Since 1976, the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation has been instrumental to the arts. Each year our educational outreach programs introduce thousands of children to the magic of music. And our prestigious competitions, festivals, and concerts help undiscovered talents find new audiences and reach international acclaim. A non-profit foundation based in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Bachauer aims to enrich society by continuing to provide opportunities for classical music to be performed everywhere, and to be enjoyed by all.
The music world was forever changed by Gina Bachauer, often regarded as the greatest female pianist of the 20th century. Born in Greece, she performed her first piano recital in Athens when she was just 8. At 20, she won the Medal of Honor at the Vienna International Competition.
During World War II, she played over 630 concerts for the Allied Forces. Her first American performance took place in 1950 in New York City, receiving unanimous critical acclaim.
Throughout her career, she often appeared with the Utah Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Maurice Abravanel, with whom she remained close friends. Today, the legacy of Gina Bachauer – as well as the mutual admiration between her and the Utah community – lives on through the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation.
Since winning the gold medal at the first Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, Douglas Humpherys’ concert career has spanned four decades across four continents. He has performed throughout Asia, notably presenting concerts and lecture-recitals in all the major conservatories of China.
Mr. Humpherys performs frequently in Europe, with solo concerts in Moscow, Novgorod, Berlin, Hamburg, Prague, Venice, and Dublin, and in Germany, the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Serbia. He has performed throughout the United States and Canada as a frequent guest artist for Music Teachers National Association. Mr. Humpherys completed graduate degrees at the Juilliard School (MM) and the Eastman School of Music (DMA), where he served for twenty years as Chair of the Piano Department, and is currently Professor of Piano.
In high demand as a teacher, his students have won numerous honors, including prizes at the Honens, Cleveland, Hilton Head, and Poulenc International Piano Competitions, as well as five national first-prize winners of MTNA Competitions.
Before his appointment as Artistic Director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation, Mr. Humpherys served numerous times on juries of Bachauer Competitions. Mr. Humpherys is a Steinway Artist.
Kary Billings has been actively involved with the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation since 1982, when he began volunteering for the international competitions. In 2006 he assumed the role of Executive Director, collaborating with the Artistic Director to plan Bachauer programs, including competitions, concerts and festivals. He coordinates all daily activities of the Foundation, working closely with staff in developing marketing strategies, designing educational programs, overseeing accounting needs, and interacting with Bachauer Board of Trustees.
As a student of Founder Paul Pollei, Mr. Billings attended his first Bachauer International Competition at age of 15. Enthused by the exposure to international pianists performing the greatest piano literature, he has been closely involved with every Bachauer competition since. He majored in piano performance at Brigham Young University, and he continues his musical passions through accompanying local theater productions, performing with other musicians, and teaching privately.
Mr. Billings served as Controller for one of the USA’s top-selling motorcycle dealerships from 1990 to 2003. He continues his duties as Treasurer of his family’s real estate businesses.