Dr. Renato Fabbro
Pianist Renato Fabbro was awarded the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Rice University as a full fellowship recipient. He has studied with such renowned pianists as Larry Graham, Angela Cheng and John Perry. Dr. Fabbro has performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, Boulder Bach Festival, Colorado Mozart Festival, and Astoria Music Festival. He has performed chamber music recitals with acclaimed violinist Frank Huang and Northwestern University clarinet professor Steven Cohen. As part of the Martingale Ensemble, he recorded a CD for MSR Classics of music by Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler with members of the Oregon Symphony. He has judged numerous competitions, including the MTNA Northwest Division Piano Competition, Russian Chamber Music Foundation of Seattle Competition, Texas Music Teachers Association Performance Competition, Washington Outstanding Artist Competition, Chopin Northwest Competition, Reno Music Festival, Seattle Steinway Competition, Spokane Piano Competition, Musicfest Northwest, GMCC Piano Competition, Portland Young Pianists Competition, Seattle International Piano Festival, and Washington and Idaho MTNA Piano Competitions. He was also invited to give master classes for the Boise chapter of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the North Idaho Music Teachers Association, and the Young Artist Master Series in Everett, Washington.
Dr. Fabbro won the Adeline Rosenberg Memorial First Prize in the Fort Collins Symphony National Young Artist Competition as well as first prizes in the Grand Junction Symphony National Young Artist Competition, Colorado State Music Teachers Association Young Artists Piano Competition, Colorado University Honors Competition and several others. He has also won prizes and awards in the Lee Piano Competition, MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition and Jefferson Symphony International Young Artists Competition. He has been a featured soloist with the Oregon Symphony, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Collins Symphony, Grand Junction Symphony, Coeur d'Alene Symphony and Colorado University Orchestra.
A dedicated teacher, Dr. Fabbro has had two MTNA national finalists and his students have won multiple first prizes in the Coeur d'Alene Symphony National Young Artist Competition, MTNA Northwest Division Piano Competition, Vancouver Symphony Young Artists Competition, Steinway & Sons Piano Competition, Portland Young Pianists Competition, Oregon MTNA Piano Competition (Junior, Senior and Young Artist Piano divisions), Spokane Piano Competition, Central Oregon Symphony Young Artists Competition, Portland Monday Musical Club Scholarship Competition, Oregon Symphony Wiscarson Competition, Beaverton Symphony Young Artists Competition, and Oregon Sinfonietta Concerto Competition. His students have also won first prizes in the Mondavi Center National Young Artist Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs Stillman Kelley National Award, Washington Outstanding Artist Competition, Eugene Symphony Young Artist Competition, Portland Youth Philharmonic Concerto Competition, American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition (Grand Prize), and have been accepted into top piano performance degree programs, including the Eastman School of Music, Indiana University, Peabody Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music and Rice University Shepherd School of Music, among others. For twelve years, Dr. Fabbro was a member of the piano faculty of the University of Portland.
Dr. Merilyn Jacobsen
Dr. Merilyn "Mimi" Jacobson is among Puget Sound's most dynamic and beloved piano teachers, accompanists, and adjudicators. Her October presentation will be a valuable collection of tips, techniques, and perspectives that will make you a more effective teacher.
Merilyn Smith Jacobson is a National Certified Teacher of Music and an active pianist, chamber musician and collaborative performer as well as an adjudicator and clinician in the field of Piano Pedagogy. Her mother was a piano teacher and she began teaching her first students when she was twelve. She has been a soloist with various Symphony Orchestras and Symphonic Wind Ensembles in Washington State as well Washington, DC.
Merilyn has participated in the Aspen Music Festival where she was a student of Beveridge Webster (Juilliard School), the International Music Session in Grenoble, France (John Perry, Karl Kammerling) and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. Master Classes in recent years include playing for Ozan Marsh, Andre Schiff, Robin McCabe, Nelita True, and Irene Perry. Her travels have taken her to Perth, Australia where she regularly gives workshops and master classes. In addition, she has reviewed new teaching materials for the American Music Teacher and FJH Publications and is an Adjudicator (Visiting Artist) for the Washington State Music Teachers Association.
Jacobson holds a Doctorate in Piano (1996) from The Catholic University of America where she studied piano with Paul Ostrovsky (Moscow Conservatory Trio) and Thomas Mastrioanni, harpsichord with Peter Marshall of New York, and Pedagogy with Barbara English Maris and Marvin Blickenstaff. Her Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano are from Washington State University where she worked with Loran Olsen, Jerry Bailey and Istvan Nadas.
Currently, Merilyn maintains a large private studio in Puyallup, teaching piano and cello, coaching chamber music, and working with teachers in pedagogy classes, giving workshops and conducting master classes. She enjoys accompanying and collaborating with instrumentalists and singers in many state, national, and international competitions and festivals for pre-college and college- age students. Additional joys include traveling and playing with 8 grandchildren.
Master of Music: University of Michigan
Bachelor of Music: Eastman School of Music
Since joining the faculty at Western Washington University in 1992, pianist Jeffrey Gilliam has performed throughout the Pacific Northwest as solo recitalist; as guest pianist with The Seattle Chamber Players at Benaroya Hall; as chamber musician and soloist in the Marrowstone and Bellingham Festivals; and as concerto soloist with local orchestras. In addition, Prof. Gilliam’s extended association with the late Lord Yehudi Menuhin has led to his collaboration with superb instrumentalists, with whom he has performed at London’s Wigmore Hall, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., Carnegie Recital Hall in New York City; in numerous concert tours across the U.S. and Canada, and in distinguished European, Asian, and South American festivals.
Originally from Akron, Ohio, Jeffrey Gilliam studied piano with Cécile Genhart at the Eastman School of Music, and with Theodore Lettvin at the University of Michigan. A Fulbright Scholarship in piano and in German literature enabled him to continue his studies with Günter Ludwig in Cologne, Germany, where he made his European recital debut in 1982. He has also performed in master classes for Leon Fleisher, György Sebök, John Perry, Maria Curcio Diamand, Dorothy Taubman, Tatiana Nikolayeva, and György Sandor. He studied piano accompanying with Martin Katz and with Margo Garrett.
Prof. Gilliam taught an accompanying course at The Juilliard School, and for three years he was Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Michigan School of Music. He worked on the faculty of the International Menuhin Music Academy in Gstaad/Blonay, Switzerland for fourteen years. He has recorded with violinists Yehudi Menuhin, Ruggerio Ricci, and Alberto Lysy, for EMI, Opus 111, and Dinemec Classics, respectively.
At Western Washington University, Jeffrey Gilliam teaches piano and directs the piano accompanying program. In addition he is Artistic Director of The Sanford-Hill Piano Series (www.wwu.edu/sanfordhill/). Several of his recent former WWU piano performance majors have gone on to distinguished graduate programs at Rice University Shepherd School of Music; Manhattan School of Music; Stony Brook University School of Music; and The New England Conservatory.
Prof. Gilliam remains active as an adjudicator and clinician with the Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA). His WWU piano students frequently distinguish themselves as state and divisional winners in Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) competitions.
In recent years he has taught as a guest professor at The University of Pretoria, South Africa (1998-99), and at Silpakorn Fine Arts University in Bangkok, Thailand (1999). In 2005, he received his second Fulbright, a Senior Specialist Award for performance and teaching in Thailand. In May, 2006 he accompanied the Asian recital debut of WWU soprano alumna Erin Wall at the Musashino Cultural Center in Tokyo, Japan. In June, 2006 & 2007 he taught on the faculty of The Summer Institute for Contemporary Performance Practice at The New England Conservatory in Boston.