Meet the judges for the 2019 Russian Chamber Music Competition!
American pianist Kay Zavislak enjoys a multi-faceted career as a performer, teacher, adjudicator, and clinician. Spending her formative years in Japan, Dr. Zavislak attended the Toho GakuenHigh School of Music, one of the most prestigious conservatories in the country. She then moved to the U.S. and earned the degrees Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan.
As a performer, Dr. Zavislak has given solo recitals and chamber concerts regionally and nationally, in addition to public performances in Australia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, and Poland. In collaboration with flutist Leonard Garrison and saxophonistBill Perconti, Dr. Zavislak has also recorded two commercial CDs for Centaur Records. Her awards and honors include first prize in the Frances Walton Competition, second prize in the Richardson Young Artist Award Competition, second prize in the All-Tohoku Piano Competition in Japan, third prize in the William Byrd International Concerto Competition, and the Alice Kern Pedagogy Award.
Many of Dr. Zavislak’s university and pre-college students have received top prizes and honors in a number of regional piano festivals and competitions, such as the Music Fest Northwest in Spokane, Sonata-Sonatina Festival in Ellensburg, Northern Idaho Piano Festival, Music Teachers National Association Idaho State Competition, MTNA Washington State Competition, Seattle Russian Music Competition, Spokane Piano Competition, and MTNA Northwest Regional Competition. Her students have been accepted to and offered full-tuition scholarships for Bachelor’s and Master’s programs in piano performance nationwide.
Dr. Zavislak is passionate about teaching and sharing ideas with students of all ages as well as piano teachers, especially in the area of performance practices and interpretation. As a result, she is in high demand for workshops, conference presentations, master classes, master lessons, and for adjudicating regional festivals and competitions.
Before joining her family in Bellingham in 2013, Dr. Zavislak was an Assistant Professor of Piano and the Keyboard Area Coordinator at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton School of Music. In addition, she has held teaching positions at Schoolcraft College, Albion College, and the University of Michigan, and she is currently on the music faculty at Western Washington University. She studied piano under the guidance of Arthur Greene, Logan Skelton, Yoshie Kora, and Miyoko Hamamoto, harpsichord with Edward Parmentier, and organ with Marilyn Mason.
Pianist Renato Fabbro (Ron) received both Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from the University of Colorado under full scholarship, and as a fellowship recipient he was awarded a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University. His major teachers include Larry Graham, Angela Cheng, and John Perry. Dr. Fabbro has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Boulder Bach Festival, Colorado Mozart Festival, and Astoria Music Festival. He has performed chamber music recitals with internationally acclaimed violinist Frank Huang and Northwestern University clarinet professor Steven Cohen. As part of the Martingale Ensemble, he recorded a CD for MSR Classics of music by Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler with members of the Oregon Symphony. Frequently in demand as an adjudicator, he has judged such events as the Steinway Piano Competition, MTNA Northwest Division Piano Competition, Washington Outstanding Artist Competition, Seattle Chopin Competition, Reno Music Festival, Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside, and Washington and Idaho MTNA Piano Competitions. He was also invited to give a series of master classes for the Boise Federation of Music Clubs in 2013 and 2015.
Dr. Fabbro has won prizes and awards in several national competitions, including the Fort Collins Symphony National Young Artist Competition, MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition, Jefferson Symphony Young Artist Competition, Lee Piano Competition, Grand Junction Symphony Young Artist Competition, and he was a semifinalist in the Seattle International Piano Competition. He also won the Colorado State Music Teachers Association Young Artists Piano Competition and the Colorado University Honors Competition, and has been a featured soloist with the Oregon Symphony, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Collins Symphony, Grand Junction Symphony, Colorado University Orchestra and Grand Junction Youth Symphony.
A dedicated teacher, his students have won top prizes in the Coeur d’Alene Symphony National Young Artist Competition, American Protege International Piano & Strings Competition, Mondavi Center National Young Artist Competition, American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition, ENKOR Piano Competition, American Protege International Concerto Competition, MTNA Northwest Division Piano Competition, Oregon Mozart Players Young Soloists Competition, Portland Monday Musical Club Scholarship Competition, Vancouver Symphony Young Artists Competition, Oregon MTNA Piano Competition, Portland Youth Philharmonic Concerto Competition, Oregon Symphony Wiscarson Competition, Oregon Sinfonietta Concerto Competition, Beaverton Symphony Young Artists Competition, Central Oregon Symphony Young Artists Competition. His students have also performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Currently serving on the faculties of the University of Portland and Marylhurst University, Dr. Fabbro has also taught at the University of Texas at San Antonio Summer Music Institute.
Violinist Svend Rønning is Chair of the String Division at Pacific Lutheran Universitywhere he is Professor of Music. He is also one of the most active performers in the Puget Sound, serving as Concertmaster of Symphony Tacoma as well as performing frequent soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and recording artist. He is also Artistic Director of the Second City Chamber Series, Tacoma’s award winning producer of chamber music concerts and chamber music educational programs.
Svend Rønning has appeared in venues around the world, including the Aspen, Eastern, Harkness, Jerusalem, Methow, Pacific, Rhode Island, Spoleto and Wintergreen Music Festivals and has served as Concertmaster of various orchestras including the Charlottesville Symphony, the San Jose Symphony, the Spoleto U.S.A. Chamber Orchestra, and the Tacoma Opera Orchestra. As soloist, he has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the Charlottesville Symphony, the Olympia Symphony, the Prague Radio Symphony, Orchestra Seattle, and the Symphony Tacoma. Solo engagementsinclude concerts in Ithaca, New York, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California, Norway, Hungary, and Australia.
Dr. Rønning is a native of the Pacific Northwest and holds an undergraduate degree in violin performance from Pacific Lutheran University. He subsequently earned a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. His teachers include Syoko Aki, Sidney Harth, Jaap Schröder, and Ann Tremaine.