• North Coast Piano Festival

  • North Coast Piano Festival

  • North Coast Piano Festival

Piano Faculty

Dahao Guo

Dahao Guo

Dahao Guo's career as a performer began at a very early age, making his orchestral concerto debut in China at just 14 years old with Rachmaninov's Second Piano Concerto.  Mr. Guo graduated from Eastman School of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree and a Master of Music degree in piano performance and literature, under distinguished professor Mr. Thomas Schumacher and Van Cliburn winner Prof. Barry Snyder. Mr. Guo has appeared as orchestral soloist and solo artist in some of the most prestigious venues in China, North America and Europe. Mr. Guo also has a Master of Science Degree in Business Management from Nazareth College.

Since 2010, Mr. Guo has served as founder and director for Perfect Pitch Global Arts (PPGA), he is also as Co-director of North Coast Piano Competition & Festival in California. He has served on the jury of National Association of Music Teachers (MTNA) International Piano Competition, New York Empire State Piano Competition, National Federation Piano Competition, Dalian International Piano Competition and Nordiska International Piano Competition.

"…an insightful musician that fully demonstrates all the talent that all the modern pianists should have, with his superb technique skills and unparalleled sound control "     [The Rochester Times]


Douglas Humpherys

Douglas Humpherys

Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys' concert career has spanned four decades across four continents. During recent years, he has concertized in many of the major cities of Asia. A frequent guest artist in Beijing, he has performed at the National Center for the Performing Arts, the Beijing Concert Hall, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall. He has presented concerts and lecture-recitals throughout the Chinese conservatory and university system, including the Central, Shanghai, China, Wuhan, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Cheng-Du, Xian, Dalian, and Xiamen Conservatories, as well as Beijing, Qinghua, Renmin Universities, and the Shenzhen School of the Arts. In 2002 he made his Korean debut in Seoul at the Kumho Art Hall, and during a 2007 tour of Taiwan, he performed in the cities of Taipei, Tainan, and Kaohsiung.

Currently listed on the Artists roster of Steinway and Sons, Mr. Humpherys often performs in Europe, with solo concerts in Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, and additional engagements in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada at numerous universities and festivals, and is frequently a guest artist at conferences of the Music Teachers National Association. He has recorded for the Gina Bachauer Piano Foundation, American Public Radio, and has been featured in live performances on affiliates of NPR and PBS. Most recently, he was a guest artist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and performed on the DiMenna Center Piano Series in New York City. He concertizes in Argentina with Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur, a project sponsored in part by the United States Embassy in Buenos Aires.

Dr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Piano Department. During his student days he studied with Nelita True, Martin Canin, and Robert Smith. In high demand as a teacher, he has been appointed to visiting residencies or professorships at the Middle School of the Central Conservatory in Beijing, Yonsei University in Seoul, and the University of Michigan. His students have won numerous honors in competitions, including prizes at the Honens, Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Poulenc International Piano Competitions, the Osaka, Pacific, Seattle, San Jose, and Wideman Competitions, as well as three national first-prize winners of MTNA Competitions.

He has taught hundreds of master classes at universities and conservatories including the Central Music School of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, most of the major conservatories in China, the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts, the Korean National University of the Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, and the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Spanning the last three summers, he has been a faculty member at Bowdoin International Music Festival, the Beijing International Piano Festival, the Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute, the Gijon Festival in Spain, the Philadelphia Young Pianists Academy at Curtis, the Washington DC International Piano Festival, the Interlochen Piano Festival, the Atlantic Music Festival, the Northern Lights Music Festival, and the Dakota Sky Piano Festival.

Before his recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Mr. Humpherys served on the jury of the Bachauer Competition numerous times, and has also adjudicated the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Rachmaninoff International Young Artists' Piano Competition in Novgorod, Russia, the Ricardo Viñes International Piano Competition in Spain, the 1st Korea International Competition for Young Artists, the PTNA National Piano Competition in Tokyo, and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition.


Olga Kern

Olga Kern

Russian-American pianist Olga Kern is now recognized as one of her generation's great artists. With her vivid stage presence, passionately confident musicianship and extraordinary technique, the striking pianist continues to captivate fans and critics alike. Olga Kern was born into a family of musicians with direct links to Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff and began studying piano at the age of five. She jumpstarted her U.S. career with her historic Gold Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas as the first woman to do so in more than thirty years.

Steinway Artist and First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at the age of seventeen, Ms. Kern is a laureate of many international competitions and tours throughout Russia, Europe, the United States, Japan, South Africa and South Korea. In 2016 she served as Jury Chairman of both the Seventh Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition and the first Olga Kern International Piano Competition, where she also holds the title of Artistic Director. Ms. Kern frequently gives masterclasses and since September 2017 has served on the piano faculty of the prestigious Manhattan School of Music. Additionally, Ms. Kern has been chosen as the Virginia Arts Festival's new Connie & Marc Jacobson Director of Chamber Music, beginning with the 2019 season.

For the 2018-19 season, Kern will perform with the Moscow Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, and the St. Louis Symphony, as well as opening Pacific Symphony's season. Olga will also be featured soloist with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, both in Glasgow, and on their Spring 2019 US tour. She will appear in recitals in Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Southern California, Zurich, and Milan.

In recent seasons, Kern served as Artist in Residence for the San Antonio Symphony's 2017-18 season, had her Chinese debut with the National Youth Orchestra of China tour, performed concerts with Detroit Symphony, Pacific Symphony, Colorado Symphony, the State of Mexico Symphony Orchestra, Stuttgart Philharmonic, Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, and La Jolla Music Festival, and recitals in Santa Fe, New Haven, Scottsdale, and San Francisco. Ms. Kern opened the Baltimore Symphony's 2015-2016 centennial season with Marin Alsop. Other season highlights included returns to the Royal Philharmonic with Pinchas Zukerman, Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice with Giancarlo Guerrero, a month-long tour of South Africa for concerts with the Cape and KwaZulu Natal philharmonics, an Israeli tour with the Israel Symphony, solo recitals at Sarasota's Van Wezel Hall, New York's 92nd Street Y, and the University of Kansas' Lied Center, and recitals with Renée Fleming in Carnegie Hall and Berkeley.

Ms. Kern has performed with Tokyo's NHK Symphony, Orchestre National De Lyon, Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo, the symphonies of Detroit for Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos 1, 2 & 3, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Nashville, Colorado, Madison, and Austin, and gave recitals in New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Louisville, and alongside Renée Fleming and Kathleen Battle. Ms. Kern's performance career has brought her to many of the world's most important venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Salzburger Festspielhaus, La Scala in Milan, Tonhalle in Zurich, and the Châtelet in Paris.

Ms. Kern's discography includes Harmonia Mundi recordings of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Christopher Seaman (2003), her Grammy Nominated recording of Rachmaninoff's Corelli Variations and other transcriptions (2004), a recital disk with works by Rachmaninoff and Balakirev (2005), Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Warsaw Philharmonic and Antoni Wit (2006), Brahms Variations (2007) and a 2010 release of Chopin Piano Sonatas No. 2 and 3 (2010). Most recently, SONY released their recording of Ms. Kern performing the Rachmaninoff Sonata for Cello and Piano with cellist Sol Gabetta. She was also featured in the award-winning documentary about the 2001 Cliburn Competition, Playing on the Edge, as well as Olga's Journey, Musical Odyssey in St. Petersburg and in They Came to Play. In 2012, Olga and her brother, conductor and composer, Vladimir Kern, co-founded the "Aspiration" foundation whose objective is to provide financial and artistic assistance to musicians throughout the world.

In 2017, Ms. Kern was gratified to receive the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, joining other honorees including Rosa Parks, Buzz Aldrin, Coretta Scott King, and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. This commendation recognizes Americans who "embody the spirit of America in their salute to tolerance, brotherhood, diversity, and patriotism."


Alexander Kobrin

Alexander Kobrin

Alexander Kobrin is a Russian pianist. At age five, he enrolled in the Gnessin Special School of Music in Moscow where his primary teacher was Tatiana Zelikman. When he turned eighteen, he enrolled at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, as a student of the legendary teacher, Lev Naumov, and he holds a graduate degree from that institution.

As a teenager Kobrin won several youth piano competitions, but he won his first adult competition, the Scottish International Piano Competition when he was 18. The next year, in 1999, he won the Busoni Competition, after several years in which the first prize had not been awarded because no competitor's performances had been deemed worthy. In 2000, the year Yundi Li was the winner, Kobrin was third at the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, and Li says that one of his favorite memories of the competition occurred at the awards ceremony, when Kobrin lifted him in celebration of his victory. Kobrin later tied for second prize, with no first awarded, at Japan's Hamamatsu competition together with Rafal Blechacz.

In June 2005 he won the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Among his prizes included a $20,000 cash award, a compact disc recording, concert tours and professional management both in the United States and Europe, a professional attire stipend and subsidized travel in the United States.

Even before his Cliburn victory, Kobrin maintained an extensive schedule of engagements in Europe and Asia. He has performed with the Moscow Virtuosi, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Virtuosi of Salzburg Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, the Rio de Janeiro Symphonic Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, and the Osaka and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras.

Kobrin is especially interested in the music of the classical and romantic periods. He has recorded an all-Chopin compact disc along with the compact disc of some of his performances at the Van Cliburn competition. Kobrin formerly taught at the Gnessin State Academy of Music in Moscow, but in the fall of 2009 he relocated to the United States. He currently teaches at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University and the Steinhardt School at New York University.

Alexander Kobrin is a Yamaha Artist.


Daniela Mineva

Daniela Mineva

Hailed by critics as a "vibrant and expressive performer who could steal the show in every concert" (New York Times) and "energetic and lively pianist who displaces power and delicacy in nuanced sensitivity along with virtuoso technique" (The Baltimore Sun), Daniela Mineva's unique approach to standard repertory, combined with the performance and dedication of works by living composers has taken her career throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Ms. Mineva has been the winner and finalist in numerous international and national competitions including 2007 Jean Francaix piano competition in Paris, France, 1998 Steinway International Piano Competition, the International Competition "Music and the Earth," Sofia, Bulgaria, among many others. During the Piano Meeting Festival 2007 in San Danielle, Italy, she was awarded with the prize "Highest Artistic Level of Performance" for her solo recital at the festival. In collaboration with the composer Vera Ivanova, the 8th International Competition for new music, Orléans, France awarded them with the Prix André Chevillion- Yvonne Bonnaud sous l'égide de la Foundation de France for the solo piano piece "Aftertouch", written for Daniela Mineva.

Ms. Mineva maintains an active performing career. She has appeared as orchestral soloist, chamber music collaborator and solo artist at some of the most prestigious venues in Bulgaria, USA, China, Italy, France, Greece, Russia, Germany, Thailand and Costa Rica. A strong proponent of new music, Ms. Mineva has collaborated with many young and established composers as well as collaborating with new music ensembles like Speculum Musica, New York, NY; Earplay, San Francisco, California; OSSIA, Eastman School of Music, and Twenty One, Rochester, New York. Dr. Mineva has also served as the president of the International Society for Pianists and Composers in the U.S. from 2011-2016.

Ms. Mineva has collaborated with many young and well-established composers like William Bolcom, Lucas Foss, Kaija Saariaho, Libby Laresen, Chen Yi, Bright Sheng, Frederic Rzewski, Julia Wolf, Krassimir Taskov, Vera Ivanova and Carlos Sanchez Gutierrez. Her first CD "Volume One" presents Daniela's passion for the music of our time and its connection to the past masters. In 2013, the Society of Composers on the Capstone Records also featured her recording. Some of her performances have often been heard on WXXI 91.5, Bulgarian National Radio, TV-Chanal 1, TV-SAT, Bulgaria and Radio France Musique.

As an accomplished and versatile chamber musician, Ms. Mineva has participated in many music festivals and summer programs, including Tanglewood Music Festival, Institute for Contemporary Music, New York and San Danielle Piano Meeting, Italy. Ms. Mineva's passion for chamber music led to organizing the Humboldt Chamber Music Concert Series at Morris Graves Museum, Eureka, California. Highlights of the season 2018-19 include concert tours in Asia and Europe with program by C. Debussy and O. Messiaen.

A devoted teacher herself, Dr. Mineva has given master classes and workshops throughout USA, Europe, Asia and South America. She has taught at Atlantic Music Festival, Russalka Piano Festival and Music and Earth Festival and Competition (Bulgaria). Currently, she is Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt, California where in 2012 she won the McCrone Promising Faculty Award. Previously, Dr. Mineva has taught at Eastman School of Music where in 2007 she was awarded TA Excellence of Teaching, and Concordia University–Chicago. From 2013-2018, she was appointed as the Artistic and Executive Director of the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop, Arcata, California. She is also Co- Director of the North Coast Piano Festival and Competition where she serves on the faculty as well.

Born in Bulgaria, Daniela began piano lessons at the age of five with her mother as her first teacher. She graduated from Sofia Music Academy with the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and the Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting. Dr. Mineva also holds the Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and the Outstanding Graduate Diploma from the University of North Texas as well as Artist Certificate from Northwestern University and Doctor of Music Arts degree, and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. Her principal teachers include Natalya Antonova, Ursula Oppens, Pamela Mia Paul, Geni Zacharieva and Julia Girginova. She has also worked closely with Emmanuel Ax, Pamela Frank, Paul Bodura-Scoda, Vladimir Tropp, Joseph Kalichstein, and Sherrill Milnes.


Barry Snyder

Barry Snyder

Barry Snyder is an internationally acclaimed pianist and teacher, whose entry onto the international stage came after winning three major prizes at the 1966 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition: Silver Medal, Pan American Union Award and the Chamber Music Prize.

Since then, Snyder has toured the world performing concerti, presenting solo collaborative recitals, and leading master classes. Snyder has performed with conductors such as Robert Shaw, Leopold Stokowski, David Zinman, Sixten Ehrling and Arthur Fiedler. His has appeared with such orchestras as the Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Singapore Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Krakow Radio Symphony , Brno Radio Symphony, Japan Philharmonic, Toronto Chamber Orchestra, and the Aspen Summer festival Orchestra. A well-known collaborator, Snyder has appeared with artists such as Hermann Prey, Jan DeGaetani, Zvi Zeitlin, Ani Kavafian, Sylvia Rosenberg, Bonita Boyd, Steven Doane, and the Chilingirian and Cleveland Quartets. Many of these collaborations can be heard in Snyder's substantial discography of over forty recordings.

Held in high esteem by the professional community, Snyder is a widely sought-after teacher. Since 1970, Snyder was Professor of Piano at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, and he is listed in the publication The Most Wanted Piano Teachers and has given master classes in the United States, Europe and Asia. As of 2018, Snyder became Professor Emeritus at Eastman and accepted an Adjunct Professor position at NYU.

As a juror, Snyder has chaired the jury for the World International Piano Competition in Cincinnati and was a member of the jury for the Glasgow Young Artists Competition.

Snyder is committed to performing 20th and 21st century repertoire, and has given world premieres of works by such composers as Syndey Hodkinson, Toshio Hosakawa and Augusta Read Thomas. Many compositions, such as those by Carter Pann and Verne Reynolds, have been written specifically for him.

Barry Snyder studied solo piano with renowned teachers Wilbur Hollman, Vladimir Sokoloff, and Cecile Genhart and studied chamber music with John Celentano and Brooks Smith.


Tian Ying

Tian YingTian Ying is Associate Professor of Keyboard Performance at the Frost School of Music. He has held that position since 2002.

Praised by the Boston Globe as "one of the finest pianists active in America," he is well-known in the music world for his eloquent, poetic, and dramatically intense performances. Professor Ying's reputation for creating profound interpretations played at the highest level of virtuoso accomplishment has earned him a distinguished place among today's most exciting, original and accomplished artists of his generation. 

Professor Ying is the winner of many prestigious awards, including high honors at the Eighth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1989. The Times of London said of him, "His quality of sound is intensely imaginative, achieved and beautiful, with the capacity for largeness and fullness; and he showed in his phrasing a courtesy towards the music, inviting it rather than applying force, that was rare. This is an undemonstrative and unpretentious musician." The Chicago Tribune said, "Ying has individual ideas; he can clearly do anything he wants at the piano. But he is far too intelligent and sensitive to waste his big technique in superficial display. There is an integrity to his pianism that commands respect."

There have also been many articles written about Professor Ying, including profiles in The New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, and People Magazine.  A frequent juror at competitions, he served on the Grant Panel of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Professor Ying has appeared with numerous orchestras, including the Rochester Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta at Orchestra Hall, and the symphonies of Atlanta, Fort Worth, Toledo, Columbus, Colorado, Hartford, Jacksonville, Spokane, Oakland, Madison, Wichita, Ann Arbor, Shanghai, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, among others. Solo recitals have taken him across North America, Europe, and from Casablanca to Seoul; he has also performed at Jordan Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Mondavi Center, Bass Hall in Fort Worth, Woodruff Arts Center, Shanghai Grand Opera Theater, Taipei National Theater, Hong Kong Cultural Centre Concert Hall, and in Bangkok Thailand, among many other locales.

During the 2003-04 season alone, Professor Ying performed nine different concerti with orchestras across the U.S. The Boston Globe chose Tian Ying's Bank of Boston Celebrity Seriesconcert as one of the Top Ten in classical music events; The Miami Herald chose his performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 at the Opening Concert at the 2009 Festival Miami as the Top Five performances of the year. 

Recent and upcoming engagements include recitals at Universities of Louisville, Wisconsin, Alabama, and South Carolina, Coker College, Lee University, and festivals at Southeastern, Eastern Music, Pine Mountain and many others.

Professor Ying records for Centaur Records and DeMA Records.