College of Fine Arts and Design

Jurors and Guest Artists

Valery KuleshovValery Kuleshov

Dr. Valery Kuleshov and his wife Kate came to the University of Central Oklahoma in 1998. He serves as an Artist in Residence for the College of Fine Arts and Design in the School of Music. Kuleshov, a pianist, is an Honored Artist of the Russian Federation whose awards include a Gold Medal at the Busoni International Piano Competition (1987), a Silver Medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition (1993) and the first prize at the Pro Piano Competition (1998).

Kuleshov has toured the world, performing in some of the world's best concert halls including New York's Carnegie Hall, the Milan Conservatory in Italy and the Great Halls of the Moscow Conservatory and St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

Kuleshov was born in Chelyabinsk, Russia, near what is now Kazakhstan. He began playing by ear at age five. Teachers soon noticed his talent, and by age seven he had left home to enter the prestigious Central Music School at the Moscow Conservatory. At age nine, he made his concert debut in the Conservatory's Great Hall.

Kuleshov briefly studied with piano legend Vladimir Horowitz. In 2001, he released "Homage to Vladimir Horowitz," a CD of Kuleshov's transcriptions of his mentor's works. He also has released several other CDs.

Kuleshov performs concerts each year at the University of Central Oklahoma. Students in the UCO Symphony Orchestra often get the opportunity to accompany him during his performances, and at times Kuleshov gives a solo performance.

Petronel MalanPetronel Malan

"Formidable…dizzying…magical.” These words from New York reviewer Harris Goldsmith vividly illustrate pianist Petronel Malan’s uniquely captivating style. Indeed, as a multiple Grammy® nominee and gold medalist of several international piano competitions, Petronel continues to enthrall audiences worldwide.

Lauded by reviewers as an unmistakably creative force in the classical music industry, Petronel’s critical acclaim culminated in the nomination of three Grammy® Awards, including “Best Instrumental Solo Album” for her debut disc Transfigured Bach. As an exclusive recording artist for Hänssler Classic, Transfigured Mozart (2006) and Transfigured Beethoven (2008) followed to great critical acclaim. Transfigured Tchaikovsky (2012) was awarded "The American Prize of Excellence in the Arts." 2015 Transfigured Brahms was released, which includes the world-premiere recording of 4 transcriptions by American composer Lowell Liebermann.

Petronel maintains a full performance schedule as recitalist, orchestral soloist and chamber musician in major venues throughout the world. After her European debut in Rome, further highlights have included Carnegie Recital Hall, Théâtre du Châtelet & Salle Cortot (Paris), Mozarteum (Salzburg), Liszt Museum (Budapest), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Alte Handelsbörse (Leipzig), Bass Hall (Fort Worth), as well as the Ravinia, Gilmore & Music in the Mountain Festivals. Petronel has appeared with orchestras such as the St. Petersburg State (Russia), Martinú (Czech Republic), Bucaramanga (Colombia), Batumi (Republic of Georgia), Sicilian Chamber (Italy), and several others in the US and South Africa, under the batons of Vasily Petrenko, Bernhard Gueller, Karina Canellakis, Dmitry Manilov, Yoshimi Takeda, James Brooks, Robert Hanson, and Fuzao Kajima.

Ms. Malan’s career was launched following five gold medals in 2000 at international piano competitions throughout the United States. These included the Louise McMahon, Missouri Southern, Los Angeles Liszt “Budapest Concert” and Hilton Head International Piano Competitions. She also garnered the grand prize in the Web Concert Hall Competition (2000) and gold medals in the Grace Welsh Piano Competition and the Young Texas Artist Award.

Born in South Africa, Petronel began lessons with her mother at age four, continuing with Adolph Hallis, Joseph Stanford and Albie van Schalkwyk. She debuted with the Johannesburg Symphony at age ten and subsequently won all major national competitions, before moving to the United States. Petronel completed both her graduate degrees at the University of North Texas. Her teachers included Steven de Groote, Ralph Votapek and Joseph Banowetz and intensive coaching sessions from American legend Earl Wild.

Although residing in the United States, Ms. Malan continues strong ties to her native South Africa. She received the “Rapport/City Press Prestige Award” as one of the “10 Most Inspirational Women in South Africa,” and has appeared on magazine covers, fashion spreads and even as picture-clues in crossword puzzles. She was awarded both a KKNK Kanna and a KykNET Fiesta awards for her live performances in South Africa. Apart from a love for vintage gowns, Ms. Malan’s stage wardrobe is designed by foremost South African designers. A frequent speaker and promoter of classical music in schools, scholarships in her name are awarded to promising young musicians.

Eugene Skovorodnikov

Eugene Skovorodnikov

Audiences throughout Europe, Canada, U.S., Latin America, Asia and former Soviet Union recognize Eugene Skovorodnikov for his stylistic interpretation and his technical brilliance. Born in Ukraine, he is a prize winner of "N. Lisenko" National Piano Competition (Ukraine). Eugene Skovorodnikov took his post-graduate course at the St. Petersburg conservatory (Russia) where he remained teaching until 1990 when he left the country.

In 2006 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Musical Arts by Kharkov State University of Arts, Ukraine for his achievements in performance and teaching.

“Extraordinary performance…represented all the impressive characteristics of the Grand School…incomparable elegance and enchanting power…” “ Il Ponte”, Italy

He was invited to perform in famous concert halls of the world such as Great and Small Philharmonic Halls (St. Petersburg, Russia), Chan Centre for Performing Arts(Vancouver, Canada), Theatre Bibiena (Mantova, Italy), Grand Theatre (Shenzhen, China), Xinghai Concert Hall (Guangzhou, China), Centre for the Performing Arts ( Kfar-Saba, Israel), Ghione Theatre (Rome, Italy), Kharkov Philharmonic Hall (Kharkov, Ukraine), Schwartz Centre for Performing Arts (Atlanta, USA).

“…His performance of the “Wanderer” Fantasia by Schubert hypnotized us…Mr. Skovorodnikovʼs powerful inspiration and sovereign technique allowed him to create perfection and beauty of the real sound image” “ Musica e Scuola”, Italy

"... Eugene captured attention of the audience with his perfect mastery and polished sense of style, full of life and romanticism... he played with the power and colours of symphony orchestra, with fluent and flawless virtuosity", "Nevsky Times", Russia

" ...Skovorodnikov returned to Rome after a three year absence, but his long awaiting fan audience was treated to an absolutely outstanding performance; this level of artistic quality has been rarely heard in the past few musical seasons in Rome..." "Musica e Scuola", Italy

"... A sturdy Russian-Canadian pianist, Eugene Skovorodnikov, played with thunderous firmness a difficult Russian programme: four works by Tchaikovsky, Miaskovsky's Sonata No. 2, six Shostakovich Preludes and two "Moments musicaux" by Rachmaninov.
Interesting and illuminating, this was in the Chopiniana series" "Tribuna Musical", Argentina

Eugene Skovorodnikov is concertizing extensively as solo pianist and as chamber performer with such artists as Italian virtuoso flautist Stefano Maffizzoni; Russian violinist Alexandre Brussilovsky; internationally acclaimed clarinetist Julian Milkis; world renowned cellist Mischa Maisky; and with symphony orchestras. He was invited and re-invited to perform with such symphony orchestras as " Sinfonia" (Canada), "West Coast Symphony" (Canada), Kharkov Philharmonic, L'vov Philharmonic, Donetsk Philharmonic (Ukraine), Irkutsk Chamber Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, "Hermitage" Chamber Orchestra (Russia), Mexican State Orchestra, Monterrey Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), Grosseto Symphony Orchestra (Italy) and many others.

“ …Eugene Skovorodnikov played brilliantly. Unique virtuosity and beauty of tone were submitted to the spiritual criteria of interpretation. Concerto #1 by D.Shostakovich became a genuine revelation for the audience…” " Russian Youth”, Russia

Eugene Skovorodnikov was invited as a member of the juries to many piano international competitions, such as "Rome 1997", "Rome 2002", “Rome 2015", “S. Rachmaninov" in Morcone (Italy), "16th Rina Sala Gallo Piano International Competition" in Monza (Italy), "1st Benjamino Cesi Piano International Competition" (Italy), "Premio Fausto Zadra - Citta Abano di Terme" (Italy), "Franz Liszt" Piano International Competition in Weimar (Germany), "Sigismund Thalberg" Piano International Competition (Italy)

Eugene Skovorodnikov is Artistic Director of "Music Encore Concert Society" (Canada).

He is frequently invited to perform and give master-classes at the international festivals such as " Summit Music Festival " in New York, International Music Academy in St. Petersburg (Russia), Masters de Pontlevoy (France), "International Chamber Music Festival" in Positano (Italy) and Shanghai (China), "Kharkov's Assemblies" (Ukraine), "Burgos Music Festival" (Spain), “Schlern International Music Festival and Masterclass” (Italy), “Grand Nancy Music Academy” (France).

From 1991 to 2011, Eugene Skovorodnikov has been teaching with the piano faculty at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada. Many of his students became winners of national and international competitions.

Eugene Skovorodnikov is a Steinway Artist.

Steve Betts

Steve Betts is Dean of Humanities and Education at Southern Nazarene University, and has also taught at California Baptist University and Louisiana State University. He is a Managing Editor for Clavier Companion and has written educational materials for the Frances Clark Library for Piano Students. He has recorded for Summit Records and Crimson Heart Records and his research has been published in Clavier Companion, The Journal of Research in Music Education, and The American Music Teacher.

Katheryn Woodard

Kathern Woodard, pianistPianist Kathryn Woodard specializes in curating and performing programs that explore cross-cultural exchange in music. Hailed as “both a formidable technician and a sensitive artist” by the Dallas Morning News, she has performed at recital venues across the U.S. and has premiered numerous works by composers from across the globe. She has taught workshops in Body Mapping and the Alexander Technique at several prominent music schools, including the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Guildhall School of Music (London), and Texas Christian University. Her website is