In the “masterclass” format, a few students are pre-chosen to play, and the guest teaching artist will give feedback and comments —basically like getting a private lesson, but in front of an audience. Although each presenter will run his or her masterclass differently, most presenters will include a Q&A session towards the end. One great thing about masterclasses is that the presenters are renowned artist-teacher-scholars, meaning that some of the content can be universally applicable to musicians of all instruments and levels. (E.g. a string student could attend a wind masterclass and learn something useful!) Masterclasses listed here are FREE and open to the public, and require no pre-registration or RSVP to attend.  

What should I bring to a masterclass?

Bring a pen/pencil and notebook. You’ll be getting a lot of valuable information, and it is really difficult to remember everything. Students generally do not need to bring their instruments to the classes, unless otherwise noted.  

Upcoming Masterclasses

  • More info coming soon!  

Past Masterclass Presenters

  • Trombonist KO-ICHIRO YAMAMOTO, January 14, 2017, Punahou Music School. Ko-Ichiro Yamamoto, one of the foremost Japanese trombonists of his generation, is the principal trombonist of the Seattle Symphony, a faculty member of the University of Washington School of Music, and a member of the Center City Brass Quintet. He formerly was a trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City for ten seasons. In the summer of 2012, he was the acting principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic and co-principal trombonist of the All-Star Orchestra. Learn more about Mr. Yamamoto

  • Violinist JEFF THAYERJanuary 13, 2017, Orvis Auditorium. Violinist Jeff Thayer holds the Deborah Pate and John Forrest Concertmaster Chair of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Thayer is also a founding member of the Camera Lucida chamber music ensemble, in residence at UCSD’s Conrad Prebys Music Center. Previous positions include assistant concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the North Carolina Symphony and concertmaster of the Canton (OH) Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Thayer was also formerly on the violin faculty of the Music Academy of the West where he also served as concertmaster for 13 years. He is a graduate of the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. His teachers include William Preucil, Donald Weilerstein, Zvi Zeitlin and Dorothy DeLay. Through a generous loan from Joan and Irwin Jacobs and the Jacobs’ Family Trust, Jeff Thayer performs on the 1708 “Sir Bagshawe” Stradivarius. Learn more about Mr. Thayer at the San Diego Symphony.
  • The world-famous violinist MIDORI, April 9, 2016, Orvis Auditorium. Midori is recognized as an extraordinary performer, a devoted and gifted educator, and an innovative community engagement activist. In recognition of the breadth and quality of her work in these three entirely separate fields, in 2012 she was given the prestigious Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum in Davos, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Yale University. In 2007, she was named a Messenger of Peace by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Named Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of Southern California in 2012, Midori works with her students at USC’s Thornton School, where she is also Jascha Heifetz Chair.
  • Violinist Ga-Hyun Cho, April 9, 2016. Ms. Cho came to international prominence and attention upon winning First Prize and Audience Prize in the Max Rostal International Violin Competition in 2012. Ms. Cho has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra,  Brandenburgische Staatsorchester Frankfurt Orchestra, and Munich Radio Orchestra. Cho is a graduate of Seoul National University and the New England Conservatory. She is currently enrolled in Doctorate Degree at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music under the tutelage of Midori.
  • Bassist KURT MUROKI, January 8, 2016. Mr. Muroki is a HYS alumnus (Baldwin High School) and has become one of the most well-respected musicians in America. He started playing the bass at age 13 and entered the famous Juilliard School of Music at age 17. At the age of 21 Kurt began performing with the internationally renowned Sejong Soloists under ICM Management. Kurt has performed with the The Jupiter Chamber Players, Speculum Musicae, “Great Performers” series at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Sospeso, Sequitur, The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Brooklyn Philharmonic, American Composers Orchestra, Tokyo Opera Nomori, New York City Ballet, 92nd St. Y, and Bargemusic. Festivals include Marlboro Music Festival, Festival L’Autonne at IRCAM, and Aspen Music Festival to name a few. He is now on the faculties of Indiana University, Stony Brook University, the McDuffie Center for Strings at Mercer University and others. He has also collaborated on albums and live concerts with artists such as The Who, Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Itzhak Perlman. Special Mahalo to Iolani School for hosting the class!
  • Cellist PETER WILEY, January 8, 2016, in conjunction with the Honolulu Chamber Music Series. Mr. Wiley attended the Curtis Institute of Music at 13 years old, and was appointed principal cellist of the Cincinnati Symphony at age 20, after one year in the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has been awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant, was nominated (with the Beaux Arts Trio) for a Grammy Award in 1998, and for another award with the Guarneri String Quartet in 2009. Mr. Wiley is on the faculty of the Bard College Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music.
  • Trombonist TOBY OFT, December 5, 2015 at the UH Bandroom. Mr. Oft is Principal Trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and is on faculty at New England Conservatory and Boston University. Mr. Oft has a special connection to HYS—he attended our Pacific Music Institute as a teenager, visiting with his band director from Oregon. Mr. Oft performed with Youth Symphony I & II at the Dec. 6 Winter Concert sponsored by Hawaii Independent Energy.
  • Pianist CONRAD TAO, April 11, 2015 at UH Music Dept, Room 36. Mr. Tao has been dubbed a musician of “probing intellect and open-hearted vision” by the New York Times, a “thoughtful and mature composer” by NPR, and “ferociously talented” by TimeOut New York. In June of 2011, the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named Mr. Tao a Presidential Scholar in the Arts, and was also named a Gilmore Young Artist, an honor awarded every two years highlighting the most promising American pianists of the new generation. In May of 2012, he was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant. Mr. Tao performed with Youth Symphony I at the 50th Anniversary Spring Community Concert sponsored by First Hawaiian Bank.
  • Hornist BRYCE NAKAOKA, October 4, 2014 at the UH Bandroom. Mr. Nakaoka is 3rd Horn with the United States Coast Guard Band and is Solo Horn in the Coast Guard Woodwind Quintet and the Radiance Woodwind Quintet. Mr. Nakaoka studied with Bill Bernatis and Beth Lano at UNLV, Roger Kaza at the Chautauqua Music Festival, and Eric Kop from the Royal Hawaiian Band. Mr. Nakaoka is a HYS alumnus and a graduate of Pearl City High School.
  • Trumpeter JOSEPH FOLEY, July 15, 2014 at UH Orvis Auditorium. Mr. Foley is founding member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet and performs/records regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera. He is on the faculties of New England Conservatory, Boston University, Boston Conservatory, Boston College, MIT, Harvard University, and Rhode Island College. He’s also a clinician for the Vincent Bach Corporation and gives masterclasses worldwide.