FIREBIRD is a piano trio consists of members Robert Tsai on piano, Christine Shieh on violin, and Kevin Lucero on cello. Founded in 2015, FIREBIRD previously had its Debut Concert in April in which they collaborated with internationally known Taiwanese cellist Nana Ouyang.
Originally intending to pursue music careers, the three members of FIREBIRD had extensive music careers before pursuing their Bachelor degrees. Pianist Robert Tsai is a Dartmouth graduate who studied under Dr. Julia Lam and has achieved various accomplishments such as his appearance on the radio show From the Top and portraying the character Lawrence in the film School of Rock. Violinist Christine Shieh studied under Hua-Yi Wang and Julliard professor Naoko Tanaka and was previously the concertmistress of the 2008-2009 New Jersey All State High School Honor Orchestra. Cellist Kevin Lucero studied under David Szepessy – himself a pupil of the late Janos Starker, and
has branched out his musical repertoire to beyond that of classical music. Kevin is a regular performing band member for the Jazz/Soul vocalist ABIAH and recently performed at the Blue Note Jazz Club, and Joe’s Pub Jazz Club in New York City.
FIREBIRD had its first overseas concert in Paris, France in June 2016 with IMPACT at the American Church in Paris.
SEROS CHAMBER CHOIR
Seros Chamber Choir is a group of experienced and talented choir singers around the New Jersey area. Seros had their first performance in July 2016 during IMPACT’s July Recital.
Members of Seros include
Soprano : Alicia Greey. Rachel Fountain
Mezzo-Soprano: Emilie Bishop, Jamie Bunce
Alto: Jenna Miller, Stephanie Mangioglu
Tenor: Nicholas Herrick, Murphy Lu
Baritone: Matthew Lee
Bass: Samuel Rowe
Listen to Seros perform Henry Mancini’s Moon River:
PREVIOUSLY FEATURED ARTISTS
Nana, as seen on the album cover of her recent Debut Album, 15.
NANA OU-YANG (歐陽娜娜)
Nana was the guest artist for The Debut Concert with FIREBIRD in April 2015. Nana previously was a performer in IMPACT’s 2012 Taiwan Tour.
She studied the music program in Taipei Municipal Dun-Hua elementary school from 2008 to 2012. With the highest score of the admission examination to enter the music program in 2008, Nana kept being the top student in her class in cello performance throughout her study in Dun-Hua elementary school for four years by working hard all the time. Thus, Nana was honored the first place when graduating from the music program in Taipei Municipal Dun-Hua elementary school in June 2012. During this time, Nana attended various music competitions and won many trophies as the top place in fields such as cello solo, piano solo, string quartet, symphony orchestra.
Moreover, Nana Ou-Yang was honored with a certificate of high distinction and recommended for admission to the music program of Junior High in the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University. Afterward, she was invited to play Hungarian Rhapsody by David Popper with Central Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Now, as a music class student in the Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University, Nana Ou-Yang majors in cello performance and is currently studying with Ms. Ling-Yi Ou-Yang. She takes piano performance as her minor and has been taught by Ms. Hsuan Lo and Ms. Bi-Shin Chang.
At 4 years old, she began to play with music for fun, and soon she was eager to study piano playing at the age of 5. Enlightened by the well-known cello teacher, Mei-Ying Liao, at 6, Nana started to learn how to play the cello with great enthusiasm. With time going by, she has found that she enjoys playing with other people in orchestra ensembles, and she loves to practice chamber music together with classmates. Together with her mother, they have written famous columns and books, such as “Exchange Diaries between Nana and Mom”, “This is How We Grew Up”, “Children’s ability and taste in art and beauty”, “There is a Yo-Yo-Na in our home!”
At 11, in the Grand Tainan National Music Competition, she not only won 1st place in cello solo performance but also won 1st place in a chamber ensemble with her string quartet. In the summer, she went to the National Cello Institute summer festival in the United States, instructed by Yoshihiko Terada, Rick Mooney, and Patty Hicks. After the festival in the U.S., she came back to Taiwan and joined a summer festival in Taitung named “2011 Salut!”, instructed by Shi-Lan Xiong (Cello Principal of National Symphony Orchestra) and Ri-Sheng Huang (member in NSO).
At the end of this year, she won the semifinal for cello solo performance in Taipei area and got the qualification to compete in the National Music Final Competition for the classical music program at Elementary School Level. At 11 and a half, she succeeded in the Taiwan School Year 100 National Music Competition and received the 1st award with special distinction in cello solo performance for Elementary Music School Level.
The same year in June 2012, Nana held her first solo recital in the National Music Recital Hall, which event became the historical record of being the youngest musician ever to perform a solo recital in Taiwan National Music Hall.
Right after her successful recital tour throughout Taiwan, in July, Nana was invited to join Carl Flesch Akademie, the famous string festival in Baden-Baden in Germany. During the Carl Flesch Akademie International String Program, Nana Ou-Yang was not only the youngest member in the cello studio taking a master class with Prof. Wolfgang Boettcher, but she also won the Award of the Mayor and the grand of full scholarship with great honor.
Recently, from October 26 to November 3, Nana attended National Cello Concours 2012 in Amsterdam, Holland; where she also played a chamber concert in the cello sextet with members of China Philharmonic Cellists led by Yi-Bing Chu, the cello professor in Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
Besides music, Nana, a child with great curiosity about everything, has many hobbies including painting, sports, skating, filmmaking, and so on. Together with her sisters, she held art exhibitions twice, and her pairing can be seen in her book “Children’s ability and taste in art and beauty”. In sports, Nana won champion a couple of times in skating competitions. Being a common guest on TV shows, Nana has been invited to play music on TV on many occasions. Furthermore, in 2010, she was invited to dub her voice as the voice talent in the animation movie <Despicable Me>. She was also featured in the movie “Beijing Love Story” and has been a contestant on the popular Hunan reality show “Up Idols”. Nana’s recently starred in the 2015 Chinese film “To the Fore”, starring as a supporting character in the film.
Daniel Hsu performed as a featured artist during IMPACT’s The Autumn Concert in the Fall of 2015 alongside pianist Max Ma and FIREBIRD. Characterized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “poet…[with] an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions, and coaxes”, Daniel , a 2016 Gilmore Young Artist, is an emerging young talent.
Daniel Hsu performed as a featured artist during IMPACT’s The Autumn Concert in the Fall of 2015 alongside pianist Max Ma and FIREBIRD. Characterized by the Philadelphia Inquirer as a “poet…[with] an expressive edge to his playing that charms, questions, and coaxes”, Daniel , a 2016 Gilmore Young Artist, is an emerging young talent. He has taken many prizes in competitions, including the Bronze Medal in the 9th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition, First Prize in the 2015 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition and First Prize in the San Jose International Piano Competition. He has performed with many orchestras around the world, including the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Fremont Symphony Orchestra, Golden Gate Philharmonic and the El Camino Youth Symphony.
Daniel, playing at the Hamamatsu International Piano competition.
Upcoming concerts include appearances at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival, Carnegie Hall, Yale University’s Woolsey Hall with the New Haven Symphony, Wharton Center with the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Longwood Gardens, Stirling Guest Hotel, and the Lancaster Trust Performing Arts Center. This season’s highlights included performances at the Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, ACT City Hamamatsu’s Concert and Main Halls, ACT City Hamamatsu’s Main Hall with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Keneseth Israel, IMPACT, Cathedral Village and the Curtis Institute of Music. WHYY’s On Stage at Curtis public radio and television program will also feature some of Daniel’s recent performances at Curtis, including a highly acclaimed performance of the last three Beethoven piano sonatas with siblings Ashley and Andrew. He was a recipient of a Williamson Foundation for Music Grant in 2015.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Daniel is the Richard A. Doran Fellow at the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Gary Graffman and Eleanor Sokoloff for the past eight years. He began his studies at the age of six with Larisa Kagan and also studied with Hans Boepple, Erna Gulabyan and Olya Katsman before being accepted into Curtis at the age of ten. In addition to his musical endeavors, Daniel enjoys computers and programming. One of his many projects include contributing to Workflow, a recipient of the 2015 Apple Design Award, which has been praised not only for its design and technical innovation and creativity, but also for improving the experience of using mobile devices for visually impaired users.
Follow Daniel's Facebook page here.
Max Ma performed during IMPACT’S The Autumn Concert alongside FIREBIRD and Daniel Hsu as a featured artist in the Fall of 2015. Max is currently a freshman at The Juilliard School in New York City, studying piano under the tutelage of the Susan W. Rose Chair of Juilliard’s Piano Department, Yoheved Kaplinsky. Max performs regularly in the greater Seattle region, where he currently resides.
Max began studying piano with his grandmother and then studied with Georgian native and Moscow Conservatory graduate Nino Merabishvili for eight years. In the year 2013, Max was one of eight pianists worldwide invited by Sergei Babayan to participate in the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy at The Cleveland Institute of Music. In the same year, Ludovic Morlot, Music Director of the Seattle Symphony, invited Max to perform in Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. Max was a first-place winner of 2014 The New York International Piano Competition under the auspices of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation, amongst other international competitions that year. In the Fall of 2014, Max began his studies at Juilliard in NYC, studying in the Pre-College division; simultaneously, Max was a high school senior at the Lakeside School in Seattle, where Bill Gates and Paul Allen are examples of notable alumni. Max has performed in many acclaimed auditoriums including Benaroya Hall, Carnegie Hall, Benedict Music Tent, and the Sala dei Notari in Italy. Max has studied with and taken lessons from Sergei Babayan, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Alexander Korsantia, Mikhail Petukhov, and Arie Vardi.