2024 Collin County
Young Artist Competition
Elise Belk, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, received a Bachelor of music from Louisiana State University as a student of Linda Strommen. She continued her studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music as a student of John Mack, earning a Master of Music degree in 2004.
Mrs Belk currently serves as oboe instructor at Texas Christian University and also as the principal oboe of the Plano Symphony Orchestra and of the Dallas Chamber Symphony. In addition, she also performs in various ensembles all over the DFW area.
Before joining the TCU family, Mrs. Belk served as the Instructor of Oboe at Texas Wesleyan University. She has also taught private oboe and reed-making lessons in Fort Worth for the last 15 years and has enjoyed seeing the success of her students in their band and orchestra programs in high school and college, with some entering the professional music scene.
In addition to performing and teaching, Mrs. Belk founded Wildflower Reeds in 2017, which provides handmade oboe and English horn reeds to oboists across the country and world.
Christopher Stubblefield is a trumpet player from Dallas, Texas. Chris gained renown as a young soloist at the National Trumpet Competition, winning 2nd place in 2012, and 1st place in 2016. He then continued on to study trumpet performance at Southern Methodist University under the tutelage of Tom Booth and Ryan Anthony, then receive his masters degree from The Juilliard School under the direction of Ray Mase and Chris Martin. Chris is now a highly sought-after trumpet freelancer and pedagogue in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, subbing regularly with premier groups like the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and performing with notable musicians like Jon Batiste, Jason Scheff, Andrea Bocelli, and Doreen Ketchens.
Winner of the 2022 Puerto Rico Center for Collaborative Piano – Professional Division, Astrid has been awarded several prizes and scholarships including the Actos de Confianza Grant from the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures 2021, the 2014 General Concerto Competition at the Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, TX, Grand Prix to Exceptional Talents and Best Interpretation of Mexican Music at the Second National Piano Competition “Petrof – Symphony – Pearl River”, among many others. In 2021, she was recognized as a Kawai Medallion Educator.
Astrid has had an intensive soloist career and has performed with well-known orchestras and conductors such as Mexico State Symphony Orchestra, Querétaro Philharmonic, Mexico City Philharmonic, Aguascalientes Symphony, Las Colinas Symphony, Women’s Orchestra of Arizona, among many others. In addition, she has performed recitals in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, United States, Canada, Holland, Germany and Italy. As an advocate of Latin American music and Mexican music, she recorded her first CD “Rimero Musical” with music of the Mexican composer Ladislao Juárez and collaborated in “El Oficio Mío” with Armando Rosas. As an active collaborative pianist, Morales was appointed as a faculty member at the North Texas Low Brass Camp. In addition, she serves as the principal pianist of Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra.
Astrid Morales is the piano faculty at the University of Texas at Arlington, serves as an active committee member of the Binational Cultural Forum of Mexican Artists, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy and the Puerto Rico Center for Collaborative Piano, and is the 4th Vice President of the Arizona State Music Teachers Association.
The first-prize winner of multiple international piano competitions, Dr. Xie has performed across the world. Critics have praised her “bold and riveting” (Peninsula) and “bravura performance . . . mature and relaxed, perfectly in line with its composer’s presumed intention.” (Herald Tribune). She’s held performances at Carnegie Hall, Château de Fontainebleau (France), Dream Forest Arts Center (South Korea), Gijon City Hall (Spain), and the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (Los Angeles), as well as a plethora of other venues throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States—being the featured soloist with orchestras such as the Boulder Symphony Orchestra, the Debut Symphony, and the Meadows Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Xie is also a leader in the interplay between classical and modern music, having founded In6ix, a sextet where jazz meets classical.
Dr. Xie earned degrees and diplomas from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, the University of Southern California, the University of North Texas, and Southern Methodist University. She is one of the guest artists of the Cliburn Foundation as well as one of the Legacy Pianists of the Achúcarro Foundation. She has been invited to lecture at universities and colleges, also a featured clinician at Music Teacher Association events. Dr. Xie is an Adjunct Professor of Piano at Tarrant County College.
Strings Judges – Junior Division
Haerim Elizabeth Lee
Korean violinist, Haerim Elizabeth Lee captivates audiences by “leaving them breathless with impeccable phrasing and relevant musicality.” (El Norte, Mexico). Elizabeth has developed a playing style indicative of the very essence of her personality: passionate, deliberate, and imaginative. Following Elizabeth’s solo debut with orchestra at nine years old, she has been a guest soloist with the Festival Orchestra Unibac in Cartagena, Filharmonic Bohuslava Martinu, Olimpia Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfonica de la Unal, Seoul Virtuosi, Winston-Salem Symphony, Symphony of the Mountains among others. In 2015, Elizabeth performed as the concertmaster with Yo-Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center Honors concert in Washington, D.C. to recognize Maestro Seiji Ozawa, which was attended by President Barack Obama. As a performing artist and scholar, Lee has established herself as a visionary and was the first recipient of the Tarisio Young Artist Grant as the Artistic Director of MoKo Musik for promotion and commission of Korean music. Ms. Lee frequently collaborates with composers and most recently performed the US-premiere of Unsuk Chin’s Double Bind? for violin and electronics. Ms. Lee has performed in numerous music festivals including Prussia Cove International Open Chamber, Banff Centre, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Music Academy of the West, Spoleto Music Festival USA, and Sarasota Music Festival. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Violin at TCU School of Music.
John Landefeld holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in Cello Performance from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Anthony Ross, former principal cellist of the Rochester Philharmonic and world-renowned pedagogue, Steven Doane. In 1980, Mr. Landefeld studied the Suzuki cello method with Karan Nagase and Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. Mr. Landefeld has taught at the Park Avenue Suzuki Studios in Rochester, New York and the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, where he served as Suzuki Cello specialist and chamber music coach for nearly ten years. In 1985, John Landefeld was invited to play with Janos Starker in a cello festival sponsored by the Chicago Cello Society. One year later, Mr. Landefeld was a national finalist in the American String Teachers Association Solo Competition, and a finalist in the Julius Stulberg Competition.
As a chamber performer, Mr. Landefeld was awarded First Prize in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition. He was also cellist of the classical, crossover group, Neo Camerata with which he has had the pleasure of playing for enthusiastic audiences all across the United States as well as in Europe.
Mr. Landefeld’s work as a recording artist can be heard on the CDs of many Dallas/Fort Worth area musicians including Brice Beaird, Heather McCready, and Carey Dyer. Mr. Landefeld is equally comfortable in the recording studio as producer and arranger as he enjoys collaborating with other artists to record and produce their music. He has also played on recordings made for commercials that have aired nationwide. Mr. Landefeld has been a cello teacher for 30 years and has a successful cello studio in Plano. He enjoys helping the students achieve their highest possible musical goals.
Strings Judges – Senior Division
Dr. Ania Bard-Schwarz comes from a musical family. At 14, Ania was admitted as the youngest student to the Maastricht Conservatory of Music. She received a full scholarship to study at the University of Kansas earning Bachelor of Music degree in 1997, followed by Master of Music from the New England Conservatory, Boston in 1999. Ania won the first Gregor Piatigorsky Foundation Competition and was awarded 25 recitals in the 1999–2000 season across the United States. Between 2001-2006, Ania was a freelance member of Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Polish Chamber Philharmonic, Sinfonietta Cracovia, Camerata Stuttgart, and the acclaimed Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, Germany. In 2008, Ania served as Concertmaster of Orquesta Filarmonica de Teatro Municipal de Santiago, Chile.
Between 2009-2019, Dr. Bard-Schwarz served first as interim and then as the Concertmaster of Plano and Irving Symphony Orchestras. She currently holds the title of Concertmaster Emerita of both symphonies. She served as Associate Musician with the Dallas Opera between 2010-2016. She was member of two Baroque ensembles in the DFW area: Orchestra of New Spain and Texas Camerata. In 2009 and 2010, Dr. Bard-Schwarz served as faculty at the International Chamber Music Festival in Positano, Italy.
Ania Bard-Schwarz earned Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas in violin performance with minor in ethnomusicology in 2014 during which time, she served as a Teaching Fellow and Department Assistant. Dr. Bard-Schwarz taught as Adjunct Professor of Violin at the University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University. Currently, Dr. Bard-Schwarz is pursuing research on the ability of music to be an active factor of dialogue in society.
Creed Miller is a native of Orlando, FL. He grew up immersed in both instrumental and choral music. Beginning his studies of the cello at age seven, Creed went on to attend Florida State University and completed his Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance. During college, Creed met his future wife, now Allie Miller, in the summer of 2016 when both he and she attended the National Music Festival as participating musicians. Upon graduating from Florida State University, Creed followed Allie out to Texas Christian University, where he completed his Master of Music degree in Cello Performance. Creed is currently a realtor with the esteemed Keller Williams Realty. He also serves as the Director of Music at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Arlington, TX. Cello remains an active part of his life and career, as he plays with the Plano Symphony Orchestra, the Richardson Symphony Orchestra, and the Irving Symphony Orchestra. His wife, Allie, is an equally accomplished violinist, and also a member of the Plano Symphony and the Board of the Plano Symphony.
At the start of the 2023/24 season, American conductor Shira Samuels-Shragg began her new position as assistant conductor for the Spokane (WA) Symphony, while maintaining her current assistant conductor post with the Plano (TX) Symphony. Recently, Shira guest conducted interdisciplinary concerts with the Spokane, Corpus Christi, and South Bend symphonies. She is passionate about sharing the wonders of music with young audiences and has led education concerts with the Spokane and Plano symphonies for over 28,000 students, served as cover conductor for Young People’s Concerts with the New York Philharmonic, and co-founded Plano Symphony’s Summer Youth Orchestra Camp. A fierce advocate for gender equity in the orchestral world, Shira co-founded the Women Composers Series with the Plano Symphony, was chosen to be a mentee with the Taki Alsop Fellowship, and is honored to be one of the four conductors selected from an international applicant pool for The Dallas Opera’s 2024 Hart Institute for Women Conductors. Shira earned her MM in Conducting from The Juilliard School, where she studied with David Robertson, and her BA from Swarthmore College, where she studied with Andrew Hauze.
Violinist Ordabek Duissen has won several awards at numerous international competitions including 1st prize in the Franz Schubert competition in Italy, 2nd prize in the International Violin Competition in Astana, Kazakhstan, the diploma in the Michelangelo Abbado International Competition in Milan,( Italy), Grand Prize in the National Competition in Kazakhstan. He has participated in various international music festivals as a soloist, concertmaster and chamber musician at “Music of Laguna” (Italy), “Ost-West Musicfest” ,“Mozarteum”(Austria), Pacific Music Festival (Japan) , AIMS festival in Graz, Austria and others. As a soloist and chamber musician he has toured and performed in many countries including the Ukraine, Russia, Italy, France, Austria, Great Britain, South Korea, Mexico and throughout the United States.
Ordabek, a virtuoso violinist, in his native country is a remarkably first violinist to ever perform all 24 Caprices for Violin Solo by Niccolo Paganini in the course of one concert, with this program Ordabek played concerts in Kazakhstan. In November 2011 joined the Dallas Opera Orchestra as Assistant Concertmaster. In 2013 Ordabek was awarded “Honored Artist of the Republic of Kazakhstan” title for his contribution in arts and culture of Kazakhstan. In 2014 Ordabek was awarded Youth Government award “Daryn” in classical music nomination in Kazakhstan. Currently, he is a member of Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra section first violin and Concertmaster at the Irving Symphony, Irving, TX.
Dr. Corey Mackey enjoys a multi-faceted career as an educator, orchestral musician, soloist, and chamber musician. He is the clarinet professor at TCU in Fort Worth, TX. Mackey maintains a bustling national presence, while international tours have taken him to Europe and China. He has appeared with Cincinnati-based ensemble concert:nova, Orchestra Iowa, Quad Cities Symphony (IA), Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Flagstaff Symphony, Richmond Symphony (IN), and has performed and recorded an album with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure as Principal Clarinet of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (2009-2020) he appeared as a featured soloist in concertos by Mozart and Copland. A proponent of new music, Mackey has premiered and/or commissioned works by Carter Pann, Libby Larsen, Adam Gorb, Jim Stephenson, William Neil, and Nathan Daughtrey. He is a founding member of the Mackey/Lienert Duo, a dynamic clarinet and percussion chamber ensemble whose debut album of new works for clarinet and percussion, Escape, was released in 2018 on the Mark Custom label.
An in-demand pedagogue, Dr. Mackey has presented masterclasses and guest recitals at universities across the country and in China, and has performed at several conferences. Additional endeavors have included his appointment as Artistic Director of the Mineral Point Chamber Music Festival (WI), Founder and Artistic Director of the Blue Dish Music Festival, ICA Wisconsin State Chair, and host of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra’s Gen S community outreach events. Dr. Mackey holds a D.M.A. from the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, M.M. from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, and B.M. in Music Education and Performance from Northern Arizona University. Prior to his appointment at TCU Dr. Mackey was the Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville. He is a Buffet Group USA Artist – Clinician and D’Addario Performing Artist.