Adjudicators for Final Round of Grand Metropolitan International Music Competition
We are greatly honoured and grateful to our panel of adjudicators, who will be sharing their world-class expertise and experience with our participants!
Massimilian Valenti (Italy)
Prof. Massimiliano Valenti began his studies at age of 4 and then continued his musical studies at the Musical Institute "V. Bellini" in Catania with Professor Ms Mariapia Tricoli, graduating with top honors. Subsequently furthered his potential in Germany with the masters Paul Buch in Stuttgart, and later on in Monaco with the scholar Gerhard Oppitz . In 2000 he met Maestro Aldo Ciccolini in Paris with whom he begins an in-depth analysis of the French repertoire and finally in Romania with Diana Apan. Other Masters who have also contributed to his development are Oxana Yablonskaja, Marian Mika, Luigi Mostacci , Massimiliano Damerini and Dana Borsan.
At a very young age Valenti won numerous national and international competitions in all parts of Italy. Thus he began a brilliant concert activity which led him to perform in Festivals in main Italian cities. In 2004 debut in Brasov ( Romania ) he was described by the critics : "A talent out of the ordinary, who places himself on the path of the great pianism”. Soon he is invited to perform at the Banatul Philharmonic of Timisoara and Sibiu, European Capital of Culture at that time, at the International Festival " Carl Filtsch " in the State Philharmonic. Progressively he obtains appreciation from the international scene, performing at Festivals in prestigious European and overseas halls including: Berlin, Vienna, London, Edinburgh, Barcelona, Porto, Leon, Detroit, Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal and Seoul. since 2016 he has been a regular guest of the most important theaters of China, while 2019 opens the door to Japan. He is regularly invited to give courses of Advanced Piano in Italy and abroad including : the University of Aveiro Music Conservatory of Oporto (Portugal) , the University of Virginia Tech, Radford and Greenville (USA), the Department of Music in Timisoara (Romania) and the National University of Music in Seoul (Korea).
His programs, span all works for keyboard which comprehends the classical period, romantic and modern with a particular predilection for avant-garde music. Massimiliano Valenti does not follow the score but he dominates it through his reading of the music which grasps the most hidden movements. His personality is expressed through sound refinement and endless colours that are not written on paper but are set alive in the music halls: "It is not enough to follow the score, but you must master it all to render adequately the enthusiasm and the recollections”. He continuously manages to astonish and amaze his audience, who cannot but feel immediately overwhelmed by his stage presence. A presence only great artists are able to produce, the real ones , who transcend from superficial acrobatic techniques or artificial exhibitionists, aiming to the true and profound nature of the music.
Adam Johnson (Canada)
Working at the highest levels of the Canadian music scene, award-winning conductor Adam Johnson has been hailed as an exciting talent and for his charismatic and commanding presence on the podium. A highly-sought leader, he completed his tenure as resident conductor of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM) in 2019, and has conducted over 75 concerts with the OSM. He recorded his first full album, Riopelle Symphonique, with the OSM in 2022 and won an Opus Prize with the famed orchestra in 2018. Prior to his tenure in Montreal, Dr. Johnson worked for three seasons with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and continues to regularly guest conduct orchestras across Canada. Internationally, Adam Johnson has conducted at the Opéra National de Paris and has led orchestras in Spain, Germany and the United States.
Known for his extraordinary versatility, Dr. Johnson has conducted sold-out concerts with dozens of leading artists in a wide range of styles from pop to jazz to Broadway. He is also regularly invited to studio record with orchestras for major international projects and even recorded for virtual reality. He has been the Mécénat Musica Educator-in-Residence since 2019, creating educational materials for music educators and offering workshops and performances to increase the quantity and quality of music education for youth. A recipient of a Canada Council conducting award, he holds a doctorate in piano performance from the Université de Montréal and a prize in orchestral conducting from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal.
Amélie Fradette - Canada / USA
Canadian-American cellist Amelie Fradette was born in Saguenay, Quebec where she studied at le Conservatoire de musique de Chicoutimi. She obtained her bachelor’s of music and master’s of music degrees from le Conservatoire de musique de Montreal with Guy Fouquet. She was honored with le Prix avec Grande Distinction, the conservatory’s most prestigious award. Amelie continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music with Richard Aaron and at Yale University with Aldo Parisot. Since 2001, she has been a member of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. As a soloist, Amelie has performed with l’Orchestre Symphonique du Saguenay Lac-St-Jean, l’Orchestre de chambre de Montreal, l’Orchestre du Conservatoire de musique de Montreal, Ars Nova chamber orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic orchestra. The Buffalo News praised her as “a spectacularly gifted cellist”. As a recitalist, she played several times for les Jeunesses Musicales du Canada and recorded live recitals for “Espace Musique” the network of Radio-Canada. She received the “Excellence” scholarship from l’Institut des Arts au Saguenay and was the 1st prizewinner at le Concours de Musique du Royaume. Amelie has participated in numerous festivals, including le Domaine Forget, Festival de musique de chambre de Montreal, le Centre d’Arts Orford, Sarasota Music Festival and the Banff Centre for the Arts. She attended Music Academy of the West on full scholarship and was awarded a fellowship to study at the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado. A sought-after chamber music player, Amelie regularly performs with the Buffalo Chamber Players, Trio con Fuoco and also in a cello ensemble with other members of the BPO. Amelie often plays concerts with the Chautauqua Symphony orchestra during the summer months.
Dr. Angela Chan - Canada
Recognized as the great-grand student of Alfred Cortot (from the lineage of Frederyck Chopin), Dr. Angela Chan is an accomplished concert pianist who has performed extensively in Canada, Europe, the U.S.A. China and Hong Kong, and has been featured on the Discovery Channel (Canada), Global TV, CBC, CBS, MSNBC, the Australian Television Network, CJAD, CJOH, RTHK (Radio Television Hong Kong) and other media networks. Dr. Chan’s works have also been featured in Maclean’s Magazine, La Scena Musicale, Montreal Gazette and the National Post. Angela Chan holds a Doctorate in Piano Performance, Pedagogy and Education from Concordia University, Montreal, and she is the founder and Director of Lambda School of Music and Fine Arts, an internationally recognized institution for its fine quality and reputation. Dr. Chan is also head of the piano pedagogy division at Lambda School, providing professional and career development opportunities for piano teachers. Dr. Chan has a wealth of experiences in helping students achieve their maximum potential, and has groomed numerous child prodigies in her career. In her 38 years of extensive music and psychological research, Dr. Chan has unraveled the mysteries of effective and efficient teaching and learning. As a consequence, within short periods of study with Dr. Chan, many of her students have demonstrated phenomenal progress.
Dr. Chan's students have won first prizes in national and international piano competitions and have been invited to perform at the prestigious Carnegie Hall in New York, the Royal Albert Hall in London (United Kingdom), as well as in Amsterdam (Holland), Rome (Italy), Vienna and Salzburg (Austria), Brussels (Belgium), Bonn (Germany), China, Japan and Hong Kong. Dr. Chan's students have been highly successful under her guidance - they have been accepted by prestigious universities in the US and Canada, including the New England Conservatory, Peabody Institute of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music and the Manhattan School of Music in New York, as well as McGill University in Canada. Dr. Chan's pedagogy students have become outstanding piano teachers, whose students have won international awards.
Dr. Chan is also the author of the new Lambda piano method series developed to help pianists progress at an accelerated pace. Dr. Chan’s book A Guide to Musicality - The Art and Science on her research and experiences with innovative pedagogical approaches has also been released in July 2020. Recognized internationally as an outstanding pedagogue, Dr. Chan has been invited to adjudicate a number of major competitions in Canada, China, Europe and in the US.
Dr. Chan is also retired senior examiner and clinician of the Royal Conservatory of Music. Dr. Chan also serves as pedagogical consultant to the iScore Project – an online pedagogical platform co-developed by the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Concordia University and Queen’s University. Dr. Chan has lectured at Concordia University, and she also serves as artistic and pedagogical consultant for a number of music and arts organizations. She is also currently pedagogical consultant to an innovative pedagogical project in China in the provinces of Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Andrea Cardinale (Italy)
Italian violinist born 1970 in Santa Margherita Ligure(Genoa)he live in Rapallo. Graduate to State Conservatory"Niccolo'Paganini"(Genoa)with Professor Riccardo Malfatto 1992. He took his perfectionament courses with famous Violonists Alberto Casabona, Damiano Cottalasso (Teatro alla Scala),Giuseppe Gaccetta, Giuliano Carmignola,Franco Gulli,Berl Senofsky and Ruggiero Ricci.
In 30 years of concert career he played about 1500 Concerts inside important Musical Seasons in Rome,Milan,Genoa,Paris, Berlin, Munich, Stockholm, Barcelona, Zurich, London, Cambridge, Dublin, Warszaw, Prague,Bahrain,S.Petersburg, Porto Alegre, Osaka, New York, Boston,Atlanta, S.Francisco, Washington DC.
He have played several times in a single Concert the complete version of the 24 Capricci by Paganini and recorded it in a CD named "Il Salotto Rosso di Paganini" selected by Ricordi-Feltrinelli.
He played as soloist in the Masterworks for Violin and Orchestra by Bach, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Paganini. In 2020 he won 2 Prizes at "The World Festival Contest of National Culture and Arts". He played in Concert the famous Violins Stradivari "Il Cremonese" 1715, Guarneri"Lo Stauffer" 1734. He usually play a precious Violin J.B. Vuillaume 1864.
2022 Grand Jury Members
Prof. Alan Fraser (Canada/Serbia)
Canadian pianist, pedagogue and author Alan Fraser is best known for his books linking piano technique to the Feldenkrais Method. A student of pioneering pedagogue Phil Cohen in Montreal and the virtuoso Kemal Gekić in Yugoslavia, he is a trained Feldenkrais practitioner who has presented at numerous
music conferences worldwide and published articles in most of the major piano journals. He has performed in North America, Russia, China, Yugoslavia and many European countries, and leads regular seminars at his Alan Fraser Piano Institute in many North American and European capitals. His latest publication is Pianimals, a new children’s method with Phil Cohen-Feldenkrais style exercises to quickly improve a young pianist’s technique and musicianship.
Maestro Sebastian Di Bin (Italy)
Sebastian Di Bin was born in 1981 in Udine (Italy) and began his musical studies at the age of 7. He made its official debut at 11 in a concert with the orchestra Slovenicum of Ljubljana in the hall of the Parliament of the Castle of Udine and since then he has been working to build his international reputation as one of the greatest pianists of his generation.
He has won numerous important national and international awards:
(2015-2020) Recorded four CDs with Centaur Records, see below.
(2014) 1st Prize Gold Medal at the San Jose International Piano Competition in California (U.S.A.).
(2013) 3rd Prize at the 7th "Fausto Zadra" International Piano Competition.
(2013) 1st prize at the "Ischia" International Piano Competition.
(2013) 3rd Prize at the International Piano Competition “Sergey Rachmaninov”.
(2013) 3rd Prize at the International Piano and Orchestra Competition “Città di Cantù”(Italy).
(2012) 4th Prize at the 12th UNISA International Piano Competition in Pretoria (South Africa).
(2011) Prize for the best interpretation of Spanish music tracks on the 25th Concurso Internacional de Piano de Ferrol (Spain).
(2011) "New Cup Pianists of Italy" in Osimo, absolute 1st prize.
(2011) 2nd Prize (1st prize not awarded) at the 27th International Piano Competition Valsesia Music (Italy).
(2011) 2nd Prize at the International Competition "Neue Sterne" Wenigerode (Germany).
(2010) Absolute First Prize and Special Prize "Lazar Berman" at the IX Piano Competition San Giovanni Teatino-Chieti (Italy).
(2010) 3rd Prize at the IV International Piano Competition Campillos-Malaga (Spain).
(2010) Special Mention for best performer at the 26th International Competition “Valsesia Musica” (Italy).
(2003) The “Premio Venezia”, reserved for the best graduated from conservatories in Italy at the theatre La Fenice in Venice.
(2003) Special Prize at the International Competition "Pecar" in Gorizia (Italy).
(1996) Special Prize at the International Competition "Marizza" in Trieste.
(1990) International Competition Mozart in Bologna.
In 1991 was appointed UNICEF Ambassador for artistic merit and represented Italy, together with Luciano Pavarotti, at the Gala World UNICEF "Danny Kay" in Amsterdam (Netherlands).
In 2003 he received the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic and the Silver Plaque of the Senate, Italy.
He has performed as a soloist with the following orchestras:
Orchestra Slovenicum of Ljubljana;
AFOS Foundation Toscanini conducted by Julian Kovatchev;
"Cantiere Musicale di Udine" directed by Paul Paroni;
"Virtuosi di Aquileia" directed by Alfredo Barchi;
Camerata Gigli di Recanati directed by Lorenzo Di Bella;
Philharmonische Chamber Orchestra directed by Christian Fitzner in Germany;
The Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra M. Jora Bacau directed by Emin Guven Yaslicam in Milan and directed by Ovidiu Balan in Varallo;
The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Tamas Vásáry in Pretoria (South Africa).
He has performed in a duet with world famed violinist Luigi Alberto Bianchi and participated in numerous solo recitals at important festivals and musical events: Salzburg Festival 2004 and 2008; Piano Festival "Giovani interpreti e grandi maestri” in the Teatro Verdi in Trieste; at the International Piano Festival "Mario Ghislandi" by Cream; the " Chopin Marathon " Auditorium Verdi in Milan organized by Maestro Abbado; at the International Piano Festival in Osimo; at the International Festival William Walton in Ischia; the concert for the Catholic Press of Italy and the Vatican, in Rome, always receiving high praise from the public and the press.
During his concert career, he performed in concerts in prestigious theatres in Italy (Teatro Malibran and Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Comunale di Bologna, Oratory of St. Philip Blacks in Bologna, Auditorium Verdi in Milan, Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, Teatro Comunale di Monfalcone, Teatro Giovanni da Udine in Udine, Auditorium Verdi in Trieste, Conservatory of Rovigo, Castromediano Museum of Lecce, Auditorium Maximum of Rome, "Fazioli Concert Hall" Sacile, Sala Bossi of Bologna, Palermo Villa Whitaker, Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista in Venice, Sala Santa Maria delle Grazie in Mestre, Ajax room of the Municipality of Udine, Udine Palamostre Theatre, Museum of Rivoltella Trieste, Teatro Comunale di Imola) and abroad (Holland, Switzerland, France, Slovenia, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Spain, USA, South Africa.).
A number of his performances have been broadcast on national and international televisions: RAI 1, RAI 2, RAI 3, Channel 5, Tele Montecarlo, and abroad (U.S.A., Netherlands, Malta, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, South Africa). Other performances have been broadcasted on radio stations such as Rai Radio 3, Radio Pretoria and several American stations as well as in Germany and Spain.
He has recorded Four CDs with the prestigious American label Louisiana Centaur Records:
2015 - F. Liszt's Transcendental Etudes, (The whole series of the 12 Etudes).
2017 - 12 Piano Etudes from opus 10 and 12 Piano Etudes from opus 25 of F. Chopin’s Etudes.
2017 - Russian Music with music of S. Rachmaninov, P. I. Tchaikovsky, S. Skrjabin e S. Prokofiev repertoire.
2020 - « Soul Movies... » With some of his original compositions and interpretations of famous songs for the piano.
In July 2016, “Edizioni Musicali Wicky EM” of Milan published the book entitled “Sogni di suoni” (Dreams of Sounds) with 15 of his musical compositions, together with a CD with his own interpretation of the pieces.
He graduated with honor at the Conservatorio "G. Rossini "of Pesaro in 2002 and then he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma at the Advanced International Piano Academy in Imola with Maestro Franco Scala . Later he completed his piano studies at the Accademia delle Marche "Beniamino Gigli" in Recanati with Maestro Gianluca Luisi and Maestro Lorenzo Di Bella.
In 2009 he studied with the Maestro Vincenzo Balzani in Milano. At the same time he studied experimental composition with Marco Di Bari and Remo Vinciguerra. In 2012 he got a Master degree in Music Composition for films at the Faculty of Humanities at Udine University and at the Conservatory J. Tomadini in Udine. Sebastian further developed his musical talents by participating in a series of masterclasses with very talented artists such as Lonquich, Lortie, Jasinskj, Howard, Dalberto, Lucchesini, Margulis, Berman, Berhoff, Kravchenko, Soriano, Balzani, Morales and Rivera.
In July 2012 he was invited to give a masterclass at the Colorado International Piano Academy, University of Northern Colorado (USA).