Our Officers

Jose Ramon Mendez

Described as "an artist with a polished sound and tremendous constructive power" and hailed by the Hoja del Lunes de Madrid, as "the Spanish pianist of his generation," Jose Ramon Mendez is one of the most exciting young Spanish pianists of today.

Mendez received his first music instruction from his father, and by the age of seven was already performing on Spanish television and radio stations. He made his solo debut at the age of eleven at the Oviedo Philharmonic Society in Oviedo, Spain, the youngest performer ever to do so in the history of the society. He first gained international recognition when he performed Liszt's first piano concerto under the direction of Sergiu Commissiona at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Since then, he has concertized extensively in his native Spain, the United States, Italy, England, Portugal, Holland and Japan to great acclaim. With his poetry, intellect, and masterful technique, he has been praised by critics and celebrated by audiences around the world.

At the age of 18, Mendez's success brought him to the United States, where he began his studies at Manhattan School of Music in New York City. He completed his Bachelors and Masters Degrees in piano performance with the renowned pedagogue Solomon Mikowsky and went on to finish his Doctorate of Musical Arts under the tutelage of Byron Janis and Miyoko Lotto. During his stay in New York, he won top prizes in many international competitions, including the Pilar Bayona International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head Island International Piano Competition, the Frederick Chopin Competition in New York, and the Hermanos Guerrero International Piano Competition, among others.

He has been a guest performer at many music festivals, including the Caramoor Festival, the Barge Music Series, the Festival Internacional de Piano de las Islas Canarias, and the Santander International Music Festival to name a few. As a chamber musician, Mendez has collaborated with such distinguished artists as Karl Leister, Itzhak Perlman, Michael Tree and Pinchas Zukerman.

Mendez's professional teaching career began in 1996, when he was invited to teach master classes at the Gijon School of Music. Since then, he has given master classes in numerous cities in Spain, including Lugo, Aviles, Santiago de Compostela, and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Mendez also taught as an assistant teacher to Miyoko Lotto at the Perlman Music Program, a program for gifted young musicians founded by the world famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. In the summers of 2006 and 2007, he was faculty at New York University's Intensive Piano Etude Workshop. During the summer of 2008, in addition the NYU summer program, he was also a member of the faculty at the Gijon International Piano Festival in Gijon, Spain.

Formerly on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, he is now teaching as Artist Piano Faculty at New York University.
Amy E. Gustafson

Vice-President, Treasurer
Praised for her “exquisite sensitivity” and a “style filled with class and elegance” by La Voz de Asturias (Asturias, Spain) and recognized as a “talented player who doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold” by Lucid Culture (New York City), American pianist Amy E. Gustafson has performed across the United States and in both Western and Eastern Europe.

Recent concerto performances include an appearance with the Sofia Sinfionetta in Sofia, Bulgaria and an appearance with Ensemble du Monde in New York City. Recent solo engagements have taken her to Spain and to Canada, and she has also performed in many New York City venues, such as Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Trinity Church Wall Street, the Tenri Cultural Institute, CAMI Hall and the Kosciuszko Foundation.

Born into a musical family, her talent was evident at an early age, and she received much of her beginning piano instruction from her grandmother. By the age of 15, she had won several local competitions, including MTNA’s Baldwin Competition, and her success led her to move to New York City to continue her studies.

Since then, Gustafson has won numerous awards, including the second prize in the International Young Artists Piano Competition, second prize in the Joyce Dutka Arts Foundation Competition, and the Special Presentation Award and the Alumni Award from Artists International Presentations, Inc. Gustafson completed her studies at the Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her major teachers have included Julian Martin, Andre-Michel Schub, Anton Nel, Constance Keene, and Miyoko Lotto, and she has benefited from the advice of many renowned pedagogues, including Solomon Mikowsky, Arie Vardi, Veda Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Paul Badura-
Skoda, Marc Durand, Martin Canin, Leslie Howard, and Luiz de Moura Castro.

In addition to her performing career, Gustafson is currently a Resident Teaching Artist at Bloomingdale School of Music, the founding executive director of The Stony Brook International Piano Festival, the vice-director of the Gijón International Piano Festival, and the vice-president of the Spanish American Music Council.

Amy E. Gustafson is a Yamaha Artist.
Julian Martin
Board of Directors
While still a student at Peabody Conservatory, Julian Martin began a career that has taken him to major halls around the globe. Endorsements have followed from the world press, from Buenos Aires, Caracas, and Los Angeles to Florence, Moscow, and Tokyo. A native of Alabama, Martin received his early training from Beverly Gibbons and conductor Vernon Raines. He continued his studies at Peabody where he studied with Leon Fleisher. He also worked supplementally with Guido Agosti, Robert Casadesus, and Nadia Boulanger.

Martin's concert roster has long been characterized by a broad versatility. He has introduced new works of composers Stephen Albert, Richard Rodney Bennett, George Crumb, and Mario Davidovsky to audiences on four continents. Two works for solo piano were written expressly for him by Edward Barnes. He has been highly praised for his fortepiano collaborations, on period instruments, in chamber music of Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, and Brahms. With major prizes from Casadesus (Cleveland), Kapell, Bachauer, and Montevideo International Competitions in close succession, Martin's career was launched in the mid-1970s. In 1982 he was awarded the Jury Prize for Accompanying in the Tchaikovsky International Competition (Moscow), subsequently appearing in concerts widely telecast throughout the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Martin has recorded with the late violinist Berl Senofsky on the Cembal d'Amour (Historic Series) label. He was an original member of the advisory and adjudication committee for the Gilmore International Piano Festival in Kalamazoo. He has served as a juror for the 1996 Montreal International Piano Competition, Virtuosi of the Year 2000 in St. Petersburg, the American Pianists Foundation in Indianapolis, and the 2005 Jaén International Competition in Spain.

In recent years he has presented master classes throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Venezuela, Columbia, Uruguay, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, England, and Spain, Wurzburg, the Glenn Gould School in Toronto, the Conservatoire de Geneve, and Conservatoire Tibor Varga in Switzerland. In 1999, in collaboration with conductor Oliver Diaz, he founded and is currently artistic director of the New Millennium International Piano Festival in Gijon, Spain (Asturias). After teaching at Oberlin Conservatory for six years, Martin joined the faculty of Peabody Conservatory in 1987. He was appointed to The Juilliard School in 1999.
Joseph Satava
Board of Directors
Pianist Joseph Satava has collaborated with orchestras, conductors, and music festivals throughout the US, Canada, France, and Spain. Most recently, he has appeared with An Die Musik in Baltimore, Maryland; Museo Evaristo Valle in Gijón, Spain; The Kosciuszko Foundation in New York; and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has also performed with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the Kneisel Hall Chamber Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West Summer Music Festival, the American Conservatory of Fontainbleau, France, La Orquesta Sinfónica de Gijón, and the Iglesia San Felix de Candás.

An avid supporter of contemporary composers, Mr. Satava has appeared in Alice Tully Hall as part of the Focus! Festival for contemporary music and in Merkin Concert Hall in New York City performing works of Keith Kramer.

Mr. Satava has been heard at the French Consulate in New York City and the French Embassy in Washington D.C. as part of the ‘Rising Star’ series. He has twice been invited to perform for the Texas Conservatory for Young Artists in Dallas, and has appeared in recital at the Steinway Gallery in Tucson, Arizona. He has given recitals as part of the Old St. Paul's Tuesday Music Series in Baltimore, MD and offered the inaugural performance of the Mt. Vernon Place Concert Series in Baltimore, MD.

In 2008, Mr. Satava took second place in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. Other significant awards include being named a Promising Young Artist by the National Society of Arts and Letters (2002), the Miecyslaw Munz piano competition, the Jefferson Symphony Orchestra concerto competition, and the Peggy and Yale Gordon piano competition. Most recently, he was selected to participate in the Jaen International Piano Competition in Spain.

Mr. Satava holds faculty positions at the Maryland Conservatory of Music, The Bryn Mawr School, and Harford Community College, and is the program coordinator for the Gijón International Piano Festival in Gijón, Spain. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, he is a doctoral graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, where he was awarded the Frances W. Wentz Turner Memorial Prize in Piano and a Peabody Career Award Development Grant to complete a residency at the Banff Centre for Performing Arts in Alberta, Canada. Mr. Satava received his Master’s degree at the Juilliard School and his Bachelor’s at the Peabody Conservatory. His primary teachers have included Julian Martin, Jerome Lowenthal, Ann Schein, and Olga Radosavljevich.

Mr. Satava can next be heard in a solo recital at the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD in October 2009 and in recital at Harford Community College in Novemeber 2009.
Oliver Díaz Suárez
Board of Directors
Born in Oviedo in 1972, Oliver Díaz Suárez studied piano with Flor Rodriguez and Amador Fernandez in Asturias, Spain, and with Julian Martin in the Peabody Conservatory, where he worked as rehearsal pianist and assistant in the opera of the university, and he studied conducting with maestros Otto Werner Mueller, Charles Dutoit, and Yuri Temirkanov at The Juillard School, where he was the recipient of the Bruno Walter scholarship.

In August of 2000 he co-created the New Millenium International Piano Festival with Julian Martin, and at the same time he founded the Orquesta Sinfónica Millennium. Under the auspices of the festival he has conducted soloists such as Julian Martin, Boris Slutsky, Blanca Uribe and Stephen Prutsman to name a few.

As one of the conductors in the management company "Producciones Guridi," he has presented such operas as "Lucia di Lammermoor," "Marina," "La Boheme," "La Travista," "Rigoletto", and "Don Giovanni." Since 2002 he has been the musical and artistic director of the Orquesta Sinfónica of Gijón with which he has recorded four compact discs, a movie soundtrack, and a documentary with the pianist Jenny Lin about the premier of the work "Zahara" by Javier Lopez de Guereña.

His upcoming projects include recording a new CD with an chamber group from the Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla and music of the Spanish composer Javier Lopez de Guereña, the musical direction of a new production of the opera "La hija del regimiento" de G. Donizetti in different theaters in the South of Spain, the musical direction of the first performance of the zarzuela "La Marsellesa" of Fernandez Caballero, as well as programming and directing the Orquesta Sinfónica Ciudad de Gijón.