Press Releases

Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts Presents Distinguished Artists Master Class with Acclaimed Pianist Fei-Fei Dong Sunday, April 9


BERKELEY HEIGHTS—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts (WIPA) will present a Distinguished Artists Master Class with acclaimed pianist Fei-Fei Dong on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts School located at 60 Locust Avenue in Berkeley Heights. Praised for her “bountiful gifts and passionate immersion into the music she touches” (The Plain Dealer), Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong is a winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition and a top finalist at the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Tickets are $5 at the door. Distinguished Artists Master Classes are free for WIPA students.

Says Executive Director Karen Deschere, “By offering master classes with distinguished artists at little to no cost to our students and the public, we are carrying out our mission of providing the highest quality performing arts education to our community.” 

Three Performing Arts School students will perform in the master class on April 9. Evan Bulan, 12, of New Providence will perform the third movement of Clementi’s Sonatina in C Major, Op. 36, No. 3. He attends Newark Academy and has studied piano at the Performing Arts School for 5 years with faculty member Sung-Hae Jung. Eric Kyi, 9, of Berkeley Heights attends Hughes Elementary School. He will perform Medtner’s The Bird Fairy Tale and has studied piano at the Performing Arts School for 3 years with faculty member Anna Vozhik. Julian Lee, 13, of Summit attends the Pingry School and has studied piano at the Performing Arts School for 2 years with faculty member Sung-Hae Jung. He will perform Glinka’s Variations on a Russian Song in A Minor.

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Born in Shenzhen, China, Fei-Fei Dong began piano lessons at the age of 5. She moved to New York to study at The Juilliard School, where she earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees under the guidance of Yoheved Kaplinsky. Dong’s burgeoning career includes a number of prominent concerto engagements in the 2016-17 season, including performances with the Anchorage Symphony, Spokane Symphony, DuPage Symphony (IL) and a special concert with the Pacific Symphony, featuring Fei-Fei playing both Beethoven Concerto No. 1 and No. 4 with conductor Carl St, Clair at Soka Performing Arts Center in Aliso Viejo, CA.  Featured recitals this season include the SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center and the Howland Chamber Music Circle Piano Festival (both NY), Macon Concert Association (GA), and Atlantic Music Center (FL).  This follows a busy summer 2016 schedule internationally, including recitals at Spain’s Auditorio Nacional de Madrid, and in Shenzhen, China and Nantucket, MA, as well as a concerto with Germany’s Norddeutsche Philharmonie Rostock and chamber music at the Music at Menlo Festival.

Career concerto highlights in the US include the Fort Worth Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Corpus Christi Symphony, Austin Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Fort Collins Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, and the Juilliard Orchestra, and in China with the Shanxi and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestras.  She has worked with such prominent conductors as Leonard Slatkin, Michael Stern, Jeffrey Kahane, Randall Craig Fleisher, and John Giordano.

Dong has performed in recital at Alice Tully Hall as the winner of Juilliard’s 33rd Annual William Petschek Recital Award.  Other notable recent recitals in the US include her Weill Recital Hall debut at Carnegie Hall, Gilmore Rising Stars (Kalamazoo, MI) and The Cliburn’s spring 2015 Chopin Festival, and in Europe at Warsaw Philharmonic Concert Hall and the Louvre. She is a member of the Aletheia Piano Trio, which debuted at the Kennedy Center in February 2014 as part of its Conservatory Project, and performs across the US. Deeply committed to sharing her joy for music and connecting with communities, Dong also engages students and community audiences through frequent school and outreach concerts and master classes.

The Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ mission is to provide the highest quality performing arts education to a wide range of students in a supportive and inclusive environment, where striving for personal excellence inspires and connects those we teach to the communities we serve.

Wharton is New Jersey’s largest independent non-profit community performing arts education center serving over 1,400 students through a range of classes and ensembles including the 14 ensembles of the New Jersey Youth Symphony which serve 500 students in grades 3 - 12. Beginning with Early Childhood music classes for infants and toddlers, WIPA offers private lessons, group classes and ensembles for all ages and all abilities. We believe in the positive and unifying influence of music and the performing arts and believe that arts education should be accessible to all people regardless of their ability to pay. We teach all instruments and voice and have a robust musical theatre program.

The Paterson Music Project is Wharton’s El Sistema-inspired program held at the Community Charter School of Paterson and Paterson Public School 1/26. Students receive 6 hours of intensive music instruction each week with the goal of creating social change through the ambitious pursuit of musical excellence.


Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts is located in Berkeley Heights, New Providence and Paterson, NJ and reaches students from 13 counties. All of WIPA’s extraordinary faculty members and conductors hold degrees in their teaching specialty and have been vetted and trained to enable our students to achieve their personal best.

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Upcoming Events


Wed, March 21, 2:00 PM

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Fri, March 23, 12:00 PM

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Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


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Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Fri, April 6, 12:00 PM

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Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve


Sat, April 14, 7:00 PM


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Sat, June 2, 9:00 AM

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Holy Savior Academy 5K and Family Fun Walk

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Tue, June 12, 7:00 PM

FairBridge Hotel and Conference Center, Somerset

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