2010 - Nicole Biggs
Nicole Biggs made her Carnegie Hall debut in the Weill Recital Hall in 2006. She has since
performed in China, Italy, England and throughout the United States. Some of her recent solo
performances include the Oklahoma Music Teacher's Association State Conference in Tulsa,
the Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival in Oxford, England, and the Assembly Hall in historic
Temple Square in Salt Lake City. She also performed the Tchaikovsky B-flat Piano Concerto
with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra in the Civic Center Music Hall. A winner in
several international piano competitions, Nicole won prizes in the IBLA Grand Prize
International Piano Competition in Ragusa, Sicily, the Joyce Dutka Multi-Instrumental
Competition, and the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York. She
has degrees in piano performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and the University of
North Texas. Her teachers include Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Emmanuella Friscioni, Steven
Harlos and Dr. Jeongwon Ham
2009 - Marcin Parys
Won 6th prize at "J.S. Bach" International Piano Competition in Gorzów Wielkopolski 1993.
He graduated from the Paderewski Academy School of Music in Poznan, as a student of
Prof. Waldemar Andrzejewski, and then became a student of Prof. Amy Cheng as a graduate
student at Oklahoma City University.
As a result of winning the Young Artists Competition in 2009, Parys was featured
in recitals and as a soloist with orchestra in Israel in 2010. He was also featured
as a soloist during the 2010 OK MOZART International Festival in Oklahoma.
Parys was a finalist at the 2009 Naftzger Young Artists Auditions and Music Awards
Competition, held at Wichita State University, Kansas, in 2009. He was also one of the 25
young artists selected worldwide to participate in the Piano Texas International Academy and
Festival, held at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas
2008 - Ewa Plonka
Ewa Plonka began to play the piano at the age of seven. A graduate of the Ignacy Jan
Paderewski Academy of Music in her native Poland, she is currently pursuing a graduate
degree at Oklahoma City University. She also earned a degree from the Academy of Music
in Pozna, Poland and participated in master classes by W. Hautzig (USA), Wiera Nossina
(Russia), Tellef Yuva (Norway), M. Barboro (Italy), and Daniel Blumenthal (Brussels).
This young and vibrant artist has performed numerous concerts throughout Poland, the
CzechRepublic, France, Italy, Germany, Norway, and the United States. Her concerto
performances with the Opole Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pozna Philharmonic Orchestra
received standing ovations and rave reviews.
Plonka won the Young Artists Competition in 2008 and was featured in recitals and as a
soloist with orchestra in Israel in 2009. She also was featured as a soloist during the 2009
OK MOZART International Festival in Oklahoma. In addition, Plonka won the second prize of
The Associazione Fryderyk Chopin International Competition in 2004 in Rome. In 2005 she
won the opportunity to represent Poland as part of an exchange program with Norway and
studied with Telef Yuva for an extended period of time. She won the OMTA Piano
Competition in 2007 and the Oklahoma City University Concerto Competition in 2008.
2007 - Anna Starzec
A student of Prof. Amy I-Lin Cheng, head of the piano program at the Wanda L. Bass School
of Music at Oklahoma City University, Anna Starzec started her musical education at the
age of seven in Poland and graduated in 2006 from the I.J.Paderewski Academy of Music.
She came to the U.S. in August that year to study at Oklahoma City University on a full
scholarship and being also a recipient of the Burton Mc Casland Funding Support from the
Wanda L.Bass School of Music.
2006 - Jiyoung Chung
Ms. Jiyoung Chung became the first winner of the Young Artists Competition, a project of
OKIE: the Oklahoma Israel Exchange in partnership with the OK Mozart International Festival
(OKM) in June of 2006. At the close of the competition, she was presented in a short public
performance at the OK Mozart International Festival and immediately won the admiration of
the audience. In February of 2007 she completed a concert tour of Israel arranged by OKIE
and became known as Oklahoma's cultural ambassador to Israel. Her solo recitals in Tel Aviv
and Tiberias garnered standing ovations and she will be giving her final competition
sponsored performance on June 10 as part of the 2007 OK Mozart International Festival.
After completing her bachelor of music degree, she came to the United States with a full
scholarship at the University of Northern Iowa to begin to study with Dr. Jeongwon Ham. She
graduated with a master of music in piano performance. While studying performance, she
also became interested in piano pedagogy. In 2002, she entered the prestigious doctoral
program at the University of Oklahoma also with a full scholarship..
2011 - Barron Ryan
Barron Ryan was named to the Dean’s or President’s Honor Roll every semester at
the University of Oklahoma. He majored in Music with a concentration in Piano
Performance. Barron has played the piano since the age of four and has received
numerous awards for his musical abilities. On campus, he was a student advisor for
the President’s Leadership Class and was vice chair for the Crimson Club. He was
also one of two students recently awarded the President’s Trophy for Outstanding
Commuter Students. Barron volunteered as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers Big
Sisters Program and served as a math tutor. He plans to become a professional
musician. He is currently pursuing a career in concert piano with his father as Ryan