The Young Scholars™ Program has been in place since the Lang Lang Foundation’s launch in 2008, making it their longest running initiative. The Foundation operates with the conviction that music is a universal language. They believe that the power of music can unite people across cultural and national divides, bringing messages of inspiration, tolerance, and acceptance to a global audience.

This year, the Cleveland Institute of Music will host the twelve pianists in the 2024-2026 cohort for the first Young Scholars Summit - a time of learning, comraderie, and music.

Schedule of Events

The Summit will run from June 24-29, 2024 and will include:

  • Three masterclasses with CIM piano faculty
  • Two recitals; one of which will be a "Piano Extravaganza," closing out the Summit with a festive concert featuring solo piano, four-hand one-piano, four-hand two-piano and up to 8-hand two-piano performances

A more detailed schedule is coming soon!

Meet the Faculty

Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Artistic Director

Antonio Pompa-BaldiBorn and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. He also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn Competition, as well as a bronze medal at the 1998 Marguerite Long Competition in Paris. The New York Times described his playing as “meltingly beautiful.” 

Pompa-Baldi founded the Todi International Music Masters Festival, of which he is artistic director and faculty member, and sits on the juries of the most prestigious piano competitions in the world.

Kathryn Brown

Kathryn BrownKathryn Brown has performed around the globe as concerto soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. She gave her New York Recital Debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall and has been featured on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, at Severance Hall, as well as the German Embassy, the Philips Collection, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. International highlights include concerts in Shanghai, China, University of London, Prague’s Rudolfinum Hall, the National Theatre in Ghana, Africa. She performed an extensive tour of Sweden, Africa and Estonia as winner of the United States Information Agency (USIA) Artistic Ambassadour Program She has been featured on the British Broadcasting Network, the PBS Artistry of... series, Chicago’s WFMT Radio,and NPR’s Performance Today. Kathryn Brown is an advocate of contemporary music and has recorded and premiered works by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Keith Fitch, David Tcimpidis, Margaret Brouwer, Michael Hersch and Matthias Pinscher.

Ms. Brown’s chamber music credits include founder of the Myriad Chamber Players with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, the Marlboro Music Festival and Ravinia’s Rising Stars series. Brown also performed at Carnegie Hall with The Cleveland Orchestra as orchestral keyboardist under the baton of Christoph von Dohnanyi.

An accomplished singer and recitalist, Kathryn Brown’s performance highlights include premieres at Severance Hall with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as feature roles at the Aspen Music Festival and Tanglewood Music Center.

Sonia Hu

Sonia HuSonia Xinyuan Hu is recognized as a skilled educator and pianist, serving as an instructor of Conservatory and Preparatory Eurhythmics at CIM. She has taught at numerous summer music festivals including CIM’s Summer Sonata, Encore Chamber Music and Chloe Trevor Music Academy in Nacogdoches, Texas. She has also given performances with ChamberFest Cleveland during concerts at Severance Hall’s Reinberger Chamber Hall and Chautauqua’s Lenna Hall.

In 2018, Hu was appointed as the music minister at Blessed Trinity Parish where she currently directs choir and instrumental ensembles.

Ariel Karas

Ariel KarasViolinist Ariel Clayton Karas manages and performs more than 250 events annually throughout northeast Ohio as founder and director of OPUS 216, director of Classical Revolution Cleveland, and Musician in Residence at the Cleveland Clinic.

Founded in 2012, OPUS 216 collaborates frequently with renowned organizations, including the Cleveland Museum of Art, American Greetings, Piano Cleveland, Cleveland Ballet, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and with performers for the Tri-C Jazz Fest, among others.

As director of Classical Revolution Cleveland, Ms. Clayton Karas curates dozens of free monthly performances each year in non-traditional venues throughout northeast Ohio. Their concert series, JOIN, brings classical music to underserved audiences, including crisis shelters, juvenile detention facilities, and social service organizations.

Sean Schulze

Sean SchulzeSean Schulze coordinates and teaches the undergraduate and graduate Piano Pedagogy and Piano Literature offerings at CIM in addition to teaching applied piano to students in CIM’s Joint Music Program and Academy. Enjoying a multifaceted career as both a pianist and pedagogue, Schulze has garnered a national reputation as a sought-after teacher of pre-college pianists. His students regularly enjoy success in regional and national competitions, and have appeared as concerto soloists with orchestra on more than 25 occasions. In regular demand as a clinician, adjudicator, and masterclass presenter, Schulze appears frequently as a guest of local music teacher’s associations, teaching and lecturing on piano related topics.

Daniel Shapiro

Daniel ShapiroDaniel Shapiro continues to gain recognition as a leading interpreter of Schubert, Mozart, Schumann, Brahms and Beethoven, and as a teacher and coach at the Cleveland Institute of Music. As a chamber musician, Shapiro has performed regularly with members of The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. 

His musicianship has been enhanced and deepened by extensive collaboration with singers; listening to and working with them has been a source of tremendous inspiration.

Over the past twenty five years, he has built a strong reputation as a dedicated and thoughtful pedagogue who helps students find the paths to penetrating interpretations of the works they study.