Special Guests

Gila Goldstein

Known as a versatile musician, pianist Gila Goldstein has captivated audiences around the world with her unique artistry and soulful interpretations.  Ms. Goldstein has performed as a solo artist and a collaborative pianist throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, Korea, the Philippines, Europe and Israel. Her most notable performances included the Berliner Symphoniker, Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Da Camera in Mexico City and the Lincoln Symphony in Nebraska, as well as recitals and concerts at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall and Loewe Theatre in New York City, Progetto Martha Argerich in Lugano, Beijing Concert Hall in China, Seoul National University in Korea, the Purcell Room at the South Bank Center in London, Konzerthaus in Berlin, Musée de Louvre and Cité des Arts  in Paris, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Colburn Music Academy in Los Angeles, Old First Church and Temple Emanu-El in San Francisco, Gardner Museum and Tsai Performing Center in Boston, Dame Myra Hess concert series, Ravinia’s “Rising Stars” Series and Symphony Hall in Chicago, ”Great Performances“ series in St. Louis, Israel’s Henry Crown Hall in Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum, among others. 


A Board member of the American Liszt Society (ALS) and the Founder-President of its NY/NJ Chapter since 1992, she has been a frequent guest performer at the ALS annual festivals around the USA and Canada. 


A champion of the music of Israel's leading composer Paul Ben-Haim in the past two decades as a performer and recording artist, Ms. Goldstein has recorded two volumes of his entire piano and chamber works on the Centaur label. Among the rave reviews the recordings have received worldwide, the American Record Guide wrote: ”Goldstein is a charismatic performer who plays with great flair, delicate nuances, fluid tempi and brilliance”. PIANIST magazine in London wrote: “Goldstein has a technique as fierce and fiery as the color of her hair”. 

These recordings mark a significant addition to the commercial releases of Israeli classical music, and therefore contribute to the understanding of this genre. They also mark an important addition to the worldwide collection of recordings of 20th century piano music. 


Gila Goldstein serves on the piano faculty at Boston University’s School of Music where she is currently the Chair of the Piano Department. She is also the Director of the Young Artist Piano Program at Boston University Tanglewood Institute. She has given master classes and adjudicated international and national piano competitions throughout the USA, in Israel, China, Korea and the Philippines.


Ms. Goldstein obtained her music degrees in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Prof. Nina Svetlanova and the Tel-Aviv University's School of Music, where her teacher was Prof. Victor Derevianko.


Please visit her web site, www.gilagoldstein.com


Robert Shannon

Pianist Robert Shannon has presented solo recitals, ensemble concerts, and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, South America, and Asia.  In recent seasons he has appeared in Beijing, London, Paris, Glasgow, Rome, Stuttgart, New York, San Francisco, Columbia (South America) and Taiwan.  His repertoire ranges from Bach to Adams, and he has been especially noted for his recordings of Ives’ complete works for violin and piano, and works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Crumb, available on Bridge Records.

He is Professor of Piano at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Director of the Division of Keyboard Studies, and Director and Founder of the Cooper Competition at Oberlin, which in cooperation with the Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most important youth competitions in the world.

Mr. Shannon earned a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Oberlin’s College of Arts and Sciences, although his original intention was to major in East Asian studies. He earned a Master’s Degree in piano performance at the Juilliard School. He has studied with Jack Radunsky, Ania Dorfmann, Dorothy Taubman, and Vladimir Ashkenazy.  He often performs duo recital with his wife and Oberlin faculty colleague Haewon Song.


Lisa Yui

 Described as “a musical phenomenon” (Pianiste), Yamaha Artist Lisa Yui enjoys a multifaceted musical career as pianist, lecturer, teacher, author, and musical director. Since making her concerto debut at the age of seven, Ms. Yui has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra. She is the top prizewinner of the Senigallia International Piano Competition in Italy, the Super Classics International Auditions in Tokyo and has twice been the recipient of a Canada Council Scholarship.

 Ms. Yui has worked with such prominent orchestras as the Tokyo Symphony, Polish National Radio, Toronto Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, the Montreal Metropolitan Orchestra, and the Krakow State Philharmonic. Her performances have been broadcast on WQXR (New York), CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) national radio, CJRT-FM (Ontario, Canada), and STV (Sapporo, Japan). She has performed at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto, Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and the Liszt Ferenc Memorial Museum in Budapest, among other major concert venues around the world.

 In 2005 Ms. Yui was chosen from over 1000 applicants as one of the few Canadian artists to participate in the World Exposition in Aichi, Japan, where she hosted in English, Japanese, and French. She performed a program of works by Liszt, Ravel, and Canadian composers Francois Morel and Colin McPhee. She has been invited twice to be the featured guest artist on the 101 Days Around the World Tour of the Japanese cruise ship Nipponmaru.   

 As a lecturer and performer, Ms. Yui originated The Lives of the Piano, Manhattan School of Music’s first piano lecture/concert series, now in its 17th season. She has been invited as a lecturer to the Juilliard School, Kunitachi Music University, Princeton University, Washington and Lee University and the University of Toronto, among other universities, colleges and venues. In 2005, Ms. Yui produced a nine-part lecture/concert series in New York, “Beethoven at Yamaha,” in which 30 eminent pianists, including Frederic Rzewski, Frederic Chiu, Jed Distler, Jerome Lowenthal, and Ms. Yui, performed. The following year, she produced “Liszt at Yamaha,” appearing along with 30 guest scholars and artists, among them Alan Walker, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mastroianni, and Jerome Lowenthal. She has performed, lectured and given masterclasses in various music conferences, including the MTNA National Conference and NAMM Show in California.

 Lisa Yui has worked extensively with the Yamaha Disklavier, having given numerous performances, including a solo recital of music for four hands, two pianos, and piano and orchestra, as well as long-distance “remote lessons.” A short film on her work with the Disklavier, sponsored by Cisco, was filmed by Jae Choe. 

 Ms. Yui’s CD of the music of Carl Maria von Weber and Jan Ladislav Dussek was awarded the highest rating, the “Pianiste Maestro,” by the French music magazine, Pianiste. Her DVD/Blu-ray recording of four Beethoven Sonatas with commentary was released in 2014 on the Aurora Classics label, garnering rave reviews.

 Lisa Yui’s insightful writing on music has appeared in numerous publications such as Clavier Companion, EPTA Journal and Listen, on a variety of topics including the life and influence of the virtuosic 19th-century pianist Marie Pleyel, on whom Ms. Yui wrote her doctoral thesis.

 Lisa Yui’s principal teachers and mentors include Byron Janis, Giovanni Valentini, Oxana Yablonskaya at the Juilliard School, and Marc Silverman at Manhattan School of Music, Edna Golandsky, David Dubal, Jean-Paul Sevilla and Leonid Hambro. She has also participated in master classes with Emanuel Ax, Alicia de Larrocha, Conrad Hansen, Leon Fleisher, Eugene Istomin, and Anton Kuerti.

 In addition to producing The Lives of the Piano series at Manhattan School of Music, Lisa Yui currently teaches Graduate Piano Literature, Historical Recordings of Great Pianists and The 32 Beethoven Sonatas at Manhattan School of Music, where she is also Associate Dean of Assessment and Academic Programs. She is on the piano faculty at John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University. She was the director of Ensemble 212’s Young Artist Competition Series, has served as department chair of the Music Advancement Program at the Juilliard School, and has taught a course on the social history of the piano at Marymount Manhattan College for many years. Lisa Yui has served as a member of numerous competition juries including the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition and the Canadian Chopin Competition. 



Nancy Modell 

Nancy Modell, Suzuki Teacher Trainer with Taubman Approach

Nancy Modell, an Ithaca College School of Music graduate in both piano performance and music education, is very passionate about teaching music. In the 1980s, as a Teacher Trainer, she pioneered the Suzuki Piano Approach in Israel where she taught students and trained local piano teachers in Jerusalem.

Since 1992 she has been teaching in Springfield, NJ, inspiring students to reach their potential through innovative learning opportunities, including original composition, music events and field trips. Nancy continues to train teachers in the Suzuki Approach at Suzuki Summer Institutes throughout the USA. She has explored ways to introduce composition to students of all levels and has presented her approach at various teachers’ forums, including NAfME, NJMEA, NJMTA and the SAA. She has trained piano teachers at institutes, college courses
and privately, and frequently teaches ECC!©. She is Piano Coordinator of the NJSuzuki Workshop,
and she is the MEA-NJ President since 2016.


Dan Crisci


    Dan has been performing in the New York/New Jersey area since 1984.  He has performed as a soloist and in various group settings at clubs such as Birdland and The Squire in New York City, and Trumpets, The Old Bay, Marado Blu, Van Gogh's Ear, Cafe Beethoven, and Shanghaii Jazz  in New Jersey.  His jazz quartet has been featured in concerts in New Jersey at St. George's Church in Maplewood, Montclair Unity Church, and the Summit Central Presbyterian Church as part of their Brown Bag Concert Series.  They have performed in the Tower Center Summer Concert Series in East Brunswick and the Carnegie Center Summer Concert Series in Princeton.  In 1999 they played in the Metuchen outdoor concert series and in 2010 at the Maplewood Jazzfest.  The quartet performed at various New Jersey New Years Eve First Nights from 1994 to 1999 and in 2002.

    Dan has been showcased with the Triad Arts Ensemble, a performing arts group that features music, theatre, and dance.  He accompanied their production of the musical The Fantasticks, and has performed in their annual Canticles for Life AIDS benefit concert as a soloist, choir accompanist, and with his jazz quartet.  In 1998, he appeared as featured guest artist on the TV show Battleground Arts Center Showcase and performed with clarinetist/composer Virginia Johnston in a classical and jazz concert at Syracuse University in New York.  From 1999 to 2006 Dan served as co minister of music at the Springfield Emanuel United Methodist Church along with his wife, Virginia Johnston.

    Dan has performed in several events presented by the Discovery Orchestra.   In 1999, he teamed with jazz vocalist Bill Robinson in a concert for singles.  He performed some jazz standards as part of the orchestra at their annual Viennese Masked Ball at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.  His jazz quartet performed a lunchtime concert for the Mind Body Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital.  This was an outreach program of the orchestra, bringing music to patients and staff.  Dan has played for the orchestra's gala fundraising event at NJPAC from 2008 to 2010.


    Dan grew up in Somerville, New Jersey and started piano lessons at age 7.  In high school, he studied classical piano at Westminster Choir College Conservatory Division.  He went on to study jazz piano with Keith MacDonald, Dave Braham, and JoAnne Brackeen, and jazz ensemble with Chris White at Montclair State College in New Jersey.  He received a B.S. in Mathematics from Montclair State College.  In 2000 he graduated from the Certificate Program in Piano Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey.

    Dan has been teaching piano lessons since 1986.  In 1991, he participated in a Kindermusik Teacher Training Workshop at Westminster Choir College.  In 1992 and 1993, Dan taught Kindermusik at Apple B's Day Care Center in Warren, NJ.  From 1998 to 2003, he was the Children's Music Director for the Springfield Emmanuel United Methodist Church Vacation Bible School.  Dan presented workshops on Jazz Appreciation and Education for the Music Educators Association (MEA) in 1996 and for the Shore Music Educators Association in 1997.  In 2000, he developed and presented a hands-on program for the Discovery Orchestra called Improvise, in which children experienced the art of jazz and blues improvisation.  In 2009, Dan presented a program called Understanding Jazz Piano at the Parsippany Public Library.

In 2005, Dan completed a Music Together Teacher Training Workshop and taught Music Together classes from 2005 to 2010.  He currently teaches private piano lessons at his home in Maplewood.