School of Music

University of Florida International Piano Festival

Angela Park
Guest Artist Teacher

JUNO Award winning pianist Angela Park has been praised for her “stunningly beautiful pianism” (Grace Welsh Prize, Chicago), “beautiful tone and sensitivity” (American Record Guide), and for performing “with such brilliant clarity it took your breath away” (Chapala, Mexico). Angela’s versatility as both soloist and chamber musician has led to performances across Canada, as well as in the United States, Europe, Japan and Mexico. She has performed for such notable series as Montreal’s Pro Musica, Ottawa Chamberfest, Toronto Summer Music Festival, Parry Sound’s Festival of the Sound, Winnipeg Virtuosi, Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut Tours, Orchestra London Canada, Sinfonia Toronto, Stratford Symphony, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico.

Angela developed a passion for chamber music early on in her music studies, and this has led to a varied career as a chamber musician. She has developed a longstanding collaborative partnership with violist Sharon Wei, both as a duo, and as former founding members (2006-2022) of the renowned Ensemble Made In Canada. Their work together reached across every province and territory across Canada, culminating in a JUNO Award for their Mosaïque Album in 2021. They have also toured as a duo for Debut Atlantic and Prairie Debut, and continue to collaborate regularly with other musicians across the country.

Cellist Rachel Mercer and Angela have also forged an important duo partnership since their first performance in 2006. As the Mercer-Park Duo, they have performed and recorded a vast range of repertoire for cello and piano with a focus on Canadian contemporary composers. Rachel and Angela have been privileged to work with violinist Yehonatan Berick as the AYR Trio (2010-2020), with Mayumi Seiler as the Seiler Trio, and with Scott St. John as the St. John-Mercer-Park Trio.

Angela was previously a pianist for Piano Six - New Generation, an organization that toured remote communities across Canada. In 2019 she joined pianist Stéphan Sylvestre to form a piano duo, focusing on the complete Brahms Symphonies in their four-hand versions. Among other collaborations, Angela has performed with such international artists as violist Rivka Golani, violinist Martin Beaver, clarinetist James Campbell, soprano Leslie Fagan, and leading members of the Montreal and Toronto Symphonies.

Past and future highlights include a world premiere of John Burge’s Second Piano Concerto with Sinfonia Toronto, solo recitals for Confluence Concerts in Toronto and Consortium Aurora Borealis in Thunder Bay, tours with Prairie Debut and Debut Atlantic, performances with Lyrica Baroque in New Orleans, Louisiana, collaborative recitals at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Ensemble Made In Canada tours of Canada and the United States. Angela has recorded independent solo albums, and collaborative discs with cellist Rachel Mercer and Ensemble Made In Canada for labels including NAXOS Canadian Classics, Centrediscs, and Enharmonic Records. She is also featured on a recording of Srul Irving Glick's Suites Hébraïques with clarinetist James Campbell, saxophonist Wallace Halladay, and violinist Barry Shiffman.

In 2010 Angela earned her DMA in Performance from the Université de Montréal, and previously received her MMus and BMus degrees from the University of Toronto. From 2011-2014, Angela was Visiting Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano-Woodwinds at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. Angela has been Assistant Professor of Piano and Collaborative Piano at Western University since 2019.

Daria Rabotkina
Guest Artist Teacher

Born in Kazan, Russia, into a family of musicians, Daria Rabotkina gave her first solo recital at the age of ten. Her education started at the Specialized Music School under the guidance of her parents, and Nora Kazatchkova. Later, it continued in Kazan State Conservatory and Mannes College of Music in New York City under the tutelage of Vladimir Feltsman. In addition, she holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Natalya Antonova.

Concerto highlights include San Francisco and New World symphonies, Kirov (Mariinsky) Orchestra, Moscow State Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Hudson Philharmonic, Charleston Symphony, Harrisburg Symphony, Orquesta Sinfonica de Concepción and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. Rabotkina has collaborated with Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev, Vladimir Feltsman, Julian Kuerti, JoAnn Falletta, Benjamin Shwartz, and Giancarlo Guerrero. As a soloist, she has given recitals at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, Kennedy Center, Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, Ravinia’s Rising Stars, and Dame Myra Hess in Chicago. Her appearances abroad include Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, France, Mexico and Japan.

Competitions and Festivals
Winner of the 2007 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, Rabotkina received top prizes at several international competitions and participated in Russia’s White Nights, Finland’s Kuhmo, and Copenhagen’s Summer festivals. In the United States, Rabotkina has appeared at the Rockport Chamber Music, International Keyboard Institute, PianoSummer at New Paltz, and San Francisco International Piano festivals.

Her first three recordings were done with CAG Records as part of the Victor Elmaleh Collection. The debut recording features the Tchaikovsky Grand Sonata and Prokofiev’s Ten Pieces from “Romeo and Juliet”. Her second CD contains Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and Schubert’s Moments Musicaux. Rabotkina’s third project involved live recording of three concerti. The latest CD (MSR Classics) with humoresques by Dvořák, Reger, Rachmaninov and Schumann was released to critical acclaim in 2018.

Rabotkina will join the piano faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music in the fall of 2024 where she will also serve as the Director of piano studies at the Academy. Previously, she presented masterclasses, private lessons and lectures at the Kazan State Conservatory. Passionate about early piano education, Rabotkina founded the FunKey Piano Project at Texas State in 2018, where she was an Associate Professor of Piano (2016-2024).

Kevin Robert Orr
Masterclass Teacher

Concert pianist Kevin Robert Orr pursues a dynamic agenda as performer, professor, masterclass clinician, lecturer and adjudicator that has taken him to major music institutions and festivals across North America, Europe, China, South Korea and Australia.

Orr’s critically acclaimed solo recordings include the complete sonatas and ballades of Johannes Brahms, and the piano concerto and sonata of Samuel Barber. Gramophone (UK) wrote "Within four bars, I recognise that a formidable, seasoned artist is at work...two minutes into the sonata's first movement and I'm hooked by Kevin Robert Orr's huge sound, pliable command of Brahms's thick writing, bracing sense of rhythm, and generous phrasing."

Similarly, American Record Guide (USA) remarked, "This is first-rate playing, expressive and assured," and Piano News (Germany) noted: “The dramatis personae of the Allegro maestoso, portrayed through the right and left hands, are firmly and effectively directed in Orr’s intensively expressive interpretation."

A strong advocate of the music of living composers, Orr has premiered and recorded solo and ensemble works by composers Jennifer Margaret Barker, Paul Basler, Houston Dunleavy, Paul Richards, Robert Rollin, and John Weinsweig, The 2005 release of Barker’s CD “Geenyoch” features Orr on the composer’s 2001 solo piano work, Geenyoch Ballant, a performance about which critic Jon Conrad wrote Orr performed "brilliantly."

Collaborations have paired Orr with such internationally acclaimed artists as Karl Leister (clarinet, Berlin Philharmonic), James Thompson (trumpet, Montreal Symphony) and the Jupiter Quartet. Orr’s performances of both new and standard classical repertoire have been heard on Public Radio throughout the United States.

A Steinway Artist, Dr. Orr is Professor of Piano and Director of the School of Music at the University of Florida.

Jasmin Arakawa
Festival Director

Hailed by Gramophone for her ‘characterful sparkle’, Jasmin Arakawa has performed widely in North America, Central and South America, Europe, China and Japan. A prizewinner of the Jean Françaix International Music Competition, she has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Salle Gaveau in Paris and Victoria Hall in Geneva, as well as in broadcasts of the BBC and Radio France. She has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Philips Symfonie Orkest in Amsterdam, Orquestra Sinfonica de Piracicaba in Brazil, and several orchestras in her native Japan. 

Other performance highlights include guest artist appearances at the Toronto Summer Festival, Ribadeo International Music Festival in Spain, Bicentenaire de Chopin in Switzerland, Scotiabank Northern Lights Music Festival in Mexico, Festival de Música de Cámarain Peru, Festival Internacional de Música Erudita de Piracicaba in Brazil, Fazioli Piano Pure Series in Chicago and Distinguished Concerts International New York. Arakawa released her debut solo album Klavierabendon MSR Classics to critical acclaim, praised by American Record Guide for her ‘rich lyricism’ and ‘supreme clarity’.

She has a special interest in Spanish repertoire, which grew out of a series of lessons with Alicia de Larrocha. As a prizewinner of the Competition in the Performance of Music from Spain and Latin America and under the sponsorship of the Spanish Embassy, she subsequently recorded solo and chamber pieces by Spanish and Latin American composers.

Arakawa has collaborated with notable artists including cellists Colin Carr and Gary Hoffman, flutists Jean Ferrandis and Marina Piccinini, clarinetist James Campbell, and the Penderecki String Quartet. In addition, she has served as Collaborative Pianist in Residence at the Banff Centre in Canada for three seasons. An advocate of new music, Arakawa has premiered and performed numerous contemporary works. Recently she released the complete works of Witold Lutosławski for violin and piano on PARMA Recordings with Canadian violinist Véronique Mathieu.

Jasmin Arakawa is a graduate of Tokyo University of the Arts. She holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied with Emile Naoumoff. A recipient of the 2016 Steinway Top Teacher Award, she has given master classes at China Conservatory of Music in Beijing, Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Peru, Instituto Baccarelli in Brazil, and numerous universities in the United States and Canada. Having previously served at Western Illinois University and the University of South Alabama, Arakawa is Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at the University of Florida, as well as Director of the Florida International Piano Festival.


Hsiang Tu
Assistant Director

Praised by The New York Times for his "eloquent sensitivity," The Boston Intelligencer for his "impeccable technique," and Fanfare for his “Chameleon-like ability to move between composers,” pianist Hsiang Tu has graced the audience with his wide range of repertoire and creative programming. Current projects include the complete cycles of piano solo works by Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel and thematic recitals featuring animal-themed music. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, he debuted in New York at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center as the winner of The Juilliard School Concerto Competition and has performed in venues all over the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, National Museum Cardiff, and National Recital Hall in Taipei.                                                          

A prize winner at the New Orleans International Piano Competition, the Iowa International Piano Competition, and the American Paderewski Piano Competition, Mr. Tu has appeared with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, and the World Civic Orchestra, among others. He has given masterclasses throughout the U.S., including the University of Southern California, Penn State University, Peabody Conservatory Preparatory Division, and the University of Tennessee. Last Spring, Hsiang was invited for a short residency as a visiting professor at the University of Taipei and released an outreach video in collaboration with the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation. During the 2021-2022 school year, Mr. Tu performed solo recitals in over a dozen universities across six states.   

Before being appointed as an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Florida, Mr. Tu taught at Virginia Tech, the University of New Hampshire, Utah Valley University, and Snow College. He studied with Hung-Kuan Chen, Jerome Lowenthal, and HaeSun Paik, and holds a B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Calgary and an M.M. and D.M.A. in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School. His debut solo CD, Bestiary on Ivory, is on Bridge Records, and an upcoming CD featuring the music of Chopin will be released later in 2022. For more info, please visit

Evan Mitchell
Assistant Director

Pianist Evan Mitchell's recent highlights include solo performances on the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts series (Chicago), at Merkin Concert Hall (NYC), and at several major venues in Shanghai; concerti with the symphony orchestras of Dallas and Fort Worth; and recitals with such major figures as double bassist Gary Karr, flutists Leone Buyse and Jim Walker, and clarinetist Corrado Giuffredi. 

Dr. Mitchell’s recording of world premieres with bassist Szymon Marciniak is earning rave reviews; Bass World called their performances “intoxicating,” deeming this “a seminal recording.” He is also featured on “Piano de Pampa y Jungla: A Collection of Latin American Piano Music.”

Dr. Mitchell has made repeat appearances on the Cliburn at the Modern and Mount Vernon Music series. Other performance affiliations include Avant Chamber Ballet, Fort Worth Opera, and Texas Winds. From 2014 to 2022 he was a featured artist on the TCA Texas Touring Roster, and over the past ten years he has given more than 350 performances for Cliburn in the Classroom. A frequent guest clinician, Dr. Mitchell has given recitals and masterclasses at Radford University, Southwestern University, Texas Woman’s University, the University of Memphis, Virginia Tech, and others.

Dr. Mitchell received the DMA degree from Texas Christian University, and MM and BM degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His principal teachers have included John Owings, Arnaldo Cohen, and the late José Feghali. He has served on the faculty of Tarrant County College, as President of the Fort Worth Music Teachers Association, and in 2021 was inducted into the Steinway & Sons Teacher Hall of Fame. Evan Mitchell joins the UF School of Music as Assistant Professor of Piano starting in the Fall 2022 semester. For more information, please visit

Laura Ellis

Laura Ellis was recently elected to her second term as President of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA), an organization of professional musicians dedicated to promoting the carillon art. She may often be found at the top of Century Tower performing on UF's 61-bell carillon. 

Her well-known recording of the works of Jeanne Demessieux is now available on multiple digital platforms worldwide. Legacy: Laura Ellis Plays the Works of Jeanne Demessieux was produced by ProOrgano and recorded on the "Great Hosanna" organ on the campus of the University of the Ozarks, Clarksville, Arkansas. The album is available on Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and the Naxos Music Library.

Ellis recently featured the Andrew Anderson Memorial Organ on the UF campus in a recording produced by the Raven label: "Music for the Testaments Old and New". This 2-CD set offers contemporary interpretations of scripture written by composers active in the United States from the mid-twentieth century to the current day. Tracks from this CD have been featured on "Pipedreams", a nationally broadcast public radio program (her recording of "A Prophecy" by Daniel Pinkham was broadcast on the Sept 27, 2018 program and "Incarnation Suite" of Joel Martinson was aired on December 23, 2019

Dr. Ellis has been on the faculty in the School of Music since 2003 and serves as Associate Director. She teaches undergraduate and graduate organ, harpsichord, and carillon. In addition to applied lessons, Ellis teaches courses in the Sacred Music area. Ellis is a graduate of Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) and holds a Master of Music degree in church music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Kansas. Her major organ teachers have been James Higdon and William Kuhlman. While in residence at the University of Kansas, she studied carillon with Albert Gerken.

Prior to her Florida appointment, Ellis served as professor of music at McMurry University and held the position of parish organist at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, TX. Ellis began her teaching career at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas.

Ellis was invited to discuss the music of her carillon mentor at the 2012 Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America. The presentation entitled "Bert Gerken: His Arrangements and Original Compositions for Carillon." In June 2010 Ellis performed a solo carillon recital for the 2010 Congress of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA) at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel on the campus of the University of Chicago. During this same congress, Ellis passed her advancement examination recital on The Millennium Carillon in Naperville, Illinois, and is now a carillonneur member of the GCNA.

Recital engagements as organist have included appearances with the Jacksonville (FL) Symphony, Piccolo Spoleto (Charleston, SC), Westminster Abbey, and various locations throughout Florida, Texas, and the South. In addition to her performances on the carillon in Century Tower on the University of Florida campus, Ellis has performed solo carillon recitals throughout the United States and Canada. Recent appearances include recitals at International Carillon Festival in Springfield, Illinois; Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa; the University of Rochester (NY); Alfred University (NY); and the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Spokane, Washington.

In October 2007 Ellis traveled to Australia for a series of five recitals, including a solo organ recital on the Great Hall Organ at the University of Sydney. She also performed solo carillon recitals at the University of Sydney and at the National Carillon in the capital city of Canberra. Ellis presented a solo organ recital at the Region IV Mid-winter conference of the American Guild of Organists in January 2010. In this recital she premiered, "Praise," a composition by University of Florida composition faculty member Paul Richards based on Psalm 150:3-5.

Ellis is active in the American Guild of Organists (AGO) where she was elected to three terms as Regional Councillor for the Southeast. She is currently Director of the National Nominating Committee and Dean of the Gainesville Chapter of the organization. Ellis also serves as director of the Music Publications committee of the GCNA. 

Laura Dallman Rorick
Music History & Piano Literature

Dr. Dallman (Laura Dallman Rorick) is a musicologist with a focus on orchestral music and performance in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her dissertation, “The Significance of Accessibility in American Orchestral Music,” addresses accessibility in regards to the symphony and symphonic works by Aaron Copland, Michael Daugherty, and Jennifer Higdon.  

Dr. Dallman received a Bachelor of Music in piano from Ball State University (2007) and both a Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy in musicology from Indiana University (2009, 2017). She has presented her research at conferences in the United States, Ireland, England, and Wales. In her spare time, Dr. Dallman enjoys running, gardening, traveling, and reading a good book.

Jane Kozhevnikova
Music Theory

Jane K (Evgeniya Kozhevnikova) is a composer, pianist, and educator. Her works have been performed at regional, national, and international level music events. She composes in various styles, tastefully blending them. In 2019, she received a DownBeat Outstanding Performance award in the Latin jazz category. In 2020, she released a jazz-tango album Tango Avenue, and in 2022 an album of her art songs Lift Up Your Hearts. She holds two master’s degrees, in Music Composition and Music Performance, from Western Michigan University and is working on her doctorate degree in Music Composition at the University of Florida. 

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