2021 4D Virtual Music Competition
Grand Prize (including $300 USD): Jackson Fussell
Honorable Mentions (including $40 USD each): Baylie Adams & Rosel Annette Labone
All prize winners will get a free lifetime subscription of 4D web platforms, each worth $199 USD.
Jackson Fussell, Grand Prize Winner
Baylie Adams, Honorable Mention
Originally from northern Ontario, John Kraus is an alumnus of Western University, London, where he studied Music Education. He studied clarinet with Jerome Summers, Robert Riesling and Robert Sheffield and conducting with Jerome Summers and William Gordon. As an undergraduate student John was invited to participate in the graduate conducting seminar at Western, where he first conducted the University Orchestra, performing the second movement of Brahms’ Symphony No. 3. The following year, John had the opportunity to work with Professor Gordon as his assistant, and conducted the University Wind Ensemble during the academic year. After graduating, John was able to work with Wayne Toews and Morihiro Okabe, both proponents of the conducting methods of Saito, as part of an intensive summer program in the early 1990’s.
As the founding music director of the Durham Chamber Orchestra (1996-2007), the Lakeridge Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (1998-1999), and the Music Director of the Clarington Concert Band (2011-2013) and the current music director and conductor of the Northumberland Orchestra & Choir (2013 to present), John has worked in many different genres and with many local and international talents, including Mary Elizabeth Brown, Anastasia Rizikov, Ron Korb, and the Sultans of String. John’s conducting credits include performances of Korngold’s Violin Concerto, Gloria for soprano, choir and orchestra by Poulenc, the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in Eb+ by Lizst, as well as Canadian and world premiere’s of works by Canadian composers Vince Gassi, Brent Straughan and looks forward to premiering 'Sunrise' by Michael Nunes in the 2021-22 season. 2019-20 performances include the Mozart Coronation Mass (K 317), an evening with Quartetto Gelato, Gershwin's An American in Paris, The Armed Man Mass by Jenkins, the Weber Bassoon Concerto and Luc Arsenault's L'Histoire d'une Pionniere du nord. Recent engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5, the Cherubini Requiem, Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the Saint-Saens Christmas Oratorio, a concert performance of Puccini’s Turandot and an evening of Jazz standards with Molly Johnson. In the fall of 2017, John was nominated as one of five national candidates to be considered for the Heinz Unger Award. This honour, administrated by the Ontario Arts Council, recognizes an emerging professional conductor, who has demonstrated their skill and abilities and is making an impact in their chosen field.
John has conducted, performed and recorded as part of funk bands, jazz ensembles, musical theatre pit orchestras, wind bands, orchestras, choirs and chamber ensembles. As well John has assisted in the creation of many professional recordings as an editor, performer and producer. As clarinetist with the Lavender Chamber Ensemble, a collective of professional musicians from south and central Ontario, and as a freelance performer, John has had the chance to perform solo and chamber works including Michael Conway Baker’s Clarinet Concerto, the Beethoven Septet and Mozart’s Kegelstatt Trio.
John is still an active member of the Ontario Music Educators Association and has lead school workshops with students and teachers as well as annual conference sessions on 'best practices', creativity and composition, and technology in the Music classroom. As a dedicated educator with more than 30 years spent working with students, young and old, from around the world, John continues to share his passion for Music. Many of his students have gone on to study Music at the University of Toronto, McGill, Western, Laurier, Berklee College Boston, and have developed careers in broadcasting, education, entertainment law, composition and performance. John regularly conducted honour high school ensembles as part of the annual Conference of Independent Schools Music Festival (CISMF), held annually each spring at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. He works with amateur adult musicians who may have entered the arena for the first time or who have returned to something that they began as youngsters, working as a volunteer with the Liftlock Bands ‘New Horizons’ organization, Peterborough, and as an instructor at the Lakefield Summer Music Camp, Lakefield, Ontario. John has also worked as a coach with the woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the La Jeunesse Youth Orchestra, Port Hope. In December 2020, John began hosting Maestro's Pick, a weekly, hour long radio program on Northumberland 89.7, which includes interviews with musicians from Northumberland County, as well as an eclectic mix of music. He regularly works with ensembles preparing for festivals as well as an adjudicator. John has been a member of the Canadian Music Festivals Adjudicator Association since 2014, hearing performances at the local, regional and provincial levels of competition.
In his spare time John enjoys skiing, playing golf, softball and goal for pick-up hockey games, reading, smoking any type of meat for dinners with friends, single malt scotch and riding his motorcycle.
A native of Chengdu, China, pianist Nanyi Qiang has established a wide-ranging career spanning chamber musician, soloist, and pedagogue. He is in much demand as a concert artist in solo & chamber recitals and new music concerts throughout the US, Canada, and China. In 2021, his latest recording album “DUO SHU” was released by Blue Griffin. Dr. Qiang has appeared to public acclaim in venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Hahn Hall, MacMillan Theater (Canada), and Grand Concert Hall at Sichuan Conservatory of Music (China).
Equally as a promising soloist and collaborative pianist, also an alumnus of Music Academy of the West, he has performed in numerous music festivals and masterclasses, including Interlochen Center, Music Academy of the West, Source Song Festival, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, SongFest, SPLICE Institute, and New Music on the Point. He has also worked with renowned artists such as: Alan Chow, Jonathan Feldman, Margo Garrett, David Geber, Ricky Ian Gordon, Richie Hawley, Martin Katz, JACK Quartet, Miró Quartet, Paul Roberts, Roger Vignoles, and many others.
A strong advocate of new music and technology, Dr. Qiang has been commissioning and performing new music written for piano.
Dr. Qiang is currently on the piano faculty at Central State University, OH. He completed his DMA in Collaborative Piano from the University of Minnesota, a BM and a MM in Piano from Sichuan Conservatory of Music (China) and the University of Washington respectively. His teachers include: Dr. Timothy Lovelace, Lydia Artymiw, Craig Sheppard, and Dr. Chenggang Yang. He is also on the piano faculty of Bay View Music Festival (MI).
Currently the artistic director of Toronto City Opera, Mississauga Children's Choir and assistant conductor of the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer is also an accomplished singer and collaborative pianist. She has performed with orchestras, given recitals and has served on faculty in summer programs internationally.
Jennifer debuted with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival conducting their production of The Mikado in 2017 and has returned to conductSweeney Todd and Tragedy of Carmen. In 2019, she debuted with Opera York conducting their production of La Traviata and was the assistant conductor for Tapestry Opera and Opera on the Avalon’s joint production of the Dora award winning new opera Shanawdithit by Dean Burry and Yvette Nolan. Most recently, Jennifer was selected as one of the two conducting fellows in the inaugural year of the women in musical leadership program.
Jennifer is on faculty at the Glenn Gould School and holds degrees in vocal performance and collaborative piano from the Eastman School of Music. She studies conducting with Maestro Denis Mastromonaco.
Clarinetist Mingzhe Wang (王明喆), native of Wuhan, China, first studied clarinet at the age of 9. His first public performance was at the age of 10 and by age 11 he was admitted to the Wuhan Conservatory and subsequently the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. In 1997, Mr. Wang came to the US to study at the Harid Conservatory of Music at Lynn University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2001. He received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University, where he also obtained his Masters degree and Artist Diploma. His major teachers include David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Ayako Oshima, and Paul Green.
A prizewinner in the National Society of Arts and Letters Woodwind Competition (1999), the Orchestral Instrument Competition (2001), and a recipient of the Tennessee Arts Commission's 2013 Individual Artist Fellowship award, Mr. Wang is committed to promoting both the music of our time and the classics. He performed the Chinese premiere of Elliott Carter’s Hiyoku and has worked closely with composers such as Ezra Laderman, Martin Bresnick, Krzystof Penderecki, Aaron Jay Kernis, Lee Hoiby, Paul Schoenfield, and Chen Yi. Along with members of Trio Séléné, cellist Eli Lara and pianist Ilya Poletaev, Mr. Wang premiered spanish composer Fernando Buide's Two Fragments for Bass Clarinet, Cello, and Piano. Recent performances include composer David Biedenbender's Synchronicity for Clarinet and Piano, written in 2017, with pianist Angela Biedenbender. Mr. Wang was a founding member and co-principal clarinetist of the Gateway Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as sectional clarinetist with Nashville Opera Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, and Paducah Symphony. In addition, he has performed on period clarinets with prominent groups such as The American Classical Orchestra and the Clarion Music Society Orchestra. As a chamber musician, Mr. Wang has collaborated and continues to work with some of the most prominent young artists of today. Mr. Wang's performances have been broadcast on China’s Central Television, New York’s WQXR, Nashville's WPLN, and many public radio stations across North America.
Apart from being an active performer and educator on the clarinet, Mr. Wang is a seasoned singer. He was the vocal soloist in Chen Yi's Percussion Concerto accompanied by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra with percussion soloist Joseph Gramley. He has performed in choruses throughout the United States, as well as internationally in Korea, China, the United Kingdom, and Hungary. As a founding member of the Yale Schola Cantorum, he has worked with renowned conductors such as Simon Carrington, Helmuth Rilling, Sir David Willcocks, James MacMillan, Sir Neville Marriner, and Kathy Saltzman Romey.
Mr. Wang is currently an associate professor of clarinet at Michigan State University, College of Music. He is a co-founder of Trio Séléné. Previously, Mr. Wang taught clarinet at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee.
A native from Chengdu, China, Dr. Zhang has performed widely throughout the US, Europe and China. She has appeared to public acclaim in venues including Rudolfinum (Czech Republic), The Estates Theater (Czech Republic), The Severance Hall (USA), The Jiaozi Concert Hall (China), etc.. Her performances have been widely reported by newspapers and televisions including China Daily, Sohu, CDTV-3 and CDTV-5. She was awarded by the city of Phoenix (USA) the Contribution Award based on her outstanding performances. She is also the winner of several national competitions and soloist with the Perrysburg Symphony Orchestra. Also an alumnus of several music festivals including National Repertory Orchestra, The Blossom Music Festival, National Institute of Music, and The Prague Summer Nights Music Festival.
As a teacher, Dr. Zhang has taught at Heidelberg University (USA) for four years and currently serves as Junior Director of Cincinnati Young Artists and cello member of Canton Symphony Orchestra. She holds a Doctoral of Musical Arts degree in Cello Performance from Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music, a Professional Studies Certificate from Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Bachelor of Music from Bowling Green State University.
Her teachers include: Alan Rafferty, Stephen Geber, Richard Weiss, and Dr. Alan Smith.