Dr. Meghan Bennett is the Assistant Professor of Flute at California State University, Fresno. She was awarded top prizes in the South Carolina Flute Society Young Artist Competition, Morning, Afternoon and Eau Claire Music Club Competition, Atlanta Flute Club Young Artist Competition, Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist Competition and Greater Philadelphia Flute Society Collegiate Young Artist Competition. Bennett has competed in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition and the Fischoff Competition.
She was a guest soloist with Chamber Music International in Dallas, TX and has performed with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Round Rock Symphony and the Palmetto Opera Orchestra. Dr. Bennett has been a recipient of fellowships to attend the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Brevard Music Center, Marrowstone Music Festival, National Music Festival and Spoleto Festival USA.
Bennett has led master classes and workshops at Oberlin Conservatory, The University of Texas at Austin, University of Washington, Princeton University, Baylor University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Tampa, Centro Cultural San Antonio (Chile) and the Matic Music Club (Ghana). One of her most requested presentations is her lecture-discussion –– Fused: Pop Ideas + Classical Sounds — which explores popular artists from Nina Simone to Beyoncé.
Bennett received degrees from The University of Texas at Austin, Peabody Conservatory and University of South Carolina. Her primary teachers include Marianne Gedigian, Marina Piccinini and Jennifer Parker-Harley.
Dr. Bennett is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade custom Haynes flute.
A native of Moscow, Russia, Maria Lyapkova has appeared at international music festivals including the Aspen Music Festival & School (United States), Spotlight on Young Musicians (France), and the Music of Norway (Norway/Russia). An accomplished collaborative pianist, she has performed with principals of leading orchestras such as the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and The Bolshoi Theatre. Currently, Maria serves as a Director of Collaborative Piano at the DePauw University School of Music.
A pianist, keyboardist, and educator, Maria Lyapkova feels equally at home performing on modern piano and period instruments including harpsichord and fortepiano. Her experience and knowledge encompass an extensive repertoire with a special interest in historical performance and new music. Maria made the ﬁrst recording of the sonatas for keyboard and obligato violin by forgotten German composer A. F. Titz on a historical fortepiano. As a proponent of new music, she has worked with prominent composers such as Gunther Schuller, Joseph Schwantner, and Bair Dondokov.
A passionate teacher, Maria is dedicated to guiding and educating young musicians of all ages. Her students have received honors and awards at district and state festivals. She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and frequently serves as a judge for music festivals and competitions.
Maria Lyapkova received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Collaborative Piano from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and Historical Performance from the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory.
The concerts are generously sponsored by the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council and by individual donors.