Saturday, June 30, 2018

US, Ukraine, Vietnam, Portugal Top Blog Views!

Pageviews by Countries - Week of 6/23

Graph of most popular countries among blog viewers
United States

Dan Cirucci Blog - Week's Top Five Stories!

Top Posts - Week of 6/23

10 REAL News Stories You Can't Miss - Plus One!

The Washington Times
“As we mark six months since Mr. Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law, we continue to see more Americans working,” Administrator Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration, writes. “With more money in their pockets, Americans are spending again — and that’s good news for small businesses.”
The Supreme Court found this week that President Trump’s order on travel restrictions falls “squarely” within his executive authority, Tucker Higgins reports for CNBC. “The [order] is expressly premised on legitimate purposes: preventing entry of nationals who cannot be adequately vetted and inducing other nations to improve their practices,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.
- Fox Business 
“America’s CEOs are not wasting anytime in taking advantage of [President Trump’s] tax reform plan. Over $300 billion was repatriated to the U.S. in the first quarter, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) — the most on record,” Suzanne O’Halloran writes. “This is why many economists are boosting their GDP forecasts to between 3% and 4%.”
Journal Times 
“The groundbreaking on Foxconn’s $10-billion factory to produce state-of-the-art flat-panel displays in Mount Pleasant represents a milestone for America,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross writes. “It would never have happened without the promise of the Trump tax cuts and the President’s personal intervention.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial Board writes that President Trump “is forcing a re-examination of America’s trade policies, and making other countries consider the consequences of the trade war they have long waged upon us.” The editors remind readers that “America has been reflexively globalist and anti-protectionist for a long time now, and it has not worked. The Rust Belt has been impoverished.”
In RealClearPolitics, Steve Cortes points out that the main driver of President Trump’s growing popularity is “a stunning 10 percent rise in Trump approval among Hispanics.” Cortes explains that “as President Trump pursues policies that drive growth and public safety – such as tax cuts and cracking down on the MS-13 gang – no wonder his popularity rises apace among Latinos.”
Washington Examiner
The Washington Examiner Editorial Board argues that the open border ideology of Democrats and left-wing commentators “is as dangerous as it is unpopular.” The editors paint a stark picture of that policy’s consequencs: “Theoretically, we could give up on borders, as some seem to want. But that would mean giving up on having a democratic society.”
USA Today
“President Donald Trump is standing up to China, which wrongly believes it can bully our farmers to get America to back away from defending our national interests,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue writes in an op-ed for USA Today. “He will not allow U.S. agriculture to bear the brunt of China’s retaliatory tactics.”
Washington Examiner
“Thanks to a robust economy, historically low unemployment, and the largest tax cut in history, our country is in the midst of a great American comeback, and millennials, perhaps more than any other generation, will reap the fruit of this great economic boon,” Ryan Fournier writes.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
“President Trump’s commitment to a 355-ship United States Navy, together with this administration’s ongoing efforts to expand opportunities for United States industry, are creating the conditions for a more vibrant maritime industry and the rejuvenation of great maritime cities such as Philadelphia,” writes Peter Navarro, Director of the White House National Trade Council.
Washington Examiner
Energy Secretary Rick Perry writes that “the United States is now producing enough natural gas and other fuels to be on the verge of energy independence. This positive development is untying the hands of our elected leadership, and enabling it to conduct foreign policy in a way that advances this Nation and its allies’ interests.”

Maybe THESE Changes Are The Right Way To Go!

New Jersey State Senate Republicans sent a letter today to Governor Phil Murphy, Senate President Steve Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin calling for structural budget reforms.

Senate Republicans sent a letter to Gov. Phil Murphy, Senate President Sweeney, and Assembly Speaker Coughlin calling for structural budget reforms. (

The text of the letter is included in full below:

The Honorable Phil Murphy
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 001
Trenton, NJ 08625

The Honorable Steve Sweeney
Senate Democratic Office
P.O. Box 099
Trenton, NJ, 08625

The Honorable Craig Coughlin
Assembly Democratic Office
Democratic Office
P.O. Box 098
Trenton, NJ, 08625

June 30, 2018

Dear Governor Murphy, President Sweeney, and Speaker Coughlin:

We are deeply concerned that the consideration of serious proposals to constrain spending and provide long-term tax relief never took center stage in highly publicized budget negotiations.

Instead, we now face the possibility of an imminent State shutdown resulting from a dispute over competing plans to enact massive spending and tax increases. We believe this demonstrates the critical need to enact structural budget reforms to reduce the cost of government and provide new taxpayer protections.

We propose the immediate consideration of public employee health benefits reforms, commonly referred to as “platinum to gold,” that could save the State an estimated $1.1 billion annually, with even larger savings achievable for local governments and property taxpayers.

That should be paired with a strong cap on State spending increases (SCR-117) to ensure that savings achieved through platinum to gold and other such reforms are passed on to taxpayers, and not simply consumed by new appropriations.

The combination of these reforms is the only way we will ever provide real tax relief to New Jerseyans.

Given the Senate President’s recent comments indicating a desire to address structural reforms at some point in the future, and the Governor’s prior chairmanship of the Benefits Review Task Force which issued a report recommending significant reforms, there would seem to be bipartisan consensus that we must address these issues.

Republican legislators have repeatedly demonstrated our desire to work in a bipartisan fashion to accomplish these changes. We shouldn’t have to wait until after a budget meltdown to start this work that we know we need to do. Let’s start today.

Regarding the budget that currently sits on the Governor’s desk, additional savings can be achieved by removing unnecessary legislative add-ons ($89 million) and completely eliminating a community college tuition proposal ($5 million) that the State cannot afford.

The $1.2 billion savings produced through long-term reforms and short-term fiscal discipline would preclude the need for new taxes and allow for the enactment of the balance budget that the New Jersey Constitution requires.


Tom Kean

Bob Singer
Deputy Leader

Steve Oroho
Conference Leader

Tony Bucco
Budget Officer

Friday, June 29, 2018

Don't Miss This, Sunday 7/1 At 10 AM!

Highest Rating In Years For These Nine . . .

The U.S. Supreme Court closed its current term this week with its highest favorability ratings in several years.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters rate the Supreme Court’s job performance as good or excellent. Twenty-one percent (21%) still say the court is doing a poor job. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in Rasmussen polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 27-28, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

At July 4th Approaches, Something To Remember . .

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WOW! 13,000 Great New Jobs On Tap!

YOUR tax cuts, 6 months in 

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law the first real overhaul of the U.S. tax code in more than 30 years. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act reduced taxes for the middle class, made American employers more competitive, and ensured that all American workers are able to keep more of their hard-earned money.

Six months later, unemployment has fallen to 3.8 percent, and more than 500 companies have announced benefits for their workers that include pay raises, bonuses, and expanded education support. Today, the President will highlight stories from working families that show how tax cuts have made their hard work pay off like never before.

Video of the day: President Trump breaks ground on new factory 

With President Trump in attendance, electronics manufacturer Foxconn broke ground yesterday on a huge new plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. Once fully operational, the 20 million square foot campus will employ 13,000 American workers.

"It would never have happened without the promise of the Trump tax cuts and the President's personal intervention," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross writes. "As important as the new factory is to the workers of Wisconsin, the facility is also a symbol of what is to come: It is the first of a large number of investments in advanced manufacturing facilities being reshored from overseas locations back to the United States."

Photo of the Day 

Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead 
President Donald J. Trump participates in the groundbreaking ceremony of the Foxconn Facility | June 28, 2018

We Deserve 'The Best Of The Best' -- Let's Go!

President Trump has proven he wants the best of the best on the Supreme Court. Now there’s another opening, a chance to appoint another great justice.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Accomplished, Justifiably Proud And Well-Spoken

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Class of 2018 from Kearns Media Consulting LLC on Vimeo.

Graduating seniors representing each of the 17 Archdiocesan high schools located throughout the five-county metropolitan region recently came together to film a record-breaking announcement regarding scholarship dollars earned cumulatively by the Class of 2018. They were joined by Sister Maureen Lawrence McDermott, I.H.M. Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer and Superintendent of Secondary Schools.
Students contributed to the video by sharing their name, their hometown, the name of their high school, and the name of the college or university where they will matriculate in the fall semester.
In the video Sister Maureen remarked, “I’m honored to announce that the Archdiocesan Class of 2018 earned a remarkable, and record-breaking, $394,909,545 in scholarships to attend colleges and universities across the country.”
Sister Maureen went on to say, “On behalf of Bishop Michael Fitzgerald who oversees Catholic Education in the Archdiocese we offer prayer and best wishes to our Class of 2018 as you prepare to embark on the next chapter in your educational journey….wherever that may be and may you continue to blaze a trail destined for sainthood in this life and the next.”

Note: For more information about Catholic Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit For information about Faith in the Future, please visit

If Ever There Was A Time For Resolve, It's NOW!

We're On The Road And Headed To NIRVANA!

Throughout July
the Dan Cirucci Blog
comes to you from its
southern command center
at the most beautiful place on earth,
Stay with us for the very 
best of summer every single day!

This Should Tell You All You Need To Know!

One Of The Most Compelling Congressmen EVER!

Trey Gowdy is not running for re-election.
That's a great loss, not just for South Carolina but for all of us.
Whatever Congressman Gowdy does next, we hope it's something that contributes to the good of our great country because he has so very much to offer. He's young, bright, conscientious, dedicated and passionate when it comes to his commitment to justice and his love for this country. His integrity is unquestioned.
Who know? maybe he'll be out next Attorney General.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Not-So-Gentle Reminder: NO Obstruction, Please!

Remember: In 2010 (a midterm election year) Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Obama on May 10 and confirmed by the Senate on August 5 -- less than three months later.
Yes, it was an election year with both the Senate and the House up for grabs.
Yes, there was an extensive hearing on the nominee (who was fully vetted) with open debate and discussion.
Yes, the Senate was able to fulfill its duty to advise and consent in a timely fashion even though the entire House and one-third of the Senate faced election.
This was OK with Republicans then (five of whom joined in supporting Kagan) and so it should be fine with Democrats now.
Don't let anyone tell you this can't be done or that it should not be done.
It can, should and must be done.
So, let's get on with the nomination and confirmation process!

BTW: Sonia Sotomayor was also nominated by President Obama in May and confirmed by the Senate in August of the same year!

Best Advice To Young People We've Ever Heard!

President Trump speaking today to college and university student leaders from around the country.

Pennsylvania: Going Forward, Focus On THIS!

Yes, It REALLY Is This Bad, Honestly . . . .

Liberals have become unhinged.
The Democrat Party is off the rails.
It's dangerous for our society, for our nation, for our democracy. It's an assault on our way of life. It's dangerous for you and me and every one of us. This is un-American, pure and simple. And it must be soundly rejected!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Over And Over And Over, The Main Target Is WOMEN!

There's A Lesson In All Of This: REMEMBER!

OMG! And Now It Just Got A Lot Worse . . .

BREAKING: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and his wife US Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao harassed by Leftist mob just days after Congresswoman Maxine Waters called for Trump officials to be harassed.

VIDEO: Epic Passenger Meltdown On Plane!

Just another day in the air during the summer travel crush: A woman was taken off a Spirit Airlines flight from Houston after she had a mid-flight meltdown. Video taken by a passenger  shows the woman pacing frantically up the aisle of the Minneapolis-bound plane, screaming hysterically.

'There's No Place For That In Our Democracy!'

But She Doesn't Like People Getting In HER Face!

Watch the entire video here: 
Follow Laura on Twitter: @LauraLoomer

Don't EVER Underestimate These Americans . . .

The Day Ahead 

• President Donald J. Trump will present the Medal of Honor to the late First Lt. Garlin M. Conner of Kentucky. Watch live at 3:30 p.m. ET.

• Vice President Mike Pence is in Brazil, where today he will deliver a joint statement with Brazilian President Michel Temer. 

Never underestimate America's farmers 

"In 2011, a group of Chinese nationals dug up genetically engineered seeds from an Iowa corn field and planned to steal and send them back to China, so they could be reverse engineered," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue begins a USA Today op-ed this week. "Those seeds, the result of years of research and millions of dollars of American investment, now stand as one of countless pieces of evidence in the case against China."

China accounts for 87 percent of counterfeit goods seized coming into the United States, and its intellectual property theft costs American innovators billions of dollars per year. A U.S. Trade Representative investigation identified several aggressive technology policies from China that put an incredible 44 million American jobs at risk.

President Trump has taken long overdue action to address China's unfair trade practices. Regrettably, China chose to retaliate, raising tariffs on $50 billion of U.S. exports. "China apparently has no intention of changing its unfair practices," President Trump said in a June 18 statement. "China might underestimate the strength and resolve of American farmers, but the president does not," Secretary Perdue writes.


The road ahead in the Middle East 

His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein of Jordan visited the White House yesterday, meeting with President Trump and thanking him for America's support in the Middle East. "If the rest of the world just took a little bit of your humility and your grace to help us, we'd be in a lot better position," King Abdullah II said.

"You have done an incredible job on the refugees and the camps and taking care of people," President Trump told the King. "The job you do on a humanitarian basis is fantastic."

The Middle East has seen great progress since the United States withdrew from the flawed Iran nuclear deal, President Trump said. Yesterday's meeting came about a week after Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt met with King Abdullah II in Jordan, part of a series of meetings the U.S. officials held across the Middle East last week. Their conversations focused largely on facilitating peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.


Photo of the Day 

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks 
First Lady Melania Trump and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan | June 25, 2018

Monday, June 25, 2018

You Need To See It And Hear It To Believe It!

Maxine Waters calls for attacks on Trump administration: "If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere."

When Separation Is Permanent: The Untold Story!

Happening Today

President Donald J. Trump and the First Lady will welcome Their Majesties King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan to the White House.

When separation is permanent 

Joshua Wilkerson was 18 years old. "His last hours were—was brutal," his mother Laura said, describing in painful detail the horrific circumstances of her son's murder. "As everyone standing up here, none of our kids had a minute to say goodbye."

For these angel families, all of whom lost loved ones because of crime spilling across our border, President Trump vowed on Friday to keep fighting to restore rule of law. "According to a 2011 government report, the arrests attached to the criminal alien population included an estimated 25,000 people for homicide, 42,000 for robbery, nearly 70,000 for sex offenses, and nearly 15,000 for kidnapping," the President said.

"You hear the other side. You never hear this side," President Trump said. "No major networks sent cameras to their homes or displayed the images of their incredible loved ones across the nightly news. They don't do that." Instead, their suffering was met with silence.

Sabine Durden's story is worth remembering. "I'm one of your legal immigrants," she said at the White House on Friday. "It took me five years to become a citizen, a proud citizen." But when a criminal from Guatemala who didn't go through that same vetting process—and then was protected by a sanctuary city—took her son's life, her words were heartbreaking. "I couldn't protect him."

Ending the Human Rights Council farce 

The United Nations Humans Rights Council (HRC) has failed to live up to its purpose, serving as a shield for human rights violators and a megaphone for unfair bias against Israel. Countries with terrible human rights records are routinely elected to the HRC, and it has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than it has condemning Syria, Iran, and North Korea combined.

This Administration has taken steps to advance the cause of reform. Yet even simple efficiency proposals aimed at dealing with the Council's budget crisis have failed to win enough support. If real reforms are undertaken, America would welcome the opportunity to re-engage.

Photo of the Day 

Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks 
President Donald J. Trump participates in a roundtable discussion on tax reform | June 23, 2018

It's Time They Knew How Dangerous It Really Is!

New Jersey State Senator Kristin Corrado’s legislation requiring middle school students to be taught the legal, social, and emotional consequences of “sexting” passed the New Jersey Senate.
Sen. Kristin Corrado’s legislation requiring middle school students to be taught the legal, social, and emotional consequences of “sexting” passed the New Jersey Senate. (©iStock)

“The repercussions of texting sexually explicit images for teenagers can be far-reaching,” Corrado (R-40) said. “Many don’t think about the social trauma, bullying, and heartbreak they could experience if a picture or video falls into the wrong hands, and they often don’t realize they might be creating, possessing, or distributing child pornography with extremely serious legal repercussions. It’s imperative that we teach our kids that ‘sexting’ can ruin their reputations and impact their future.”

Corrado’s bipartisan legislation, S-2092, requires school districts to educate middle school students on the societal and legal ramifications of sexting. “Sexting” is defined as posting or sending a sexually explicit image.

The amended bill ensures teenagers will be educated on the criminal ramifications of soliciting explicit images.

“Sexting” is a nationwide problem that has perplexed parents, school administrators, and law enforcement officials. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy reported that 19 percent of teens had sent a sexually-suggestive picture or video of themselves to someone, while 31 percent had received a nude or semi-nude picture from someone else.

“Legal ramifications aside, ‘sexting’ has the potential to lead to long-term and unforeseen consequences,” Corrado added. “It can lead to the loss of scholastic and job opportunities. Students can be removed or banned from school programs or extracurricular activities. I encourage all students to think before you act – this isn’t worth it."

He Really Defined That Special Category: 'Mensch'

The mere mention of the name Allan H. Gordon brings a smile to our face.

We had the pleasure of working for and with Allan Gordon when he served as Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 2002.

Allan had the honor of presiding over the Philadelphia legal community as the prestigious Philadelphia Bar Association celebrated its 200th anniversary and he did a masterful job every step of the way. Allan both looked and acted the part of a Philadelphia lawyer but none of his many successes ever went to his head. He was unfailingly kind, personable, conscientious, loyal and always quite dapper. 

Allan liked a good joke or a clever story and he was also a voracious reader -- a multi-faceted, sophisticated lover of life who was interested in many things. It's fair to say that this man who was equally comfortable talking to a janitor or a judge, had no enemies. A born and bred Philadelphian, Allan graduated from the city's legendary Central High School and went on to Temple University where he remained to study law, graduating at the top of his class.

Allan was a pioneer in personal-injury law and founded his own firm shortly after graduation. Later, he joined Kolsby & Wolfe under the mentorship of legendary trial lawyer Herb Kolsby. Allan eventually became a name partner of the firm, now known as Kolsby, Gordon, Robin & Shore, one of the city’s top personal-injury practices.

Allan faced his share of adversities along the way, surviving coronary problems and open heart surgery but he never called attention to any of the bumps in the road that he encountered. Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Mary F. Platt described Allan Gordon as “an accomplished leader” who was known for “his generous spirit, wit, charm, and grace" -- a very apt description, indeed.

Former Chancellor Frank Devine said: “Allan was not just a giant in the law, he was a legend in the law. He carried himself with such excellence that he not only achieved fame, he received respect from the bench, the bar, his colleagues, his clients, and his friends.”
Allan Gorden was a mensch.

He was not only a joy to work for but he was simply a pleasure to be with at most any time and under any circumstances.

I particularly remember one business trip with him to Manhattan when we took a quick detour to the world-famous Carnegie Deli. Sitting at one of their communal tables we enjoyed huge corned beef sandwiches while Allan regaled us with humorous stories and observations. This was a man who was able to find simple pleasures in almost every encounter.

Allan Gordon died Tuesday, June 19, of lung disease in Aventura, Fla. 

Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.


Rising Masters Of The Keyboard In Full Celebration!

CYH-PR-4  Graffman02   

The Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy (PYPA) will be celebrating its sixth year as an international event from August 5 through August 12, 2018. They are inaugurating a new home for the experience at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts located at 1920 Spruce St in Philadelphia. There will be eight days of concerts by world-class pianists, master classes by some of the most highly respected pianists and professors and student concerts. Founder Ching-Yun Hu is pleased to expand the program this year with more concerts and a speaker series.

There will be 20 PYPA youth participants who are outstanding young pianists, age 12 to 26, selected from a worldwide pool of applicants to learn from international concert masters. The young pianists were invited based on a rigorous selection process that included submitting a written application and an audio recording for review.

Each student participating in PYPA will have the opportunity to learn alongside world-renowned international concert masters led by PYPA Director and Founder Ching-Yun Hu. Other international concert masters include Charles Abramovic, Concert Pianist and Chair of Keyboard Studies at Temple University; Simone Dinnerstein, world renowned pianist who is also a faculty member of the Mannes School of Music at The New School in New York City; Gary Graffman, former Curtis Institute of Music president and Concert Pianist; and Julliard piano faculty and concert pianist Jerome Lowenthal.

Founded by Philadelphia-based concert pianist and recording artist, Ching-Yun Hu, PYPA was launched in 2013 to help young artists from Asia and the West achieve their dreams of professional careers as world class concert pianists. Each of the young artists chosen will experience these special opportunities during the eight day-long PYPA:
  • Master classes taught by PYPA Faculty members Ching-Yun Hu, Gary Graffman, Simone Dinnerstein, Charles Abramovic and Jerome Lowenthal.
  • The chance to make friends with young artists from around the world
  • The opportunity to participate in the Philadelphia International Piano Competition
  • Attendance at a new Speaker Series with key people in the classical music industry who will focus on career planning, programming choices, using technology for publicity and more. with guest speakers Pierre van der Westhuizen, who is the executive director of the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, and Jonathan Eifert, who is the president of Jonathan Eifert Public Relations. 
Ching-Yun shares her enthusiasm for this program. She said recently, “We are extremely proud of reaching this exciting landmark 6th Anniversary for PYPA. We have worked with many stellar students who have participated throughout these years. We are honored to have Gary Graffman, Simone Dinnerstein, Charles Abramovic and Jerome Lowenthal joining us this summer. The unique aspect of PYPA is the focused attention each student receives in a concentrated period of eight days. At PYPA, every young artist concentrates on their best work for several days in a row, while getting immediate feedback from each of the faculty artists on site. This level of individualized training can lead to real progress or even genuine breakthroughs in performance.”

About Ching-Yun Hu:
Declared a “first-class talent” and praised for her “poetic use of color and confidently expressive phrasing” (The Philadelphia Inquirer), the distinguished Taiwanese-American concert pianist Ching-Yun Hu is recognized and acclaimed worldwide for her dazzling technique, deeply probing musicality, and directly communicative performance style. After winning top prizes at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv and the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York City, her career has taken her to prestigious concert halls and music festivals across the globe on five continents.

Ching-Yun Hu made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. She has appeared at prestigious concert halls across the globe, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Wigmore Hall (London), Salle Cortot (Paris), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Herkulesaal (Munich), Klavier-Ruhr Festival, Franz Liszt Academy of Music (Budapest), Duszniki-Dzroj Chopin International Festival and Rubinstein Philharmonic Hall (Poland), Opera House (Tel Aviv), National Concert Hall (Taipei), and Japan’s Osaka Hall.

Considered one of the most important concert pianists from her native Taiwan, Ching-Yun Hu has received honors from the Taiwan Ministry of Culture and the Golden Melody Awards. She is a keen advocate for the promotion of classical music. She founded the Yun-Hsiang International Music Festival in Taipei in 2012, and the Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy - PYPA in2013. She serves on the piano faculty of the Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia. Ms. Hu is a Steinway Artist.

About Simone Dinnerstein:
American pianist Simone Dinnerstein is a searching and inventive artist who is motivated by a desire to find the musical core of every work she approaches. The New York-based pianist gained an international following with the remarkable success of her recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations, which she independently raised the funds to record. Released in 2007 on Telarc, it ranked No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Classical Chart in its first week of sales and was named to many “Best of 2007” lists including those of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The New Yorker. Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world since her acclaimed New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005, to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra a Sinfonica Brasileira, and the Tokyo Symphony. Dinnerstein’s performance schedule has taken her around the world since her acclaimed New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in 2005, to venues including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Vienna Konzerthaus, Berlin Philharmonie, Sydney Opera House, Seoul Arts Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall; festivals that include the Lincoln Center Mostly Mozart Festival, the Aspen, Verbier, and Ravinia festivals; and performances with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic, Staatskapelle Berlin, RAI National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Czech Philharmonic, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra a Sinfonica Brasileira, and the Tokyo Symphony.

About Gary Graffman:
Gary Graffman has been a major figure in the music world since his debut with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of eighteen. For the next three decades he toured almost continuously, playing the most demanding works in the piano literature. His numerous recordings with the orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Cleveland, and Chicago under such conductors as Bernstein, Ormandy, Szell, and Mehta include concertos by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Brahms, Chopin, and Beethoven; they are still regarded as touchstones. In 1979, however, an injury to his right hand limited Mr. Graffman’s concertizing to the small body of repertoire for left hand alone. Since then seven new works have been commissioned for him, and he continues to have an active performing career. Mr. Graffman’s association with the Curtis Institute of Music began in 1936, when he was accepted, at the age of seven, to study with Isabelle Vengerova. He graduated in 1946. In 1980, following his performance-reducing injury, he joined the Curtis piano faculty. From 1986 through May 2006, he served as director of Curtis, as well as president from 1995 to 2006.

About Charles Abramovic:
Charles Abramovic has won critical acclaim for his international performances as a soloist, chamber musician, and collaborator with leading instrumentalists and singers. He has performed a vast repertoire not only on the piano, but also the harpsichord and fortepiano. Abramovic made his solo orchestral debut at the age of fourteen with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Since then he has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, including the Baltimore Symphony, the Colorado Philharmonic, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Nebraska Chamber Orchestra. He has given solo recitals throughout the United States, France and Yugoslavia. He has also appeared at major international festivals in Berlin, Salzburg, Bermuda, Dubrovnik, Aspen and Vancouver. Abramovic has performed often with such stellar artists as Midori, Sarah Chang, Robert McDuffie, Viktoria Mullova, Kim Kashkashian, Mimi Stillman and Jeffrey Khaner. His recording of the solo piano works of Delius for DTR recordings has been widely praised. He has recorded for EMI Classics with violinist Sarah Chang, and Avie Recordings with Philadelphia Orchestra principal flutist Jeffrey Khaner. Actively involved with contemporary music, he has also recorded works of Milton Babbitt, Joseph Schwantner, Gunther Schuller and others for Albany Records, CRI, Bridge, and Naxos. Abramovic has taught at Temple since 1988. He is an active part of the musical life of Philadelphia, performing with numerous organizations in the city. He is a core member of the Dolce Suono Ensemble and performs often with Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001. In 1997 he received the Career Development Grant from the Philadelphia Musical Fund Society, and in 2003 received the Creative Achievement Award from Temple University. His teachers have included Natalie Phillips, Eleanor Sokoloff, Leon Fleisher, and Harvey Wedeen.

About Jerome Lowenthal:
Jerome Lowenthal, born in 1932, continues to fascinate audiences, who find in his playing a youthful intensity and an eloquence born of life-experience. He is a virtuoso of the fingers and the emotions. Mr. Lowenthal studied in his native Philadelphia with Olga Samaroff-Stokowski, in New York with William Kapell and Edward Steuermann, and in Paris with Alfred Cortot, meanwhile traveling annually to Los Angeles for coachings with Artur Rubinstein. After winning prizes in three international competitions (Bolzano, Darmstadt, and Brussels), he moved to Jerusalem where, for three years, he played, taught and lectured. Returning to America, he made his debut with the New York Philharmonic playing Bartok’s Concerto no. 2 in 1963. Since then, he has performed more-or-less everywhere, from the Aleutians to Zagreb. Conductors with whom he has appeared as soloist include Barenboim, Ozawa, Tilson Thomas, Temirkanov, and Slatkin, as well as such giants of the past as Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Pierre Monteux and Leopold Stokowski. He has played sonatas with Itzhak Perlman, piano duos with Ronit Amir (his late wife), Carmel Lowenthal (his daughter), and Ursula Oppens, as well as quintets with the Lark, Avalon and Shanghai Quartets. He has recently recorded the complete Annees de Pelerinage of Liszt. His other recordings include concerti by Tschaikovsky and Liszt, solo works by Sinding and Bartok, opera paraphrases by Liszt and Busoni, and chamber-music by Arensky and Taneyev. Teaching, too, is an important part of Mr. Lowenthal’s musical life. For twenty-three years at the Juilliard School and for forty-five summers at the Music Academy of the West, he has worked with an extraordinary number of gifted pianists, whom he encourages to understand the music they play in a wide aesthetic and cultural perspective and to project it with the freedom which that perspective allows.

About Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy (PYPA):
Founded in 2013, the Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy (PYPA) is recognized as an important learning opportunity for some of the world’s best young concert pianists. PYPA founder Ching-Yun Hu is also the artistic director of the Yun-Hsiang International Music Festival in Taipei. The winner of top prizes at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv and Concert Artists Guild International Competition in New York City, she performs in some of the most prestigious concert halls and music festivals in the world on five continents. Considered one of the most important concert pianists from her native Taiwan, Hu has received honorary recognition from the Taiwanese Cultural Committee and Ministry and the Golden Melody Awards. In addition to performing, she also serves on the faculty at the Esther Boyer College of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia.