Francisc ‘Frank’ T. Restesan, a violinist and orchestra conductor, has taught and directed string ensembles and orchestras at all levels. He has performed as a guest conductor and soloist and recitalist in distinguished venues in Europe and the Caribbean and has played in Carnegie Hall.
Frank was born in Cluj, Romania where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in music in 1995 and 1996 from the State Conservatory of Music. In 1992 he received a Performance Diploma from the prestigious Bachakademie in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1997 Restesan was awarded a summer fellowship at the Chautauqua Institution in New York, where he studied chamber music with the members of the Audubon Quartet and was concertmaster of the Festival Orchestra.
He completed a DMA in Violin Performance and Orchestral Conducting at the University of Arizona, Tucson in 2007. While at UofA, he held the Nelson Riddle Teaching Assistantship and was violinist in the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and concertmaster/soloist of the Tucson Chamber Orchestra. In 2009 he accepted the position of Director of Orchestras at Northern Kentucky University. In 2013 he held the position of President of the Northeast Division of the international College Orchestra Directors Association (CODA).
Frank is an avid supporter of American art music both here and around the world. He has regularly premiered works by ‘classical’ American composers overseas and has worked with contemporary composers such as Sander, Knechtges, Koplow, Landers, Mazzoli and Stanbery, both in the quality of violinist and conductor. His recording of Craig Madden Morris’ Violin Concerto (Navona/Naxos) has won enthusiastic reviews. Restesan is currently member of the Corbett Quartet, along with principals of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
Dr. Diana Belland is Professor of Piano and Chamber Music, and Director of the Piano Pedagogy Certificate/Emphasis program at Northern Kentucky University. She also teaches Advanced Writing in the Music Profession and has taught additional courses in both the NKU Honors Program and the Department of Literature and Languages. She made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of sixteen and received the Bachelor of Science degree from The Juilliard School and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from The Ohio State University. Awarded a Fellowship for two consecutive summers at the Berkshire Music Center (Tanglewood), Professor Belland completed additional chamber music studies at Kneisel Hall, Blue Hill, Maine and solo studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Dr. Belland has been awarded multiple grants, including a Meet the Composer/South Grant, a Fund-for-Innovation Mini-Grant and several Faculty Project Grants from NKU, to present educational outreach concerts with the Belland Piano Trio. In addition to solo and concerto performances, Dr. Belland has collaborated in numerous chamber music performances with members of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Amernet String Quartet and the Azmari String Quartet in performances on campus and at area schools.
An active clinician, adjudicator and sponsor for Kentucky Music Teachers' Association, Ohio Music Teachers' Association and Governor's School for the Arts events, Dr. Belland is founder of the recently established Northern Kentucky Winter Piano Pedagogy Conference now in its third year. As the recipient of a 2010 MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant, Dr. Belland is serving as co-director with Dr. Richard Van Dyke for the Summer Symposium on Twentieth/Twenty-first Century Keyboard Music for the Pre-College Student, to be held August 5-7, 2010 at Northern Kentucky University and will present a session, Music for the Advancing Student by Dmitri Shostakovich. Recent presentations have included The Solo Piano Music of Dmitri Shostakovich: A Guide to Selected Works for Teaching and Performance for Northern Kentucky Music Teachers Association and for the 2009 Kentucky Music Teachers Association State Conference.
Co-founder of The Norse Festival: Chamber Music at Northern Kentucky University, an annual summer event, Dr. Belland served as its Executive director from 2000-2005. She has also been at regular member of the faculty of NKU's annual Summer Piano Institute. Recently she appeared as soloist in the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Plevin (Bulgaria) Philharmonic as part of Northern Kentucky's East of Northern International Arts Initiative.