Master Instructors

The Academy will feature master classes and private instruction for all students from the Master Instructors. Three Master Instructors have confirmed. A fourth Instructor is tentative, pending confirmation of availability. Upon confirmation, the Instructor’s biography will be posted on the website.

Benjamin Pasternack

Master Instructor

Recognized as one of the most experienced and versatile musicians in the world, Mr. Pasternack has performed as soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician on four continents. His orchestral engagements have included appearances as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre symphonique de Quebec, the Tonhalle Orchestra of Zurich, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Pacific Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, the Orchestre national de France, the SWR Orchestra of Stuttgart, the Bamberger Symphoniker, and the Orquesta Nacional de Costa Rica. Mr. Pasternack has performed works by composers including Leonard Bernstein, Gunther Schuller, George Perle, Frederic Rzewski, Peter Lieberson, Nicholas Maw, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Schnittke, Toru Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze and Oliver Knussen. Mr. Pasternack entered the Curtis Institute of Music at the age of 13, and was the Grand Prize winner of the inaugural World Music Masters Piano Competition held in Paris and Nice in July 1989. He has served as faculty at Oxford Academy, Boston University, and Peabody Conservatory.

Fabio Bidini

Master Instructor

At the age of five, Fabio Bidini was given his first piano lesson. Six months later, he had his first public performance. In the following years he won 11 of the most important Italian piano competitions. Mr. Bidini graduated “Magna cum Laude,” as one of the youngest graduates of Rome’s prestigious “Conservatorio Santa Cecilia,” and went on to win top prizes at the Busoni and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Shortly after, he performed at the United Nation as a soloist of the BBC Wales and had his highly acclaimed North American debut with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Joel Levi. Since then Mr. Bidini has been a frequent guest of the most prominent orchestras worldwide (San Francisco Sympony, Dallas Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philharmonia Orchestra of London, BBC Orchestra Wales). In 2015 the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles founded the Carol Colburn Grigor Piano Chair for Fabio Bidini and he currently serves as faculty at the prestigious conservatory. Additionally he serves as an artist in residence at the “Hochschule für Musik und Tanz” in Köln. He is an official Steinway Artist.

Kevin Kenner

Master Instructor

Born in southern California, Kenner has studied with pianist Krzysztof Brzuza, Ludwik Stefański, Leon Fleisher, and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling. After teaching for several years at the Royal College of Music in London, he accepted a professorship at the Frost School of Music, University of Miami in 2015. Mr. Kenner has won many of the world’s top awards, including top prize at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw, the International Terrence Judd Award in London, and awards at the Van Cliburn International Competition and the Gina Bachauer International Competition. He has also served on juries of some of the most celebrated international piano competitions. Kenner has performed as soloist with world-class orchestras including the Hallé, BBC Symphony, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Warsaw Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestra of the 18th Century, NHK Symphony of Japan, San Francisco Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as the late Sir Charles Groves, Andrew Davis, Hans Vonk, Jiří Bělohlávek, Jahja Ling, Jacek Kaspszyk, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Antoni Wit and Jerzy Maksymiuk.

Yang Yunlin

Academy Instructor

Yang, Yunlin, Professor of Piano, Shanghai Conservatory of Music,former deputy director of Piano Department of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Born in Shanghai, began taking piano lessons at age 6. Enrolled at age 13 in the Shanghai Music Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music after placing high on the entrance examination.Enrolled in the graduate program of the Piano Department, Shanghai Conservatory of Music, in 1983 after placing high on the entrance examination. Studied with Prof. Chen Qiyan, Bi Jiashan, Zhu Changping, Zhou Guangren and Wu Leyi. Got a Master degree of Piano Music in 1986 and stayed on in the department as a member of the faculty while teaching, working as director of the Teaching and Pedagogy Research office, and also remaining active as a performing pianist. Enrolled in 1991 in the School of Music of the University of British Columbia, Canada, studied with Prof. Jane Coop, and received another Master degree of Music there. Recordings of her performances have been broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Returned in 2004 to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music to teach and, won many of Excellence in Teaching prizes, including prizes from the He Luting foundation of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, a prize as an excellent teacher from Shanghai Government in 2010 and 2012 and a President Award of Shanghai Music Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2015 and an Outstanding Working Award from the Music Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2016.

ZHANG Xinning

Academy Instructor

ZHANG Xinning, Piano Professor at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing (CCOM), Academic Director of the Piano Department at the CCOM Attached Middle School; a well-respected famous Chinese Piano educator. Xinning was admitted by the CCOM Primary School when she was 10 years old; and graduated with excellent results in 1986, pursuing further studies at the piano department of Central Conservatory of Music afterwards; during the time when she had the opportunities to learn from several famous professors such as Prof. Zheng Liqin, Prof. Pan Yiming and Prof. Li Qifang. Xinning graduated in July 1990 with outstanding results and started her career as a teacher of piano major at the Piano Department of the CCOM Attached Middle School. Xinning won full scholarship in Sept. 1996 with extraordinary scores and took up advanced studies at the Music School of the Northwestern University of Chicago.

Antoinette Perry

Academy Instructor

Antoinette Perry has appeared throughout the U.S., Europe and China as a soloist and chamber musician, collaborating with many the world’s greatest musicians. Artist-faculty Emeritus at the Aspen Music Festival and School, she performed in over 100 festival concerts during her 25-year tenure there. As a pedagogue Ms. Perry served on the UCLA piano faculty for 14 years and has been teaching at USC’s Thornton School of Music since 1996. Many of her former students are enjoying successful international careers.

Orchestra Leaders

Carl St. Clair

Orchestra Leader

Few orchestras can claim such rapid artistic development as Pacific Symphony—the largest orchestra formed in the United States in the last 50 years—due in large part to St.Clair’s leadership. During his tenure, St.Clair has become widely recognized for his musically distinguished performances, his commitment to building outstanding educational programs and his innovative approaches to programming. In April 2018, St.Clair led Pacific Symphony in its Carnegie Hall debut, as the finale to the Hall’s yearlong celebration of pre‑eminent composer Philip Glass’ 80th birthday. He led Pacific Symphony on its first tour to China in May 2018, the orchestra’s first international tour since touring Europe in 2006. The orchestra made its national PBS debut in June 2018 on Great Performances with Peter Boyer’s Ellis Island: The Dream of America, conducted by St.Clair. Among St.Clair’s many creative endeavors are the highly acclaimed American Composers Festival, which began in 2010; and the opera initiative, “Symphonic Voices,” which continues for the eighth season in 2018‑19 with Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, following the concert‑opera productions of The Magic Flute, Aida, Turandot, Carmen, La Traviata, Tosca and La Bohème in previous seasons.

Roger Kalia

Orchestra Leader

Hailed as a conductor who leads with “passionate intensity” and recognized as “one to watch,” Roger Kalia is one of America’s most exciting young conductors. A three-time recipient (2018, 2017, 2013) of The Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, Kalia was recently appointed Music Director of Orchestra Santa Monica. He is also entering his fourth season as Assistant Conductor of Pacific Symphony and Music Director of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra. Kalia also serves as Co-Founder and Music Director of the Lake George Music Festival in upstate New York, which was recently featured in the League of American Orchestra’s Symphony Magazine as one of the premier summer classical music festivals in the country.

Steinway Academy Staff

Charles Zhang


OC Music & Dance was created by Charles (“Charlie”) Zhang. A talented clarinet musician, he came to the U.S. at the age of 23, with $20 in his pocket and acceptance to the Pasadena music conservatory. After one semester, dropped out because of lack of money, and worked as a dishwasher. A work related injury caused him to lose his ability to play. Soon afterward, Charlie bought one Chinese restaurant, then another, and next thing you know he created Pick Up Stix, building it to more than 100 locations. With his financial success came a strong desire to give back, and as a result, he created OC Music & Dance to Nurture, Inspire and Empower students of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay for instruction.

Douglas Freeman


Mr. Douglas Freeman is Executive Chair and CEO of OC Music & Dance. He comes to this leadership role after a distinguished career as a lawyer, businessman, civic leader and philanthropist. For nearly a decade, Mr. Freeman served as Executive Vice President and Director of Consulting and Trust Services for First Foundation Bank. He has served in numerous capacities in the nonprofit sector, including Pacific Symphony Board Chair, where he is now a Lifetime Trustee, and Board Member (now Trustee Emeritus), at the California Institute of the Arts. He is also the founder of National Philanthropy Day, a holiday proclaimed by Congress, signed by United States President Ronald Reagan in 1986, and celebrated annually throughout the United States.

Enya Xu

Program Director

Ms.Enya Guohua XU, has a Master of Economics from UIBE and Bachelor of art degree from Nankai University. She has 8 years of Private Equity management experiences in managing a small to mid-cap PE fund registered in Luxembourg. Before that, she worked 15 years for multinational companies of Siemens, Nokia and Lucent Technology in different managerial roles.

Lily Yuan

Community Engagement Officer

Lily Yuan, originally from Shanghai, China, was admitted at age ten to the prestigious Beijing Central Conservatory of Music, the equivalent of The Julliard Music School in America. After ten years of intense effort, Ms. Lily successfully completed her rigorous course of study and took a position with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a faculty member. Next, Ms. Lily advanced her music career in Canada where she completed research and study at the University of Toronto, earning a Master of Arts degree in music and piano pedagogy. Ms. Lily has played in concerts at many well-known venues around the world, including New York’s famed Carnegie Hall, captivating audiences with her expressive style and unique ability to convey deep emotions of tranquility, fury, happiness, sorrow, and joy.

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