2016 Artists


Yimin Miao (Chinese Flute-Dizi) – Mr. Yimin Miao learned flute playing from the late Chinese flute master Mr. Xunfa Yu. He was the flute artist at Shanghai Chinese Orchestra. After moving to the US in 1996, Mr. Liao has performed in many prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the MET. He also gave Chinese music lectures at Yale, Cornell and New York Universities. Mr. Liao is the founder of New York Baban Chinese Music Association.


Jiaju Shen (Pipa) – Jiaju Shen is a celebrated Pipa artist. Jiaju combines contemporary interpretations and flavors of modern music to Chinese music. Collaborated with Ms. Xi Zheng, an industrial designer, Jiaju developed a modern electronic version of Pipa (EP). In 2015, Jiaju released her first EP, “Black Silk,” which explores new possibilities of Pipa and its role in fusion music. Jiaju has been invited to perform in over 300 concerts and events across the US, including the Olympics Games, the World Expo, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the United Nations, the MET, the Barclays Center and many others.


Changyuan Wang (Gu Zheng) – Mrs. Changyuan Wang is recognized throughout the world as China’s greatest living Gu Zheng artist and composer. Ms. Wang began playing Gu Zheng at age nine under the tutelage of her father. She was the youngest Chinese female to conduct a solo performance at the age of twelve, which took place before an audience comprised of China’s top leaders as well as influential members of Chinese society. Since then, given her remarkable skill and stellar artistry, she has played to a global audience at prestigious venues in Asia, North America, South America, Africa and Europe. She became a national designated artist in China during diplomatic functions to play for dignitaries, including two presidents of the US. Mrs. Wang is also a dedicated music educator and has cultivated a new generation of students to continue the tradition of classical Chinese music.


Jie Ji (Erhu) – Mr. Jie Ji is a master performer of Chinese traditional bow-stringed instruments and a National Class One Artist in China. He has been the concert master of the China Eastern Song and Dance Troupe for over 30 years. Mr. Ji has performed in more than 30 countries, including the United States, Japan, Canada, and Germany. He is a member of the Chinese Musicians’ Association, a high-rank off-campus examiner for the China Conservatory of Music (Beijing), and a cultural committee member of the Jiusan Society. Recently Mr. Ji was inducted into the China Ethnic String and Wind Music Society as a permanent member of the Committee for Bow-Stringed Professional Musicians.


Lorraine Helvick (Mezzo-Soprano) – Lorraine Helvick has been dazzling audiences in North America and across Europe for the past fifteen years. She has performed a vast array of characters such as Carmen (Carmen) and Charlotte (Werther); starred in the world premiere production of Theo Popov’s three-character opera Once Upon the Wind; and joined the production on the prize-winning independent film “Crackers”. She was recently named a national semi-finalist for the New York Lyric Opera Vocal Competition, and a top prize winner in the Hilliard Rankel Vocal Competition. Ms. Helvick has studied with celebrated artists including Sharon Sweet, Daniel Beckwith, JJ Penna, and Anthony Laciura.


Keith Milkie (Baritone) – A graduate of the William Esper Studio’s Meisner Conservatory Program, Mr. Miklie’s love for storytelling and singing (both bel canto and contemporary) has led him to appear in various classical and band performances in and around New York. Mr. Miklie had performed at Weill Recital Hall, Opera Night of Long Island, among others venues.


James Besser (Piano) – Mr. Besser was born in South Orange, New Jersey and studied piano, accompanying, and conducting at Stanford University, the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, the Mannes College of Music, the Aspen Music School, Tanglewood Music School, and the Music Academy of the West. He has performed as a solo pianist and accompanist throughout the tri-state area and on cross-country tours.


Sounds of Korea Troupe (Samgo-Mu, Korean Drum Dance) – Under the direction of Mrs. Sue Yeon Park, master dancer and U.S. National Heritage Fellow at NEA, the “Sound of Korea” troupe at Korean Performing Arts Center serves a vital role in New York City through the teaching of traditional arts, and through performances for both Korean and general audiences. In addition, KPAC has played an instrumental role in instilling Korean cultural pride to second generation Korean Americans and in fostering intercultural dialogue with the American society at large. Since 1998, KPAC has received annual grants from the Folk Arts Program of the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). In 2013, KPAC was awarded a grant from New York Stage on the Arts for the Korean Music and Dance Education for Children.


Diyi Tang (Piano) – Hailed ” Vibrantly Musical” by New York concert review, Diyi Tang is recognized as one of the leading young artists from China. Mr. Tang was the youngest pianist from China to win the top prize at Chopin International Piano Competition. He is also a top prize winner in the Russian Music International Piano Competition and Virginia Waring International Piano Competition. Mr. Tang made his Lincoln Center debut in Alice Tully Hall with the Mannes Orchestra. He has also performed as a guest soloist with Moscow symphony, Orchestra National de Lyon, Beijing Symphony, and Shanghai Symphony. Mr. Tang currently serves as Associate Faculty at the Center for Musical Excellence at Rutgers.


Corin Lee (Violin) – Corin Lee is one of the most sought-after violinists of his generation. He has appeared as a soloist on the great American stages ranging from solo performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to Northern America’s largest dance festival, EDC Las Vegas. Corin is currently a violinist in the string quartet ETHEL which is acclaimed as “unfailingly vital” (The New York Times), “brilliant,” “downtown’s reigning string quartet” (The New Yorker), and “one of the most exciting quartets around” (Strad Magazine). As a chamber musician, he tours internationally and has performed in a wide variety of venues including The MET, Lincoln Center, The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, and New York Fashion Week. Corin’s TV appearances include performances on FOX, CBS, NBC, and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Corin studied with Ani Kavafian, Hyo Kang, Naoko Tanaka, Wei He, Camilla Wicks, and Cathryn Lee.


Arthur Lai (Tenor) – Arthur Lai is an actor and opera singer. Mr. Lai have performed solos in Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Lincoln Center, George Weston Recital Hall and many other prestigious venues in the US and Canada. His acting role includes theatrical play of “The Empress of China” at Johnson Theater in New York, Films of “Trainwreck”, “Applesauce” and “Wall Street English”, Commercials of “Aleve”, “Bank of America”, “Verizon Wireless”, “SAI Global”, and voice-acting in dozens of movies, videos and radio programs.


Stephanie Wu (Soprano) -Stephanie Wu currently holds a position as a Vice President of Facilitated Enrollment at Healthfirst. She received her Master degree in Art and Music at Boston University. She started her career at Healthfirst in 1999. Nevertheless, Stephanie is a professional soprano singer prior to working at Healthfirst. Her music career started when she was fifteen. In addition to singing, she also excels at playing violin and cello. After graduating from Shanghai Normal University- Music College, Stephanie was lecturing at the Department of Early Education in Shanghai University for 4 years training elementary teachers on musical theory, singing and chorus. During the course of Stephanie’s singing career from 1990 to 1995 in USA, she has won a few awards as well as a full scholarship for the young artist program in which she was selected to participate in a competitive music program in Israel. She was also the second place winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council competition in the New England region.