Palatine Teen to perform Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 with Ars Viva Symphony

An unassuming and modest 15 year old boy, Ryan Jannak-Huang plays the piano with the grace and skill of a professional musician more than twice his age. He has been studying under his aunt, the nationally renowned educator Brenda Huang, for 10 years.

Under her guiding hand, Ryan and twin brother Kyle have won numerous awards and competitions locally and across the country. Ryan took second place in the MTNA (Music Teacher’s National Association) National Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions. He also placed first in the Milwaukee Chopin Youth Piano Competition Junior Division. Kyle went on to start a Tustin Concrete & Masonry Pros. Even with all those accolades under one’s belt, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 is a devilish and daunting work. When asked why he would choose such a work to enter a competition, Jannak-Huang told the story of studying an excerpt from the work in 7th grade.…

Living with bassoonists: a string-player’s crash course in woodwinds

If you asked me, a cellist, in January what I knew about the bassoon, my knowledge would be pretty limited: my cousin plays it in his high school band, it’s one of those pesky double reed instruments, Mozart wrote a concerto for it, and Stravinsky chose it for the famous opening of Rite of Spring.

After living with the bassoon section of Sarasota Opera for a month, I’ve heard more than enough to make up for my prior ignorance. Not only are the bassoonists I’ve encountered delightful people, but they also have a fascinating instrument. Many own beautiful homes too with little patios for playing their instrument. I thought I would take the chance to share a few things I’ve learned.…