PLP Faculty Bios
Peng Du, a native of China, is a doctoral candidate in piano performance and literature under the tutelage of Timothy Ehlen (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) and William Kinderman (University of California, Los Angeles). Her musicianship has been recognized in many competitions, including the International Music Competition of Paris Grand Prize Virtuoso, the Golden Key International Music Festival, the Deutscher Irmler Piano Competition, the Asian Yamaha Scholarship Competition and the Germany Wiesbaden International Piano Competition.
She has performed throughout the United States and China as a solo recitalist and collaborative pianist. Her performance venues include the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Foellinger Great Hall at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Illinois, the Artist Presentation Society at St. Louis in Missouri, Steinway Hall in the Guangzhou Opera House, the recital halls at North Texas University, Texas Christian University, La Sierra University, China Conservatory of Music, Shanghai Normal University, Wuhan Conservatory of Music, Tianjin Conservatory of Music and the Xinghai Conservatory of Music, as well as the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou, Hongtai Concert Hall in Xiamen and the Parsons Music Centers in Shenzhen and in Hong Kong. In 2011, she played Brahms’ D Minor Piano Concerto with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra at the Shenzhen Opera House. In 2016, she gave performances as a young artist in the prestigious PianoTexas International Academy and Festival and the Montecito International Music Festival.
In addition to establishing herself as a well-known performer, Ms. Du serves as a teacher and scholar in Illinois. She was invited as a guest artist to give masterclasses in the Steinway Gallery at the Guangzhou Opera House. Her students have been awarded prizes in the Champaign-Urbana Music Competition and Illinois State Piano Competitions. A part of her doctoral research has been selected and published by the Beethoven The European International Conference in Italy. Her Master’s thesis, The Combination of Diverse Musical Styles – the Research on Samuel Barber’s Piano Sonata Op. 26, has been published on the China Knowledge Resource Integrated Database.
Ms. Du received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from the Xinghai Conservatory of Music in Guangzhou, where she was the recipient of the China National Fellowship, the China National Encouragement Scholarship, and the College Scholarship. She was the recipient of the Longford Keyboard Fellowship at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she received her Artist Diploma in 2017. As of 2018, Ms. Du joined the faculty at the Illinois Summer Youth Music Festival and Piano Laboratory Program in Urbana, IL. For the upcoming 2020 fall semester, she has been invited to serve as an adjunct professor at Carroll University in Wisconsin and as the Coordinator and Principal Instructor of the Piano Laboratory Program at the University of Illinois.
Jesús Fuentes Valverde was born in Cd. Juarez, Mexico. He is an active pianist, arranger and educator. Jesús holds a BM in Commercial Music from the University of Texas at El Paso, a MM in Jazz Piano Performance from Texas Tech University and is currently a DMA candidate at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
While Jesús is mainly a Jazz pianist, he has studied and regularly performs a variety of genres including Classical, Latin, and most commercial music styles. As a performer, he has played with world renowned artists such as Tom Harrell, Allen Vizzutti, Jaleel Shaw, Jiggs Wigham, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.
As an educator, his musical versatility enables Jesús to relate to students with any musical background to develop their own unique musical voice.
Matthew Miller is currently a Masters of Music student in Jazz Performance at the University of Illinois. He is a teaching assistant giving private piano lessons for Allen Hall and Unit One LLC as well as for the Piano Laboratory Program. Originally from the Chicagoland area, he is an active teacher, freelance musician, composer, arranger, and bandleader. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies and German from North Central College in Naperville, IL. Matthew performs and teaches piano, percussion, and drum set.
Prior to studying at the University of Illinois, Matthew Miller taught at Apollo Music Inc. in Aurora, Illinois and held the accompanist position at Channahon United Methodist Church for over four years. In 2015 he released his debut album, Self-Titled, with his jazz fusion trio, MST.
Matthew Miller’s varied playing experience includes orchestras, concert bands, marching bands, small jazz combos, big bands, chamber groups, new music groups, pit orchestras, rock bands and solo settings. He believes in an academic approach to music education, including discussions of music theory and intent within the context of a piece of music so that students can apply what they have learned in one piece to future musical settings.
Dr. Tatiana Shustova is originally from Saint Petersburg, Russia, where she graduated from the Special Music School named by Rimsky-Korsakov and the Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory. After coming to the United States in 2005, Tatiana completed the Artist’s Certificate Program and a Master’s degree in piano performance at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. In 2008 she was awarded a fellowship to enter the doctoral program in piano performance at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in the studio of Dr. Ian Hobson, and received her DMA in spring 2013.
Tatiana has appeared at several international festivals such Interlochen Summer Arts Camp; Illinois Summer Youth Music; Bowling Green Music Institute; Toradze Piano Institute , South Bend, Indiana, Ionian Summer Music Academy; Corfu, Greece; Les Orres International summer academy; Embrun, France; Suomussalmi Music Festival, Suomussalmi, Finland; Musica Atri, Atri; Scuola Italia, Urbania, Italy; Red Note New Music Festival; Bloomington , IL. She also received numerous awards in various music competitions in the US, Italy and Russia. Her current teaching and collaborative experience includes her work as piano instructor for Piano Laboratory Program as well as theory and musicianship instructor and staff accompanist for Illinois Music Academy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.