Official Pianists

Meet the Official Pianists for the 2010 Competition:


Chih-Yi Chen

Pianist Chih-Yi Chen’s versatile qualities as a collaborative pianist, chamber musician, and soloist have distinguished her as a rarity amongst pianists.

Her work with the talented young violinists of the Indiana University Violin Virtuosi directed by Mimi Zweig garnered her recognition as a specialist in violin repertoire and she has since become a sought-after collaborative pianist. Ms. Chen’s concerts with the Violin Virtuosi took her to France, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Japan and throughout the United States. Since 2003, she has been performing with International Violin Competition of Indianapolis Laureates on the annual Laureate Series and on tour. Among the numerous musicians with whom she has collaborated are violinists Noah Bendix-Balgley, David Chan, Jaime Laredo, Barnabás Kelemen, Liviu Prunaru, Mihaela Martin, Augustin Hadelich, Clara-Jumi Kang, Soovin Kim, Andrej Power, Susie Park, Erin Aldridge, Celeste Golden, and Robin Sharp; violists Atar Arad and Yuval Gotlibovich; cellists Sharon Robinson and Peter Stumpf; clarinetist Howard Klug; bassoonist William Ludwig and the Rubens Quartet.

Solo appearances include Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Stephen Paulus’ Piano Concerto with the Indiana University Wind Ensemble. Ms. Chen has also performed with the Taipei Symphony Orchestra under conductor Irwin Hoffman. She regularly performs in Dallas on the Chamber Music International concert series and has been the official pianist for the concerto competition at California State University, Fresno for the past four years.

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Ms. Chen began to show a remarkable gift as a pianist at the early age of three. After finishing high school education with honors, Ms. Chen came to the United States and continued her music studies at Indiana University, where she completed her Bachelor, Master and Doctor of Music degrees. Her teachers have included Lev Vlasenko, former chairman of the piano department at Moscow Conservatory and Luba Edlina-Dubinsky, pianist of the famed original Borodin Trio.

Ms. Chen is on the faculty of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she teaches piano accompanying. She is also a faculty member at the Indiana University Summer String Academy.

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Rohan De Silva

Rohan De Silva’s partnerships with violin virtuosos Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, Cho-Liang Lin, Midori, Joshua Bell, Benny Kim, Kyoko Takezawa, Vadim Repin, Gil Shaham, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Julian Rachlin have led to highly acclaimed performances at recital venues all over the world. With these and other artists he has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall and Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Philadelphia Academy of Music, Ambassador Theater in Los Angeles, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, the Mozarteum in Salzburg and La Scala in Milan and Tel-Aviv, Israel. His festival appearances include the Aspen, Interlochen, Manchester, Ravinia and Schleswig-Holstein festivals, the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, and the Wellington Arts Festival in New Zealand. He performs frequently with Itzhak Perlman and was seen with Mr. Perlman on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center broadcast in early January 2000. In September 2009, Mr. De Silva performed with Mr. Perlman in Mexico City and in recital at the Moscow Conservatory. Mr. De Silva and Mr. Perlman recently performed at the State Dinner for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, hosted by President George W. Bush and Mrs. Bush at the White House. At the invitation of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Obama, Mr. De Silva and Mr. Perlman returned to the White House in June 2012, where they performed at an Official Dinner for Israeli President and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree Shimon Peres. In 2014-15, Mr. De Silva will perform with Mr. Perlman in recital tours to major cities across the United States and Canada as well as Turkey.

Mr. De Silva, a native of Sri Lanka, began his piano studies with his mother, the late Primrose De Silva, and with the late Mary Billimoria. He spent six years at the Royal Academy of Music in London as a student of Hamish Milne, Sydney Griller, and Wilfred Parry. While in London, he received many awards including the Grover Bennett Scholarship, the Christian Carpenter Prize, the Martin Music Scholarship, the Harold Craxton Award for advanced study in England, and, upon his graduation, the Chappell Gold Medal for best overall performance at the Royal Academy. Mr. De Silva was the first recipient of a special Scholarship in the arts from the President's Fund of Sri Lanka. This enabled him to enter The Juilliard School, where he received both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees, studying piano with Martin Canin, chamber music with Felix Galimir, and working closely with violin pedagogue Dorothy DeLay. He was awarded a special prize as Best Accompanist at the 1990 Ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. He received the Samuel Sanders Collaborative Artist Award presented to him by Itzhak Perlman at the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Awards Ceremony at Carnegie Hall.

Mr. De Silva joined the collaborative arts and chamber music faculty of The Juilliard School in 1991, and in 1992 was awarded honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2001, he joined the faculty at the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan, where he gives masterclasses in collaborative piano. Mr. De Silva was additionally on the faculty of the Perlman Music Program from 2000-2007. Radio and television credits include the Colbert Report with Itzhak Perlman, The Tonight Show with Midori, CNN’s “Showbiz Today”, NHK Television in Japan, National Public Radio, WQXR and WNYC in New York, Berlin Radio, and the 2000 Millenium Grammy Awards. He has recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, CBS/SONY Classical, Collins Classics in London, and RCA Victor.

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Thomas Hoppe

Thomas Hoppe has developed a strong reputation as an exceptional pianist and collaborative artist.

He performs frequently with instrumentalists and singers in the U.S. and in Europe and has concertized with such eminent artists as Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Antje Weithaas, Mihaela Martin, Stefan Milenkovich, Jens Peter Maintz, Alban Gerhardt and Frans Helmerson, to name but a few. He also works intensively with young artists such as Feng Ning, Benjamin Beilman, Fumiaki Miura, Clara-Jumi Kang, Jinjoo Cho, Hyejoon Park and Sergey Malov.

Concerts have brought him to such venues as Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York City, Louvre Paris, Tsuda and Oji Hall Tokyo, Wigmore Hall London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Angel Place Sydney and the Berlin Philarmonic.

As pianist of the ATOS Trio he performs throughout the world to highest acclaim. Recipients of the 3rd Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Award in 2007 and members of the BBC3 New Generation Artists 2009, the ATOS Trio was awarded a Borletto-Buitoni Prize 2012 in recognition of their artistic excellence. The ATOS Trio was a guest at prestigious festivals such as Enescu Bucharest, City of London, Rheingau or Schwetzingen and has worked with conductors such as Andrew Manze or Jac van Steen.

Hoppe works regularly as official pianist for international competitions such as the Queen Elisabeth Competition Brussels, Joseph Joachim Hannover, Feuermann Berlin and ARD Munich, for all instruments and voice, and he has taught masterclasses in collaborative piano and chamber music in Germany, Bulgaria, UK, Japan, China, Australia, Chile and the USA.

He served as faculty member and staff accompanist for the Perlman Music Program at the invitation of Itzhak Perlman, whose entire studio Hoppe accompanied at The Juilliard School for many years.

A native of Germany, Thomas Hoppe studied with Agathe Wanek in Mainz. In 1993, he went to the U.S. to study with Maestro Lee Luvisi, under whose guidance he remained for five years.The first recipient of the Samuel Sanders Memorial Award at The Juilliard School of Music, he finished his graduate studies there with a diploma in collaborative arts and worked full-time for the studio of Dorothy DeLay.

Since October 2002 he has resided with his family in Berlin and is full-time faculty member at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler.

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Nelson Padgett

Nelson Padgett, a pianist known for his poetic and sensitive music making, enjoys a multifaceted career as a soloist and collaborator. He has been familiar to Indianapolis audiences since winning a Beethoven Fellowship from American Pianists Association in 1987, and this is his fourth time as an Official Pianist for the IVCI. Equally at home playing with violinists ranging from the most accomplished world-class artists to the youngest Suzuki beginners, he has shared the stage with Pinchas Zuckerman, Pamela Frank, Elmar Oliveira, Vadim Repin, Ilya Kaler, and many others. He spent nine summers at the renowned music camp founded by Ivan Galamian in upstate New York, the Meadowmount School, where he honed his skills as a partner with violinists, violists, and cellists.
Mr. Padgett has appeared as soloist with the Houston, National, and North Carolina Symphonies, and in addition to his success with American Pianists Association, he has won many other competitions and awards, including a silver medal at the William Kapell International Competition where he was also awarded the prize for best performance of the commissioned work. He has performed worldwide with the Philip Glass Ensemble since 1988, including recent performances in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, and Los Angeles. Other group collaborations have included Steve Reich and Musicians, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and Newband, with whom he has performed and recorded the microtonal works of Harry Partch. He has also recorded for film and television, including the soundtracks for the movies The Deep End and Bee Season, the children's show Little Einsteins, and a commercial for Poland Spring water, Born Better, which undoubtedly has been heard by more people than every other performance of his combined. He has recorded for the the Harmonia Mundi, EMI Classics, and Orange Mountain labels.
Born in North Carolina, Mr. Padgett attended the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. His teachers have included Leon Fleisher, Ruth Walters, Clifton Matthews, Menahem Pressler, György Sebők, Lee Luvisi, Ellen Mack and Anne Epperson.
Mr. Padgett has performed twice for United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and has given recitals in Washington, D.C. at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater with violist Ori Kam, and at the Phillips Collection with violinist and 2010 IVCI Semi-Finalist Stefani Collins. With violinist Beryl Diamond Chacon, he is currently recording the music of New York composer Joe Gianono, and in October he will perform Liszt’s Piano Concerto in A with the Salisbury (Maryland) Symphony.
Mr. Padgett has lived in New York City since 1987 and devotes much of his time to collaborating with students at New York’s various music schools, including The Juilliard School, Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University.

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Official Pianists