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August 10, 2005

Birmingham-Southern piano professor invited to teach again in China

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Internationally acclaimed pianist and Birmingham-Southern College Artist-in-Residence William DeVan has been invited to teach next summer at the Shen Yang Conservatory in Shen Yang, China.

DeVan, a Steinway artist, was invited as a result of a master class and recital he performed there this summer. He was part of a group of performers selected by pianist and teacher Fernando Laires, who currently teaches at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Laires established the American Music Week in China more than 10 years ago and a group of performers is chosen to tour each year.

Members of the 2005 group included DeVan; pianist Oresta Cybriwsky from the Hochschule fuer Music in Munich, Germany; mezzo-soprano Gale Fuller from Wellesley College; pianist James Giles from Northwestern University; violinist Mark Rush from the University of Arizona; and pianist Nelita True from the Eastman School.

While in China, DeVan played concerts in the music conservatories of Chengdu, Shen Yang, and Ziamen. He also gave a master class in each conservatory, teaching students ranging in age from 13 to 25.

A native of Pine Hill, Ala., DeVan received his bachelor's and master's degrees from The Juilliard School. He also studied piano in Germany, receiving the Konzertexamen Diploma in 1979 from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover.

In 1975, he became the only American pianist ever to win the “Vianna da Motta” competition in Lisbon, Portugal. He also has toured, appeared in numerous concerts, performed recitals, and presented master classes in the United States, Australia, Croatia, France, Germany, Israel, Canada, and Taiwan, among other locations.

A recipient of two Mellon Foundation grants, DeVan is co-author of “Schumann: Solo Piano Literature,” a comprehensive guide to the piano works of Robert Schumann. He has been teaching at Birmingham-Southern for 25 years.

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