Xiaoyi Niu, born in Shanghai, China. She has studied with the legendary Chinese pianist and pedagogue Ms.Leyi WU. She went to study in Paris at the age of 19 at France’s prestigious L’Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris with renowned pianists and professors such as Pascal GODART, France CLIDAT and Sergei MARKAROV. Xiaoyi holds a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the study with Professor Mack MACCRAY. She combines in her playing the romanticism and musicality of her Western European influences with the technical skill and discipline she began learning at the age of four. Since moving to the United States in 2004, Xiaoyi has performed as a soloist and in chamber music groups both on the East Coast and the West Coast, Europe and Asia.
Xiaoyi NIU has had over 15 years teaching students of all ages, all levels and diverse culture backgrounds. Her teaching approach is encouraging, engaging and energetic. She has been actively teaching in Short Hills, Millburn, Summit, South Orange, Livingston area in NJ for the past 6 years. Lessons can be taught in English, French and Chinese Mandarin.
age of 7, he started to participate in the local piano competitions and won first place
for numerous times. He was admitted to the Affiliated School of Shenyang
Conservatory of Music in 1997 and won the second place in the third Piano
Competition in Northeast China in the same year. In 1999, he received a full
scholarship from the Music Bridge Summer Camp of the Royal Mount College in
Canada. Where he was taught by world famous pianist Lee Kum Sing and finishing
the summer camp with second place of piano competition, he joined Germany
Ettlingen International Piano Competition after and achieved fourth prize. Since
2000, he studied under Lang Lang’s teacher Yafen Zhu and obtained the fourth
place in the fourth Hong Kong International Piano Competition. At 2001, Jia
participated in Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition, one of
the highest in the world in Salt Lake City, working with the Utah Symphony Orchestra
and won fourth prize. In 2002, he was invited by famous pianist Kong Xiangdong and
famous violinist Lu Siqing to perform in Hong Kong and Shanghai together. In the
same year, he was awarded a scholarship by China Yamaha Corporation for genius
pianists in China (six pianists were chosen in total). In 2003, he was admitted to the
Central Conservatory of Music with first place, at the same year he received a full
scholarship from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Eastman Conservatory
of Music to continue his piano studies in the United States. In the summer of 2003,
he participated the Eastman International Piano Competition as the youngest pianist
and compete with pianists from well-known conservatories such as Juilliard school of
music and won first place. From year 2005-2007 he held many concerts in the
United States. At 2008 Jia won the Mozart Prize at Sty-thal. The famous pianists
studied and followed by Jia include: Lee Kum Sing, Guangren Zhou, Qifang Li,
Xiangdong Kong, Paul Pollei, Allen Chow, Gail Niwa, Thomas Schumacher, Douglas
Humpherys, Jerome Lowenthal, Seymour Lipkin.
beginners, amateurs and professional piano students. In 2003, when Jia went to the
United States for further studies, three of his students were enrolled in the Affiliated
School of Shenyang Conservatory , and two other students of the same age as Jia
were admitted to the China Conservatory of Music. Jia is teaching now in NY and NJ.
Piano/Music Group Class
Xiyu Deng (Grace)
Pianist Xiyu Deng is currently pursuing Doctorate of Musical Arts degree under Dr. Joanne Polk in Manhattan School of Music. She is also a teaching assistant employed by Manhattan School of Music from 2018; teaches piano group classes and elective piano lessons for MSM graduate and undergraduate students. She began studying the piano at the age of five. She was awarded top prizes at the BNP Paribas ‘Rising Star’ Piano Festival in 2013, New England Conservatory Honors Competition in 2016 and the second prize in Open Class at the 17th Hong Kong—-Asia Piano Open Competition in 2012.As a solo pianist, she has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States at the internationally notable concert halls, such as Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center in New York, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall in Boston, and Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. She pursued her Bachelor of Music degree in Central Conservatory of Music, as a student of Dr. Bo Tong and Master of Music degree with Mr. Gabriel Chodos in New England Conservatory.
Ms Deng teaches piano students of all ages and experience levels. She has taught private students for 10 years from age 4-adult or professionals. Some of them study with her from the elementary level. Her students pass the ABRSM exams and won top prizes in domestic and international piano competitions during the instructions. Ms Deng wishes her students to enjoy music at the moment they start to learn how to read the music. She believes developing a great technique is an essential part in learning the piano. Besides that, she likes her students to understand music as an art form, can be approached as a language, which each component of a piece, such as the melody and harmony, convey emotional meanings.
Hailed by Ida Haendel as “profoundly musical”, XinOu Wei has performed across the United States, Europe, and China. He made his debut at age nine with Shenyang Symphony Orchestra, and in 2002 he was chosen to be a part of the program ”Perlman in Shanghai”.
Mr.Wei has worked with prominent conductors including Matthias Pintscher, Heinz Holliger, Friedlich Cehha, Gunther Schuller, David Robertson, Gerard Schwarz, Nicholas McGegan, Asher Fisch, Joseph Swensen, Tomáš Netopil, Arie Vardi, Joseph Colaneri, Kynan Johns, Larry Rachleff, Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff, and David Zinman, and has worked closely with the composers Elliot Carter, Matthias Pintscher, Luca Francesconi, Friedrich Cerha, Lowell Liebermann and Paul Moravec, which developed him an interest in both Baroque and contemporary music. In New York, He played the solo violin part in the world premiere in Pulitzer award winning composer Paul Moravec’s “Capital Unknow”, under the baton of Lowell Liebermann. The concert was attended by the celebrated composer, who had the highest regards on Mr.Wei’s interpretation. He also participate in the New York premiere of Elliot Carter’s Flute Concerto at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, a performance highly acclaimed by New York Times’s famed critic Anthony Tommasini. It was attended by the then 93 years old legendary composer of the 20th century. In the summer of 2017, Mr.Wei was invited to play in the Lucerne Music Festival Academy Orchestra, working with the Ensemble Intercontemporain, Heinz Holliger, Friedrich Cerha, and Matthias Pintscher. He participated in the Swiss/world premiere of John Luther Adams’ “Sila”, Luca Francesconi’s “Das Ding Singt”, as well as Friedrich Cerha’s “Spiegel” in Lucerne, and on tour in Germany under the direction of Matthias Pintscher. In the 2017-2018 season, XinOu Wei serves concertmaster for Long Island Opera’s production of Puccini’s La bohème, and plays as a member of the Mozart Orchestra of New York under the direction of Gerard Schwarz, with Vladimir Feltsman as soloist. Mr.Wei has toured with Rachel Barton-Pine, as the associate concertmaster of the conductorless New York Chamber Soloists, in a program features Ms.Barton Pine plays the entire five Violin concerti of Mozart; performing with Adelphi Symphony as concertmaster in a program featuring Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade; Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin, as well as Ravel’s Shéhérazade. He had also appear in duo recitals with the pianist Miao Hou, as well as performances with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra as a guest member. Mr.Wei enjoys a special working relationship with Victor Rosenbaum in recitals. In the 2015-2016 season, the duo appeared in recitals in New York and Boston, at the invitation of the venerable pianist who has long championed Mr.Wei’s career. In the past seasons, he has been invited to perform as a guest artist at America-Israel Cultural Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Gala Celebration at Lincoln Center in New York, hosted by Itzhak Perlman. XinOu Wei has also performed with the Solisti Ensemble extensively, as well as serving Loft Opera’s concertmaster; leading the World Premiere of Dina Pruzhansky’s opera “Shulamit” at Jewish Community Center in New York hosted by Robert Sherman; performing concerts devoted especially to music of our time in New York’s iconical venue Le Poisson Rouge as a member of the “Helix”; Leading the New York Classical Orchestra in an all-Mozart program at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center; and performing as a guest member with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the Solisti Ensemble, the Zelda Symphony Orchestra, Symphony of the Americas, as well as Symphony in C. He is a prize winner in the 2014 Heida Hermann International String Competition.
In 2011, XinOu Wei was invited to lead the Rêveries Quartet in a private recital for Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden and H.R.H. Princess Madeleine. XinOu Wei has a special interest in chamber music, and is regularly invited to perform at various festivals as a violinist and violist. In 2012, he was invited to play Tchaikovsky’s “Souvenir de Florence” with James Ehnes in a gala concert at Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York. He has also collaborated chambermusicwith,amongothers,OdileAuboin,Jeanne-MarieConquer,andÉric-Maria CouturieroftheEnsembleintercontemporain;WendySutter,VictorRosenbaum,MiaoHou, Mialtin Zhezha, Yoon Kwon, and Min Kwon. Xinou Wei has shared stages with artists such as Emmanuel Pahud, Arie Vardi, Yeol Eum Son, Vladimir Feltsman, Elmar Oliveira, Mark Peskanov, Sergei Babayan, Meng-Chieh Liu, Joseph Swensen, Chengzong Yin, and even Mike Mills from the iconic band R.E.M. As a concertmaster and section leader, he has performed in Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Le Poisson Rouge, Barclays Center in New York, Kravis Center in Florida, Carnegie Hall in New York, Harris Hall and Benedict Music Tent in Aspen, Culture and Convention Center of Lucerne, Kölner Philharmonie, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai Symphony Hall, and Poly Theatre in Beijing. In 2013, Aspen Music Festival and School awarded XinOu Wei the prestigious Talented Students in the Arts Initiative (TSAI) Orchestral String Mentor-Fellowship for his artistic excellence in orchestral leadership. In Aspen, he works closely with Hugh Wolff, Larry Rachleff, and Music Director Robert Spano, for whom he prepares ensembles. As a conductor, Mr.Wei founded the St.Cecilia Chamber Orchestra in New York in 2017, and serves its artistic director.
In addition to performing, XinOu Wei is a widely respected teacher. Mr.Wei’s devotion to teaching led him to hold posts in some of the most prestigious musical institutions in America. He was the teaching assistant for Sally Thomas at Meadowmount School of Music in New York from 2009 to 2013, where he also coached string quartets. He has also taught classes and given Master Classes for the PALS program at Aspen Music Festival and School, and taught Violin, Viola, and chamber music as an adjunct faculty at Rutgers University. In the summer of 2016, Mr.Wei was invited by Aaron Copland School of Music of Queens College, to be an artist faculty member of the Big Apple Music Festival, as well as a jury member of the festival’s competition. Mr.Wei is also on the jury of Adelphi Orchestra’s annual concerto competition for young artists. Mr.Wei is also an artist faculty of the CME Academy, Center for Musical Excellence, at the invitation of the pianist Min Kwon, CME’s founder and artistic director.
Born in China, XinOu Wei came to the United States in 2007 to study with Stephen Majeske, Elmar Oliveira, and Carol Cole at Lynn University’s Conservatory of Music, where he earned his Bachelor’s degree. Stephen Majeske’s consummate artistry, sheer mastery on the violin, and human qualities had a profound, lifelong influence on Mr.Wei’s own search for beauty and truth. XinOu Wei holds a Masters of Music degree from Mannes College of Music in New York, in the
class of Sally Thomas. He has also studied interpretation with Carl Schachter, the eminent theorist and musician. A pupil of Sylvia Rosenberg at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Mr.Wei is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers the State University of New Jersey with a full scholarship, where he studies violin with Todd Phillips, and conducting with Kynan Johns. He also works as Rutgers’ assistant graduate director. Mr.Wei has been a full scholarship and fellowship recipient at Meadowmount School of Music, the Great Wall International Music Academy, Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Lucerne Festival Academy, and had received high praise in Master Classes with the legendary Ida Haendel.
His mentors and chamber music coaches include Carl Schachter, Victor Rosenbaum, David Cole, Naoko Tanaka, David Halen, Charles Avsharian, Daniel Phillips and Todd Phillips of the Orion String Quartet; and Joel Lester. He has also attended Stephen Majeske’s class on orchestral repertoire. XinOu Wei plays on a violin made for him by Markus Laine in 2016, a copy of the “Plowden” Joseph Guarnerius del Gesù of 1735. He makes his home in New York City.
GUITAR & UKULELE
Frank Sole began his guitar studies at age 8 and has never stopped. He continued his studies through High School with Dan Bennen. He studied Jazz guitar with Wally Richardson and Classical guitar with Fred Dilzell at Rutgers University in Newark graduating as a classical guitar major with a K-12 teaching certification. After college he studied with the BeBop saxophonist Fred Amend while he freelanced with many bands eventually forming his own Jazz trio with his brother Mark on drums and a bass player.
Frank has continued to work with local Jazz groups often backing up Jazz singers and instrumentalists.
Combining his Yoga with guitar he has developed a course he calls “Guitar Yoga” which helps the student develop efficient practice habits and concentration.
He is also a songwriter and singer. He studies voice with Katie Talbot at the Brett Manning studios in Nashville Tennessee.