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Award-winning student pianists to perform finale for CCPA's PianoFest

Posted: 10/12/2012
Six student pianists at the Music Conservatory in Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts have been selected for showcase performances during the University’s upcoming Oct. 13-20 PianoFest extravaganza.

Students chosen to perform solos at venues across the city and suburbs, as well as during a free grand finale PianoFest concert being held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 in Roosevelt University’s seventh-floor Ganz Hall, 430 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, include:

Stefani Babic, a sophomore, resident of Chicago’s suburbs and a native of Serbia, began playing piano when she was eight years old. An avid interpreter of contemporary music, Babic has won many awards, prizes and laureates. She will perform Joseph Haydn’s Finale from Sonata, Hob XVI:20 and Walter Piston’s Passacaglia.
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Kaiming Yu, a freshman who previously studied at the Shenyang Conservatory of Music in China. A finalist in the CCTV Piano and Violin competition, Yu recently performed in the Mostly Music Chicago concert series. He will play Alexander Scriabin’s Prelude and Nocturne for the Left Hand, Op. 9 and Franz Liszt’s La campanella.
Allegra Sorley (right), a resident of Chicago’s South Loop and a senior from the Indianapolis area. She was voted top soloist by viewers who watched her PianoFest recital last year on You Tube and was the winner of the Indiana Music Teachers Association competition. She will play Amy Beach’s Barcarolle and Danse d’Arlequin.

Lanjiabao Ge, a sophomore and winner of competitions held in Germany, China and the United States, she won first place in the Hershey Symphony Orchestra’s 2010 Young Artist Competition and performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  She will perform Claude Debussy’s Pour les arpèges composes and Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata No. 3.

Jana PavlovskaJana Pavlovska (left), a diploma student, resident of Chicago’s Gold Coast and a native of Macedonia. Pavlovska is a national and international performer, having won solo and chamber prizes all over the world. Pavlovska is making her third PianoFest appearance. She will play Robert Schumann’s Fantasy (1st movement).

Chenyang Xu (pictured above), a senior, resident of Chicago’s South Loop and a native of Sichuan, China. Xu has been a soloist and chamber musician in Canada and all over China and is making her fourth CCPA PianoFest appearance. She will play Frederic Chopin’s Ballade No. 4.

“PianoFest provides the Chicago-area community with an opportunity to see and hear some of today’s finest, most promising young pianists,” said Winston Choi, who directs CCPA’s piano program, which has seven faculty members and 40 students, two thirds whom are international.
In addition to the Oct. 20 student recital, PianoFest will include:

•    An Oct. 13 performance by Chicago’s critically acclaimed Spektral Quartet in a concert collaboration with Duo Diorama, which comprises Choi, assistant professor of piano at Roosevelt and violinist MingHuan Xu, an artist-teacher in Roosevelt’s Music Conservatory.  The free concert will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the University’s Ganz Hall.

•    An Oct. 18 double-header evening of concerts beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Ganz with performances commemorating Claude Debussy’s 150th birthday. The program includes Six Epigraphes Antiques performed by Ludmila Lazar and Scott Gilmore, both faculty members in The Music Conservatory at Roosevelt. Then at  8:30 p.m.,  Choi and Xu will perform the world premiere of The Invisible Compass for Violin and Piano, a new work about time by celebrated Chinese composer Huang Ruo, whose style draws from Chinese folk, Western avant-garde, rock and jazz music.  The concert is co-sponsored by the Chinese Fine Arts Society.

For more information on PianoFest and/or the winning student performers, contact Choi at or visit