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About Us

Dr. Jo Anne Link 

Artist/Teacher of Piano

Pianist, Jo Anne Link, has appeared extensively as soloist, duo-pianist, and chamber musician throughout the Midwest and Southwest.  She has appeared as soloist with the Maple Mount Festival Orchestra, the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, the Jordan Conservatory Orchestra, and has toured as soloist with the University of Arizona Orchestra.  Her teachers have included the Rudolph Ganz pupil and master teacher, Martin Marks, and the eminent pianist, Lee Luvisi (pupil of Rudolph Serkin and Mieczyslav Horszowski). 

Passionately engaged in the vibrant musical life of the Twin Cities and beyond, her students have been awarded 1st place in the La Crosse Rising Stars Concerto Competition, Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, Thursday Musical Scholarship Auditions, Saint Paul Piano Teachers Concerto Competition, Minnetonka Symphony Young Artist Competition, Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) - Junior High and High School State Divisions, as well as MTNA’s Regional Alternate and Regional Honorable Mention.   Internationally, her students have been awarded 3rd place in the Colburn Music Academy International Piano Festival Steinway Concerto Competition, and multiple Finalists and Audience Prize winner at the International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) International Piano Competition.  

Dr. Link has taught at the University of Louisville, University of Arizona, Gustavus Adolphus College, Macalester College and the College of Saint Catherine.  Currently she and her husband, Dr. Joseph Zins, reside in Saint Paul, Minnesota where they have established Crocus Hill Studios – a nationally recognized studio devoted to the training and development of gifted and talented young artists.  In 2013 Dr. Link was named Thursday Musical Teacher of the Year.

 

“…a brilliant performance, emotionally involving her audience with the tender, joyful, and passionate qualities of the sonata…What made her performance truly outstanding was her expressive and powerful emotional range.”

The Journal Courier, Lafayette, Indiana

 

“…a sensitive musician as well as a powerful performer…capable of both subtlety and brashness…But moreover she produced an electricity that separated her performance from all those that had come before.”

University of Arizona, Tucson

 

“In addition to her virtuosity, this writer was especially impressed with the poetic quality of her playing…brilliant performance…a delightful new artist…”

Green Valley News/Sun, Green Valley, Arizona

Dr. Joseph Zins

Artist/Teacher of Piano

As the winner of the prestigious Young Pianist Competition of the Indiana State Symphony Society, pianist, Joseph Zins, made his professional debut to critical acclaim at the age of seventeen with the Indianapolis Symphony, performing Ravel’s demanding Concerto for the Left Hand Alone.  In addition to fifteen subsequent solo appearances with the ISO before the age of twenty-two, he has also appeared as soloist with many other orchestras and concertized widely as soloist, duo-pianist, chamber player and accompanist in works ranging from Bach to Messiaen.

Zins’ musical heritage is an eclectic mix of the Russian, French, and German schools of piano playing.  His link to the Romantic period was established in New York by the great pianist Jean Dansereau, pupil of the Franz Liszt disciple, Emil von Sauer.  His formative years were spent with the master pedagogue Martin Marks (pupil of Rudolph Ganz) and his graduate studies with the Rudolph Serkin pupil and great American pianist, Lee Luvisi.

Zins’ great affinity for contemporary music has resulted in the world premieres of Joseph Packales’ Eros/Thanatos, and Soundings IV, Of Things Past and Things Present, and Variations Elegiac by Donald Betts.  His recording with pianist Jo Anne Link of Donald Betts’ Of Things Past and Things Present for two pianos was released in 1999 on the Centaur label.  During the 1999-2000 concert season he performed on tour, in its entirety, Olivier Messiaen’s monumental masterpiece, Twenty Contemplations on the Infant Jesus.  It is believed that Dr. Zins is the first and only pianist to ever perform the 2 hour and 20 minute work in its entirety in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul.

 

His students have excelled in national and international competitions such as the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition, Aloha International Piano Competition and Festival, International Institute for Young Musicians (IIYM) International Competition, and the Southeastern Piano Festival (SEPF) Arthur Fraser International Competition.  His students have received First Place in the Young Peoples Symphony Concert Association (YPSCA) of the Minnesota Orchestra, Rising Stars Competition of the La Crosse Symphony, Saint Paul Piano Teachers (SPPTA) Concerto Competition, Minnetonka Symphony Young Artist Competition, High School for the Performing Arts Concerto Competition, Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum (MMTF) Concerto Competition, Schubert Club Scholarship Competition, Thursday Musical Scholarship Auditions, and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Young Artist Competition - State, and Regional.  His students have appeared on NPR’s program From the Top and Music da camera.  Dr. Zins was named Thursday Musical’s Teacher of the Year, 2003-2004.

Dr. Zins has taught at the University of Louisville, the University of Arizona, the University of Texas at El Paso, Gustavus Adolphus College, and Macalester College.  In 1998, Dr. Zins and his wife, pianist Dr. Jo Anne Link, founded Crocus Hill Studios, located in the Historic District of St. Paul, Minnesota.  Nationally recognized as one of the top independent studios of its kind, they specialize in the training of the gifted and talented pre-college student. Their students have excelled in competitions and auditions locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.  In 2005, Dr. Zins curtailed his public concerts to devote more of his energy teaching the Art of the Piano.

Dr. Zins strives for the best within each of his students. He believes in warm, personal teacher-pupil relationships and in developing individuality, uniqueness, and belief in oneself.  He invites all those, willing and able, to climb this incredible mountain of musical discovery with him.