Auburn Lakes/North Hampton Piano Whiz Kids performed a beautiful concert recently with international awards winning young artists and world renowned mentors Dr. Sergei Kuznetsoff and Jordan Ong. The neighborhood young pianists include Aaron Bryant, Cheyenne and Caleb Nava, Claire Vanderfleet, David Lopez, Ella and Jackson Rubli, Taylor, Kennedy and Terri Kern, Jadon Hopkins, Ryan Chen, Audra and Zane Stephen, Urmi, Priam, Steven, James and others.
The group will be giving an Easter concert on Saturday March 24, 2018 at the Auburn Lakes Estates: 24807 Thorton Knolls Drive, Spring Texas at 4:00 pm.
We are pleased to share this video of Auburn Lakes – The Woodlands’ own Jordan Ong performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in Bb major with the National Orchestra of Costa Rica under the baton of Maestro Alejandro Gutierrez on July 11, 2017 at the Costa Rica Piano Festival.
Jordan has performed all around the world, including United States, Canada, China, Philippines, and Europe. He has composed the score for a documentary called the Magic History of Cinema that was nominated and featured at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie he produced and directed, Magic Medieval Masquerade was the official film for the 2016 Texas Renaissance Festival.
From five-year-old stunning piano prodigy himself to one of the most talented pianists of his generation, Jordan Ong, Auburn Lakes’ resident Piano Man, spends quite a bit of his time these days inspiring others to pursue their dreams with great passion, especially in the exciting world of music.
On June 29, Jordan featured ten of his amazing “Piano Whiz Kids” students before a captivated audience at the Lone Star Montgomery College campus.
Performing on a nine-foot Steinway grand piano, four-year-old Ryan Chen, who has been studying with Jordan for only six weeks, went from not even playing a single note, to performing three pieces completely from memory. The pieces were selected from Alfred’s Prep Course for the Young Beginner: Lesson Book Level C lesson book, including “Rainbow,” a piece that modulated from C major to two other keys.
Five-year-old Aaron Bryant entertained with favorites from Hal-Leonard’s “EZ Play Today” song book, featuring Campton Race and Blue Moon.
Cheyenne Nava played “Over the Rainbow” while dressed as Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.
Ella Rubli played “I See the Light” from Disney’s Tangled, while dressed as Rapunzel herself.
Marching up the stage with the American flag, Caleb Nava helped the audience celebrate Independence Day with “This Land is My Land.”
Jackson Rubli ushered in the upcoming Star Wars movie with the theme from “Star Wars” by John Williams.
Claire Van Fleet, dressed in a glowing pink gown, performed, her namesake “Claire de Lune,” by Claude Debussy.
Zane Stephen dazzled in Burgmüller’s “Arabesque” and J.S. Bach’s “Musette.” His mother, Audra Stephen, who was inspired by the amazing progress of her son’s piano lessons with Jordan, began taking lessons herself again. In two short months, she performed the “Midnight Ride” beautifully and impeccably!
Jordan is described by Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov, China International Piano competition winner and Van Cliburn foundation organizer, as “one of the most talented pianists of his generation!”
Lanzo Luconi, Costa Rica Piano Festival Director, commended Jordan for the “dedication he has in the study of piano and the social impact he makes of musical art through it, inspiring others to pursue their dreams with great passion.”
At age five, Jordan performed at the Gammage Auditorium with the Van Cliburn winner and was named as Arizona’s Young Artist. He was awarded Yamaha Young Composer’s Award at age 7 and performed live at their national conference in San Diego. He was featured on ABC and NBC as the Best and Brightest Young Star.
Since then, he has performed all around the world, including United States, Canada, China, Philippines, and Europe. He has composed the score for a documentary called the “Magic History of Cinema” that was nominated and featured at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The movie he produced and directed, “Magic Medieval Masquerade” was the official film for the 2016 Texas Renaissance Festival.
PKWY Magazine, a popular business magazine in The Woodlands featuring the Who’s Who in The Woodlands and surrounding areas, featured Jordan as the “Piano Man” in their June 2016 issue, saying, “Jordan Ong is a 23-year old musical prodigy, classical concert pianist, composer and filmmaker who lives right in our neighborhood. A veteran performer at some of the most prestigious venues in the world, his virtuoso talent at the piano has thrilled classical music audiences.”
Jordan is being showcased at the Costa Rica International Piano Festival, from July 8th through the 17th at the Teatro de National, where he will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major with the Costa Rica National Orchestra under the baton of Alejandro Gutiérrez, The events will be broadcast live, where the President of Costa Rica and US Ambassador to Costa Rica have been invited to attend.
If you or your children are interested in being part of this exciting world of music and becoming a Piano Whiz Kid or Musical Whiz, Jordan is currently accepting piano students of all ages and levels, for Fall 2017. August is the perfect month to start, so please sign up via email:
For two days from March 31 – April 1, 2017, hundreds of musicians and music lovers were treated to a Hollywood-style red carpet party to kick off the Costa Rica Piano Festival and the 5th annual Super Saturday at Lone Star Montgomery College, which showcased world-renowned pianists and 15 Young Artists from Houston and surrounding areas. The party on Friday welcomed Lanzo Luconi, Costa Rica Piano Festival Director, Andrey Ponochevny; International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition award recipient, and Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov, Director of Piano Super Saturday, China International Piano Competition winner, and maestro to the five Houston Young Artists, Jordan Ong, Anthony Tovar, Bella Morales, Jenny Cheon and Richard Kazandzhidi. The five young artists will be traveling with the maestros to perform at the Teatro Nacional de Costa Rica this summer.
On Friday, the home of Tim and Dr. Josephine Ong-McBride was transformed into a Costa Rican paradise with a profusion of flowers, arts, toucans, parrots, lights, tropical fruits, and greetings of “Pura Vida!” Close to 150 guests arrived walking the red carpet, being interviewed by multi-lingual reporters including Misty Mousa Lanza from Univision, and greeted with leis from adorable children. Models strutted around the lovely home in designer’s fashion by CHYR while others tried out jewelries and viewed art from Costa Rica. Guests sampled international appetizers as they watched professional Chefs Abalos and Morales whip up authentic Costa Rican cuisine.
Live music continuously filled the air, with genres & instruments ranging from jazz to classical music, vocal, guitar, and piano. The Piece De Resistance was the Showcase Recital featuring 4 Houston Young Artists. Jordan Ong opened the concert with his performance of Grieg’s Piano Concerto – 1st movement with his teacher, Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov. The pair’s powerful, yet lyrical performance moved the audience immensely, as they rose to a standing ovation. Susan Polorski, chair of the Texas Young Artist Music Competition from Conroe expressed her joy in listening to the pair’s interpretation of the much loved repertoire; and told the story of how this exact piece played by Arthur Rubenstein years ago, was the inspiration for her lifelong dedication in promoting music!
Anthony Tovar performed Chopin’s Ballade No. 2 in F major, which began quietly in sotto voce, or a quiet voice, that quickly progresses to a distinct melody and development. The next section of the ballade, in stark contrast to the first, is Presto con fuoco – literally “very fast with fire”. Young Anthony, masterfully played the contrasting “fire and ice” with such control and maturity. Bella Morales performed a delightful rendition of a living Russian composer, Schedrin’s A La Albeniz. The piece ended with a playful dissonant bang, literally, using a fist! Jenny Cheon performed two pieces, including the extremely difficult Chopin’s Revolutionary Etude with such dizzying speed and beauty! In addition, Richard Kazandzhidi showcased his improvisational skills with jazz style rendition of Besame Mucho and Jere Charlot performed Like a Star with Dr. Kuznetsov.
At the invitation of the Costa Rica Piano Festival Director, Lanzon Luconi, the five young artists will be traveling with Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov this summer to perform throughout Costa Rica. They will be joined by more young musicians that performed at the Super Saturday at the Lone Star College Music Hall. The highlight of the Saturday event was the solo recital by Andrey Ponochevny, whose repertoire includes Rachmaninov’s Andante from Cello Sonata, and Franz Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 15, “Rakoczy March”. The audience was captivated and mesmerized with the absolute beauty of his music. The experience is summed up by Dr. Kuznetsov, in one word, “MAGICAL”!!!
Fifteen young pianists from Korea, Mexico, and around the nation participated in the Young Artists’ concert. Andrey Ponochevny conducted master classes with four young pianists, Anthony Tovar, Ashley Wu, Richard Kazandzhidi and Artem Kuznetsoff.
After two days of spectacular performances, the hundreds of musicians and music lovers fortunate enough to attend the events are still on cloud nine, intoxicated with the joy and beauty of one of God’s greatest gifts – MUSIC!
To kick off the Holidays, eleven outstanding young pianists ranging in age from nine to early twenties thrilled the audience with a fantastic repertoire at Lone Star Montgomery College Music Hall Dec. 2. The pianists, mentored by World Class Award winning professors, Dr. Sergey Kusnetsov and Dr. Tali Murgulis presented masterful performances that belie their age.
The program began with Katherine Schober’s graceful rendition of Schumann’s Papillon Op.2. Her delicate touch captured the beautiful butterflies in flight, which ended with a delightful finish.
Then, nine-year-old Daniel Robbins, his tiny body dwarfed by the nine-foot Steinway grand piano, delivered a flawless, lyrical, rendition of Haydn’s Sonata in b minor Hob: 32, 1st movement, to an awed, much older audience!
James Hutto, with his youthful, curly mop, performed a powerful modern piece by Gyorgy Ligette, Musica Ricercata. With its drum-like, dissonant, rhythmic chords, interspersed with suspenseful silence, it conjured a horror movie in the mind of the entranced audience. Next, Nataliya Mihailenko performed Bach’s Chorale Prelude, Ich ruf zu Herr Jesu Christ, a familiar, favorite hymn rich in theme and counterpoint development. Jihye Cheon’s two Chopin Etudes Black Keys and Revolutionary were astounding in their dizzying speed and flawless accuracy. Yet, the lyrical performance brought a smile to everyone, hanging on to the roller coaster ride on the keyboard.
Bella Morales played Schumann’s Arabesque Op. 18 with expressivity, balance and controlled dynamics. A beautiful performance with the melody soaring lyrically above the harmonies. Ashley Wu played Rachmaninoff’s Moment Musicaux, Op. 16, No. 4 with unbelievable power exuding from a petite frame, her left hand executing very difficult passages with confidence. Yuikino Muyake delivered Beethoven’s Sonata in A major Op. 2, 1st movement with clean, clear, sparkling scales cascading over the classical melodies.
The last three performers, Rchard Kazandzhidi, Jordan Ong and Anton Tovar, young men in their teens and early twenties are wonderful to behold.
Richard Kazandzhidi, age 20, gave a mature, poignant performance of Vallée d’Obermann from Book I Années de Pèlerinage:Suisse by Franz Liszt. Hungarian Franz Liszt was the greatest pianist of his time. An incomparable virtuoso, he literally invented modern-day piano technique, exploiting the possibilities of the piano as none had done before him. Richard’s masterful control of all the notes gave detail to all the nuances in this piece.
Jordan Ong, who had spent the past summer on a concert tour in Asia, performed Rachmaninoff’s Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5, a music piece which Rachmaninoff himself premiered in Moscow on February 10, 1903,
The Prelude’s taut structure of ABA ternary form, consisted of an opening “A” section of punctuated sixteenth-note chords, with idiosyncratic jumps, and a more lyrical and melancholy “B” section that has sweeping arpeggios in the left hand that few pianists can reach, unless they have large hands as Rachmaninoff. Fortunately, Jordan’s large, graceful hands never dropped a note, while masterfully capturing the contrast between the rhythmic march of the “A” section and the fantastic lullaby of the “B” section.
Jordan also delighted the audience with the Sugar Plum Fairy from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite as arranged by Mikhail Pletnev. Pletnev has adapted some of Tchaikovsky music into a technically demanding concert suite reserved only for virtuosos. The delightful music warmed the audience as they smiled and nodded their heads to the familiar Christmas music.
Finally, Anthony Tovar flawlessly executed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 26, 1st movement, accompanied by Dr. Tali Morgulis, Israeli-America award winning piano professor from University of Houston. Among his work, Prokofiev’s third piano concerto has garnered the greatest popularity and critical acclaim. Anthony played difficult scalar passages, which accelerate towards a glissando climax, and breaks the lyrical mood in an exuberant, harmonically fluid burst of brilliance and rhythm.
The three young men Richard, Jordan and Anthony will be accompanying their mentor, Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov, winner of the China 3rd International competition and an organizer for Van Cliburn Foundation, on a tour next year to perform Rachmaninoff, Grieg and Prokofiev concertos in several destinations, including Costa Rica, Asia and across the nation.
These are just some of the words heard among the awe-struck audience in the packed venue at the Lone Star College/Montgomery Music Hall on Friday afternoon (April 29, 2016) at the Bach to Rachmaninoff Concerto recital.
The performers hailed from a diverse background, including eight-year-old prodigy, Daniel Robbins; young film maker/composer/concert-pianist, Jordan Ong; a Houston Performing Arts high school student, Anthony Tovar; and Lone Star college student, Richard Kazandzhidi and the only adult, Natalia Mikhaylenko, both from Russia.
Their one common factor — the driving force behind them, their mentor, Dr. Sergei Kuznetsoff, a musical prodigy himself when he started his musical training at age five at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conervatoire. His own mentors read like the Who’s Who in piano music: Tamas Ungar, Joaquin Achucarro, Daniel Pollack and others. Dr. Kuznetsoff has competed around the world (China, USA, Italy and Russia) and hasreceived many prestigious awards.
What is inspiring about Dr. Kuznetsov, is not only his awesome virtuosity at the piano, as revealed as he accompanied the five performers on the second piano, but his astounding dedication and inspiring pedagogy as he draws out the BEST from each of his students.
The concert began with Daniel Robbins who performed Joseph Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D. After the initial shock of witnessing a small child with such a formidable repertoire, one settles in to the beauty of the clear, lyrical interpretation of the classical piece — akin to witnessing Mozart during the early classical period.
Next, Jordan Ong, who, as a five-year-old child was featured on ABC and NBC as a Best and Brightest musician. Now 23, Jordan’s powerful hands are capable of stunning nuances as he performs Grieg’s Concerto in a minor, 1st movement. According to Dr. Thomas Conroy, faculty, Rice University and San Francisco Conservatory of Music, “Jordan’s playing was so sensitive, energetic, reserved in all the right places and then unleashed to brilliant resonance.”
Anthony Tovar, followed with the 3rd movement of the Grieg’s Concerto. Again, one wondered, how such a slender body could produce such powerful sound! Still in high school, this young man performed the 3rd movement with the ease of a seasoned pianist and the drama of a star, as his whole body literally lifted off the piano bench while he pounded out the huge chords, his stylish hair flailing in the wind from his waving arms!
Richard Kazandzhidi, a spitting image of his mentor Dr. Sergei, from the horn-rimmed glasses to the cool checkered sneakers on the stage, takes your breath away with his performance of Rachmaninov’s Concerto in F-sharp minor. The physical resemblance was intensified as the two of them played in such synchrony that for a moment, one began to wonder if the second piano was just a mirage!
Natalia Mikhaylenko, is truly inspiring in that as an adult, she challenges the audience to take up piano or to return to their lessons. Her performance of Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in d minor, has the maturity and reserve that comes from hours of practice. The genius of Bach in weaving the mathematical chord progression of themes and counterpoints is apparent in her performance.
The audience was treated to an hour of “Spa for the Soul!” Not only were the five senses revitalized, the spirit re-energized, but as a witness to these extraordinary performances, one has renewed hope for the world and our future!
Using a masterful blend of digital film, broadcasting, and animation, Woodlands celebrity Jordan Ong recently became the first graduate student to successfully defend his thesis project, a documentary film titled Magic Medieval Masquerade about the Texas Renaissance Festival, for his M.A. Digital Media degree at Sam Houston State University. He is the first graduate of the new Media program as well.
In celebration of this accomplishment, Jordan has been invited to present his program at the Sam Houston State University, Woodlands Center Auditorium.
“Congratulations on the success of your film! What a huge accomplishment and a great honor,” said Dr. Janet Mullings, Executive Director and Coordinator of the Research Symposium. “We would love to have you present your film at The Woodlands Center Student Research Symposium.” The program will be presented April 9, at 10 a.m. The Woodlands Center is located at 3380 College Park Drive.
A musical progeny since he was three years old, Jordan was born into a musical family and blessed with perfect pitch, He was placed in a Suzuki master class at an early age where he would transpose the piano pieces into any key that world renowned maestro Pagano requested — on the spot, on television.
When SHSU offered the Fusion Master Degree that Jordan had been looking for in the new frontier of Digital Media, it opened a world of creativity, and he was able to combine his classical training and technologies used for electronic composition, i.e.,Synapse, Cubase, FL Studio, MuseScore, Finale, Sybelius, etc. to create film and new media scores.
For his current film, Magic Medieval Masquerade, Jordan directed, produced, composed the music, interviewed 40 subjects, edited the sound, color and oversaw every aspect of the film production. It was a total, cumulative, immersive wonderful experience for a young film maker. His mentors include Professor Tom Garrett, Dr. Jean Bodon and Prof. Eliza Herrmann, all award-winning film makers and faculty at SHSU.
The film project has been submitted to Cannes Film Festival and several other venues around the world. In his previous work, under the expert tutelage and inspirational guidance from SHSU film professor Tom Garrett, Jordan composed the film score for Garrett’s film the “Magic History of Cinema.” It was screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film in March 2015.
The film, an international documentary explored how the origins of cinema are closely linked to the conjurors and illusionists of the early 20th century and how those ties continue with today’s film makers and magicians” explained Garrett, who had interviews for the film, including director Martin Scorsese, author Brian Selznick, master magicians Lance Burton, Kevin James and many scores of filmmakers and magicians.
Jordan is also a world class award-winning concert pianist (Canada Got Talent, Yamaha Young Composer, Arizona Young Artist, Houston Young Artist, featured on ABC and CBS) who will be performing the Grieg’s Concerto with renowned Russian pianist, Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov on April 29, 2016 at the Lone Star Concert Hall. Jordan has been contracted to perform in the Cultural Center of the Philippines (Asia’s “Carnegie Hall” where Van Cliburn was featured at its opening) and other venues in Asia this summer.
Jordan Ong is walking the red carpet, attending screenings, hobnobbing with film industries heavies, producers, directors and stars at the glitzy events while attending the 68th Festival de Cannes.
A musical progeny since he was three years old, Jordan was born into a musical family and blessed with perfect pitch, and was placed in a Suzuki master class at an early age where he would transpose the piano pieces into any key that world renowned maestro Pagano requested on the spot, on television.
His composition at age six, titled the “Little World Travelers” won the Yamaha Young Composer’s award. He was featured by NBC and ABC as Best and Brightest Young Musician.
Trained at Rice University as a 14-year-old under Dr. Dariusz Pawlas, Jordan begun performing as a concert pianist at many concert halls in the U.S. Asia and Europe. He continued his studies at the University of Texas, Austin, under Greg Allen, recipient of the Arthur Rubenstein award. By age 21 he received three certificates upon graduation in 2014 – B.A. Music, Computer Science and Piano Performance.
SHSU offered the fusion master degree that Jordan had been looking for in Digital Media – a new frontier, and he was able to combine his classical training and technologies used for electronic composition, i.e.,Synapse, Cubase, FL Studio, MuseScore, Finale, Sybelius, etc. to create film and new media scores.
According to Jordan, “My spectrum of interests encompasses music performance, electronic composition, and digital media. As a concert pianist, I have performed at many concert venues in the U.S. and Asia, and received many awards. I have been mentored by world renowned artists and currently I am coached by Van Cliburn international pianist, Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov.
But with Digital Media’s rapid popularity, it has brought a new frontier to music and entertainment. Music venues are no longer limited to performing in a concert hall with seating capacity for 500. With streaming and other technology, my performances can reach a much wider audience. This is what attracted me to attending Cannes beyond the premiere of the film I recently scored, but to continue to research the global media and entertainment business ”
With the expert tutelage and inspirational guidance from SHSU film professor Tom Garrett, Jordan began composing the film score for Garrett’s film the “Magic History of Cinema.” In March, they found it would be screened at the Cannes Film Festival’s Marche du Film.
The film is an international documentary exploring how the origins of cinema are closely linked to the conjurors and illusionists of the early 20th century and how those ties continue with today’s film makers and magicians” explained Garrett, who had interviews for the film, including director Martin Scorsese, author Brian Selznick, master magicians Lance Burton, Kevin James and many scores of filmmakers and magicians.
A magician of music! Today, Cannes. Tomorrow, the World
“Having a world class musician like Jordan only makes sense to join our team. Jordan is a ‘magician’ in his own right. A magician of music! I have always found that some of the best film and media makers have a strong music background. You cannot have any better background than Jordan’s. I am , honored to have him as a student, let alone contribute to our film,” Garrett said. “For a talent like Jordan – Today, Cannes. Tomorrow, the World and it will be able to appreciate his abilities in various multi-platform mediums from films, gaming, animation and beyond.”
In case you missed it … The Woodlands’ own Jordan Ong will captivate his audience at Lone Star College – Montgomery, (on FM 242) with his interpretation of compositions from Chopin, Debussy, Liszt and others, Friday, September 13th, at 1 p.m.
Twenty-year-old Jordan Ong, classical concert pianist, a senior honor student at UT Austin, is a performer and composer who has studied with world-renowned pianists, including Dr. Dariusz Pawlas of Rice University who has been honored to play at Chopin’s house in Poland, and Gregory Allen, of UT Austin, a winner of the Arthur Rubenstein International Piano Competition.
In 2012 and 2013, Jordan was the featured pianist at Project Dream, touring over 15 concert venues in Asia alone. He was also the featured pianist at the Texas State First International Piano Festival in 2010. He has received various medals and awards from the International Chopin Youth Piano Competition, Houston Music Teacher Piano Competition, and the Arizona Young Artist award.
Jordan has been featured on NBC, ABC, Chinoy-TV stations, and at DZFE-FM, Philippines’ national classical music radio station. His CDs are available for the audience’s continuing enjoyment. Jordan has traveled extensively around the world, and his composition at age 7, titled the “Little World Traveler” won the Yamaha Corporation Young Composer award.
For his concert at Lone Star College, The Woodlands, titled: Around the World in 60 Minutes, he has chosen to highlight six composers from different parts of the world, ranging from Poland, France, Spain, Argentina, Hungary to China.