Passport to Russia
In October 2012, four undergraduate piano students from the University of Missouri-St. Louis Music department will be accompanied by faculty members Alla Voskoboynikova and James Richards, on a visit to the Russian cities of Samara, Moscow, and Voronezh for performances, lectures, master classes, and other cultural experiences.
UMSL undergraduate piano students, Daniel Dickson (senior), Daniel Kuehler (junior), John Nuckols (senior), and Thomas Winkler (senior) will perform the works of Grieg, Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, and Arensky, among others in two programs, concerto and solo. During the visit, the students will study with Oleg Milman of Voronezh and prominent piano educators in Samara.
Alla Voskoboynikova, Associate Teaching Professor of Music and Director of Keyboard Studies at UMSL, received her Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance from the Music College in Voronezh and her Master's Degree in Piano Performance from the Gnessins Academy of Music in Moscow. Her teachers were Oleg Milman and Lina Bulatova. Since moving to the United States in 1996, Ms. Voskoboynikova has collaborated with members of the St. Louis Symphony and, in 1998, she performed at Carnegie Recital Hall with flautist Brenda Hagni. In February 2004, Alla was the Russian coach for the St. Louis Symphony performance of Sergei Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and coached the St. Louis Symphony Chorus for the performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Vespers in November 2006. She joined the UMSL Music faculty in 2004. During the upcoming Russia trip, Voskoboynikova plans to teach master classes to students in Samara and Voronezh and to introduce her students to one of her own teachers, Oleg Milman.
Dr. James Richards, Professor of Music and Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication at UMSL, holds a doctorate from the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester and degrees in orchestral conducting and music theory from the University of Texas at Austin. He studies orchestral and opera conducting with Walter Ducloux, Paul Vermel, and Gustav Meier, and participated in the Conductor's Program of the Aspen Music Festival. For many years, Dr. Richards has served as conductor of the Saint Louis Chamber Orchestra, the Gateway Festival Orchestra of St. Louis, the Kirkwood Symphony Orchestra, the University Orchestra, and as guest conductor on the Saint Louis Symphony Discovery Series. As a violinist, Dr. Richards has performed with a variety of professional ensembles including the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the Kammergild Chamber Orchestra, the Fox Theatre Orchestra, the Dance St. Louis Orchestra, and the Landolfi String Quartet. While in Russia, Dr. Richards will offer lectures on American composer, composition teacher, writer, and conductor Aaron Copland.
Press Release from Russian TV
Daniel Dickson is a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he is a double major in cello and piano performance. He studies with Kurt Baldwin of the Arianna String Quartet and Alla Voskoboynikova, Director of Keyboard Studies. Daniel made his debut at age 14, winning a competition in Portland, Oregon. He won the University Concerto Competition his freshman year playing Grieg's Piano Concerto in A minor, and then returned the next year to win the competition playing Dvorak's Cello Conerto in B minor. Daniel plans to pursue a Master's degree after he graduates from UMSL in May 2013. He has studied with world-renowned artists including Alan Chow, Andre Watts, Joanna Hodges, Helen Callus, The Amsterdam Cello Octet, the Arianna String Quartet, the Emerson String Quartet, the Tokyo String Quartet, the Pacifica String Quartet, the Ying String Quartet, and the Borromeo String Quartet.
Since beginning his piano career at age five, Daniel Kuehler has performed around the United States, both as a soloist and as a chamber musician. In 2001, Daniel began competing in state competitions, receiving first prizes from the Missouri Music Teachers Association multiple times. He made his Sheldon Concert Hall debut at age nine, returning at age eleven to give his own solo recital. In 2002, he began competing in national competitions, winning silver medals at the Starr Young Artist Piano Competition in Arkansas and the Lee Piano Competition in South Dakota. Daniel has had master classes with several prominent musicians, including composer and pianist Martin Cuellar, pianist Faina Bryanskaya, and Natalya Antonova, professor of piano at the Eastman School of Music. Since he began studying with Alla Voskoboynikova in 2010, Daniel has won local piano competitions as well as the University's own concerto competition. Making his orchestra debut at age 20, he performed Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the University Orchestra. In 2011, he competed with his colleague Daniel Dickson in an international duo piano competition commemorating the 200th Anniversary of Liszt's birth. Daniel is currently a Junior and a candidate for the Bachelor of Music degree with emphasis in Piano Performance.
John Nuckols earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education from UMSL in May 2012. He has studied under Alla Voskoboynikova for five years and has also studied under Cathy Boemler, Head of Piano Studies at Jefferson College. In addition to working as a piano instructor at Lacefield Music in St. Charles, Missouri, he works regularly as a church pianist and has performed in several solo and chamber music conerts, benefit concerts, piano competitions, and master classes. John has composed and performed music for the MADCO Dance Company; he frequently composes and performs his own music around St. Louis.
Thomas Winkler is a senior Piano Performance major at UMSL, studying under Alla Voskoboynikova, Director of Keyboard Studies. In 2010, he was the recipient of UMSL's Most Improved Piano Student award, and in 2011, was honored with Distinguished Achievement-Piano as well as Piano Studio Publicist in both 2011 and 2012. Thomas participated in the 2010 CCM Prague International Piano Institute where he studied with esteemed pianists including Petr Sefl, Ian Hobbson, Eugene and Elizabeth Pridonoff, Vit Gregor, Emmanual Krasovsky, Zhe Tang, and Robert Roux. In 2011, Thomas received an Honorable Mention at the MMTA Collegiate Piano Competition. While at UMSL, Thomas has performed three solo programs, participated in themed concerts, the Piano Studio Duo Concert, and Piano Studio Annual Concert. Thomas has studied composition with Dr. Barbara Harbach and has written a string quartet, piano trio, a short suite for full orchestra, several works for chamber ensembles and a series of short piano limericks, several of which have reached stage debuts.