder and director of the “Celebrating the Spectrum” Piano Festival for advanced pianists on the Autism Spectrum. Polischuk’s book Transformational Piano Teaching, described by Dr. Alice M. Hammel of James Madison University as “a world of piano pedagogy where anyone and everyone is welcome and included in the art and joy of playing the piano” and Stewart Gordon of the University of Southern California as “a landmark in the field of piano pedagogy” is available from Oxford University Press.  At Michigan State University, Polischuk has been the recipient of the Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award, and the Teacher-Scholar Award, given in recognition of exceptional skill in teaching.

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