imageedit_2_6039468750

Judges ~ 2018

Dr. Michael A. Murray
Dr. Wei-Han Su
Dr. Christopher Kelts

Dr. Michael A. Murray

Cellist Michael Murray is the recipient of the 2014 Governor’s Recognition of Excellence in Education for his multi-faceted career, teaching cello along with a diverse array of academic courses at Missouri State University. In addition, he served as Principal Cellist of the Springfield Symphony for 33 seasons and was a featured soloist with the orchestra on multiple occasions, including performances of Robert Schumann’s Cello Concerto, Ellen Taaffe Zwillich’s Double Concerto, Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Andre Previn’s Vocalise and Mark Mellits’s Paranoid Cheese.

Murray has performed in collaborative recitals across the United States, in Europe and Japan drawing critical praise. Rome’s Corriere della Sera comments that Murray ‘not only demonstrated mastery of his instrument, but also drew beautiful, limpid sounds and elegant phrasing.” Murray’s musical experience includes positions with the Minnesota Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and his long association in chamber music with the Hawthorne Trio. For his recent solo contributions to a MSR Classics CD, Rhapsody: Chamber of Richard Faith, the composer writes: “Your playing is ravishing-that’s the word that describes to me what you did. Your singing tone, artistry and total musical concentration throughout the performance, all a beautiful way to start the CD of my music.”
img_bow

 

Dr. Christopher Kelts

Christopher Kelts is the new Director of Orchestral Studies & Assistant Professor of Music Missouri State University and is the Music Director and of the Kinnor Philharmonic Orchestra. Conducting engagements have taken him throughout the United States, South America and South Korea. Other conducting engagements have included: assistant conductor of the Kansas City Ballet, Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks, Topeka Symphony Orchestra and the Urban Cultural Project (Kansas City).

A native of St. Louis, Kelts has had many opportunities to perform in his home city. He has been the recipient of the “Arts for Life” Award for his musical direction in local theatre, served as guest conductor for the St. Louis Suburban Honors Orchestra and clinician to to many St. Louis School Districts. Kelts has also served as a guest clinician for the Hickman Mills Honors Orchestra (Kansas City) in addition to giving many clinics to local and state wide middle and high schools. He has also served as an adjudicator for the American String Teacher’s Association (ASTA).

Kelts completed his advanced conducting training at Illinois State University and University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. His teachers have included Glenn Block, Robert Olson and Paul Vermel. Not limited to his studies in orchestral conducting, Kelts formally trained as a violist where he studied at Missouri State University and Illinois State University. He has ample symphonic experience as a violist. Recent positions have included; Springfield (MO) Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony, Opera of Illinois Orchestra and the Fort Smith Symphony Orchestra. His teachers have included Amy Muchnick, Kate Hamilton and the late Karen Tuttle. Kelts continues to perform in various chamber and orchestral ensembles.

For over ten years, Kelts has served on the summer faculty for Missouri State University’s String Institute (String Fling) and is faculty/conductor for The Heartland Summer Chamber Music Festival. He is a member of the International Conductor’s Guild and College Orchestra Director’s Association. Kelts continues to be an active guest conductor and clinician.

Dr. Wei-Han Su

Wei-Han Su’s concert activities have taken him to the major cities of the United States, England, Russia, Italy, Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan. He has performed in such prestigious venues as the Purcell Room at the South Bank Centre, England and the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. In 1991, he made his orchestral debut at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle.

Su was a featured recitalist at the Walnut Hill Summer Music Festival in Boston, Massachusetts in 1999 and 2004. He has made frequent guest appearances at universities and colleges in the U.S. and Asia, and has presented recitals on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago as well as concert series in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. As a concerto soloist, he has appeared with the Orchestra Filarmonica Italiana, Cambridge Chamber Orchestra, and Springfield Symphony Orchestra among others. Recent appearances included recitals at Qingdao University in China, Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Korea, the 19th Kota Kinabalu Music Festival in Malaysia, Louisiana State University and Webster University in the U.S. He has recorded on the Centaur and MSR Classics labels.

Su received the Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors from Cambridge University, the Master of Music degree and the Performer’s Diploma from the Royal College of Music, London, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Peabody Conservatory. While attending the Royal College of Music, he won the Chappell Gold Medal, the College’s highest honor for pianists. Su has served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, Peabody Preparatory and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. He is currently Professor of Piano at Missouri State University, where he is the recipient of a University Award in Teaching in 2005. He was principal keyboardist with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra in 2002-2007.