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Artists and Teachers of the Piano

Specializing in the Gifted and Talented

Crocus Hill Studios

Nationally recognized as one of the top independent studios of its kind, Minnesota based Crocus Hill Studios specializes in the development of the gifted and talented pre-college student. Through a rigorous and demanding program of lessons, performance classes, recitals, and competitions, Dr. Zins and Dr. Link seek to develop each of their students’ gifts to the fullest potential.

News

August 11, 2019

Our seventeen year old Beatrice (Bea) Grant has had a wonderful summer of artistic development.  Since her impressive Peoples' Choice Award and brilliant performance at Minnesota Public Radio's (MPR) Minnesota Varsity 2019 Showcase Concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall in May, Bea was the winner of a Schubert Club Grant  and was selected to attend three very competitive summer academies: Texas State International Piano Festival, San Marcos; Piano Texas International Festival and Academy, Texas Christ...

August 11, 2019

As many of you know from my past writings, our seventeen year old Nita Qiu has been enrolled for the past three years in the Chopin Foundation of the United States Scholarship Program.  It is a very demanding and comprehensive four year program to help build one's Chopin repertoire in preparation for the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.  In each of the past three years, Nita has been one of just ten students in the United States to win the full scholarship.  For this, the third y...

April 5, 2019

As you may recall, last January Beatrice (Bea) Grant was named a 2019 Featured Round Artist of Minnesota Public Radio's (MPR's)

Minnesota Varsity!  As a result, Bea was given the wonderful and rare opportunity of making a professional recording at the famous Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio, MPR's St. Paul Headquarters.  We chose Franz Liszt's brilliant and scintillating Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12.  Bea's performance was aired twice on KSJN as well as posted on line, along wi...

February 4, 2019

It is hard to explain in words what it was like to watch Nita walk onstage of storied and beautiful Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis last Sunday, home of our world-renowned Minnesota Orchestra.  And walk she did with her characteristic strength, determination, and beauty.  It was a watershed moment for me as her performance drew upon and synthesized all elements - spoken and unspoken -  experienced during the eleven plus years we have worked together.  Her appearance on stage was a golden-hued arch...

February 2, 2019

Honoring a special invitation from the Schubert Club, Beatrice Grant, Nita Qiu, and Austin Frohmader performed in the Master Class of the international pianist, Angela Hewitt.  The class was held last Wednesday, January 30th, in the beautiful Guild Hall of the Plymouth Congregational Church, downtown Minneapolis.  It was a fulfilling afternoon.  Beatrice offered the Finale of Beethoven's Sonata in A Major, Opus 2, No. 2; Nita performed the first movement of Chopin's Sonata No. 3 i...

January 16, 2019

Jasmine Jiang and Orion Kim continue the torrid pace of awards bestowed on our Premier Class of young artists.  Last Saturday, Jasmine and Orion were among those selected, by audition, to have the honor and opportunity to perform with the Golden Valley Orchestra on March 10th.  This is Jasmine's first big "win" after only her first two outings in local competition.  In December, as earlier noted, Jasmine was a finalist in the St. Paul Piano Teachers Concerto Competition.  She will be perfor...

January 15, 2019

We are proud and excited to announce that Bea Grant has been named a 2019 Featured Round Artist of Minnesota Public Radio's (MPR) Minnesota Varsity!  As a result of this impressive and prestigious program, Bea will have the opportunity to make a professional recording of Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 at the famous Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser Studio, MPR's St. Paul Headquarters.  The recording will be made next month, and will be posted in March on MPR's Web-site.  At this juncture, MPR...

January 14, 2019

We are very happy to announce that Nita Qiu and Orion Kim are the winners of the Dakota Valley Symphony Orchestra's Concerto/Aria Competition!!  This is a very fine regional Orchestra conducted by Stephen J. Ramsey.  Nita and Orion will perform with the Dakota Valley Symphony at the Ames Center (formerly Burnsville Performing Arts Center) on Sunday, April 28, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. and at the Children's concert on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.  Both Nita and Orion will be presenting some...

December 13, 2018

We are so happy to announce that Bea Grant was awarded First Place in the Minnetonka Symphony's Young Artist Concerto Competition.  This is a very tough one to win as it is all instruments - not just piano - and the auditions are held over a period of several weekends.  As a result, Bea has been invited by the symphony to perform the Liszt Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major in two concerts - Sunday, February 17th, 7:00 pm,

and Sunday, February 24th, at 3:00 pm  Both concerts will in beautiful ve...

December 6, 2018

Last Saturday, December 1st, The St. Paul Piano Teachers Association (SPPTA) held its annual concerto competition.  This is a very fine and rewarding event with the winner given the opportunity of performing with the Mississippi Valley Orchestra.  All three of our entrants performed beautifully and ranked at the very top of the event.  Beatrice (Bea) Grant,

a high school junior, was awarded Second Place giving a very powerful and beautiful performance of Liszt's Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Majo...

September 2, 2018

As I have noted before, Nita Qiu is competing in the Chopin Foundation of the United States'  four year scholarship program.  This program challenges the applicant to develop - over a four year period - the repertoire necessary for entering the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw.  For the second year in a row, Nita was just one of nine pianists nationwide to win the full scholarship.  She will receive a second $1,000.00 career development grant and an automatic acceptance into the F...

June 17, 2018

Our sixteen year old Nita Qiu was just declared the First Place Winner of the Aloha International Piano Competition!!  We are all off our heads with joy over this!  Nita arrived in Honolulu on Thursday night.  The competition in solo literature was the huge opening event in the week-long festival and academy of private lessons, master classes, and performances with top international musicians.  Nita performed an exceedingly demanding program of Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, and Chopin.  For the winner...

June 17, 2018

Although sixteen year old Beatrice Grant (Bea) is very new to our studio - having joined our roster just this past fall - she has quickly established herself in the upper echelon of Minnesota's top pianists.  Yesterday, Bea received Honorable Mention in the new Steinway Competition and two weeks earlier was named Third Place Winner in the new Bosendorfer Competition.  Prior to these showings, Bea was a winner of the Golden Valley Orchestra's Young Artists Competition resulting in her f...

January 28, 2018

Yesterday evening, eleven year old (soon to be twelve!) Orion Kim was named the First Place Winner of the 13th annual Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum (MMTF) Mozart Concerto Competition!!  As a result, he will have the opportunity to perform a solo concerto movement with orchestra for the very first time.  This is such an important "watershed moment" in the life of a budding young pianist and Orion (in typical fashion) will make the very most of it.  He will have two formal performances with the...

January 21, 2018

Yesterday, our great Nita Qiu took Second Place in the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra's Rising Stars Competition.  Nita gave stunning performances in both Prelims and Finals of the first movement of Chopin's Concerto No. 2 in F minor.  The Rising Stars Competition is one of the most highly respected and competitive regional competitions in the upper mid-west.  It now invites pianists and instrumentalists from four states: Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois.  The competition has been dom...

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