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Maxine Gong


Maxine Gong, a concert pianist, guest artist, and piano educator graduated from the Eastman School of Music and New England Conservatory where she earned her Bachelor's and Master’s degrees in Piano Performance. She has taught in New England Conservatory piano department as a piano instructor serving as a teaching assistant for piano lessons and classes. Currently, she is a candidate for the Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance with Prof. Antoinette Perry at USC’s Thornton School of Music. As a piano educator, Maxine co-founded the Irvine Community Engagement Program and the Irvine Chamber Music Program. She is also an affiliated member of SYMF and the Music Teacher's Association of California (MTAC). Many of her students have won first prizes including Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, James Ramos International Competition, Southwest Bach Festival, and MTAC Theme Festival, etc. In the summer of 2019, she was invited to perform at the Lansum International Music Festival as a guest artist.


In Maxine's musical path, she had the great privilege of studying under many world-renowned pianist and educators such as Daoyun Li, Zhaoyi Dan, Eleanor Wong, Steinway Artist Dr. Enrico Elisi, NEC piano faculty chair Bruce Brubaker, international concert pianist Shai Wosner, John Perry, and Antoinette Perry.


Born in Shanghai, China, Maxine’s parents encouraged her to play the piano at the age of two. Her first piano instructor was Guoyu Gong, who was a professor at the Conservatory of Music in Nanjing, China. Five years later, Maxine gave her first piano solo recital in Nanjing and became a student of Daoyun Li at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She was subsequently accepted into Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Shenzhen Arts School as a special piano student at age ten. Her teachers were Sheng Jin, Zhaoyi Dan, and Eleanor Wong, a renowned professor in the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. In 2009, she came to the Idyllwild Arts Academy, one of only three boarding high schools for the performing arts in the United States, where her teacher was Nelms McKelvain.


Maxine earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music under Dr. Enrico Elisi. During her four years in Rochester, New York, she performed in local events and community services, as well as a chamber music performance with cellist and faculty member, Ko Iwasaki in Montecito International Music Festival.


She graduated in 2016 from Eastman and began her Master's studies at the New England Conservatory with scholarship in the studio of the piano faculty chair, Bruce Brubaker and pianist Shai Wosner. As a student of the New England Conservatory, she was selected as a piano instructor and teaching assistant for the piano department. She was coached by the Grammy Award-winning, Kim Kashkashian, and was also invited to perform in Kim’s music program called Music For Food. In Boston local, she was also an active pianist and performer that was selected to be a fellow for the NEC Community Performance Program.


Maxine was a top prize winner in numerous competitions, including the 12th Hong Kong Asia Piano Open Competition Certificate Fifth Class Award in 2002, the 69th Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Award, and the Third TOYAMA Youth Musical Competition Excellent Achievement Prize in 2005. Winner of the Idyllwild Arts Academy Concerto Competition, she performed the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat Major. She also was a prizewinner of the Steinway Society of Riverside County Award's senior division, the Los Angeles Music Center Spotlight Awards Competition, the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, and the AmicaFest International Concerto Competition.


Maxine has presented solo recitals and concerts worldwide. She has made her debut in many important halls such as Carnegie Hall, Teatro Massimo Bellini in Italy, Kodak Hall, Hatch Hall, Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, etc. She also performed the Liszt Concerto with the Idyllwild Arts Academy Orchestra. In 2016, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in New York City. In 2018, she gave her European debut with the Bellini Symphony Orchestra in Teatro Massimo Bellini, Italy, playing Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No.1 in g minor, Op. 25.


Over a few summers, Maxine has attended the Montecito International Music Festival, Texas State International Piano Festival, and Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. She participated in masterclasses with John Perry, Boris Slutsky, Douglas Humpherys, Violetta Egorova, Tian Ying, Tamas Ungar, Yoshikazu Nagai, and Ilja Scheps.



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