Karen Beluso

ABF continues to hold up Karen Beluso as the model of a professional who has chosen to use her talents in the corporate sector, a true citizen artist. As Institutional Sales Manager for Steinway, she is responsible for helping educational institutions enhance their Music Education departments with Steinway pianos, while also using her superb talents as a pianist to inspire students to discover their own gifts.

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Fei Wu
Shelest Piano Duo

Praised for their “stirring performances of rare repertory” (Fanfare Magazine), the Shelest Piano Duo is a husband and wife team of Anna and Dmitri Shelest, who met as students in their native Ukraine. Having already established themselves as solo artists while receiving numerous prizes and awards along the way, their collaboration as a duo brings to the performance stage inventive programs not only of solo repertoire, but also four hand music. Their artistry has brought them to a broad array of venues that include everything from concert stages to state functions, the latter prompting United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to credit them with having “realized diplomacy through music.”

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Fei Wu
Ririko Kanno

Having begun her piano studies at age three, Ririko Kanno is a graduate of the Second High School of her native Sendai, Japan, in the Miyagi prefecture, and currently a student in the Music Department of the Miyagi Gaukin Women’s University. She counts among her teachers the distinguished pedagogues Asako Takahashi and Makoto Ueno.

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Fei Wu
Thomas Nickell

With solo recitals and orchestral appearances worldwide to his credit, 20 year-old American pianist and composer Thomas Nickell has already garnered recognition for energetic, refined, and focused performances.  Ben Macnair of Lichfield Live credits him with “music-making of the highest calibre,” while Frank Daykin of New York Concert Review proclaims “this is a big, big talent. I so admire his intellectual curiosity and innovative programming.”

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Fei Wu
Mimi Shoji

A student of both Yumiko Matsuyama and Takashi Hironaka, pianist Mimi Shoji began her studies at age five.  She is the winner of the 28th Music Competition of the Miyagi Association of Artists, where she received the Best Performance Award, the Mayor’s Prize of Sendai, and the Composer’s Prize, all as part of the same competition. She is also the recipient of the Incentive Award of both the 30th and 36th competitions from the same organization.

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Fei Wu
Clara Belle Wrolstad

A seventh grader from Minnetrista, Minnesota, Clara Belle Wrolstad began playing piano at home with her mother before going on to study with her current teacher, Dr. Reid Smith, under whose tutelage she gave her solo debut recital in a performance of Haydn’s “D major Concerto” with the Milano Chamber Orchestra at age eight.

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Fei Wu
Denise Young

As the head of Global Human Resources for the Apple Corporation, Denise Young carved out a twenty-year career that proved both innovative and groundbreaking at one of America’s—and the world’s—most successful companies.  During her tenure, a love of music and singing helped her to balance out roles as globe-trotting executive, wife and mother, and ultimately led to performances with A-list artists such as Grammy winner Larnelle Harris, Philip Bailey of Earth Wind and Fire, the Colorado Symphony, and friend and colleague Condoleezza Rice.

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Fei Wu