Gregory Allen, Professor of Piano, was the Grand Prize winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Tel Aviv, won the second prize at the 1978 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and received top honors in the Los Angeles Young Musicians Foundation, the Gina Bachauer, and the Washington International Competitions. He has appeared with the New York, Los Angeles, and Israel Philharmonics, as well as orchestras in San Francisco, San Diego, Baltimore, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Mexico City. He has adjudicated many prestigious competitions, including the Cliburn Foundation Amateur Competition, the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Cooper International Competition, among others.
Norman Fischer is one of the foremost exponents of the cello in the United States. After completing his studies with Richard Kapuscinski at the Oberlin Conservatory, he helped found the renowned Concord String Quartet. As quartet cellist throughout its 16-year career, Mr. Fischer concertized extensively in the US and abroad, recorded over 40 works, premiered 70 scores, appeared frequently on radio and television and received numerous accolades including the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, several Grammy nominations and an Emmy Award.
Moving from South Florida to Central Texas in 2020 to accept a position at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Texas, Mr. Garasi is currently Associate Professor of Instrumental Music, where he conducts and gives direction to the Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Blackshirt Cru Spirit Band and teaches Conducting, Orchestration and Band and Orchestra Literature.
Dr. Marisa Ishikawa is an avid performer, educator, and entrepreneur based in Houston, TX. As a teacher, she is passionate about cultivating a love for music in her students. As a performer, she is devoted to curating and presenting inclusive and engaging performances that showcase diverse composers and styles of music. Dr. Ishikawa holds a BM in violin performance and BS in Business Administration from the University of Colorado Boulder, an MM in violin performance from the University of Texas Austin, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder. Her final thesis was titled “Keeping and Retaining Audiences in Today’s Classical World,” and explored reasons for and solutions to classical music’s declining audiences.
Jeanne Kierman Fischer
Jeanne Kierman Fischer specializes in contemporary American piano music and has presented solo recitals in Africa and North America. As a chamber musician, she appears regularly at festivals such as Tanglewood, Da Camera of Houston, Mohawk Trail concerts, Chamber Music Ann Arbor, Maverick concerts and Juneau Jazz and Classics. Formerly on the faculties of Dartmouth College and the Oberlin Conservatory, Ms. Kierman toured extensively under sponsorship by the New England Foundation for the Arts and the Vermont & Ohio Arts Councils.
Franz Anton Krager (Orchestral Conducting, Division Head) has made his artistic presence felt both at home and abroad with performance engagements in some of the world’s most celebrated concert halls and musical centers. Since making his prize-winning European conducting debut in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Koncertsalen in 1978, Krager has led orchestras in the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Moscow’s State Kremlin Palace, Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, Birmingham England’s Adrian Boult Hall, Guangzhou China’s Xinghai Music Center, the Sydney Opera House, The Hague’s Congresgebouw, Kazan’s State Philharmonic Hall in Russia, Guadalajara’s Degollado Theater, and Sarasota’s Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
Todd Oxford is a world-class touring performer and recording artist, appearing in Europe, Asia, Mexico, Canada, and throughout forty-six of the fifty United States in venues such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, and CAMI Hall, Dallas’s Meyerson Center and Moody Performance Hall, and the Texas Ranger’s Ballpark to perform the National Anthem for a crowd of 30,000. Major engagements include two consecutive New York Debuts, the first as a soloist and the second with the ELISION Saxophone Quartet, European appearances at the 14th World Saxophone Congress in Slovenia, Portugal, and a solo tour of Germany. Asian appearances include tours of the People’s Republic of China and tours of Thailand and Indonesia.
Hailed for her “verve and pizazz” and the “gleaming purity” of her artistry by the Miami Herald, Ebonee Thomas is Second Flute and Piccolo of The Dallas Opera. She has previously served as Principal Flute of the Knoxville Symphony and the Florida Grand Opera, and spent one year as Second Flute of the Houston Symphony. In addition she has performed as Guest Principal Flute with the Seattle Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and the Fort Worth Symphony. Ebonee has also performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Dallas Symphony.