700 West Greek Row, Arlington, TX 76019
101 Fine Arts Bldg. Box 19105
Department of Music
Professor, Keyboard Area Coordinator
Bio: John Solomons, Associate Professor of Piano at University of Texas at Arlington, has appeared with great success as soloist and chamber musician in the United States, Europe, and South America, performing in concert with the Emerson String Quartet, Cliburn winner Fabio Bidini, and under the direction of American conductor Gunther Schuller. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Solomons began his piano studies at age four, and continued his studies in the U.S. with noted Brazilian pianist Luiz de Moura Castro from the age of eleven. Other primary teachers include Steven de Groote and Hartt School founder Moshe Paranov. Solomons holds degrees from Texas Christian University, the Hartt School of Music, and the University of North Texas where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree under Adam Wodnicki. Grand prize winner of the 13th Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition, John Solomons was praised by Gyorgy Sandor as “an exceptionally gifted artist, whose musical and pianistic achievements are of the highest order”. Additional winnings include 1st prize in the Stewart Grant Competition, 3rd prize in the American Music Scholarship Association World Piano Competition, and the Catalan Composers Prize at the Xavier Montsalvatge International Piano Competition in Girona, Spain. His interest in 20th century music has led to premiers of works by contemporary composers William Albright, James Sellars, Carlos Guinovart, Lloyd Taliaferro, Rufus Brown and George Chave. An active adjudicator, Solomons has served on numerous juries including the Chamber Music Foundation of New England’s International Chamber Music Competition and the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International piano Competition, among others. Solomons has taught and performed solo and collaborative recitals at the Curs Internacional in Girona, Spain; the Festival de Inverno in Vale Veneto, Brazil; and in 2005 was sponsored by the Arnaldo Schwimmer Foundation in a series of recitals and masterclasses throughout Bolivia. Recently listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Solomons has recorded on the Centaur and Evolutionary Music Records labels.
Department of Music
Bio: Gabriel Sánchez is on the keyboard staff of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi and collaborates often with DSO musicians. Sánchez was a top prize winner in the 1997 Casablanca International Piano Competition in Morocco and is a laureate of other international competitions, including the Marguerite Long in Paris (France), the Gina Bachauer in Salt Lake City (USA), and the Paloma O' Shea in Santander (Spain). He has performed throughout the United States and internationally in recital and as soloist with orchestra, including performances at Pianofest in the Hamptons, New York, with the Dallas Symphony under Kerry-Lynn Wilson and the Orquesta Filarmonica de Jalisco and the Irving Symphony under Hector Guzman. Robert Carlos Contreras Roman, Mexican music critic, wrote that Sanchez performed with "gran passion yexpresividad estilistica." In London, he performed at the Royal Academy of Music, in Paris at the Salle Gaveau, in Santander, Spain at the Palacio de Festivales, in Casablanca, Morocco at the Salle de l'Office des Changes, and in the Dominican Republic with the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional. In Thessaloniki, Greece, he performed a solo recital to benefit Lions Club International. He studied at London's Royal Academy of Music under a full scholarship and continued his studies at the University of North Texas under his beloved teacher and mentor, Vladimir Viardo, 1973 Van Cliburn Gold Medalist. Sánchez is in high demand as a collaborative pianist and has partnered in recitals with Stanislav Katenin (principal bassoon, National Philharmonic of Russia), Gordon Hunt (principal oboe, Philharmonia Orchestra, London), Jacques Zoon (former Principal Flute, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam), Mark Nuccio (Associate Principal Clarinet, New York Philharmonic) and Paul Edmond Davies (former Principal Flute, London Symphony Orchestra), as well as world renowned artists Gary Schocker, Alexa Still, Marco Granados, Thomas Robertello, Rolf Smedvig, Ian Clarke, Mike Mower and Jean Ferrandis. Recent MSR CD releases, all received with critical acclaim, include Ballade, Works for Flute and Piano (with Kara Kirkendoll Welch, flutist), Scree (with Elena Yarritu, flutist) and Rêver en Couleurs (with Lisa Garner Santa, flutist). Recent reviews include: Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, "Sánchez dispatched [the Nielsen Flute Concerto piano reduction] with such èlan that it sounded utterly idiomatic," Carla Rees, Music Web International, "[he] plays with wonderful sensitivity," and American Record Guide, "…Sánchez is superb." Mr. Sánchez is also a dedicated educator. He taught piano, music history, music theory and accompanying at the celebrated Booker T. Washington High School for the Arts in Dallas from 1996-2003. Since then, he has maintained a select private piano studio and has been involved with DSO educational outreach programs, and served on the faculty of the Conservatory of Music in the Mountains in Durango, Colorado.
Department of Music
Bio: Candace Bawcombe, organist, pianist, harpsichordist, choirmaster and educator, has enjoyed a prolific career as a concert pianist, soloist with orchestras, recitalist, chamber musician and orchestral pianist/keyboardist. Critics have sung praises of her playing including The New York Times which hailed her performance as, “…deeply talented; a beautiful pianist.” Ms. Bawcombe has performed on three continents as recitalist, soloist with orchestras, and chamber musician. She has enjoyed collaborations with many of today’s most sought after artists including violinists Pinchas Zukerman, Peter Winograd, first violinist of the American String Quartet, Eugene Drucker, violinist of the Emerson String Quartet and concertmasters of many orchestras including David Kim of The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pieter Schoemann of London Philharmonic Orchestra, Frank Almond of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Michael Shih of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and many musicians in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. International recitals include performances with violinist Erick Friedman, and cellist Stephen Kates. Violinist Paul Zukofsky performed with Ms. Bawcombe at Summergarden Series at the Museum of Modern Art. Ms. Bawcombe performed the world premiere of Three Persian Songs by Bezhad Ranjbaran with Metropolitan Opera Star Renée Fleming in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Mr. Zukerman and Ms. Bawcombe recorded violin and piano music featured in the Academy Award winning film starring and produced by Barbra Streisand; The Prince of Tides. Summer Festivals have included Aspen, Music in the Mountains, Durango, United Kingdom and Southeast Asia where she has performed solo, chamber recitals and taught masterclasses and private students. Ms. Bawcombe was an integral part of Dallas Chamber Music Society for ten years; as the first professional Executive Director through her appointment as Artistic Director. She hosted “Spotlight on Chamber Music” on WRR-fm, Classical 101.1 for several years interviewing chamber music colleagues/string quartets including Emerson, American, Juilliard, Hagan, Jerusalem, Takács, St. Lawrence, Brentano, Pražák, Pavel Haas, Miró and St. Martins in the Field Chamber Orchestra based in London. During her tenure, DCMS hosted several fundraisers which raised more money than the entire 60 plus year history of the organization. Special performances were arranged with international cellist, Lynn Harrell for “house recitals and Ms. Bawcombe was featured in several ensemble performances which included members of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Former First Lady, Laura Bush served as Honorary Chair of a special gala performed by former Secretary of State, Dr. Condoleeza Rice, pianist, and the Muir String Quartet. Born in Fort Worth, TX, Ms. Bawcombe’s family immigrated from London to Cornwall, England and settled in the United States in the early 1900’s in Illinois. Possessing an interest in liturgy and sacred music, Ms. Bawcombe has been a leader in Anglican choral and organ music in DFW having served on the Board of Directors of Fort Worth American Guild of Organists for six years. She was elected Dean from 2009-2011. During her tenure as Dean, she raised $3 million dollars for a local Episcopal church’s pipe organ restoration. She was instrumental in facilitating Pipedreams at the Meyerson Symphony Center working with Dallas AGO Board of Directors. Past positions as Organist/Choirmaster in the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth (ACNA) include: St. Laurence Church, Grapevine/Southlake. 4 years. St. Andrew’s Church, Fort Worth, 8 years. Wells Cathedral Residency, Well, England, Summer 2009. St. Vincent’s Cathedral, Bedford, 2 years. All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Fort Worth (Assistant organist and Youth Choir director), 1 year. Church of the Holy Comforter, Cleburne, 3 years. Church of the Holy Communion, Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Dallas, since 2018. Choral collaborations include Diocese events for Bishop Jack L. Iker, visiting Bishops including the “flying Bishops,” Bp. of the Southern Cone, many concerted Solemn Choral Evensongs including Bp Iker’s 20th Anniversary, Diocese conventions, Ordinations, Advent Lessons & Carols, Christmas Community Concerts, and Christmas Lessons & Carols. She has presented major organ soloists and choirs including New York Polyphony. She has been privileged to work closely in choral and chamber orchestra collaborations with Frederick Grimes, former music director and organist of Holy Trinity Lutheran, New York City, and concert organist during the past 12 years. She returned “home” to the church of her childhood as Organist/Choirmaster at The Parish Church of the Holy Comforter, Cleburne, where she began a fundraising campaign to restore the 1933 Wicks pipe organ. Garland Pipe Organs of Fort Worth completed the restoration in 2018. Ms. Bawcombe developed an interest in the pipe organ as an adult. Her organ mentors have included Dr. Barbara Marquardt Burton, Organist and Choirmaster of St. Vincent’s Cathedral (Anglican) (retired) and Frederick Grimes, formerly of St. Thomas Fifth Avenue (Episcopal) NY, and Trinity Lutheran Church, New York, NY. She held a residency at Wells Cathedral, Wells, England, performing and conducting services including Evensong, Morning Prayer and Holy Communion in 2009. She has recorded continuo for several sacred music recordings with chamber orchestra and choir. Ms. Bawcombe worked as a Performing Artist for Cliburn in the Classroom/ The Cliburn Foundation based in Fort Worth from 2013-2018. Each year she performed close to sixty solo recitals annually for elementary school children throughout North Texas. Other educational endeavors include founding the Children’s Community Chorus of Johnson County, Fall 2015. This new choir which is based in Cleburne, TX, is open to all children ages six through fourteen. Ms. Susie Fergus, noted choir educator and former Travis Avenue Fine Arts Academy faculty, was hired as Artistic Director of the choir. The community choir is based at The Parish Church of the Holy Comforter, Cleburne. Ms. Bawcombe has taught locally and abroad. She was a graduate assistant teacher at TCU and a Certified Accompanist at The Juilliard School. She has taught at music festivals in South Korea, Music in the Mountains Festival, Durango, and in the Southwest. She was appointed by The Juilliard School faculty to join the faculty at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Brooklyn, NY and the Diller-Quaile School in New York City. Ms. Bawcombe had a private music studio in New York City for several years specializing in technique taught by Hungarian composer, Béla Bartók. She became an expert in this technique which she learned through her long-time association with her mentor; Hungarian concert pianist, Mme. Lili Kraus. She continues a small private studio in Arlington. Her students have performed in and been prize-winners of local competitions including the Dallas Solo Competition. Ms. Bawcombe holds degrees in Piano Performance and a Performer’s Certificate having received a Master of Music from The Juilliard School where she held the William Petscheck Scholarship in piano. She studied with Swiss concert pianist, Abbey Simon and revered piano pedagogue, Herbert Stessin. Chamber music coaches included violinists, Felix Galimir, Szymon Goldberg, Joseph Fuchs, Dorothy Delay, Paul Zukofsky (contemporary music) and cellist, Harvey Shapiro; composers Lukas Foss and John Cage. She was the last student of Dr. Grace Ward Lankford, co-founder of the Van Cliburn Quadrennial International Piano Competition. Dr. Lankford requested the young child of eleven years be accepted into the piano studio of Hungarian concert pianist, Mme. Lili Kraus, Artist-in-Residence at TCU and a permanent jury member of the Cliburn Competition. Kraus, who studied with Béla Bartók, Zoltán Kodály and Artur Schnabel, mentored the young child prodigy throughout her career. Bawcombe remained close to Kraus until her death in 1986. Ms. Bawcombe began working in Music Management part-time while performing based in New York. She was a quick study and began with Kirshbaum and Associates learning marketing, management, contract negotiation, writing skills, program editing, booking recitals and handling international press for major classical artists as well as her own performing career. She has edited liner notes for recording labels and published biographies in Stagebill at Lincoln Center. She has been a member of Musical America, Chamber Music America, and ICSOM. Currently, she works for IMG Artists. IMG is a global leader of performing arts, social media, and festival and events management. She is married to Andrew Schast, Jr., from Philadelphia. They met while students at Juilliard. He has performed in the first violin section of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for 26 years. They have two children.
Department of Music
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Bio: Dazheng Zhu has been teaching piano lessons at all levels at the University of Texas At Arlington Music department since 2001. Ms. Zhu has taught courses in Music Theory I, II and III, Ear Training levels I – IV, Elements of Music, Music Appreciation, and Class Piano levels 1-4. Additionally, Ms. Zhuas has been a music adjunct faculty at the Tarrant County College since 2001 where she teaches all levels in Piano, Class Piano, Music appreciation, Theory and Ear training in College level 1-3. Ms. Zhu holds a B.A. in Music and Piano Performance from The University of Texas at Arlington with Dr. David Stokan, and a M. M. degree from Texas Christian University in Piano Pedagogy where she studied with Dr. Tamas Ungar and Ms. Leeann Kirkham. She also studied private lessons and many Master Classes with Professors Joseph Bloch and Rudolph Firkusny (both from The Julliard School) in Shanghai Music Conservatory 1982-1985. Moreover, Ms. Zhu is a very active private piano teacher in DFW area. Most of her students have won Superior plus ratings at AMTA piano contests, festivals and UTA contests, and several students have advanced to competitions at the state level. From the years of 2002 to present, many of Ms. Zhu’s students have won first place in district piano contests and have also won top places in the Fort Worth piano solo contest. Ms. Zhu has given numerous piano recitals in China, New York, Tai Wan -China and the DFW area. Her many honors and awards include Winner of UTA Concerto Competition, Outstanding Musician and International Leadership Award. She has also judged many piano competitions and contests in the DFW area. Ms. Zhu has been serving as the Chairman of the Outstanding Musicianship Awards of Arlington Music Teacher Association since 2006. She is a member of the TMTA, AMTA, FWMTA, and the Sigma Alpha Iota Music Club.