The Clinch Valley Concert Series, which will debut on Friday, Nov. 8, will give the campus and the community the opportunity to enjoy the UVA Wise Steinway and Sons Concert Grand Model D and Classic Grand Model B pianos.
The instruments reside in the UVA Wise Division of Music’s two main concert venues, Cantrell Banquet Hall and the Chapel of All Faiths. The pianos represent a major step the College has taken on the way towards becoming an All-Steinway School. The All-Steinway School designation is awarded by Steinway and Sons to academic institutions that use Steinway and Sons pianos in all of their performance spaces, faculty offices, rehearsal rooms, and practice rooms. UVA Wise is committed to achieving this designation by fall 2020.
Artistic Director Professor Peter said the Clinch Valley Concert Series will highlighting the instruments’ vast musical capabilities through UVA Wise faculty and guest artist performances.
The CVCS will bring five different performances to campus this academic year. Performers will include pianists Peter Ryan, performing on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m., Jennifer Hayghe, who will perform on Nov. 15 at 7 p.m., Maria Yefimova, who will perform on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m., Kristín Jónína Taylor, who will perform on Feb. 29 at 7 p.m. along with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra, and UVA Wise’s own professors Peter Ryan, Hannah Ryan, and Ryan Wardell will perform on April 4 at 7 p.m.
Each concert in the CVCS will feature the Steinway and Sons Concert Grand in Cantrell Banquet Hall through a variety of repertoire that will showcase the instrument’s and performers’ power, tone, and color.
In future seasons, the CVCS hopes to bring to campus a variety of professional classical music performers to perform on or collaborate with the College’s world-class pianos. Peter Ryan said an announcement on the 2020-2021 season could be made this summer.
In the Nov. 8 concert, Peter Ryan will play a program of pieces that he used to hand-pick the Steinway and Sons pianos from the factory in New York. Music by Beethoven, Chopin, Dvorak, Respighi, and Smetana will highlight the Steinway Model D Concert Grand’s extraordinary musical capabilities. Ryan will discuss with the audience what he was looking for in when selecting these pianos and will show the audience how the many intricate parts of the instrument come together to create the perfect sound.
Biographies of the performers
Peter Ryan is an assistant professor of music at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, where he teaches and coordinates the Piano and Music Theory programs. As a performer, Peter has given concerts in the Czech Republic, Austria, Ecuador, Quebec, and around the United States. His performing and research interests lie in underperformed repertoire and composers, such as the piano works of Johann Nepomuk Hummel, George Antheil, Erwin Schulhoff, Antonín Dvořák, and Bedřich Smetana.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Florida, and both a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He has studied with Jennifer Hayghe, Doris Pridonoff Lehnert, Elizabeth Pridonoff, and Kevin Sharpe, and has participated in masterclasses with Leon Fleisher and Rebecca Penneys. In addition to his duties at UVA Wise, Peter also enjoys performing with the Johnson City Symphony Orchestra as their Principal Pianist.
Prior to earning his degrees, Peter served as an Infantry Mortarman in the United States Marines Corps from 2004-2008. He now lives in Wise, VA with his wife, the UVA Wise Director of Choral and Vocal Activities, Hannah Wunsch Ryan, and son, Ellis Ryan.
Jennifer Hayghe has performed in solo recitals and made orchestral appearances throughout the world, including the United States, Europe and Asia. Hayghe received her bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from The Juilliard School, where she was the last student of the legendary artist-teacher Adele Marcus. Hayghe won every award possible for a Juilliard pianist to receive, including the William Petschek Debut Award, resulting in her New York City recital debut at Alice Tully Hall.
Hayghe has performed and taught as a soloist and chamber musician at universities and colleges throughout the country as well as appearing as a concerto soloist with various orchestras throughout the United States. She has performed in major chamber music series, including Bargemusic in New York and the Garth Newel Center for Music series in Virginia, and has taught chamber music throughout the United States and Central America.
Hayghe is currently an associate professor in the Roser Keyboard and Piano Area at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Formerly an associate professor of piano at Ithaca College and the Barineau Endowed Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University, she has given masterclasses at universities and colleges throughout the country as well as at the Manhattan School of Music, the New York University Piano Master Class Series and Mannes College of Music pre-college. Hayghe has been a presenter and panelist at the College Music Society and Music Teachers National Association national conferences and she has served as a featured artist at music teachers’ conventions in New York, Louisiana, Texas, Missouri, Alabama, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee and Virginia. She is currently on the faculty of the Brancaleoni International Music Festival in Italy
Hayghe lives with her husband, Robert McGaha, and son William in Erie, CO.
Kristín Jónína Taylor is an Icelandic-American pianist who has been enthusiastically received for her performances of Nordic piano works, including the North American premiere of Jón Nordal’s Piano Concerto in 2003 and programs by invitation in Washington D.C. for the Ambassador of Iceland and President Vigdís Finnbogadóttir. She has performed widely in the U.S. as well as in Iceland, France, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, Serbia, and Lithuania.
As a foreign student in Iceland when she was 16, Kristín studied piano with Halldór Haraldsson. At the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, her mentors were Joanne Baker and Richard Cass. In June of 2006, Kristín received the Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where she studied with Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff. She has also studied in Europe with Diane Andersen, Daniel Blumenthal, Jacques Lagarde, Perfecto Garcia Chornet, Vit Gregor, and Einar-Steen Nokleberg.
Taylor was the Grand Prize Winner of the Naftzger Young Artist Competition and a national finalist in the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Chang Collegiate Competition. In 2003 she was invited to give a performance at the Classical Hall of Fame in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was a soloist with several orchestras gave a performance of an all-Schumann program at the internationally prestigious Reykjavík Arts Festival.
Kristín was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Iceland in 2004-2005 to conduct research for her doctoral thesis on Jón Nordal ’s Piano Concerto. She received another Fulbright Scholar grant award to Iceland for the Fall of 2010 to research the music of Þorkell Sigurbjörnsson. In addition, her debut CD recording The Well-Tempered Pianist: The solo piano works of Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson was released by the Iceland Music Information Centre in November 2010. Her second album, which is self-titled, was released by Pólarfónía Records in March 2011. Her third album, Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson: Short Stories for Flute and Piano, was released by Smekkleysa Records in November 2014. Her most recent album, Gone but not Forgotten released by Mark Masters, was a collaboration with trumpeter Marc Reed and pianist Bryan Stanley on rarely-performed music for trumpet and piano.
Maria Yefimova is an internationally acclaimed pianist who has performed in Italy, Spain, England, Slovakia, Croatia, Russia, and the United States. She appeared in such major venues as Carnegie Hall, Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory Malii and Rachmaninoff Halls, Steinway Hall (NYC), Teatro Puccini di Merano (Italy), Lisinsky Hall (Zagreb), and Slovak Philharmonic Hall, among others. Her performances were described by critics as “highly artistic” (Virginia Gazette), “brilliant” (Novosti, Russia), filled with “passion and energy” (America Oggi), “judged to a ‘T’” (New York Concert Review), and “truly outstanding” (Berkshire Review for the Arts).
Yefimova has been featured on Bravo TV network, Tele Monte Orlando (Italy), Paradise Radio (USVI), Slovak National Television, WCVE public radio, as well as on major TV art networks in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico, and Chile. She is a featured artist in a film documentary Women of Music– a classical music series that presents performances and interviews with today’s top artists from around the world.
Yefimova’s festival appearances include Virginia Arts Festival, Meranofest and Velo Festivals in Italy, Rachmaninoff Festival in Russia, Water Island Music Festival in USVI, Chamber Music Institute in VA, and Lake George Music Festival in NY. She performed with Slovak Philharmonic, Tambov Philharmonic, and William and Mary Symphony Orchestras, in concertos by Mozart, Liszt, Brahms, Rachmaninoff, and Prokofiev.
As an avid chamber musician, Maria has collaborated with such prominent artists as trumpet virtuoso Joe Burgstaller (Canadian Brass), violinist Dmitri Berlinsky (Paganini Gold medalist), cellist Eric Jacobsen (Brooklyn Rider Quartet, the Knights Orchestra), and world-renowned pianist and pedagogue Boris Slutsky, among others. She is a founding member of the Atlantic Chamber Ensemble (ACE). Described in Chamber Music Magazine as “truly remarkable and innovative”, the group is rapidly gaining recognition for its creative approach in presenting concerts and finding new ways to engage audiences and the local community. ACE is a winner of the 2014 Chamber Music America and ASCAP’s adventurous programming award.
A native of Russia, Yefimova graduated with honors from Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory. After receiving a full scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music she moved to the US to pursue her Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees. Maria’s principal teachers include Arkady Aronov, Yury Slesarev, Nina Dunaeva, and Yelena Tatulian.
Yefimova has taught at the Manhattan School of Music and is currently on the piano faculty of the College of William and Mary. She is the recipient of the “Best Teacher” Award from The X International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians (2017).