UAB presents the award annually to a full-time faculty member in the College of Arts and Sciences for professional and academic achievements and contributions to the university and local community. The award is made possible by the Caroline P. and Charles W. Ireland Endowment for Scholarly Distinction; it includes a $5,000 cash prize and an engraved crystal award.
“I am very happy, very honored and very thankful,” Kasman says of winning the award.
“Yakov emulates everything this prize was created to celebrate,” says Thomas M. DiLorenzo, Ph.D., dean of the UAB College of Arts and Sciences. “The level of prestige and honor he brings to the Department of Music, the college and UAB is priceless.”
As a pianist, Kasman made his U. S. debut in 1997 as silver medalist in the 10th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Fort Worth, Texas. It was the culmination of several competition triumphs and tours in Europe and the Middle East, including prizes at the 1991 Valentino Bucchi Competition in Rome, the 1991 London World Piano Competition, the 1992 Artur Rubinstein International Competition in Tel Aviv and the 1995 International Prokofiev Competition at St. Petersburg.
Today, Kasman is the professor of piano and artist-in-residence in the UAB Department of Music. He has been invited to perform at some of the most important venues in the world, and his students are winners of regional, national and international competitions. In January he performed Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto in Paris with Orchestre Lamoureux in the famed Theatre des Champs Elysees, considered one of the most important concert halls in the world. This year Kasman has appeared in concert with the Dayton Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Brevard Symphony, National Symphony of Ukraine, KBS Orchestra in South Korea, in recitals in Texas and New Mexico and master classes in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan.