About Us

Board of Directors

John Huddleston

John Huddleston is an actuary with Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and a graduate of the Sherwood Conservatory of Music. He has been an active supporter of the EDR Music Foundation since 2013.

Dr. Jean Kim
Board Member

A Midwestern native, Dr. Jean Kim is by training a pediatric infectious diseases physician, currently Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Chicago Medical School.

Her passion, however, has always been classical music. As a student of Emilio del Rosario, she won local competitions, performed with the Waukegan Symphony Orchestra, received the Farwell Award from the Musicians Club of Women, and Honorable Mention at the Music Teachers National Association competition finals. These days she stays active as a parent “coach” for her two young sons, one of whom studies with Brenda Huang, founder of the EDR Foundation.
Steve Wang
Board Member

Dr. Steve Wang is a physicist. He is a Distinguished Imaging Scientist at Motorola Mobility, LLC and he recently founded the global health focused start up Mobile Imaging Innovations, Inc.

Advisory Board

Henry Fogel

Henry Fogel is dean and distinguished professor of the arts at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. Prior to academia, he ran the League of American Orchestras.

Between 1985 and 2003, he served as president and CEO of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Earlier in his career he ran the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. Radio has always been a passion for Henry Fogel; from 1963 to 1978 he was vice president and program director of radio station WONO in Syracuse, New York. In addition to running the CCPA at Roosevelt, Dean Fogel continues to consult with orchestra managers around the country. Broadcast Schedule

Gerie Greenspan

Gerie Greenspan serves as Director of Development for Jeff Daniels' Purple Rose Theatre Company (Chelsea, MI), leading a decade-long $18 Mil comprehensive campaign.

As Executive Director (2001-2006), she led a $10M campaign for the Traverse City Opera House restoration that won Michigan's 2006 Governor's Award in Historic Preservation. For more than a decade, she was an officer for the Interlochen Center for the Arts Board, in addition to holding Institutional Advancement and Executive team roles. Gerie is also an accomplished pianist.
Thomas Zoells

Thomas Zoells is the owner of PianoForte Chicago, Inc., Chicago's premier downtown piano destination. Mr. Zoells was born and raised in Switzerland and in Vienna, Austria.

He has worked for Ingpen & Williams in London and Agence Caecilia in Geneva, where he helped promote Jessye Norman, Alicia de Larrocha and Alfred Brendel, among others. He had a 20 year career in banking along the way and likes to keep active as an amateur pianist.


Founder/Artistic Director

Winner of the prestigious 1991 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Brenda Huang immigrated from Taiwan to the Chicago area at the age of nine, and principally studied with Emilio del Rosario, Russell Sherman, and Carolyn McCracken-Forough. She has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic, Toledo Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Taipei Symphony, and Taiwan Symphony.

Ms. Huang was the first prizewinner of the New York Kosziuszko Chopin Competition, the national winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), an American Pianist Association finalist, and was chosen to represent the United States at the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw by the National Chopin Foundation in Miami. She has performed on the Sunday Piano Series at the Conservatory of Music at Kansas City, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series at the Chicago Cultural Center broadcasted live on WFMT, Young Artist Series broadcasted on New York City radio station WQXR, Chicago Steinway Society Concert Series, Polish Cultural Center in New York City, Isabella Gardner Museum in Boston, Rudolph Ganz Recital Hall and Harold Washington Library in Chicago, and solo recitals in Taiwan.

Executive Director

Marie Alatalo has driven the efforts of arts organizations in the Chicagoland area, producing events featuring established and emerging artists. As Managing and Artistic Director for Mostly Music Chicago, she expanded the series and brought chamber music to esteemed venues including the Driehaus Museum and Charles Dawes House.

She co-founded Batavia Classics, whose roster of concerts included the Vermeer Quartet and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Alatalo serves as the Chicago Center Representative for the Royal Conservatory Music Development Program, and is responsible for promoting and organizing annual assessments at Symphony Center. She graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and University of Michigan and holds the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music.
Gretchen Munaretto
Digital Communications Manager

Gretchen Munaretto is passionate about the piano, having studied with Emilio del Rosario for ten years. She holds a BA in Music from the University of Illinois at Chicago where she studied with Theodore Edel, and received the Joy and Bob Harnack award for piano. Gretchen is also an accomplished vocalist and sang with both the University Choir and UIC Chamber Choir.


As a student, she worked closely with the Chair of the Music Department serving as manager of the Choral Music Educational Outreach program. Gretchen is a performing member of the Western Springs Music Club and the Salt Creek Music Teachers Association. She maintains a vibrant teaching studio in Western Springs where she lives with her husband and three wonderful children.

Artistic Board

Winston Choi

Assistant Professor and Head of Piano, Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University

Winston Choi is currently Assistant Professor and Head of Piano at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Laureate of the 2003 Honens International Piano Competition, Winston has performed as a concerto soloist across 4 continents. Also a dedicated champion of contemporary music, he has premiered and commissioned over 100 works by young composers as well as established masters.

Dr. Milton Laufer


Principal Professional Affiliation Dean of Music, New World School of the Arts

Dr. Milton Laufer, Dean of Music at the New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL, is a leading performer and scholar of Spanish piano music, and has performed for such dignitaries as President George H. W. Bush and members of the Spanish Royal Family.

Desiree Ruhstrat


The Lincoln Trio

Adjunct Faculty, Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Desiree Ruhstrat, violinist with the Lincoln Trio, graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, and adjunct faculty member of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the world. She is a passionate teacher whose students are prizewinners at national and international competitions, and members of professional orchestras worldwide.

Dr.Scott McBride Smith


International Institute for Young Musicians, President and CEO

Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy, University of Kansas

Scott McBride Smith is a recognized leader in music education. As the Cordelia Brown Murphy Professor of Piano Pedagogy at the University of Kansas, he focuses on national issues of teacher training and piano pedagogy. As President and CEO of the International Institute for Young Musicians, he leads a summer program offering specialized training for gifted young performers from around the world.