News

The Recital of the Season!

Our Holiday Recital was the reason for the season! Featuring our students such as Claire Van Fleet, Jackson Rubli, Zane Stephen, as well as Young Artists Eric Valdes Marines, Jenny Cheong, Bella Morales,  and world-renowned pianist Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov, the evening was filled with beautiful music, an international cultural exchange, and Christmas miracles! You can find the highlights below:

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Piano Whiz Kids – News for March

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.

Jordan Ong Performs With Costa Rica National Orchestra

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.

Piano prodigy Jordan Ong inspires students to pursue piano with passion

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.

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Ryan Chen, age 4

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.

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Claire Van Fleet, age 8

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!

 

About Jordan

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:

Jondanong1@gmail.com, jongmcbride@gmail.com, or text/call 832-331-6851, 713-826-8824. The rates are extremely reasonable, the progress immediate, with tremendous opportunities for performances! This is the BEST extracurricular activity for your children and yourselves. Give the GIFT of MUSIC.

SUPER Weekend with Costa Rica Red Carpet Party and Piano Super Saturday

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.

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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!

Outstanding Young Pianists of Houston at Lone Star Montgomery College

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Outstanding Houston young pianists with Dr. Tali Murgu and Dr. Sergey Kuznetsov

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.

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Daniel Robbins

 

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.

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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.