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Christopher Banka


Christopher Banka, 22, is a senior at Florida State University, where he is studying piano performance with Dr. Read Gainsford. A graduate of Mannes Prep music pre-college in New York, Chris began his piano studies at the age of seven. He has performed in more than 100 recitals, concerts, and competitions, including at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont, which he attended as a scholarship student from 2011-2017; Meadowmount School of Music in Westport, New York; the Princeton Festival in Princeton, New Jersey; and Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. Additionally, Chris has won numerous awards for solo piano performance, including Second Place Winner, Gray Perry Collegiate Piano Competition in 2016; Honorable Mention Winner, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition in 2015; Second Place Winner at the Bach-themed Annual Piano Competition at Florida State University in 2015; First Place Winner, Piano Accolades (Senior Division) at Mannes Prep in 2013; and Honors Recital Winner for Outstanding Performance, Music Educators Association of New Jersey in 2011. A member of the JXC Trio, Chris and his partners won Second Prize at the ENKOR International Chamber Music Competition in 2015/2016. His recent performances at Florida State University include Beethoven’s Piano Sonata in C Major, Op. 53, “Waldstein”; Rzewski’s Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues; and excerpts from Schumann’s Davidsbundlertanze, which Chris performed in memory of his cherished teacher, mentor and friend, Dr. Joel Hastings. During his freshman year at FSU, Christopher was selected to perform Bach’s English Suite No. 6 in D minor (Prelude) in a masterclass with Boris Berman. In addition to Dr. Gainsford and Dr. Hastings, Chris has studied piano with Eric Larsen, Kathleen Supové, Adrienne Kim, Tricia Tunstall, and Oscar Perez.

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