Joshua Kováč, 15, from Johnson City, Tennessee, first began cello lessons at the
age of four as a Suzuki student of Jean Dexter. Since the fall of 2015, he continued his cello studies under the tutelage of Daniel Veis, a renowned cellist and Professor at Park University. Joshua has won top prizes at numerous national and international competitions, including 1 st prize at the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition, 1 st prize at the Radda Rise International Competition, 2 nd prize at the Music Teachers National Association Competition, 1 st prize at Rudolph Barshai International String Competition, 1 st prize at The OpenStringZ, NWA International Crystal Cup Competition (formerly the Park-Na), 2 nd prize at Hilton Head Symphony Youth Concerto Competition, 1 st prize at Youth Aliyah Concerto Competition, 2 nd prize at Heran International Competition, and 1 st prize at
ProBohemia International Competition. Joshua performed as a soloist with Oak Ridge Symphony Orchestra, Kinnor Philharmonic, ETSU Chamber Orchestra, Scruffy City Orchestra, and in the fall of 2023 will perform Dvořák cello concerto with the Symphony of the Mountains. On February 6, 2020, Joshua appeared on NPR’s radio show From The Top, performed at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and received From The Tops 2020 Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award. Joshua has taken part in various music festivals, including Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute, Chamber Music Northwest Institute in Portland, Oregon, Heartland Chamber Music Festival, and the ETSU Chamber Music Festival. Recently, Joshua has attended prestigious cello masterclasses at the Kronberg Academy in Germany, where he was accepted into the class of renowned cellist and professor of Paris Conservatoire, Jerome Pernoo. Joshua has also participated in masterclasses given by cellists Matt Haimovitz, Steven Doane, Keith Robinson, Thomas Landshoot, Johannes Moser, and the members of the Harlem and Parker String Quartets. Among other interests,
Joshua enjoys swimming for the Science Hill competitive team, biking, playing
chess, reading, and spending time with his family and friends.

Chih-Long Hu / Piano

A native of Taiwan, pianist Chih-Long Hu‘s performance career was launched after receiving
honors including the Taipei National Concert Hall Arising Star, the Chi-Mei Artist Award, and
prizes from the Mauro Monopoli International Piano Competition in Italy, the Concurs
International De Piano D'Escaldes-Engordany in Andorra, the Takamatsu International Piano
Competition in Japan, and San Jose International Piano Competition in California.

An active performer, Hu performs extensively in Asia, Europe, and America appearing as a
concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. His recent performance highlights include
concerto performances of Rachmaninov’s Paganini Rhapsody, Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto,
Schumann’s Concerto in A, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, solo and chamber recitals in China,
Taiwan, Japan, Singapore, Ireland, Canada, and throughout the U.S. Hu’s performances have
been broadcast in "Performance Today" through NPR stations across the U.S. His CD albums
 “Complete Rachmaninov Etudes-Tableaux”, and “Goldberg Variations”
have received critical acclaims. Recipient of the UT Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching & named “Teacher of the
Year” by Tennessee Music Teachers Association, Knoxville Music Teachers Associations, and
Appalachian Music Teachers Association, Hu is committed and passionate in teaching. He
strives to cultivate and inspire curiosity in meaningful expressions and to help his students
discover their individuality through the music.  His students have won numerous prizes from
international and national competitions, and have been accepted to prestigious universities
and conservatories. Hu involves with the community and has served in various professional organizations. He is
frequently invited to give lectures and masterclasses, as well as to judge international and
national competitions.

Hu holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Michigan, a
Master's degree from Taipei National University of the Arts, and a Bachelor's degree in civil
engineering from National Taiwan University. His piano teachers include Arthur Greene,
Hung-Kuan Chen, and Tai-Cheng Chen. Hu is currently the Sandra G. Powell Endowed
Professor of Piano and the coordinator of Keyboard Studies at the