About the Judges:
Argentine/American pianist Mirian Contienjoys a growing reputation as a musician whose performances combine technical brilliance with striking originality and artistic insight. Stylistically assured in a wide range of repertoire, Ms. Conti’s prolific recording output and international concerts have garnered praise and awards. In recognition of her extraordinary talent, a scholarship honoring Mirian Conti was established at The Juilliard School by the Edwin Bachman Estate. In addition, she was selected as one of the “100 Outstanding Alumni” to celebrate The Juilliard School’s Centennial in 2005-6.
She is the Artistic Director and Founder of the I Certamen Musical Rioplatense, a competition for musicians of Argentina and Uruguay which took place in Buenos Aires. She has also created and directed the New York City International Tango Competition for professional musicians in New York and Teachers del Norte-Pianists del Sur, an international exchange between Argentina and the U.S. (2008 and 2012) under the auspices of the American Embassy in Buenos Aires. She is also the creator and director of 5 @ 5 at DiMenna, and of 6 @ 6 at Yamaha,an international solo piano concert series devoted to featuring the finest Concert Pianists around the world.
Hailed by the New York Times as “prodigiously accomplished and exciting” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars,” pianist Blair McMillenhas forged a busy musical life that is unbounded by convention. He is well-known for his advocacy of living composers and contemporary music, as well as for championing very early keyboard music and more recent neglected masterpieces. For the better part of two decades, McMillen has divided his time as soloist, chamber musician, music festival director, and educator/teacher.
As a teacher and pedagogue, McMillen is in high demand. He has taught at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005, and he serves on the piano faculty at the Mannes School of Music in New York City. He regularly adjudicates at competitions and festivals throughout the United States and abroad. In past summers, McMillen has taught at the Elm City Chamber Festival, the Xi’an Festival, the Wellesley Composers Conference, the Samuel Barber Institute, and the Bennington Chamber Music Festival, to name a few.
As Director of Yamaha Artist Services, Bonnie Barrettworks to cultivate and strengthen Yamaha’s relationships with classical performing artists, presenters, and the classical community at large.
Prior to her appointment at Yamaha Artist Services, Ms. Barrett was Vice President of Barrett Vantage Artists, where she oversaw artist management and concert booking for a roster of highly acclaimed artists spanning the genres of classical, opera, cabaret and jazz. Prior to Barrett Vantage, she served as Director, Concert and Artist Activities for the Americas, for Steinway & Sons in New York.
A pianist by training, she holds an MBA from Pace University. She is also the board chair of the Pro Musicis Foundation, which arranges for performances in hospitals, prisons, and homes for the elderly.