Professor, and Chair, Keyboard Performance
Santiago Rodriguez is professor of keyboard performance and chair of the Department of Keyboard Performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Mr. Rodriguez made his Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of Dennis Russell Davis. His international career was launched in 1981 when he won the Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; he also received a special prize for the best performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Touches, a work commissioned for the competition. Mr. Rodriguez’ unique life and artistry were profiled on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Kurault in 1993. One of today’s foremost interpreters of the music of Sergei Rachmaninov, Santiago Rodriguez has performed all of the composer’s major piano works in concert. He is currently recording The Rachmaninov Edition, which, when completed, will encompass the entire catalog of Rachmaninov’s original solo piano compositions. Mr. Rodriguez has recorded numerous world premieres, including Piano Concerto No. 1 by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco; the Concertino for piano, strings, and cymbals of Carlos Surinach; and the Piano Sonata No. 2 of Alberto Ginastera, which was premiered by Mr. Rodriguez at Alice Tully Hall in New York. Santiago Rodriguez also enjoys a distinguished reputation as a teacher and master-clinician. Since 1980, he was a member of the Piano Division at the University of Maryland where he held the rank of professor and artist-in-residence. Mr. Rodriguez holds a masters degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied on full scholarship as a pupil of Adele Marcus, and he completed his undergraduate studies magna cum laude with William Race at the University of Texas.
Assistant Professor, Keyboard Performance
Winner of the 1990 Chopin Competition in Warsaw as well as bronze medalist at the 1990 Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, Kevin Kenner is now recognized as "one of the finest American pianists to come along in years" (Chicago Tribune), as a "player of grace, subtle variety and strength, with a mature grasp of dramatic structure and proportion (The Financial Times) and as “an artist whose intellect, imagination and pianism speak powerfully and eloquently” (The Washington Post). He has established himself as a world class soloist, chamber musician (e.g. Kyung-Wha Chung, Matt Haimovitz), recording artist, teacher and juror. His recordings have been singled out by Gramophone magazine in the UK, International Classical Music Awards in France, and the Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry, which awarded him twice for the best recording of the year. Having trained as a teenager under the guidance of Polish pianist Krzysztof Brzuza in California, Kenner furthered his studies in Poland with Ludwik Stefanski, who in turn prepared him for the 1980 Chopin Competition in Warsaw, where as a seventeen-year-old he received the jury discretionary award. He then spent the next five years with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory and concluded his studies in Hannover with Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. He later made his home for two decades in London where he taught at the Royal College of Music.
Associate Professor, Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy
Naoko Takao is Program Director of Keyboard Performance and Pedagogy and Associate Professor at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. A prizewinner of numerous competitions including the gold medal at the San Antonio International Piano Competition, Takao enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, and a researcher. Recent performances include an all-Beethoven solo recital under the auspices of the SAIPC and San Antonio Symphony, a concerto appearance on Mozart’s K. 503, and recordings with the Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble, a long-time affiliation including a GRAMMY nominated album. She has appeared at prestigious venues such as the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress, Lensic Performing Arts Center (Santa Fe), Caramoor, Le Domaine Forget (Canada), and Taipei National Concert Hall. While known for her affinity to works by Beethoven, Chopin, and Rachmaninov, Takao is equally sought after as an enthusiastic advocate of newly composed music. She has premiered many works to high acclaim at organizations such as the Society of Composers and International Alliance for Women in Music. Her 2015 release of the complete 12 piano sonatas by Vincent Persichetti is followed by another album of his chamber music. She can be heard on Capstone, Centaur, Dorian, Elan, and Friends of Smithsonian labels. She was also a member of the Post Classical Ensemble and the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra as an orchestral pianist. Combining her unique performance background with research, her research interest is on cognitive neuroscience and its application to piano performance and learning efficiency, which resulted in a winning grant proposal.
Associate Professor, Keyboard Performance
Tian Ying is associate professor of keyboard performance at the University of Miami Frost School of Music, where he has also served as department chair. Winner of many prestigious awards, including high honors at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 1989, Tian Ying enjoys a worldwide reputation as a pianist of taste, dexterity and artistry. Professor Ying has performed in many prestigious concert halls, including Jordan Hall in Boston, Mondavi Center in Davis, California, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Woodruff Art Center in Atlanta and Shanghai Grand Opera Theater in Shanghai. Tian Ying’s 1993 Bank of Boston Celebrity Series concert was chosen as one of the Top Ten in classical music events by the Boston Globe. In addition, Professor Ying has been profiled in such publications as the New York Times, Christian Science Monitor and People Magazine. Ying has also appeared with numerous renowned orchestras all over the world and records for Centaur Records.
Dr. Robert Remek is a lecturer in organ performance for the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Dr. Remek has been a church musician in South Florida for 29 years, serving as Director of Music and Organist for both Roman Catholic and Protestant congregations. He is currently the Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood. His organ teachers have included Dr. Arden Whitacre, Dr. Warren Canfield, and Dr. Kenon Renfrow. He has previously served as Dean of the Fort Lauderdale chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has passed the Colleague, Associateship, and ChoirMaster professional certification examinations of the Guild. Dr. Remek was nominated for a 2005 Excellence in Teaching Award at the University of Miami, and is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Education. In addition to his teaching in the Frost School of Music, Dr. Remek is also Assistant Professor of Humanities at the North Campus of Miami Dade College.