Honens Competition juries include concert pianists and other individuals (artist managers, collaborative musicians, presenters, etc.) from the musical world who play a meaningful role in a concert artist’s career. All jurors have extensive knowledge of the piano literature and represent and / or are aware of the qualities an artist must possess in order to build and sustain a career in today’s musical world.
* indicates country of origin / country of residence
Jon Kimura Parker
Canada / United States
Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, with multiple solo appearances at the Berlin Philharmonie, London’s South Bank, the Sydney Opera House, and the Beijing Concert Hall, Jon Kimura Parker continues to perform to great acclaim. In the past two seasons Parker appeared at Carnegie Hall in Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, and was guest soloist at the Kennedy Center in Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue conducted by Gianandrea Noseda and streamed on medici.tv. He also performed Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 with Jeffrey Kahane and LACO, the Grieg Concerto with Bramwell Tovey and the New York Philharmonic, Gershwin’s Concerto in F with James Gaffigan and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony.
As a founding member of Off the Score, Parker performs with legendary Police drummer Stewart Copeland, featuring his own arrangements of music by Prokofiev, Ravel, and Stravinsky. He also tours as a founding member of the Montrose Trio, with violinist Martin Beaver and cellist Clive Greensmith.
His YouTube channel features the Concerto Chat videos, covering the piano concerto repertoire. Parker is Professor of Piano at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, and has lectured at The Juilliard School, Yale, and Princeton. He is the founding Artistic Advisor of the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival, Artistic Director of Honens, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada.
“Jackie” Parker studied in Vancouver with Edward Parker and Keiko Parker, Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the University of British Columbia, Marek Jablonski at the Banff Centre, and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School. He won the Gold Medal at the 1984 Leeds International Piano Competition. He lives in Houston with his wife, violinist Aloysia Friedmann, and their daughter Sophie.
Canada / Canada*
Bernadene Blaha‘s “brilliant command of the piano” as a recitalist, concerto soloist, or chamber musician, has been heralded in performances throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Asia, and Mexico. Piano and Keyboard magazine has called her, “a pianist of integrity, with lovely sonorities and total clarity of line.” Originally from Canada, Blaha came to international attention as a prizewinner in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition, Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition (US), Masterplayers International Competition (Switzerland), and 11th Annual International Piano Competition (US). The latter resulted in highly acclaimed recitals at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Lincoln Center Library (US). Soon afterward, Blaha was featured in the opening orchestra concert and a solo recital at the XXIX International Chopin Festival (Czechoslovakia), followed by performances at the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the National Arts Centre (Ottawa), the Phillips Collection and Disney Hall (US). Blaha is a founding member of the piano trio Latitude 41, formed in 2009 with violinist Livia Sohn and cellist Luigi Piovano. Their 2011 debut CD of Schubert’s monumental Trio in E-flat Major and Notturno on the Eloquentia label received rave reviews and followed this success with a recording of the Saint-Saëns Trios and a forthcoming CD featuring the Brahms Trios. She has also recorded for the CBC, Centaur, and Analekta labels. In demand as a teacher, adjudicator, and clinician, Blaha has received the National Arts Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award and has been invited to serve on the juries of the Gina Bachauer International Artist Piano Competition, Virginia Waring International Competition, and the 2015 International E-Competition (US). Currently residing in Los Angeles, Blaha has been a member of the Keyboard Faculty at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California since 1993 where she is a Professor.
Canada / Canada*
A virtuoso with a warm, elegant style and a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist David Jalbert has established himself among the elite of a new generation of classical musicians. Fanfare states, “Jalbert’s piano playing is remarkable for its sweep, confidence, sensitivity, power and color, what more can we ask?” Named by the CBC as one of the 15 best Canadian pianists of all time, Jalbert performs regularly as a soloist and recitalist all over the world. His solo recordings—of the Goldberg Variations, and the Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues, of American, Russian, and French piano music—have all garnered international praise in publications ranging from Gramophone to France-Culture. He has been a guest soloist with numerous major orchestras and is a sought-after chamber musician, collaborating over the years with artists such as Nicola Benedetti, Jean-Philippe Collard, Rachel Barton Pine, Denise Djokic, Joel Quarrington, and performing with his piano trio, Triple Forte.
A national and international prize-winner, Jalbert has won five times at the Prix Opus and garnered four JUNO Awards nominations, most recently in 2018 for his Stravinsky / Prokofiev album. He is a graduate from The Juilliard School (US), the Glenn Gould School (Toronto), and Université de Montréal. He is currently a professor of piano at the University of Ottawa.
Korea / Canada
As “a pianist with power, precision, and tremendous glee,” (Gramophone) Hyeyeon Park has appeared as a soloist and chamber musician on major concert stages around the world, performing with orchestras such as the Seoul Philharmonic, KNUA Symphony Orchestra (Singapore), Incheon Philharmonic and Gangnam Symphony (Korea), and Seoul Festival Orchestra, among others. She is a prizewinner of numerous international competitions, including Oberlin (US), Ettlingen (Germany), Hugo Kauder (US), Maria Canals (Spain), Prix Amadèo (Germany), and Corpus Christi (US), and her performances have been broadcast on KBS and EBS television (Korea); RAI3 (Italy); WQXR, WFMT, WBJC, and WETA (US). As an active chamber musician, she has performed at numerous festivals including Santander (Spain); Music@Menlo, Chamber Music Northwest, Yellow Barn, as well as Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (US) and has collaborated with such distinguished musicians as David Shifrin, Cho-Liang Lin, Ani and Ida Kavafian, and many others. Park holds a doctorate from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (US), as well as degrees from the Yale School of Music (US), and Korea National University of Arts. She is Artistic Director of Apex Concerts (US), co-director of Young Performers Program at Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival & Institute, and Associate Professor of Piano at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her first solo CD recording, Klavier 1853, was released in 2017 on the Blue Griffin label.
The First Jury, comprised of four members, evaluates the 50 Quarterfinal video recorded recitals and interviews, and selects ten pianists to advance to the Semifinals in Calgary.
* indicates country of origin / country of residence
The First Jury is:
Canada / Canada
A versatile musician and a piano wizard, Louise Bessette is much in demand as a concert artist in Europe, America, and Asia. She has recorded a wide variety of repertoire, appearing the world over with distinguished orchestras and by invitation to first-rate festivals. She premiers works specially written for her and her reviews are laudatory.
In 2016, Bessette was honoured in London, University of Western Ontario, where she received the degree of Doctor of Music, honoris causa, to celebrate her accomplishments as an internationally recognized performer. In 2019, she received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, a Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award for Classical Music. The GGPAA are Canada’s highest honour in the performing arts.
As a pianist with an eclectic repertoire and an eagerness to promote exchange with other art forms, Bessette recorded works by Alkan and Grieg for a film soundtrack in 2009. Hidden Diary by French film director Julie Lopes-Curval, starring Catherine Deneuve and Marie-Josée Croze, was presented as world premiere at the Festival des Films du Monde in Montreal (2009), and then in movie theatres all over the world.
Bessette received her tenth Opus Prize from Conseil québécois de la musique (Quebec Music Council) in 2021. In 2015, she was listed as one of Canada’s top 25 pianists by CBC Music. Other awards include First Prizes at the Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition (Canada, 1981), Concours International de Musique Contemporaine (France, 1986), International Gaudeamus Competition (Netherlands, 1989); Femme de l’Année at Salon de la Femme de Montréal—Arts Category (1989); Prix Québec-Flandre (1991); Member of the Order of Canada (2001); Officier de l’Ordre national du Québec (2005), Canadian Music Centre Ambassador (2009). Bessette has been a professor of piano at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal since 1996.
Canada / Canada
Loie Fallis is one of the most seasoned artistic administrators in the classical music business. She is Vice-President of Artistic Planning with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) where she works with incoming TSO Music Director Gustavo Gimeno on season planning. Now in her 40th season with the TSO, Fallis engages with the world’s top guest conductors, soloists, and composers, and is equally committed to mentoring and creating opportunities for emerging artists. She has collaborated with many of the TSO’s past Music Directors, including Sir Andrew Davis, Gunther Herbig, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, and Peter Oundjian. After graduating from Queen’s University (Ontario) and studying at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, she worked at the Guelph Spring Festival and the Canadian Opera Company (Ontario) before joining the TSO in 1980.
She is a frequent participant at industry conferences in Canada, the US, and Europe and has served on the Boards of the Glenn Gould Foundation and Orchestras Canada. Fallis lives in Toronto with her husband, the prominent violist Steven Dann.
Israel / Canada
The eloquent pianist Roman Rabinovich has been highly lauded by the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine, San Francisco Classical Voice, and others. He has performed throughout Europe and the United States in venues such as Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the Great Hall of Moscow Conservatory, the Cité de la Musique in Paris, and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. Rabinovich has participated in festivals including Marlboro (US); Lucerne, Davos (Switzerland); Prague Spring (Czech Republic); Klavier-Festival Ruhr, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany). An avid chamber musician, he is also a regular guest at ChamberFest Cleveland. Rabinovich has earned critical praise for his explorations of the piano music of Haydn. At the 2018 Bath Festival, he presented a ten-recital 42-sonata series, earning praise in The Sunday Times. Prior to that, in 2016 as Artist-in-Residence at the Lammermuir Festival in Scotland, he performed 25 Haydn sonatas in 5 days, and over two seasons, in 2016 and 2017, he performed all the Haydn sonatas in Tel Aviv. Roman Rabinovich made his Israel Philharmonic debut under the baton of Zubin Mehta at age 10. He was a top prizewinner at the 12th Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in 2008 (Israel), and in 2015 was selected by Sir András Schiff as one of three pianists for the inaugural “Building Bridges” series, created to highlight young pianists of unusual promise. Born in Tashkent, Rabinovich immigrated to Israel with his family in 1994, beginning his studies there with Irena Vishnevitsky and Arie Vardi; he went on to graduate from the Curtis Institute of Music (US) as a student of Seymour Lipkin, and earned his master’s degree at The Juilliard School where he studied with Robert McDonald.
Switzerland-United States / United States
Swiss-born American pianist Gilles Vonsattel is an artist of uncommon breadth with a repertoire that ranges from J. S. Bach’s Art of the Fugue to the complete works of Xenakis. He is Laureate of the 2009 Honens Piano Competition, recipient of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and winner of the Naumburg and Geneva Competitions. Most recently he received the 2016 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award, recognizing a pianist under 40 who has significant influence on the world of chamber music. Deeply committed to the chamber music repertoire, Vonsattel has been an artist member of New York’s Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2012, and is a former member of Chamber Music Society Two. In solo and chamber music performances, Vonsattel has appeared at the Tonhalle Zürich, Wigmore Hall in London and Munich’s Gasteig, and at international festivals including the Gilmore and Caramoor Festivals in the US and la Roque d’Anthéron in France. He has appeared with esteemed orchestras including the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, San Francisco Symphony, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Warsaw Philharmonic and l’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève. Vonsattel is committed to the performance of contemporary works, having given premieres on both sides of the Atlantic. He has worked closely with composers including George Benjamin, Heinz Holliger and Jörg Widmann. His first recording on the Honens label was named one of the year’s best classical albums in Time Out New York in 2011. His most recent album, titled Shadowlines, released by Honens in 2015, was called a “mesmerizing disc” by The New York Times. Vonsattel received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from Columbia University and a master’s degree in Music Performance from The Juilliard School, where he studied with Jerome Lowenthal. He is an assistant professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
* indicates country of origin / country of residence
The Second Jury is:
France / France
Michel Béroff was born in France in 1950. After graduating from the Paris Conservatoire in 1966, he won first prize at the first international Olivier Messiaen Piano Competition (France). He has since been considered one of the most outstanding interpreters of Messiaen’s music. Béroff then went on to play with the most prestigious orchestras around the world under the direction of such conductors as Abbado, Barenboim, Bernstein, Boulez, Dohnanyi, Dorati, Dutoit, Eschenbach, Gielen, Inbal, Jochum, Leinsdorf, Masur, Ozawa, Previn, Rostropovitch, Sinopoli, Solti, Tennsted, Tilson-Thomas, and Zinman. As a chamber music partner, he has been very active playing with Martha Argerich, Barbara Hendricks, Jean-Philippe Collard, Augustin Dumay, Pierre Amoyal, and Lynn Harrell. Professor Emeritus at the Paris Conservatoire, where he taught for 25 years, Béroff gives regular masterclasses in many countries, including Japan, China, US, Italy, and France. An exclusive EMI artist for over 25 years, he has made more than 50 recordings; among them the complete works for piano and orchestra of Liszt, Prokofiev, and Stravinsky, conducted by Seiji Ozawa and Kurt Masur. For Deutsche Grammophon, he recorded Ravel’s left-hand concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra and Claudio Abbado. His latest recordings include the complete piano music of Debussy. Béroff is a five-time winner of France’s “Grand Prix du Disque.”
As a jury member, he has served many important piano competitions including Tchaikovsky (Russia), Van Cliburn (US), Leeds (UK), Clara Haskil (Switzerland), Rubinstein (Israel), and Marguerite Long (France), among others. Many of his students have won top prizes at international competitions, the latest one is Seong-Jin Cho, who won the 2015 Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
United States / United States
Earl Blackburn has been active in the arts for over 40 years, first as a performer and now as an artist manager. From 1985 to 1995, Blackburn owned his own management agency, Blackburn and Associates, which focused primarily on classical music soloists. In 1995, Blackburn accepted the position of Vice President and Manager with IMG Artists, New York, where he was instrumental in starting the career of pianist Lang Lang. He moved to ICM / Opus 3 Artists in 2002 where he worked on the careers of artists such as Lynn Harrell, Yuja Wang, Jon Kimura Parker, Orli Shaham, Ravi Shankar, and Wu Man, among many others. In 2017 he opened his own agency, Kanzen Arts, dedicated to a concise roster of top artists.
Blackburn is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music (US) where he studied percussion performance with Gerald Carlyss and Michael Bookspan of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1972 through 1976. Following graduation, Blackburn spent the next 10 years performing with orchestras and festivals including the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra (US), where he was principal percussionist, and the Bethlehem Bach Festival (US), the oldest festival of Bach’s music in North America. Blackburn is known for his project-oriented approach to management and is keenly interested in the further development of artistic exchange with Asia.
He currently lives in Forest Hills, New York with his wife of 25 years, Claire Bright, and their 30-year-old macaw, Josy.
Canada / United States
Pianist Katherine Chi, firmly established as one of Canada’s fastest rising stars, has performed throughout Europe and North America to great acclaim. “Ms. Chi displayed a keen musical intelligence and a powerful arsenal of technique,” notes the New York Times. Recent and upcoming performances include appearances with the Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Thunder Bay Symphonies, the Calgary and Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestras; and concerts at the Library of Congress, Freer Gallery, and Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (US). She has appeared with the Alabama, Colorado, Columbus, Edmonton, Grand Rapids, Kitchener-Waterloo, Nova Scotia, Philadelphia, Quebec, Thunder Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria Symphony Orchestras, CBC Radio Orchestra, Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, I Musici de Montreal, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, the Neue Philharmonie Westfalen and Toronto Sinfonia. Festival appearances including Aldeburgh (UK); Banff, Canada’s Festival of the Sound, Launadière, Domaine Forget (Canada); Marlboro (US); Osnabrück Kammermusik, Klavier-Festival Ruhr (Germany); Santander Summer Music (Spain); and Festival Vancouver.
Just a year after her debut recital at the age of nine, Chi was accepted to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music (US). She continued studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she received her master’s degree, graduate, artist diploma and doctorate. She later studied for two years at the International Piano Foundation in Como, Italy, and at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne. In 2000, Chi was named Prize Laureate of the Honens International Piano Competition and was the first Canadian, and the first woman, to win this award. She was also a prizewinner at the 1998 Busoni International Piano Competition.
United Kingdom / United Kingdom
Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and the Aurora Orchestra with Nicholas Collon, the latter including performances in London and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Her solo recitals this season include London, Istanbul, Madrid, and Washington DC.
Cooper has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw (Netherlands), Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK (Japan) and London Symphony Orchestras. She has played at the BBC Proms (UK) and with the major British orchestras, including particularly close relationships with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg (Austria).
Imogen is a committed chamber and lieder musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud, Adrian Brendel, and has a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair. Her recent recordings for Chandos Records feature music by French and Spanish composers, Beethoven, Liszt and Wagner.
Imogen received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.
Canada / Canada
Proclaimed “a phenomenon” by the Los Angeles Times and “one of the best pianists of his generation” by the Philadelphia Inquirer, Stewart Goodyear is an accomplished young pianist as a concerto soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, and composer. Goodyear has performed with major orchestras of the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields (UK), Frankfurt Radio Symphony, MDR Symphony Orchestra (Germany), Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic (UK), and NHK Symphony Orchestra (Japan). He has recently performed in recital at the Rheingau Musik Festival (Germany); McCarter Theatre, the Phillips Collection, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center (US). Goodyear’s discography includes Beethoven’s Complete Piano Sonatas and Diabelli Variations for the Marquis Classics label. For the Steinway and Sons label, Goodyear recorded Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Rachmaninov’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3, and his piano transcription of Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. His recordings of Ravel piano works, Goodyear’s suite for piano and orchestra, “Callaloo”, and the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos have been released on Orchid Classics. Highlights of the 2020 year include his debut with the Aalborg Symphony (Denmark), a performance of the complete Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Wichita Symphony, his return to Koerner Hall (Toronto), a US tour, and a performance at Queen Elizabeth Hall with the Chineke! Orchestra (UK), and the world premiere of his cello concerto by the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa).
Korea / Korea
Praised by the Los Angeles Times for his “power, virtuosity and mastery of tone color (that) is vivid and evocative,” Korean-born pianist Ick-Choo Moon is the recipient of numerous awards including those from the Montreal and Geneva International Competitions, and the Gina Bachauer International Competition at The Juilliard School. In 1989, he gave a critically acclaimed New York recital debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall as winner of the William Petschek Award. After making his US debut with the Minnesota Orchestra under Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Moon performed in many countries including the US, Canada, England, Russia, Japan, and Korea. His performances have been broadcast frequently on radio and TV in the US, Canada, and Korea.
Moon grew up in the US and Canada as well as in his native Korea and studied at the Curtis Institute of Music (US) and with Gyorgy Sebok at Indiana University where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees with highest distinction. He later received his Doctor of Musical Arts from The Juilliard School where he worked with Sascha Gorodnitzki.
Currently Professor of Piano at Seoul National University in Korea, Moon has also taught at UCLA where he headed the piano department and at University of Southern California. During the summers he has taught and performed at Brevard Music Center and the Chautauqua Institute in the US, Festival MusicAlp in France and in numerous festivals in Korea. He has also been a jury member in several international competitions including the Cleveland, Franz Liszt (Netherlands), Seoul (Korea), and Hamamatsu (Japan).
Isreal / United States
A consummate musician recognized for her grace, subtlety, and vitality, Orli Shaham has established an impressive international reputation as one of today’s most gifted pianists. Hailed by critics on four continents, Shaham is in demand for her prodigious skills and admired for her interpretations of both standard and modern repertoire. The Chicago Tribune recently referred to her as “a first-rate Mozartean,” and London’s The Guardian said Shaham’s playing at the Proms was “perfection.” Shaham has performed with major orchestras including the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Philadelphia Symphony Orchestras, and internationally with the BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK), Filarmonica della Scala (France), Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and Orchestre National de France among many others. Concerto highlights of the 2018 / 2019 season include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, China NCPA Orchestra, Bochumer Symphoniker (Germany), Dallas Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Shaham continues to serve as the Artistic Director for Pacific Symphony’s chamber music series in Costa Mesa, California, a position she has held since 2007. She is a featured performer on each of the chamber recitals in the series. In addition, Shaham serves as the Artistic Director for the interactive children’s concert series, Baby Got Bach, which she founded in 2010. In the fall of 2018, Shaham released a recording on the Canary Classics label of Mozart’s Piano Concertos K.453 and K.491 with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and conductor David Robertson.