Past Jury (2017)

PAST JURY (2017).

Semifinal and Final Round Jury
(Watch for details about the 2019 jury.)


Jie Chen

An artist of singular vision, Jie Chen is winner of eleven prestigious international prizes, including the Artur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition in Israel, the Santander Paloma O’Shea International Competition in Spain, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (USA) and the Minnesota International Piano-e-International Competition (USA).

In 2003, Ms. Chen was the first place winner of the PianoArts National Competition based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA). As a result of winning this competition, Ms. Chen performed in Milwaukee frequently, toured southeastern Wisconsin, performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, and gave master classes to
Wisconsin youth.

Accepted by the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at the age of thirteen, Ms Chen made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Maestro Wolfgang Sawallisch at age sixteen. She has performed solo recitals in many leading concert venues around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Louvre Museum, and many others.
A frequent soloist with major orchestras, Ms. Chen has collaborated with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra and Maestro Osmo Vanska, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Neemi Jarvi, Madrid Orquesta Sinfonica and Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Sinfonia Varsovia of Poland, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.

Although making her name for performing western music, Ms. Chen has developed a keen dedication to bringing Chinese traditional music to the world’s concert stage. Her debut album, “Chinese Piano Favorites”, was released to critical acclaim on the Naxos label. Her second album under the Marco Polo label, “The Yellow River / Butterfly Lovers”, won her the “Best Album of the Year” award by the Asian Hi-Fi Society.

Besides her performing career, Ms. Chen is also the founder and director of the Music Department at the University of Shanghai Science and Technology (USST), and was awarded the “Ambassador for Arts and Education” by the Shanghai International Arts Festival. She was named “Top 30 Under 30” in classical music world by the KDFC radio Los Angeles, CCTV “Top Ten Pianists in China”, and “Culture Leader” by the Shanghai Government.

Mark George

President of the Music Institute of Chicago, Mark George enjoys a unique career performing music and connecting people of all kinds to the performing arts. In 2011, the Chicago Tribune named him “Chicagoan of the Year” in classical music. In this same period, Dr. George served as national board chair for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, trustee for the Solti Foundation United States, and trustee for the Billy Strayhorn Foundation.

A highly regarded pianist, Dr, George has performed and recorded extensively throughout the United States. He has held faculty positions at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Case Western Reserve University, Mount Union College, and the Baldwin-Wallace College Conservatory of Music.

Dr. George also served as director of the Hartt School Community Division and director of distance learning at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His work as a consultant in developing interdisciplinary curricula has made the arts and humanities more accessible to diverse communities hungry
for knowledge.

Mark George also led the resurgence of the 2006 Grammy Award winning Cleveland Chamber Symphony. His board-level leadership, striking performances as a pianist, and inventive programming ideas re-established the ensemble as a major force in contemporary music.

Judit Jaimes

Known for her performances as guest artist with symphony orchestras and as chamber musician par excellence, Judit Jaimes has been acclaimed by international audiences and critics for her gift of communication and poetic sensitivity. She has performed with orchestras the world over, including the New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Warsaw Philharmonic, among many others. Distinguished conductors with whom she has appeared include Sergiu Celibidache, Igor Markevitch, Charles Dutoit, Leonard Slatkin, Eduardo Mata, Lorin Maazel, and David Zinman.

She has toured extensively throughout South and Central America, South Africa, Europe, and the United States. Tours have included appearances in the Berlin Festival, England’s’ King’s Lynn Festival, London’s Wigmore Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York, Beethovenhaus in Bonn, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Brahmssaal in Vienna, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. She has been featured in numerous international television and radio broadcasts including BBC London, BBC Manchester, TV Warsaw, WFMT Chicago, WNYC New York, Radio TV Caracas, Amsterdam Radio, Radio Hilversum /Holland, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Ms. Jaimes is a much sought-after artist teacher and clinician. She is professor emeritus of piano and chamber music at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The Venezuelan government has honored her for contributions to her country’s cultural image, including a 1999 commendation from the President of Venezuela, the revered National Music Award. In 2005, she was honored by the Foundation of Venezuelan Youth Orchestras, the most important musical institution of Venezuela, with a Life Achievement in the Arts Award.