Guest artist Yoo to perform with piano faculty

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Guest artist Dr. Kyung-A Yoo, associate professor of collaborative piano at Mercer University, will join piano faculty members at Stephen F. Austin State University to present “Eight-Hands Piano Concert” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in Cole Concert Hall on the SFA campus.

SFA piano professors Drs. Ronald Petti, Mario Ajero and Minhae Lee will collaborate with Yoo to perform “Danse Macabre” by Camille Saint-Saëns; Souvernirs, Op. 28 by Samuel Barber; Four Piece Suite by Richard Rodney Bennett; Fantasy on the Themes from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen”; and “Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.

“This will be a very fun and exciting concert,” Lee said. “It’s like a piano ‘monsters’ concert, with two grand pianos and four pianists — a variety program.”

Hailed for “her expressive and sensitive sound,” Dr. Yoo is a distinguished artist at Robert McDuffie Center for Strings where she coaches and performs with string players and guest artists. She has been an artist collaborator at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, working closely with such renowned musicians and pedagogues as Leone Buyse, Paul Kantor, Richie Hawley and Stephen King. As a collaborative pianist, she frequently performed with new music ensemble the New York Composers Circle, the Joy in Singing Art Song Competition, New Triad for Collaborative Arts, and the Korea Music Foundation, presenting debut recitals and annual concerts at Carnegie and Merkin halls. She has been collaborative pianist at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University and at Oberlin Conservatory. She also worked as faculty member of the Heifetz International Music Institute and joined Aspen Music Festival and School in 2014 as a collaborative pianist and performance coach.

Ajero is professor of piano at SFA where he teaches applied piano lessons, group piano classes and piano pedagogy and serves as the keyboard area coordinator. He is internationally recognized as an authority in incorporating technology in piano pedagogy and music education.

As the director of collaborative piano at SFA, Petti directs the Master of Music in Collaborative Piano, teaches the undergraduate course accompanying techniques, the graduate survey courses vocal literature with piano and chamber music literature with piano, and applied lessons in piano accompanying and harpsichord. He is also the accompanist for many ongoing events in the School of Music.

Lee is assistant professor of piano at SFA. She has been collaborative pianist at Jeju International Brass Competition, the Manhattan School of Music, the Manhattan in the Mountains Summer Festival, Michigan State University, Central Michigan State University, and the Aspen Music Festival and School as a full scholarship pianist. Before joining SFA, Lee was named as the only Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Yale School of Music in 2020.

Prior to Friday’s concert, Yoo will conduct a master class for SFA student pianists from noon to 2 p.m. in Cole Concert Hall.

Concert tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. To purchase tickets, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit For additional information, contact the SFA School of Music at (936) 468-4602.