Girl Pianists

midori koga


Described as "passionate" (Ann Arbor News, 2007), pianist Midori Koga has been featured as soloist and chamber musician throughout the world, including appearances at the American New Arts Festival, the Al Fresno New Music Festival, the ProMozart Society of Detroit, the World Saxophone Congress in Valencia Spain, the Ann Arbor International Computer Music Festival, Toronto International Bach Festival, and the 2007 International Clarinet Festival held in Vancouver. Chamber music collaborations this season include those with NEXUS, and members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. An advocate of contemporary music, she commissions, performs and records with the new music ensemble QUORUM whose first CD "Cold Water, Dry Stone: The Music of Evan Chambers", is carried by the Albany label. QUORUM highlights include an acclaimed debut in New York’s Merkin Hall, and residencies held at the Interlochen Center for the Arts, the John Donald Robb Composers’ Symposium in New Mexico, with the Cleveland Composers Forum, and at NewMusicTampa.

Midori Koga currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano and Director of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Toronto. She holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Michigan, a performance diploma from the Mozarteum Hochschule fur Musik in Salzburg, Austria, and a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of British Columbia. During her tenure as graduate student at the University of Michigan, she was awarded the University-wide Outstanding Teaching Award, the Rackham Dissertation Grant, and was winner of the prestigious Concerto Competition.





charles lin


Pianist Charles Lin holds both Bachelor and Master of Music in Piano Performance/Pedagogy from the University of Toronto, under the guidance of Marietta Orlov and Midori Koga. He is the recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Grant, the University of Toronto Fellowship, and the Winspear Fund for Advanced Classical Music Studies. Performances highlight include appearances at the 14th World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, the Toronto Summer Music Festival, the Canadian Chopin Festival, the Academy at Centre d'arts Orford, as well as soloist with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Concordia University College Orchestra. Charles has been a part of the Children's Piano Pedagogy Program since 2008 and continues to serve as a private and group class teacher. Influential teacher /mentor includes Alexandra Munn and Janet Scott-Hoyt, both whom he studied with in Edmonton before coming to Toronto








pei-chen chen


Pei-Chen Chen made her debut at the age of fifteen with the Hsin-Tien Symphony Orchestra, performing Beethoven's Piano Concerto No.5. She has won several piano competitions in Taiwan and has also been awarded scholarships from the 2008 International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York, from the University of Toronto in 2011 and 2012, and the 2015 Donna and Robert Wood Scholarship. Aside from her role as a performing pianist, she is also a piano and early childhood music teacher. Pei-Chen believes that playing piano is a multi-dimensional activity. Her teaching philosophy combines the concepts of Dalcroze, Orff, and Kodàly pedagogy, and centers around developing independent thinking, learning discipline, discovering inner thoughts and emotions, and most importantly, enjoying playing the piano with a strong emphasis on body position, tone quality, and musical sense. She hopes that her students will have the freedom to be unique, have passion, and enjoy music in their lives. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Pei-Chen obtained her Master’s Degree from the University of Toronto in Piano Performance and Pedagogy under the tutelage of Dr. Midori Koga. Pei-Chen also received the Advanced Certificate in Early Childhood Music Education through the Royal Conservatory of Music.

jessica yoonjee lee


Korea-born Jessica Yoonjee Lee has received numerous scholarships and awards: Robert Rogers Prize in Piano, Karen Bomstead Memorial Scholarship, Pauline Legg Scholarship, Mildred Johnson Scholarship, Alberto Guerrero Graduate Scholarship and an Honourable Mention for the Vancouver Women's Musical Society Bursary Competition. Recently, she was awarded Third Place in National Final Round at Canadian Music Competition in 2015. Further, she received masterclasses with many notable pianists, Angela Cheng, Ian Parker, Bruce Vogt, Milica Jovanovic, Kirill Gerstein, John Perry, Tatiana Goncharova and Dang Thai Son. She loves to share her passion for music with the community as she enjoys teaching piano and giving concerts at adult care centres as one of the UBC Ambassadors of Health Arts Society.


Jessica studied piano under the tutelage of Edward J. Parker for seven years. She received her Diploma of A.R.C.T. Piano Performer's and Teacher's in 2009 and 2010 respectively. In 2015, She has completed her B. Mus. in Piano Performance at University of British Columbia, School of Music, where studied with Mark Anderson. Jessica is currently enrolled in M. Mus. in Piano Performance and Pedagogy at University of Toronto, studying with Midori Koga and James Parker.

michael lee


Michael Lee enjoys a varied musical career as both a solo and collaborative pianist. He has performed throughout North America and Europe, has given premieres of new works by contemporary composers, has studied at music festivals such as the Centre d’arts Orford in Quebec, Piano Summer Institute in New York and the Centre for Opera Studies in Italy, and has worked as a répétiteur and music director for opera productions.


A native of St. John’s, Newfoundland, Michael is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts student at the University of Toronto where he studies performance with Marietta Orlov and pedagogy with Dr. Midori Koga. He holds a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance & Pedagogy from U of T and a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from Memorial University of Newfoundland where he studied with Dr. Kristina Szutor and was the recipient of the University Medal of Academic Excellence for graduating at the top of his class. Michael has received full scholarships for his studies at each institution.

hilary mclaughlin


Hilary McLaughlin is an active pianist, teacher, and writer. She has performed at many festivals, showcases, and recitals in Canada and Great Britain, winning several scholarships and awards. Hilary received her ARCT in Performance with First Class Honours from the Royal Conservatory of Music and completed her Bachelor’s of Music, Comprehensive Specialization at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. She is currently working on her Master’s in Piano Pedagogy and Performance at the University of Toronto, studying under Dr. Midori Koga. In March of 2016, Hilary was invited by the Ottawa Graduate Students’ Music Conference to present her current research, which centers on finding musical expression through photography and film. More recently, Hilary won the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association’s National Essay Competition and the Clavier Companion Collegiate Writing Contest for her writings on her research which will be published in both magazines.



leanne rosen


Leanne is a current graduate student at the University of Toronto pursuing a Master’s degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy. Most recently, Leanne was awarded a conference grant from the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies to present her research project “Free Improvisation for the Beginner Pianist Using Extended Techniques” at the Practical Piano Pedagogy Conference at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio. She has also completed Orff Schulwerk level 1 training at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Leanne particularly enjoys working with young children and currently maintains a private studio in Richmond Hill. Prior to her studies at the University of Toronto, Leanne completed a Bachelor of Music and Artist Diploma in Piano Performance at the University of Western Ontario. Upon graduation, she was awarded the University of Western Ontario Gold Medal for highest academic achievement in her program.




lisa tahara


Dr. Lisa Tahara is a soloist, chamber musician, teacher and adjudicator. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree from the University of Victoria, she moved to Toronto to begin her graduate studies with Drs. Jamie Parker, Henri-Paul Sicsic, and Midori Koga. After receiving her Masters of Music, Lisa went on to pursue her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree, which she completed in November 2015.


In addition to teaching for the Children’s Piano Pedagogy Program since 2009, Lisa has taught piano and theory to a number of students in her private studio. Furthermore, her doctoral dissertation, “Teaching Music with Keyboard Improvisation: A Pedagogical Journey Involving Four Older Adults”, involved teaching group musicianship classes at a retirement home in Toronto, Ontario.


Lisa has adjudicated the senior level classes in the 2014 Kingston Kiwanis Festival and the 2016 Merriam Music Festival. In 2017, she will adjudicate the senior level classes at both the Grey County Kiwanis Festival of Music and the Yip’s Music Festival.


Since making her orchestral debut with the Burnaby Symphony Orchestra at fifteen, Lisa has performed with esteemed orchestras across Canada such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. Most recently, she performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Georgian Bay Symphony Orchestra.

mengjie xiong


Mengjie began to learn the piano at age of four and developed a strong interest for music. In 2012, Mengjie completed her Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance at McGill University. In the same year, Mengjie received the Zoya Solod Mem Scholarship to continue her Master studies at McGill University. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Mengjie studied under the tutelage of Ilya Poletaev, Sara Laimon and Richard Raymond. Currently, she is pursuing her doctoral studies at the University of Toronto with Professor Marietta Orlov.


As a performer, Mengjie has participated in numerous competitions such as the Concours du Festival de musique classique de Montréal, Concours de l’Association des professeurs de musique du Québec, the Concours de musique du Canada and the World Piano Competition. Furthermore, Mengjie has taken part in many summer academies including the Orford Summer Music Academy (Canada), the International Music Workshop and Festival (Germany), the Music Alp (France) and the Mozarteum International Summer Academy (Austria).


Besides performing and studying, Mengjie is also interested in piano pedagogy. She has taught in several music institutions such as McGill Conservatory, Conservatoire du Québec in Laval and Académie de musique de Ste-Dorotée. Her teaching aims to help students of all ages and levels to develop a comprehensive understanding of music that let them play the piano with enjoyment and musicality.

jialiang zhu


A native of China, Jialiang has been active in Toronto as a piano teacher and a performer since 2007. Jialiang is working in the University of Toronto Piano Pedagogy Program and formerly taught at the WizzKidz Music School. In 2014, Jialiang held keyboard improvisation workshops at the Yamaha Junior Original Composition Summer Camp for 68 students aged 7 to 14. The workshops were warmly received by both students and other faculties. An aspiring performer, Jialiang has given many performances in different cities, including Toronto, New York, Beijing, and Murrhardt, Germany. Recently, Jialiang performed as soloist in Beethoven Choral Fantasy at the University of Toronto. She was one of eight semi-finalists chosen for the 2016 E-Gré National Music Competition. Jialiang also worked for the renowned Banff Summer Music Residency as a collaborative pianist. Jialiang studied with Prof. Marietta Orlov in her Bachelor's and Master's programs at the University of Toronto, and conducted research in the field of piano pedagogy under the tutelage of Dr. Midori Koga. Currently, Jialiang is pursuing her doctoral degree in collaborative piano at U of T with Prof. Lydia Wong.