Tag Archives: Arizona Musicfest

Anna Han, performing in the Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition Winners Concert at the Musical Instrument Museum. Photo by Vickilyn Hussey.

Arizona Musicfest announces scholarship winner

The newest recipient of The Arizona Musicfest Scholarship is Anna Han, pianist, from Chandler, Arizona. Han will attend The Juilliard School (at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City).

“Over the past number of years, I have been lucky to experience firsthand Arizona Musicfest’s strong commitment to encouraging aspiring musicians to pursue their dreams and grow as artists,” said Han.

“I am extremely grateful to be a recipient of the Arizona Musicfest scholarship award, and by extension, their continued support as I venture into what will likely be a pivotal period of development.”

Anna_HanA frequent participant in Arizona Musicfest Competitions, Han is the recent First Place winner of the 2014 Arizona Musicfest Young Musician’s Competition (Division Three, Grades 11 & 12). She has previously performed as a soloist with the Chandler Symphony, West Valley Symphony, Verde Valley Sinfonietta, MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra, as well as twice with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. Performances outside Arizona include appearances at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., SubCulture New York, New World Center in Miami and the Lied Center of Kansas. She has given solo performances at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago and for PianoWorks in New London, Connecticut. An alumnus of the National Public Radio show, From the Top, she was also awarded a 2013 Silver Award by the National YoungArts Foundation.

Han joins bassoonist Dana Brink (2013/2014 Scholarship recipient), violinist Jeanelle Brierley (2012/2013 Scholarship recipient), pianist Evan Pensis (2012/2013 Scholarship recipient), and pianist Karen Nguyen (2011/2012 Scholarship recipient), all of whom were awarded renewal scholarships this year (2014/2015).

“It was my honor to be the coordinator of the very discerning group of decision makers who reviewed applications, performance demonstration materials, and the letters of recommendation,” commented Ann Wallenmeyer-Krahman, Arizona Musicfest Scholarship Committee Coordinator. “While all the applicants were highly qualified, after careful deliberation, the judges were unanimous in their selection of Ms. Han.”

Described by The Washington Post as “prodigiously gifted… a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower far beyond her years,” eighteen-year-old Han of Chandler, Arizona, started taking piano lessons with her current teacher, Fei Xu, at New Century Conservatory at age five. When she was eleven, she became the national first place winner of the 2007 Music Teachers National Association Junior Piano Competition. Since then she has won a number of prestigious international piano competitions, including the first prize of the 2012 New York International Piano Competition, the first prize of the 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, and the first prizes of both the 2011 and 2008 IIYM (International Institute for Young Musicians) International Piano Competitions.

Han made her orchestral debut with the Chandler Symphony at age 11, performing Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. She has also performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the West Valley Symphony, Schumann’s Piano Concerto with the Verde Valley Sinfonietta, and Saint- Saëns’ Africa Fantaisie for Piano and Orchestra with the MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra. She has soloed twice with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, playing Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No.1 and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3.

Han has performed in such venues as the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., SubCulture New York, New World Center in Miami, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Theatre Lawrence, Mesa Center for the Arts, Phoenix Symphony Hall, Temple Emanu-El in New York City, and the Lied Center of Kansas. She has given solo performances at the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy in Chicago and for PianoWorks in New London, Connecticut. An alumnus of the National Public Radio show, From the Top, she was also awarded a 2013 Silver Award by the National YoungArts Foundation.

The Arizona Musicfest Scholarship is awarded annually in May to highly qualified young musicians who excel at their instrument and are pursuing a college-level education with the goal of establishing a full or part-time career in classical music performance.

Ryan Opel - Headshot

Phoenix Symphony Elects G&K Shareholder

The law firm of Gallagher & Kennedy announced that Ryan B. Opel has been elected to the office of Vice Chair, Nominating & Governance, for The Phoenix Symphony Association. Mr. Opel joined the Symphony’s Board of Directors in 2012 and became Chairman of the Education and Community Engagement Committee in 2013.

“I am honored to serve the community through The Phoenix Symphony,” said Opel. “Music has shaped my life in very significant ways, so I relish this opportunity to give something back.”

Mr. Opel has been involved in the performing arts since childhood when he began playing the violin at the age of four. His grandmother was a violinist in the early years of The Phoenix Symphony and taught violin in Scottsdale for much of her career.

A shareholder in Gallagher & Kennedy’s Business Law & Transactions group, Mr. Opel represents clients in a wide variety of business transactions and corporate matters. His professional and philanthropic experience includes working with nonprofit corporations to implement best practices in nonprofit governance. In addition to his role with The Phoenix Symphony, he also serves on the Board of Directors for Arizona Musicfest. Prior to relocating to Arizona in 2012, Mr. Opel was a member of the Board of Directors for the Winston-Salem Symphony and Piedmont Opera in North Carolina. Mr. Opel earned his J.D., cum laude, in 2002 from Duke University where he was Managing Editor of the Duke Law Journal. He also holds an M.A. in Psychology from Duke University and a B.A., summa cum laude, from Wake Forest University.