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2019 COMPETITION RESULTS
INTERMEDIATE SCRIABIN PRIZES
1st Place – Ningxin Zhan, # 231, 16, People’s Rep. of China
2nd Place – Justin Sherif Wahby, 15, # 250, USA
3rd Place – Chaithawat Atiphophai, 15, # 238, Thailand
INTERMEDIATE CONCERTO WINNERS
1st Place- Ningxin Zhan, 16, # 231, People’s Republic of China
2nd Place- Victor Shlyakhtenko, 17, # 222, USA
CONCERTO ENCOURAGEMENT PRIZE:
Jonathan Kuo, 16, # 219, Indonesia
JUNIOR CONCERTO WINNERS
1st Place- Nathaniel Zhang, 12, # 119, USA
2nd Place- Ray Zhang, 12, # 124, CANADA
INTERMEDIATE SOLO WINNERS:
1st Place- Kevin Cho, 16, # 217, USA
2nd Place- Ningxin Zhan, 16, # 231, People’s Republic of China
3rd Place Ryan Sheng, 15, # 248 USA
JUNIOR SOLO WINNERS:
1st Place- Nathaniel Zhang, 12, #119 – USA
2nd Place Tie: Lucie Kim, 12, # 134 USA and Hudson Ragins, 12, # 127 – USA
ELI BIRER & LILIAN BIRER-LAPIDUS ENCOURAGEMENT PRIZE
Wesley Ng, 12, # 111 – USA
INTERMEDIATE SOLO HONORABLE MENTION:
Victor Shlyakhtenko, 17, USA
Maxine Park, 14, # 209 – USA
Claire Chiang, 16, # 208 – USA
Angel Stanislav Wang, 16, # 241 – USA
JUNIOR HONORABLE MENTION:
Sophie Chung – # 116 J
Shang-en Pai – – # 118 J
Andrew Gu – # 163 J
The Waring sponsors three competition divisions:
Junior (pianists through age 12)
Intermediate (pianists ages 13 through 17)
Senior (pianists ages 18 through 30)
Eligibility is determined by age on the first day of the Competition.
The Competition is held biennially (every other year) with the Junior and Intermediate Competitions scheduled for 2023 and 2027 and the Senior Competition scheduled for 2021 and 2025.
All pianists must participate in the Solo and may participate in the Concerto competition. Separate awards are given for both solo and concerto divisions.
The Waring also sponsors Master Classes with distinguished judges. Contestants who don’t advance into the files are strongly encouraged to perform in these valuable classes. We encourage all contestants to audit them. It’s amazing what one can learn by watching others! There is no fee for contestants to audit and participate in the Master Classes.
Sixteen year-old AMY BAO began lessons at the age of five, and is a student of Annamarie and John McCarthy. She has also participated in masterclasses with Anton Nel and Sasha Starcevic. Amy has been enrolled in the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and during summers, has attended the International Institute for Young Musicians at the University of Kansas and the Southeastern Piano Festival. She has received top prizes in numerous competitions, including the United States International Music Competition, East Bay Music Competition and the Young Artist Competition of the Etude Club of Berkeley. She is currently a junior at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.
Fifteen year-old ANDRE NGUYEN is a sophomore at Mission Viejo High School. He also plays cello in the school orchestra. He currently studies the piano with Dr. He-Lyun Chung. Honors include: 1st place in the 2016 Los Angeles Young Musician International Competition; 1st place in the Glendale Piano Competition; 1st place in the 2016 Kathryn Gawartin Chopin Piano Competition; and multiple gold medals in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival. Besides piano, he also enjoys listening to music and playing tennis and basketball with his friends and family.
Sixteen year old ANGEL WANG was born into a family of musicians in Los Angeles, California. He began to study piano at five, and gave his first public appearance soon after. In 2012, Wang moved to Russia to study at the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music (College) with Professor Tatiana Zelikman. Today he is studying with Mikhail Khoklov.
At the age of nine he made his debut with the Vaasa orchestra in Finland. Since then, he has performed with the Moscow Symphony, Kostroma Province Symphony and Symphony Orchestra of Czech Republic. He has appeared in solo recital at many famous concert halls in Moscow, Vienna, Los Angeles, New York, Minsk (Belorussia), Olomouc (Czech Republic) and the Ferrara (Italia).
In 2018, Mr. Wang was the winner in the International Festival of Young Pianists named after G.G. Neuhaus in Moscow, performed in the 2016 Rheingau Music Festival in Germany, as well as the 2012 and 2017 International Festival ‘Moscow Meets Friends and at the 2012 and 2017 American Fine Arts Festival in New York. He is a scholarship recipient, and an active participant of the Vladimir Spivakov International Charity Foundation.
In 2017, he received an honor from the International public foundation Russian Foundation for Peace, for his highly creative skills and outstanding professional performance. He is also a grant-recipient from the Mayor of Moscow, Sergei Sobyanin, in the field of culture and art. Besides piano, Angel is a winner of many national and international percussion competitions as well as ballroom dance. He also composes songs, and likes to travel.
Thirteen year-old ANNA AUDENIS is a young, rising star pianist from California. She began the piano at the age of five, and has since participated in a number of festivals and competitions in the USA and Europe – charming audiences and judges alike with her talent and musicality. Her most recent achievements in 2017/18 were 2nd place at the Krystian Tkaczevsky International Piano Competition in Poland, and 2nd place at the San Jose International Piano Competition in San Jose, California. Moreover, she received 1st place at Great Composer International Piano competition and 1st place at the Kathryn Gawartin Chopin Piano Competition. Anna was also featured at the TEDX conference in the Czech Republic and made her orchestral debut at age nine with the Napolitana Orchestra in Italy. Adding to her growing experience as a soloist, she has also performed for the past four years in various chamber groups.
Anna has been fortunate to study with Eduardo Delgado, Dmitry Rachmanov, and currently Rufus Choi.
Sixteen year-old ANNA YAKURA is a junior at Santa Monica High School in Southern California. She has been studying piano under Dr. Sarkis Baltaian since she moved from New Mexico at age 12. Anna received several 1st prizes including the Professional Music Teachers Auditions in New Mexico (PMTNM), and performed the Mozart concerto with the New Mexico Philharmonic at age ten. Anna received 1st place in the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) Sonata Competition in 2018, and 2nd place in the CAPMT Romantic/Impressionistic Competition in 2016. At the 2018 Young Beethoven Competition, she was invited to San Jose as a finalists’ alternate. She also became a finalist in the Classics Alive Artists Competition in 2016.
Fifteen year-old CHAITHAWAT ATIPHOPHAI began his music studies at the age of five at the Yamaha Music School with Aj Suview Chaowanawuddthiku. Since the beginning of 2013, he has studied the piano with Dr. Indhuon Srikaranonda Baskauskas.
In 2015, he received 1st place in the 16th Osaka Music Competition (12 and under), as well as 1st place, a Chopin Prize, and the Exceptional Young Musician prize from the International Music Competition in Paris. He was the first place solo winner of the 2016 YTMF Competition (ages 12-15), 2nd place in the 2016 Rising Star Grand prix in Germany, 2nd place in the 2016, 10th YOKOHAMA International Music Competition (13 to 15 year-olds) and 3rd place in the 2017, 1st International Robert Schumann Piano Competition for Young Pianists. He was also a Bronze prize winner in the 2015, 6th ASEAN international Chopin piano competition Malaysia. He has performed in masterclasses with Professor Rolf Dieter Arens of The Liszt School of Music Weimar, Germany, Professor Carlo Levi Minzi of G. Verdi, Conservatory of Music at Milan, as well as Prof. Dmitri Bashkirov、Prof.Stanislav Ioudenitch and Prof. William Nabore of Lake Como Piano Academy.
Thirteen year-old CRYSTAL CHENG, is a scholarship student of John McCarthy in the Pre-College Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has also performed in masterclasses for John Perry and Jean-David Coen as a student in the John Perry Academy. Crystal has received numerous awards as a pianist, including 1st place in the 2016 Taiwan Music Competition. In 2017, she performed twice in New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, as a top prize winner in the American Protégé International Piano Competition. Crystal enjoys reading, creative writing, and playing the cello. She is currently a 7th grader at Kennedy Middle School in Cupertino.
Claire (Cheng-Ming) Chiang
Sixteen year-old CLAIRE CHIANG was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and raised in Plano, Texas. She is a frequent prize winner of international, national, state and local competitions, including International Chopin Youth Competition (Houston), MTNA, Texas MTA, Collin County Young Artist Competition, and Dallas Symphonic Festival. In the summer of 2018, she was selected by the Fine Arts Chamber Players of Dallas to be featured as a “Rising Star” presenting a solo and collaborative recital for an audience of over 500 in Dallas’ Moody Performance Hall. She has performed in masterclasses for many artist-professors from around the country. Claire’s early piano studies were with Andrey Ponochevny and has spent the past seven years with Dr. Catharine Lysinger at Southern Methodist University. She is currently a sophomore at Shepton High School where she excels in all subjects, particularly science. When not practicing or studying, she participates in regional and state science fairs, indulges in books, and sleeps.
Sixteen year-old EMMA HOGLUND has received numerous awards, prizes and scholarships in local and national competitions, including getting 1st place at the 2018 Canadian Music Competition in Montreal. She was also selected as National Representative for the 2018 BC Performing Arts Festival, 2018 winner of Muzewest Concert’s first scholarship which included a private solo recital, and most recently, the 2018 recipient of the National Gold Medal from the Royal Conservatory of Music for highest mark in North America for the Associate Performer’s Diploma. In addition, CBC Music included Emma in its 2017 list of ‘30 hot Canadian classical musicians under 30.’ In June of 2017, at the age of fourteen, Emma won the Senior Division of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra Future of Excellence Concerto Competition, with an opportunity to perform with the VSO in January 2018, which she did to a standing ovation as well as a return invitation for two concert engagements in their 2018-19 season.
Summer activities included attending John Perry Academy and performances in Florence and Perugia with orchestra as part of 2018 MusicFest Perugia. Emma’s teachers include Sasha Starcevich, Ilana Vered and Sergei Saratovsky.
When Emma is not playing the piano, she enjoys sports, baking, crafts, and service-related activities. She has participated in UNICEF and ALS fundraising events as a guest artist and feels very strongly about making our world a better place. Her school awarded her the 2018 Citizenship Award, recognizing these contributions.
Fourteen year-old FREDERICK CHIU started learning piano under the guidance of his father at age five. In 2018, he won first prize in the MTAC Dozen Charitable Trust Fund Concerto Competition. He received second place in the United States International Music Competition and the Lansum International Music Festival. Frederick also received first place in 2017 Keyboard Concertos of Southern California Junior Bach Festival. He performed at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall as a first prize winner of the 2017 Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. Besides piano, Frederick enjoys reading during his spare time. His current teacher is Ms. Jenny Shin.
Fifteen year-old JAMES KIM is a 10th grader at Walnut Hill School for the Arts He moved from Los Angeles to Lexington, MA. two years ago. Since then, he has been studying with Max Levinson. James has performed widely in the L.A. area, including a concerto with the Palisades Symphony and a gig on Jay Leno’s Tonight Show, together with concert pianist Lang Lang. James has been recognized with multiple scholarships and has been a winner in many local, regional and international competitions, including 1st place finishes in the statewide Kathryn Gawartin Chopin Competition, the CAPMT District III Sonata Competition, the Alice Frazier Kitchen Competition, and the SYMF and Glendale Piano Competition. Recently, he was selected as a finalist for the Fidelity Investments Young Artists Competition and placed 3rd in the Steinway Piano Competition. In addition, he received multiple scholarships from the Westside committee of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. James enjoys mathematics, biology, and robotics, and also likes to bike, travel, and play basketball and baseball.
Fifteen year-old JOHANN ZHAO was born in Salzburg, Austria. At age five, he received his first piano lessons at the Musikum Salzburg. At the age of nine he was admitted to the pre-college of the Uni Mozarteum Salzburg and is now studying piano with Prof. Cordelia Höfer-Teutsch. In 2016 Johann won First place at the 32nd International Smetana Competition in the Czech Republic. In 2017 he won First place with exceptional Talent at the New York Golden Classical Music Award. In 2017 he received a Gold Medal at the New York AADGT Competition. Also in 2017 he received the First place in the Rising Stars Competition in Berlin. And from 2014 thru 2018 he received multiple first prizes of the Austrian National Young Musician Competition. Johann had his first concert experience at the age of nine in the University Mozarteum Solidär Concerthall. At the age of ten he played his first Mozart Piano Concerto in “Salzburger Schloss Konzert” with “Salzburger Solisten Chamber music Team”.
At the age of fourteen, he played a Concert with the Bad Reichenhaller Philarmonie in Bavaria, Germany and will perform again with that same orchestra in 2019 as well as with the Berliner Philarmonie Orchester in Berlin.
Sixteen year-old JONATHAN KUO started piano lessons at the age of seven. His passion for music has led him to many achievements on the national and international levels. After only two years of piano study with Iswargia Sudarno, Jonathan came in 3rd in the Indonesia Steinway Youth Piano Competition (2012) Category A–under 10 years old, and 2nd along with the Best Performance of Mazurka prize in the 5th ASEAN International Chopin Piano Competition in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, he came in 4th at Kawai Youth International Piano Competition in Wuhan, China (2013) – Childrens Category – under 12 years old, 1st place in the Indonesia Steinway Youth Piano Competition (2014) Category B – under 13 years old, 1st place in Thailands Chopin International Competition in 2014, 2nd place in the Medan International Piano Competition in 2015 – under 15 years old, 2nd place in the Indonesia Steinway Youth Piano Competition in 2016 – age 10-17 and then 2nd place again in the 2018 Competition. Jonathan has also participated actively in many masterclasses under international level pianists and pedagogues. He has appeared as a pianist with the Jakarta Concert Orchestra, as well as with the Jakarta Sinfonietta. Jonathan gave a major solo recital in December 2016 in Jakarta, as part of the Steinway Concert Series and performed with orchestra at the Young Steinway Artist Gala Concert last October.
Twelve year-old JUSTIN WAHBY, is currently studying with Dr. Natsuki Fukasawa and Prof. John McCarthy. He is a student of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College program. Justin has received top prizes at events such as the New Star Piano Competition, Orfeo International Competition, US Open Piano Competition, USIMC, Auburn YA Competition, Alexander and Buono International, and Ghiglieri Piano Competition.
Justin has been playing clarinet for the past 6 years and is part of the Sacramento Youth Symphony. Besides music, Justin enjoys playing sports such as tennis. He’s also the president of Franklin High School’s Music Society, where he is a Sophomore.
Sixteen year-old KEVIN CHO received a 1st place award in the 2018 National MTNA Junior Division, as well as in the Southwestern Division and state of California MTNA. He also received 1st place in the 2017 & 2018 Lansum International Competition and in the 2017 Young Muse International Competition. He has performed two solo concerts in Carnegie Hall and had concerto performances with the Antelope Valley Symphony, Southwestern Youth Festival Symphony and the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony.
Kevin was also the winner of David Weiss Scholarship from the Young Musicians Foundation. He has had Master classes with Jean Thibaudet, John Perry, Sasha Starchevich, Dmitri Rachmanov, Luncida Carver and Charles Fierro. Kevin participated in John Perry’s 2017 Summer Academy and the 2018 Montecito Music festival. He performs regularly at the local Senior living facilities and is interested in studying the field of medicine. He volunteers at the local hospital and has shadowed some physicians. Kevin also tutors AP Chemistry, AP Biology and AP Music Theory at his school.
MAXINE PARK, a 9th grader at Phillips Exeter Academy, has been a student of Mila Filatova since age seven. She has received top prizes at numerous regional and international competitions, including the Chopin International Piano Competition, Paderewski International Competition, Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition, and New Hampshire Granite State Piano Competition. Maxine has performed as a soloist with several orchestras, including the New York Concerto Sinfonietta at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Nashua Chamber Orchestra as a guest artist in the 2016-2017 season, and the MostArts Festival Orchestra at Alfred University as national finalist in the Young Pianist Competition. In 2018, she performed at the International Chopin Festival, “Lato Z. Chopinem” in Busko-Zdroj, Poland, featured in the “World Piano Talents” Series. In addition to performing multiple times at Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall, Maxine has also performed in master classes with Simone Dinnerstein, Emilie Naoumoff, John Perry, and Ilana Vered. She was also featured on NPR’s From the Top and two From the Top videos productions (A Star Wars Musical Mashup, Fantastic Musicians and Where to Find Them). Outside of music, Maxine enjoys math, writing and poetry. In 2017, she was named a Caroline D. Bradley Scholar and awarded a full four-year, merit-based high school scholarship.
Fifteen year-old MI-HYUN SUH, is a sophomore at Diamond Bar High School. She began studying music by receiving voice training and then piano lessons at age five. She is currently studying piano with Rufus Choi. Mi-Hyun has won many honors, such as many top MTAC OC and LA branches awards, MTAC Southern California Concerto Competition Second Alternate and Honorable Mentions, Glendale Piano Competition Honorable Mention, DBHS Concerto Competition Winner and numerous SYMF awards. Mi-Hyun has also given solo recitals in nursing homes. Her piano trio, Meisll Trio, received 2nd place and the Beethoven Prize at the Pasadena Chamber Music Competition. Mi-Hyun also plays the flute. Two years ago, she was Principal Flutist and winner of the Concerto competition in the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra. Outside of music, Mi-Hyun enjoys drawing, reading, and helping out in her school Christian Club. She has also done Korean traditional folk dancing and was a member of the Korean American Young Artists choir and California Children’s Choir. She wishes to pursue music as a career and share the beauty of music with others.
Sixteen year-old NINGXIN ZHAN was born in Nanjing, China and started playing piano at the age of five. She now studies the piano with Natalia Fillipova at the Middle School affiliated to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She wins a scholarship every year at the school. She won the 3rd place at the 8th Shenzhen International Piano Open and was a bronze prize winner of the 3rd Huanglong International Piano Competition in 2018. She likes playing guitar and listening to music.
Sixteen year-old Perren-Luc Thiessen studies with Dr. Tamas Ungar and Dr. Mary Humm. He made his Orchestra Debut at 12 in Italy. Orchestras he has performed with include the Evgeny Svetlanov Orchestra (in Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall), Irktusk Symphony Orchestra in Sibera, Fort Worth Symphony, and Torun Symphony in Poland. He has performed with conductors Alexander Sladkovsky, Lapinsch Ilmar, Lio Kuokman, and Przemyslaw Fiugajski among others. International Prizes comprise Diplomat of the 2018 Grand Piano Competition in Moscow, First Prize and Award for Best Performance of a Romantic Work at the 2017 Young Pianist of the North International Piano Competition, First Prize in the Debut International Piano Competition with his 2017 Debut Recital in Carnegie (Weill) Hall and the Ehrbar Saal in Vienna, and Second Prize, Most Promising Young Artist, and Best Chopin Performance in the Tkaczewski International Competition in Poland. As a Young Artist participant in Piano Texas, T.I.M.M. and Semper Music Festivals in Italy and the Paderewski Piano Academy in Poland, he worked with Berndt Goetzke, Balazs Skokolay, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Vladimir Feltsman, and Yoheved Kaplinsky to name a few.
Fifteen year-old RYAN SHENG is from San Jose, California. He began learning to play the piano at age five and has performed internationally since the age of six. Most recently, in October of 2017 he was invited to perform a solo recital at the Brussels Music Festival in Belgium – becoming the youngest pianist ever invited to perform at this prodigious festival. He was one of the contestants in the 2016 Gina Bachauer International Competition and a prize winner of many local and international competitions. He has received 1st place and special prize of Best Performance of Bence Kutrik’s ‘Introverted Confessions’ at the 10th Rosario Marciano International Competition in Austria; 1st place in the 2018 Pacific Music Competition in California; 2nd place at the International Whitenight Competition in Russia, 1st place at the Schlern International Competition in Italy as well as multiple 1st place awards in the US Open Music Competition. In the summer of 2017, he won 1st place in the North Coast International Competition, earning him a performance in Carnegie Hall.
Besides playing the piano, Ryan enjoys fencing, playing basketball and playing the oboe. He is currently the principal oboist in the Evergreen Valley High School concert Band.
Seventeen year-old VICTOR SHLYAKTENKO is a student of Teresa de Jong Pombo at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, performing piano concerti by Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, Grieg and Liszt. Victor’s first prize awards include Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, Edith Knox Concerto Competition and American Prize in Piano.
Passionate about community engagement, Victor is a founding member of California Young Musicians, a network of young performers who share their art through concerts and lectures. Victor has been awarded a scholarship from the Chopin Foundation. He is currently a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang Foundation and a recipient of the Richard D. Colburn Scholarship at the Colburn School.
Sixteen year-old XIAOJIE XU is from Zunyi, China. Xiaojie started playing the piano at the age of three. She is now a 10th grader who studies at the Middle School affiliated to Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She won third place in the Steinbergh Piano Competition in 2017. She shows great interest in Chinese literature and western music history.
Twelve year-old Andrew Gu, lives in Milton, Massachusetts. He received his first piano lesson from his Mother, Helen Jung. He then began piano studies with Sasha Starcevich and Kaichi Zhu. He is currently studying piano with Alexander Korsantia at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and Dorothy Shi. In 2015 he won 1st place at the Grotrian-Steinweg International Piano Competition and 3rd place in 2016 at the San Jose International Piano Competition. More recently, he won 1st place at the 2017 Rosalyn Tureck International Piano Competition, and was a prize winner in the 2017 Lagny-sur-Marne and Kaufman International Piano Competitions. He made his orchestra debut at the age of eight, performing Haydn’s Piano Concerto in D Major. He is an avid soccer player, biker who enjoys coding in Python, reading and great food.
Eleven year-old Angelina Wong, studies with Santa Clara University Professor, Hans Boepple. She has won various prizes in her age group: First place in the Pacific Musical Society Competition, the CAPMT Honors District II, and the American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition; Second place in the San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists and the CAPMT Honors State Final; and Third place in the San Jose International Piano Competition and the Hong Kong and Asia Piano Open Competition. She also performed at the Northern California Junior Bach Festival and at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Angelina enjoys going to concerts, reading, playing Rubik’s cube, and swimming.
Eleven year-old Dustin Zhao began taking piano lessons with Professor Olga Bornovalova at the age of five. Dustin has made several successful appearances at local and international competitions. Dustin won the grand prize in the solo elementary division and 2nd place in the Concerto program at the 2017 Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition. He was the 1st place winner in the elementary division at Emilio Del Rosario (EDR) Piano Concerto Competition (2017). Dustin also won 1st place in the elementary piano solo group in 2017 at the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (ISMTA) Competition North. He received an Honorable Mention in category B and a Lansum Merit Award in the 2016 Los Angeles International Piano Competition. Dustin was also the 1st place winner at the SAM competition primary (2015) and junior (2018) group. Dustin likes playing tennis, basketball, soccer, and video games. He is an experienced skier and traveler.
Ella Cho, age eleven, began her piano studies at the age of six. For the past three years, Ella has had the privilege to take part in Regional, State, and International competitions. She received top prizes in The San Jose International Piano Competition, Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, Aloha International Piano Competition, The Hartford International Chopin Competition, American Protégé International Music Competition, AADGT Passion of Music 2018, Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) State Solo and Contemporary Festival, Glendale Piano Competition, Los Angeles Junior Bach Festival, and The Southwestern Youth Music Festival.
She has performed in master classes for Hershey Felder and Jon Nakamatsu. She recently completed the level six exam of the California Certificate of Merit with honors. Ella has also performed with orchestras in Los Angeles and Seoul, Korea. Ella is currently a student of Ory Shihor. In addition to playing the piano, she enjoys competing in math Olympiad and swimming.
Hudson Ragins is twelve years old and lives in Yonkers, New York. He began studying the piano at the age of six. He began homeschooling this year. When not practicing or homeschooling, he can be found with his nose in a book or a mound of food.
Jarett Xu is a twelve year-old sixth grader at Town School For Boys in San Francisco. He began playing the piano with teacher Meikui Matsushima at age five, and currently is a Pre-College scholar student of San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Jarett won 3rd place at the Pacific Society Competition in 2017, an honorable mention at the San Francisco Chopin Competition in 2016 and was selected to perform in a Showcase for the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Besides music, Jarett participates in the swim team and cross country. He likes to draw cartoons and build LEGO in his free time.
Eleven year-old John Kim, has studied piano for six years and is already an experienced performer. John moved to Lexington, MA two years ago and has been studying with Max Levinson.
He has received many awards and honors. He placed 1st in the Los Angeles Young Pianist Competition, and in both the Sonata and the Honors Competitions of CAPMT District III. He has also placed 2nd in the 2018 Chopin International Piano Competition, the 2017 Steinway Society of Massachusetts Piano Competition and the Open Solo category of the SYMF. He came in 3rd in his category at the 2015 Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competition. He is also a scholarship recipient from Westside committee of Los Angeles Philharmonic and SOL-LA Music academy. John enjoys mathematics and art. He also likes to build LEGO’s, watch movies, ride his bike, play baseball and Ping-Pong. John actually enjoys the snow in Massachusetts!
Twelve year-old Lillian Feng started piano study since age four. She has won many awards including the Glendale Piano Competition, Liana Cohen Open Festival, Lansum International, Young Muse International, Diamond Bar Music Festival and Satori Young pianist Competition Grand Prize. In addition to piano, she has also studied the violin since the age of five and has won several awards at string competitions. She currently plays the violin in the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra (PYSO). Her favorite sports are tennis and swimming. She enjoys reading Harry Potter and learning about science (physics and astronomy).
Twelve year-old Lucie Kim is a 7th grader at OCSA. Her passion for playing piano was ignited at age six. Since then, she has distinguished herself as a first prize winner at many competitions, including the Southern California Junior Bach Complete Works Competition, Elvin Samuel McGaughey Music Foundation Competition, and the San Jose International Piano Competition, where she also received the Most Promising Young Talent Award. She currently studies with Ariel Yang at Opus 119 School of Music. In her spare time, Lucie enjoys playing golf and is a member of the SCPGA Junior Players Tour.
Nathaniel Zhang began piano lessons at age five. He previously studied the piano with Tien Hsieh and now studies with Dr. Sasha Starcevich. Nathaniel had his first piano solo recital at the age ten. In 2018, Nathaniel made his orchestral debut with orchestra Cherubini from Florence at Music Festival Perugia, Italy.
Nathaniel has won 1st place in many piano competitions, including Pacific Musical Society Competition, MTAC Northern California Concerto and Solo Competitions, CAPMT Honors Competition State Finals, US International Music Competition Young Artist Awards, US Open Music Competition Open Concerto and Showcase Solo.
Nathaniel plays piano regularly in school and his story was featured on an ABC World News Tonight, segment “America Strong”. He played in New York Carnegie Hall as the 1st place winner of the American Protégé International Piano Competition. Nathaniel also loves playing chamber music and plays violin in the school orchestra.
Eleven year-old Rachel Wei has been studying the piano, violin and flute since she was five.
She has a great deal of performing experience from an early age as a child prodigy. At age six, she made her piano concerto debut playing Berkovich in Vancouver. At age seven, she performed the Polunin Concertino. At age nine, she played the Mozart Concerto K453 with the Brunensis Virtuosi Orchestra in Italy. At age ten, she made her violin concerto debut after winning the VAMJS Concerto Competition.
Rachel has won many awards; most recently she won the VAM Orpheum Theatre Concerto Competition, and will play the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3 with the orchestra. She won the VAM, Edith Lando Gifted Youth Scholarship grand prize two years in a row. In 2017, at the age of nine, Rachel won the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition. In 2017 and 2016 Rachel received a Pacific International Youth Music Gala Trophy along with a scholarship. In 2015, Rachel was the youngest winner of Crescendo International Music Competition, where she performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Rachel attends 6th Grade at Crofton House School in Vancouver; she loves reading, math, and field hockey.
Twelve year-old Ray Zhang was born in China and lives in Vancouver, Canada. He began learning the piano at five, studying with Mrs. Fafan Xiao. He has currently been studying with Dr. Sasha Starcevich since September of 2016. He has received many awards including 1st place and 2nd place in the 2014-2016 Canadian Music Competition (CMC). He won 1st place in the 2015 Pacific International Young Pianists Competition, a 1st place & judges’ distinction award in the 2013 American Protégé International Music Talent Competition, 1st place in the 2014 AADGT International Competition, 2nd place in the 2016 Vienna International Competition, and 2nd place and special prize of most promising young musician in the 2014 Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competition. Ray has also received Gold Medal and 1st place in the 2018 International Chopin Music Competition. Ray has performed in the Issac Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall four times. He has also performed in the Fazioli concert hall in Italy, The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Koerner Hall in Toronto, and the Shanghai Oriental Art Center in China. Ray has participated in many fundraising concerts to support Sarah McLachlan School of Music, BC Children’s hospital and needy elementary schools in China. Also, Ray performs regularly in the senior homes in Greater Vancouver area. Other than playing piano, Ray enjoys reading, solving the rubik’s cube, chess, and playing goalie for his school soccer team.
Twelve year-old Sabrina Lo is in the 6th grade at Foothills Middle School in Arcadia, CA. She currently studies the piano with Anders Martinson in Santa Monica, having previously studied with Mina Perry and Karen Lee. Sabrina has won 1st place awards in the 2017 California Association of Professional Music Teachers District IX Romantic/Impressionistic Competition, and in the 2018 Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF) Open Baroque Competition. She also placed 3rd in both the Open Solo and the Open Chopin competitions of the 2018 SYMF, and received an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Lansum International Piano Competition. Sabrina also participates at the National level in USA Fencing Association competitions.
Shang-En Pai was born in Taiwan, in 2008. He began to study the piano at the age of five and gave his first solo recital three years later.
Shang-En has been a prize winner in numerous national and international competitions, notably 2nd place in the Third Hong-Kong Asia-Pacific Youth Piano Competition (2016) in the age 9-10 group, 1st place in the Second Maestro Cup Taiwan-Japan International Children’s Music Competitions (2017) in the age 10-12 group, and 2nd place in the 2018 Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in the Elementary School Category. He was chosen to perform in the World Wunderkinds Concert in Dobbiaco, Italy this August.
Nine-year-old Sophie Chung currently studies the piano under Ms. Jenny Shin and has won numerous awards under her direction. Sophie won 1st Place of the Classics Alive National Young Artist Audition 2018; 1st Prize in the 2017 San Jose International Piano Competition; Grand Prize in the 47th Korea Times Competition; and Silver Medal in the 2017 Southern California Junior Bach Festival. In her spare
time, she likes to read, study German with her mom, play chess against her dad and walk her beloved Shih-Tzu “Sunny” who loves to listen to her piano playing.
Eleven year-old Vincent Pham is from Tampa, Florida. He is a Principle Honor student of Carrollwood Elementary School. He began piano lesson at the age of four. Since 2014, Vincent has studied the piano with Mr. Vladimir Khokholov.
He has participated in many local, state, and international music competitions and has won numerous awards. They include the HACA Spotlight on Talent competition where he won 2nd place in 2014 and 1st place in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In 2017, he received 1st place in the Florida District 9 Concerto Competition. In the Florida Orchestra Competition in 2018, he received 2nd place in the Junior age division 14 and under and 3rd place in the Senior division 22 years and under. AT the 2015 FFMC Florida State Competition he received an Honorable Mention Award, 1st place Solo in 2016, 1st place Concerto in 2017 and 1st place Concerto in 2018.
He received 2nd place in the 2016 American Protégé International Piano & Strings Competition, 1st place in the 2017 competition and a Judges’ Distinction Award in 2018. Vincent has performed at many local and state events. He was also invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in the summers of 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In addition to his piano studies, he has led his Math Bowl team four consecutive years and has earned many math and science awards for his school.
Twelve year-old Wesley Ng is a 6th grader at Covington school in Los Altos, California. He is also a student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music pre-college division where he studies piano with Corey McVicar. He has performed at the Conservatory’s Graduation Ceremony, Showcase Concert, and was invited to play at the Liszt Society’s 15th Annual Young Pianists Play Liszt Concert. Other than music, his passions include making comics, gaming, photography and traveling.
Please welcome our 2019 adjudicators:
Bernadene Blaha‘s “brilliant command of the piano”, whether featured as recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician, has been heralded in performances throughout North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Mexico. Piano and Keyboard magazine has reviewed her as, “a pianist of integrity, with lovely sonorities and total clarity of line.” Highlights of this season include return engagements at the Piatigorsky Cello Festival, Newport Music Festival, Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, Worcester Chamber Music Society as well as performances in Canada, France and Italy.
Originally from Canada, Ms. Blaha first came to international attention as a prizewinner in the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition; the Young Keyboard Artists International Piano Competition, Grand Rapids, Michigan; the Masterplayers International Competition, Lugano, Switzerland; and the 11th Annual International Piano Competition, New York City. This latter award resulted in two highly acclaimed recital appearances, at Carnegie Recital Hall and the Lincoln Center Library. Soon afterward, Ms. Blaha was featured in the opening orchestra concert and a solo recital at the XXIX International Chopin Festival in Marianske Lazne, Czechoslovakia, followed by performances at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and Disney Hall in Los Angeles.
Ms. Blaha is a founding member of the piano trio Latitude 41, formed in 2009 with violinist Livia Sohn and cellist Luigi Piovano. Their debut CD of Schubert’s monumental “Trio in E flat Major” and “Notturno” was released in 2011 on the Eloquentia label to rave reviews. The group followed this success with a recording of the Saint-Saëns Trios and has a forthcoming CD featuring the Brahms Trios. Ms. Blaha’s discography also includes recordings for the CBC, Centaur and Analekta labels.
Also in demand as a teacher, adjudicator and clinician, Ms. Blaha has received the National Arts Foundation’s Outstanding Teacher Recognition Award. She has been invited to serve on the jury of the Gina Bachauer International Artist Piano Competition, Virginia Waring International Competition and the 2015 International E-Competition.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Ms. Blaha has been a member of the Keyboard Faculty at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California since 1993 where she is a Professor.
Daniel Lessner has thrilled audiences around the world with his dazzling performances and poetic interpretations of the great masterworks of the piano repertoire. Critics have hailed his playing as “brilliant and blazing” and have called him “a musician of pristine artistic taste and discernment.” Mr. Lessner was the winner of the 2009 IBLA Grand Prize Special Award for his performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The international competition was held in Sicily, Italy, and a resulting tour throughout the United States in April of 2010 culminated in a concert at Carnegie Hall-Weill Auditorium in New York City.
Mr. Lessner has toured extensively in the United States and abroad, performing with orchestras and in solo recitals in cities which include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Salt Lake City, Boston, Detroit, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Miami, Palm Beach, Helsinki Finland, and Stockholm Sweden. He has garnered top prizes in competitions including the Maryland International, the Gina Bachauer International, the Interlochen Concerto Competition, Miecyslau Munz, the Grand Rapids International, and the Van Cliburn Scholarship Award. He has appeared as soloist with the Florida Philharmonic, the Miami Beach Symphony, the Queens Symphony, the Maryland Symphony, the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra, the Interlochen Orchestra, the California Philharmonic, and the Pueblo Symphony, among others.
In recent seasons, Mr. Lessner was a soloist with the Pasadena Symphony at Descanso Gardens in Pasadena, CA where he played Bernhard Herrmann’s Piano Concerto from the film Hanover Square, along with Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor. He appeared with the Filarmonica de Chile in Santiago, Chile, playing a series of concerts where he performed the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto in the Teatro Oriente. While in Chile, Lessner gave master classes at the University of Chile and the School of Modern Music, and was invited to return there in the 2010-2011 season. In February 2010, Lessner performed the Chopin Concerto #1 with The Pueblo Symphony in Pueblo, Colorado, conducted by Dr. Jacob Chi, and returned there next two successive season to play the Tchaikovsky Concerto no.1 and Prokofiev Concerto no. 3. He has appeared with the Marquette Symphony Orchestra in Marquette, Michigan in 2014 and 2015 with the Prokofiev Concerto no. 3 and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto no. 3. While in Marquette Mr. Lessner also gave master classes, and recitals in which he included Bach’s Goldberg Variations and the complete Etudes Op. 10 by Chopin. Lessner was recognized for Most Outstanding Performance in the works of Chopin and Liszt in the 6th Palm Beach International Piano Competition. As a result, he was invited by the Orchestra de San Luis invited him for a concert tour throughout Argentina and South America where he played the Beethoven Concerto #4. Mr. Lessner performed the Brahms-Paganini Variations in Carnegie Hall in New York City, in a gala concert that included such legendary pianists as Byron Janis.
Lessner has performed in solo recitals in Miami’s Gusmann Hall under the auspices of the Miami Civic Music Association, returning there for three consecutive seasons, and in Los Angeles’ Taper Auditorium, where he played Liszt’s transcription of Wagner’s Overture to Tannhauser. He has appeared numerous times at Williams College in Massachusetts playing the Rachmaninoff Third Concerto with Ronald Feldman conducting the Berkshire Symphony, and Bach’s Goldberg Variations in the same season. Other career highlights include solo and orchestral concerts in Brazil on the Amazon River with the New York Philharmonia, and performing Rachmaninoff’’s Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini with the California Philharmonic at the Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall.
Daniel began his piano studies at the age of four in Miami, Florida, where he performed his first public recital at age eleven. By the time he turned eighteen he had won over a hundred local and national prizes, including the Irene Muir Scholarship Award for the top young talent in the state of Florida and the First Prize award at the acclaimed Interlochen Music Camp’s Concerto Competition, where he performed the Macdowell Concerto #2 in D minor and Rachmaninoff Concerto #2 in C minor. He entered the Juilliard School of Music in New York City on scholarship to study with the renowned teacher Adele Marcus. While at Juilliard he won the Tchaikovsky Concerto Competition, which he performed with the Juilliard Orchestra in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, under the baton of Massimo Freccia. After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music, Lessner was chosen as a candidate for Juilliard’s doctoral program. He remained at Juilliard as an Assistant Faculty Member for two seasons. Lessner is dedicated to nurturing young talent. He has been on the faculty at the University of Southern California as Professor of Piano, Adjunct. He also teaches privately in Los Angeles and gives Master Classes. He can be heard on United Airlines’ award-winning national advertising campaign performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in more than ten ads. He has also worked as a record producer and as an Artist and Repertoire Representative for EMI Records. Mr. Lessner is a Steinway Artist.
JEFFREY SWANN enjoys an international performing career which has taken him throughout the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. He won first prize in the Dino Ciani Competition sponsored by La Scala in Milan, a gold medal at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels, and top honors at the Warsaw Chopin, Van Cliburn, Vianna da Motta and Montreal Competitions, as well as the Young Concert Artists auditions in New York City. His large and varied repertoire includes more than 60 concertos as well as solo works ranging from Bach to Boulez.
In addition to presenting lecture/recitals worldwide, Mr. Swann has performed with the symphonies of Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Indiana, Dallas, Saint Louis, Phoenix, Houston, Lexington, Baltimore and Minneapolis; and in Europe with the orchestras of Rotterdam, The Hague, Belgian National and Radio, Santa Cecilia, La Scala, Maggio Fiorentino (Florence), RAI Turin and Rome, Südwest Rundfunk, Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Prague Philharmonic, Radio France de Montpellier, and the London Philharmonia, among many others. The conductors with whom he has performed include Zdenek Macal, David Robertson, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Marek Janowski, William Steinberg, Kazimirz Kord, Myung-Whun Chung, Roberto Abbado, Riccardo Chailly, Daniele Gatti and Leonard Slatkin. In addition, he continues to lecture regularly at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany, and at Wagner Societies in the United States and Italy. Mr. Swann has also served as a judge at many competitions.
A native of Northern Arizona, Jeffrey Swann studied with Alexander Uninsky at Southern Methodist University and with Beveridge Webster and Adele Marcus at The Juilliard School, where he received his B.M., M.M. and D.M.A. Degrees.
Mr. Swann can be heard on Ars Polona, Deutsche-Gramophon, RCA-Italy, Replica, Fonit-Cetra, Music & Arts, and Agorá recordings. His CD, “The Virtuoso Liszt” (Music & Arts) won the Liszt Society’s Grand Prix, and his first volume of the Complete Beethoven Sonatas (Agorá) was chosen one of the Best of the Year by Fanfare magazine. His most recent release features works for piano and orchestra by Chopin with the Haydn Orchestra of Bolzano.
Jeffrey Swann has served as Artistic Director of both the Dino Ciani Festival & Academy in Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa; he is currently Professor of Piano at New York University and the President’s Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at Northern Arizona University.
JUNIOR FIRST PLACE – $5,000
JUNIOR SECOND PLACE – $3,000
JUNIOR THIRD PLACE – $1,500
ENCOURAGEMENT PRIZE – $1,000
INTERMEDIATE FIRST PLACE – $5,000
INTERMEDIATE SECOND PLACE – $3,000
INTERMEDIATE THIRD PLACE – $1,500
INTERMEDIATE FIRST PLACE – $1,000
INTERMEDIATE SECOND PLACE – $750
INTERMEDIATE THIRD PLACE – $500
JUNIOR FIRST PLACE – $5,000
JUNIOR SECOND PLACE – $3,000
INTERMEDIATE FIRST PLACE – $5,000
INTERMEDIATE SECOND PLACE – $3,000
35 minutes of repertoire from diverse styles and eras
Competitors must select solo repertoire from each of the following categories:
A complete concerto to be chosen from the following:
Any work originally written for solo piano.
Please note: If you want to be considered for a Scriabin Prize, you must include either a Scriabin étude or prélude in your Solo Round I repertoire.
50 minutes of repertoire from diverse styles and eras
Competitors must select solo repertoire from each of the following categories:
A complete concerto to be chosen from the following:
Any work originally written for solo piano.
Repertoire from Solo Round I may not be repeated in the Semi-Finals.
All competitors must perform in the solo round. You may choose to perform in the concerto round. A pianist must perform in the solo round in order to compete in the concerto round. Contestants performing in the concerto round will play ALL of the solo parts of the concerto in Round I.
NO REPERTOIRE CHANGES ARE ALLOWED.
Please consider your submitted repertoire thoroughly.
Competition judges (adjudicators) may request any portion of the music and terminate a contestant’s round at any time. Decision of the adjudicators is final.
Following the Solo Round I, six pianists will advance to the Semi-Finals of each age division.
If a contestant chooses to participate in the Concerto Division, they will play ALL solo parts of the concerto in Round I. Second piano parts will be cut. There will be 2 Junior and 2 Intermediate contestants advancing to the Final Concerto Round, which will be played with full orchestra.
All fees must be paid in US dollars. Payment may be made by either:
Junior Solo & Concerto $200.00
Intermediate Solo & Concerto $200.00
The 2017 Competition took place from March 26 – April 2, 2017. 27 Contestants participated in the Solo Preliminary Round; 18 Contestants participated in the Concerto Preliminary Round with 2nd Piano. All the contestants were amazing pianists. Audio CDs of all the solo preliminary round, semi-final round and most of the Concerto Preliminary Round with 2nd Piano are available for sale through the Waring office. $15 includes shipping and handling within the US.
All rounds of the competition were open to the public. Preliminary rounds and master classes were free to the audience at the Indian Wells Theater, located on the campus of CSUSB-Palm Desert, 37-500 Cook St., Palm Desert, CA 92211
March 26 – April 2, 2017
THIS APPLICATION FORM MAY BE SUBMITTED ELECTRONICALLY OR TYPED & MAILED. ALL APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE THE COVER PAGES WHICH ARE TO BE MAILED TO VWIPC, 73710 FRED WARING DR. # 201, PALM DESERT, CA 92260 USA BEFORE NOV. 4, 2016.
Please keep a copy of this application for your records.
HOUSING & TRANSPORTATION
REPERTOIRE & COMPETITION REQUIREMENTS
Please choose your repertoire carefully BEFORE you submit your application. Once accepted, NO REPERTOIRE CHANGES ARE ALLOWED
1. Judges will know each competitor ONLY by a randomly selected number.
2. Each competitor must prepare a 75 minute solo program. Solo repertoire for the Competition must include works from the categories listed on page 5, including any categories not included on the audition DVD / CD. (All periods of repertoire must be presented, whether on the audition DVD/CD or in the solo program. Particular repertoire should be identified for each round of the solo competition. Repertoire may be repeated only in the final round.
3. Each competitor must prepare an Earl Wild transcription of not more than 5 minutes from the following list to be played during Solo Round I performances.
a. Gershwin/Earl Wild-Virtuoso Etudes
ii. Somebody Loves Me
iii. The Man I Love
iv. Embraceable You
v. Lady Be Good
vi. I Got Rhythm
vii. Fascinatin’ Rhythm
b.Rachmaninoff / Wild – Song Transcriptions for Piano
i. Floods of Spring Op. 14, NO. 11
ii. Misummer Nights Op. 14, NO. 5
iii. The Little Island Op. 14, No. 2
iv. Where Beauty Dwells Op. 21, NO. 7
v. In the Silent Night Op. 4, NO. 3
vi. Do Not Grieve Op. 14, No. 8
vii. Sorrow in Springtime Op. 21, No. 12
viii. On the Death of a Linnet, Op. 21, No. 8
ix. To the Children Op. 26, No. 7
x. The Muse Op. 34, No. 1
xi. Dreams Op. 38,. No. 5
xii. Harvest of Sorrow Op. 4, No. 5
xiii. O, Cease They Singing Op. 4, No. 4
c. Various Transcriptions
i. Tchaikovsky/Wild – Dance of Four Swans
ii. Tchaikovsky/Wile – At the Ball
iii. Handel / Wild – Air & Variations – Harmonious Blacksmith
iv. Faure / Wild – Improvisation on Apres Un Reve
v. Bach / Wild – Hommage a Poulenc
vi. Marcello/Wild – Adagio
vii. Earl Wild / Jarabe Tapatio (Mexican Hat Dance)
All Earl Wild transcription music is available at a 30% discount for VWIPC applicants through the Earl Wild website:
Click on the word TRANSCRIPTIONS in the lower left hand side of the homepage; Type in WARING COMPETITION on the on-line order form to get the 30% discount!
4. If entering the Concerto Round, you must prepare one complete concerto, chosen from the following:
5. All solo and concerto pieces must be performed by memory and must be prepared in their entirety. (The Earl Wild Transcription may be performed with sheet music)
6. The Competition will provide accompanists for Concerto Round One. Appropriate rehearsal time will be arranged.
7. One published score of each work to be performed must be provided for judges. Contestants may pick up their scores from the check in desk immediately after performing.
8. All decisions of the jury are final. Written comments from judges will be mailed to all contestants within six (6) weeks of the end of the competition.
9. All rounds of the competition and master classes are open to the public.
Solo Round I:
All Contestants will perform a 30 minute solo program including the Earl Wild transcription
Solo Round II – Semi Finals: Approximately 12 (twelve) contestants will be selected to compete in the Semi-Final round, performing 45 minute solo programs of different repertoire.
Solo Round III – Finals: Up to six (6) finalists will be selected to present 45 minute solo programs. Prizes will be awarded following the solo finals. The first place solo winner and the Earl Wild transcription winner must perform at the McCallum Theatre after the concerto finals on Sunday, April 2.
Concerto Round I: Those entering the concerto competition must perform a concerto from the list provided with second piano accompaniment. Appropriate cuts may be made if the work exceeds 20 minutes.
Concerto Round II – Finals: Three (3) finalists will be selected to perform full concerti with orchestra, with one rehearsal on Sunday April 2. Prizes will be awarded immediately following the performances.
MASTER CLASS: Contestants will have the opportunity to perform in a Master Class with one of the adjudicators free of charge on Saturday April 1.
PRELIMINARY AUDITION DVD or Audio CD
1. Applicants may choose preliminary audition repertoire different from the works they plan to perform during the Competition.
2. The audition CD must have at least 30 (thirty) minutes of diverse solo repertoire including:
a. One etude that demonstrates the applicant’s technical dexterity. The etude must be chosen from the Etudes of Chopin, Debussy, Ligeti, Liszt, Rachmaninoff or Scriabin.
b. Preliminary audition solo repertoire must be chosen from these categories:
3. NOTE: The Unedited Audition DVD or Audio CD is the Deciding Factor on Acceptance into the Competition!
a. The DVD or CD must be playable on a regular DVD or CD player (not VCD or computer)
b. Each piece of repertoire on the audition DVD or CD needs a separate track number and must be listed correctly on the application form
c. The DVD must be an unedited performance / rehearsal
4. Each applicant should listen to his or her DVD or CD on a DVD or audio CD Player to confirm its quality and completeness.
5. Screening judges will not have any biographical information on the applicants. Decisions are made solely based on the audition DVD or CD. All selections will be made without regard to prior awards, education, age, nationality, gender or teacher.
First Place Solo – Recital at Carnegie-Weill Hall in NYC, plus $10,000: Yi-Yang Chen from Taiwan
First Place Concerto – $10,000 – Baolong Zhang from China
Earl Wild Transcription Prize – $1,500 – Jiwon Han from South Korea
2nd Place Solo – $5,000 – Youkyoung Kim from South Korea
2nd Place Concerto – $5,000 – Stephanie Ng from USA
3rd Place Solo – $2,500 – Jiwon Han from South Korea
3rd Place Concerto – $2,500 – Youkyoung Kim from South Korea
Audience Favorite – $500 – Christopher Richardson
Solo Semi-Finalists’ Honorable Mention – $1,000 each:
Kevin Chow from Australia
William Davidson from USA
Aaron Petit from USA
Giulia Rossini from Italy
Julan Wang from China
Baolong Zhang from China
Honorable Mention- Performance Prize
Sabrina Xiao He
Soyeon An, 24, is from South Korea and started playing the piano at the age of seven. She won several competitions in Korea including Seoul Music Competition, Korea Mozart Orchestra Competition, The New Arts Competition and the Bucheon Scholarship Competition. In 2012 she received a special prize at the Korea Duo Piano Competition and a Faculty Merit Award at the 17th Chautauqua Piano Competition in NY. In Seoul, she has performed at Yamaha Hall and Youngsan Art Hall, in the US she has performed in The Hamptons and Rochester NY, San Antonio, TX., Gainsville, FL. and Pittsburgh. She has performed in music festivals such as, Puerto Rico Piano Festival (2016), Pianofest in the Hamptons(2015), Texas International Piano Festival, Chautauqua, and Atlantic Music Festival. She received her Bachelor’s at Seoul National University, Master’s at Eastman and is currently working on her Doctorate at USC with Stewart Gordon.
Hyewon Chang was born in Seoul, Korea in 1991. She was a prize winner at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the American Protégé Piano Competition, Korea’s Segye-Ilbo Music Competition and a finalist at the New York International Piano Competition. She performed at Carnegie Hall, solo recitals in Los Angeles, at Banff Music Centre, in Italy, Germany and at the birthplace of Franz Joseph Haydn in Rohrau, Austria. Ms. Chang was selected as a performer for the “Artists of Tomorrow” concert with the Brentwood Westwood Symphony and Culver City Symphony. She has taken master classes with Leon Fleisher, Menahem Pressler, Dang Thai Son, John O’Conor, and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. She currently studies with John Perry. Hyewon is also interested in watching movies and reading books.
Since Yi-Yang Chen was eight (he is now 22), he has been playing the piano. In 2012, he was admitted as a graduate student of Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal at The Juilliard and received his Master’s in 2014. Mr. Chen is currently a doctoral student at Eastman, where he also received his Bachelor’s degree, studying with Douglas Humpherys. Mr. Chen has attended the Perlman Music Program, Taos School of Music Program, Four Seasons Winter Workshop (NC) and was awarded a fellowship at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. In addition, he has also studied chamber music with Itzhak Perlman, Thomas Sauer and with members of the Cleveland, Shanghai, Borromeo, Brentano, and Guarneri String Quartets. In 2016 he captured first prize in the Hartford Chopin International Competition. As a winner of the 2012 MTNA Young Artist Competition, Yi-Yang was given a Steinway piano and two concerts in Miami sponsored by the Chopin Foundation / USA. Other first prizes came from High Point Competition, Thousand Islands International Chopin Competition, San Jose International Competition, Seattle International Competition and Schubert Club Scholarship Competition.
Twenty-nine year old Timothy Chiang began learning the piano at the age of five with his mother and violin at nine. In 2000, he was awarded a music and academic scholarship to Scotch College (Melbourne) and continued his piano studies with Mikhail Solovei. In 2002 he continued to study the violin with Leonid Zeyde. While at Scotch College, Timothy obtained the LMusA (piano), LRSM (piano), LMusA (violin), and performed the Rachmaninoff Concerto No.1, and Liszt Concerto No.1 with the Scotch College Symphony Orchestra. He was also the Leader of that Symphony and String Orchestra in 2005. In 2013 he was awarded the Fellowship of Trinity College London (FTCL), and was a finalist in the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award. In 2014, he was selected into the 2nd Australian International Chopin Competition, and was also a selected performer for the live radio 3MBS ‘The Talent’ Series 2. In 2016, he was selected as a finalist in the 13th Australian National Piano Award. He currently studies with Mikhail Solovei. Mr. Chiang is also a dentist.
Korean pianist Sung-Soo Cho was born in 1988 and started his musical studies at the age of five. He has graduated from Yewon Arts Middle School, Seoul Arts High School, Seoul National University, and Manhattan School in NYC. His former teachers include Phillip Kawin and Hyoung-Joon Chang. Currently, he is pursuing a Doctorate at the Cleveland Institute, studying with pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi. One of his new projects includes a CD “Minimum | Maximum | Modern Piano Music by American Composers” which was released in March 2016 by Albany Records. He recently joined the roster of Price Rubin & Partners Artist Management. He serves as an adjunct faculty in piano and a collaborative pianist in residence at Notre Dame College. He also works as a music apprentice and performer through Cleveland Institute of Music Distance Learning Center. Mr. Cho has been a worldwide prizewinner in numerous competitions. Mr. Cho has performed at the Weill Recital Hall, Yamaha Artist Service in Seoul, and the Kumho Art Hall. He is also a pianist at the Lake George Music Festival. He has premiered many new works by leading contemporary composers and a strong supporter of contemporary classical music.
Twenty year old Kevin Chow was born in Perth Australia and is currently a third-year Bachelor of Music student at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, studying with Glenn Riddle. In 2010 Kevin was awarded LMusA with Distinction, and in 2013 he was the winner of the MSV’s Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Award as well as Young Performer of the Year. Other awards include the Nehama Patkin Memorial Award, 1st Prize in the Bernstein National Competition and the VMTA Kault Prize. He has been a finalist in the Australian National Music Competition and twice been a semi-finalist at the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition. Kevin has performed for HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell, given recitals in the USA, New Zealand, Indonesia, Thailand and China, and was recently a finalist in the Thailand International Competition, where he performed Liszt’s Concerto No 2. In 2013 Kevin made his concerto debut performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No 3 with the Zelman Symphony Orchestra.
Born in 1988, American pianist Solomon Eichner recently made his Carnegie Hall Debut recital, after winning the Golden Key Debut International Competition in NYC. For winning second prize in the Miami Music Festival’s Concerto Competition, Solomon will be presented in a Miami debut recital. Competition successes include being a semifinalist in the Lewisville Lake Symphony Concerto Competition, finalist in the 2015 Coeur d’Alene Symphony Young Artist Competition in Spokane, semifinalist in the 2014 Chopin Kosciuszko Competition in NYC as well as the Byrd Competition in Flint, Michigan. Master classes include Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Ilana Vered, Michael Lewin, Paul Schenly, Alexander Kobrin and Mischa Dichter. Originally from Baltimore, Solomon studied privately with Virginia Reinecke, Reynaldo Reyes and Irene Kreymer. Solomon graduated with his Bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School studying with Arkady Aronov and Master’s degree from the Peabody, having studied with Alexander Shtarkman. Currently, Solomon is in his final semester of the Doctorate degree at the University of South Carolina and holds a graduate assistantship in accompanying. Solomon is studying with Dr. Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers. Solomon’s final dissertation is on the Jewish Soviet repressed composer Samuil Feinberg.
Teng Fu was born in Zhengzhou, China, in 1988. At five he began learning to play the piano – at six he was performing concerts in Shanghai, Wuhan, Zhengzhou and other Chinese cities. In 2000, Mr. Fu was admitted into the Primary School attached to the Central Conservatory in Beijing. In 2002 he attended the Central Conservatory of Music and studied with Mr. Zhang Zhiwei and Prof. Li Qifang. In 2004 he won first prize in a Beijing piano competition as well as a gold medal from the China National Youth Competition. In 2005, he was a finalist in the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Competition. In 2006, at the age of seventeen, Teng went to the United States with full scholarship and was admitted into the Precollege Division of three music schools; Mannes, Manhattan and The Juilliard. He chose the Manhattan School where he studied with Prof. Arkady Aronov. He has performed recitals in Weill Recital Hall, Steinway Hall and Lincoln Center. In 2008, Teng Fu, graduated from the Precollege Division of Manhattan School with top marks and was accepted at Mannes with full scholarship. In 2008, more than 30,000 young people attended St. Joseph’s Seminary where he performed a Mozart Sonata for Pope Benedict XVI.
William Davidson is often praised for his sensitivity of touch and virtuosity as both a classical and jazz pianist. He has performed with Grammy-Award winning artists, The New York Voices and Paquito D’Rivera and in venues such as the Lincoln Center’s Appel Room, the Aronoff Theatre, and the Kennedy Center. In 2014, he was invited to perform in the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He has received many awards, most notably, the Guy D. & Mary Edith Halladay Music Scholarship and prize-winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Competition. Besides performing, Mr. Davidson pursues his interest in pedagogy, specifically researching the most effective methods of childhood piano education. He is a faculty member of the Carnegie Mellon University Preparatory School and the Ellis School in Pittsburgh. In master classics, Mr. Davidson has studied with Fred Hersch, Nikolai Lugansky, Barry Douglas and Byron Janis. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University where he studied with Silvia Roederer and a Master’s Degree from Carnegie Mellon University where he studied with Sergey Schepkin.
Born in 1987, pianist Jiwon Han is a native of Incheon, South Korea. Raised in a family of musicians, he began his piano studies at the age of three. At the age of ten, he appeared as a soloist with Korean Philharmonic, performing Mozart’s Concerto K.488. In the same year, he gave his first solo recital at Incheon Culture and Arts Center, followed by performances throughout Korea, Europe and America. Mr. Han appeared in concert venues at Seoul Art Center, Sejong Art Center, Hoam Art Hall and Kumho Art Hall. He performs more than five solo recitals a year and performs as an orchestra conductor as well. He has been working for public broad-casting station KBS for 3 years as director of their classic concert programs. In 2013 he won 2nd prize in the ISANG YUN International Competition and in 2014 his debut CD was released which included Chopin and Isang Yun compositions. In 2015 he released his 2nd CD which included Brahms, Schumann and Liszt. Mr. Han studied with Young-Bang Cho at Gyeonggi Arts High School. At the Korea National University of Arts, he studied with Choong-Mo Kang and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and for his Artists Diploma he studied with Daejin Kim. He is currently studying with Awadagin Pratt at University of Cincinnati.
Cultivated and educated by her father since the age of four, twenty-eight year old Sabrina Xiao He has displayed an exceptional talent and a sincere enthusiasm for the piano. She has performed actively in Asia, Europe and North America. She received first Place at the Tuesday Musical Scholarship Competition in U.S., a scholarship Recipient of Bell T. Ritchie Award in U.S. and the third Prize Winner of 2015 International Music Competition in Paris. She was the winner of the Music Teachers’ Association of California Concerto Competition in Northern California, and in 2010 she performed the Rachmaninoff Concerto No.2 with the Thousand Oaks Orchestra in LA. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, and her Master’s degree from the Cleveland Institute. She has studied with Paul Schenly, Daniel Shapiro and Sharon Mann, and worked with Leon Fleisher, John Perry and Yoheved Kaplinsky. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate at the Thornton School at USC, studying with Stewart Gordon.
Fast rising eighteen year-old Caroline Ho has won many local, regional and statewide piano competitions. Living in Santa Monica, California she was primarily a cellist until five years ago. She is the 2016 1st place winner of the Peninsula Symphony’s 44th annual Edith Knox Concerto Competition. Caroline was recently named a ‘Recommended Artist’ of the Beverly Hills National Auditions. In 2016, she placed 3rd in the L.A. International Liszt Competition. She has appeared as soloist with the Brentwood-Westwood Orchestra, the Palisades Symphony and the Culver City Symphony.
Born in Hong Kong in 1992, Keri Yuet Ka Hui began piano and violin lessons when she was eight. In the first four years of her study, Keri won the third prize in the Sixth International Chopin Competition in Asia and first prize in the Asian Youth Music Competition (Hong Kong). At fifteen, Keri performed Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with the Salzburg Junge Philharmonie. At the age of sixteen, Keri entered Idyllwild Arts Academy with a scholarship to study violin with Todor Pelev. She developed a severe injury that prohibited her from playing any instrument for two years and eventually gave up on the violin and switched to piano performance at Idyllwild studying with Andrew Park. In 2015, Keri graduated as a discovery scholar with a Bachelor’s degree from USC, studying with Norman Krieger. Keri was awarded first prize in the 2013 Antelope Valley Symphony Concerto Competition, first prize in the 2013 French Music Competition, first prize in the 2014 Aloha International Concerto Competition and first prize in the 2015 Coeur d’Alene Symphony National Young Artists Competition. Concerto performances have included Beethoven’s Concerto No.4 and Saint-Saen’s Concerto No.5. Today, Keri is studying at the Royal College of Music in London as a student of Andrew Ball. Besides music, Keri also enjoys reading all kinds of literature as well as baking.
Youkyoung Kim, born in Busan, South Korea, began her piano studies at the age of five. Upon her graduation in 2005 from Sunhwa Arts High School, Ms. Kim enrolled at Seoul National University and receiving her Bachelor’s degree in 2010. Since 2012 she has been studying with Awadagin Pratt at the University of Cincinnati where she received her Master’s degree in 2014 and is completing her Doctorate. Ms. Kim has numerous top prizes in competitions – most recently receiving the Gold medal at the Seattle International Competition. Youkyoung has participated in many festivals including Pianofest in the Hamptons. Ms. Kim has an abundance of performing experiences having performed in many venues in Korea, Germany and throughout the US. Ms. Kim has also taken part in master classes by: Menahem Pressler, Leon Fleisher and Boris Slutsky.
Martin Leung holds a Doctorate from the USC, where he studied with Stewart Gordon, a Master‘s degree from Yale, where he studied with Claude Frank, and a Bachelor’s degree from the Cleveland Institute, where he studied with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro. Martin currently studies with Myong-joo Lee. In November 2016 Martin won the Zoltán Rozsnyai Memorial Prize at the LA International Liszt Competition, Division VII (Concerto). As a result of winning first prize, Martin has been invited to play the Liszt Concerto No. 1 at the Leipzig Gewandhaus in November 2017. Martin won first prize in the USC Concerto Competition (2013), shared first prize at the Art of the Piano Liszt Competition in Cincinnati (2011), first prize at the Cleveland Concerto Competition (2007), and third prize in the Oberlin Competition (2003). While growing up in Irvine, California, Martin combined his enjoyment of playing the piano and video games. In 2004, Martin and a friend Luigi, uploaded a 10-minute Super Mario Medley video, which went viral. In 2007, his Super Mario Medley video became the highest rated and most discussed video in Japan. In September 2016 Martin became an adjunct faculty member at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California. Mr. Leung is also an avid chess player.
Junwen Liang was born in Nanning, China in 1995. In 2016 he performed at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and the Cohen Family Studio Theater, University of Cincinnati. In 2015 he performed at the Civic Morning Musicals: ‘The Life and Music of Alexander Scriabin’ as well as in, Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY. and the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. Also in 2015 Mr. Liang performed at a Winners concert of the Concerto Competition with Ithaca College Symphony at the Ithaca College School of Music. Awards Mr. Liang has received: 2016 – Finalist Award in the 8th New York International Competition, Winner in the 2015 Ithaca College Concerto Competition – 2014 1st Prize Collegiate Division of Empire State Competition, Rochester, NY. – 2012 1st Prize Hong Kong International Piano Competition in Guangxi Division, Nanning, China and 2013 1st Prize, Professional Young Artist Division of KAWAI Asia Piano Competition in Nanning, China. Mr. Liang enjoys working out, watching movies and cooking.
Taiwanese pianist Yun Janice Lu was born in 1996. She received second prize in the senior division of the 2015 Music Teachers National Association competition and first prize at the Lee University International Piano Festival as well as the YAMAHA Competition in Taiwan. She was the winner of the Piano-Texas Young Artists Concerto Competition in 2015, which resulted in a performance with the Fort Worth Symphony. Yun began private lessons at the age of five and gave her first formal concert at age ten. Four years later, she made her orchestral debut with the Taiwan Youth Orchestra. She has performed in venues such as Kaohsiung City Music Hall and Jhihde Hall, and throughout Taiwan, Europe, and the US. She has participated in the Walnut Hill Music Festival and Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice. Ms. Lu was awarded a full scholarship to Pianofest in the Hamptons, NY. Yun also has performed for artists such as: Arie Vardi, Dang Thai Son, Piotr Paleczny, and Eugen Indijic. As an avid chamber musician, she appears in concert at numerous chamber music festivals and has studied with Gilbert Kallish, Gloria Chien, Erin Keefe, Paul Neubauer, and Wu Han. Currently, she is studying with pianist Ning An at Cal State Fullerton.
Hanbo Ma was born in China in 1991 and has given solo recitals and performed with orchestras throughout North America. She gave a performance of Balakirev’s Islamey at Severence Hall at the age of seventeen. She won competitions such as the Russian Music International Competition, Ameri-China International Music Foundation Audition and St. Andrews International Competition. She was invited to be the scholar at Heartland Chamber Music Festival in 2013, where her chamber performance of Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1 was streamed live on Kansas Public Radio. She is now working with composer Elizabeth Baker and premiering her composition, ‘Four Planes’ which the composer wrote for her. Ms. Ma began her education in China, and was accepted into the Wuhan Conservatory Elementary School (WCES). She received the highest scholarship every year, and was selected as the only pianist to be accepted at Wuhan Conservatory Middle School without an audition. In 2009, Hanbo came to the United States. She holds degrees from East Tennessee State University, Eastman School and is now pursuing her Doctoral degree at USC. Her primary teachers include Yi-ching Ng, Chu-fang Huang, Chih-long Hu, Rebecca Penneys and Daniel Pollack. Hanbo enjoys watching movies and biking.
Simon Malich was born in 1997 in Novorossysk, Russia and at the age of fifteen began his studies with prof. Mira Marchenko at the Central Musical School in Moscow. In 2015 he was laureate of First Vladimir Krainev Piano Competition in Moscow ( 2nd prize and 2 special prizes), and 1st prize in Denis Matsuev’s Competition “Astana Piano Passion”. In October 2015 received a scholarship from the Liechtenstein musical academy and took part in an Intensive Week of study with prof. Arie Vardi. He also received scholarships from the Nikolay Petrov Charity Foundation and from Governor of Krasnodar Land. In 2016 Mr. Malich moved to Parkville to study at the International Center for Music with Gold Medalist of 11th Cliburn Competition, Stanilslav Ioudenitch.
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, twenty-seven year old pianist Stephanie Ng began her piano studies at age five and has since been the top prizewinner of several piano competitions such as: the Pacific Musical Society Competition, the Edith Knox Concerto Showcase Competition and the UCLA Benno Rubinyi Competition. She also won the chamber music prize at the 2013 Waring Competition, and was a semifinalist at the 2014 Washington International Competition in DC. Most recently, Ms. Ng received second place at the Dorothy Van Waynen Competition in Berkeley. She made her orchestral debut at age sixteen with the Saratoga Symphony. In March of 2015, she performed with the Colburn Orchestra in Zipper Hall. She has been invited to attend several music festivals. She has performed in masterclasses for Robert McDonald, John O’Conor, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Mikhail Voskresensky, Menahem Pressler, and Sergei Babayan. Stephanie received her Artist Diploma at The Colburn School, where she studied with John Perry. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, where she studies with Robert Roux.
American pianist Michael Noble was born in 1988 and gave his first recital at the age of six. He is a prizewinner of numerous competitions including the Grand Prize at the Carmel Music Society Competition (Carmel, CA), Gold Medal at the Crescendo Music Awards (Tulsa, OK), and prizewinner of the Chopin International Competition of the 1000 Islands. He has performed on the stages of Carnegie Hall, the Bulgarian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the Sunset Center (Carmel, CA), Lowman Concert Hall (Idyllwild, CA), and the Royal Dublin Society (Ireland). Michael has been featured as soloist with the Monterey and Tulsa Symphonies, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy Alumni Orchestra among others. He has studied with Gary Graffman, the late Claude Frank, Christopher Elton, John O’Conor, Ursula Oppens, John Perry, Boris Berman and Robert McDonald. In 2008, Mr. Noble attended the Paris Conservatoire. Following this, he obtained his Bachelor’s in Piano Performance and BA in English Literature cum laude from the Eastman School and University of Rochester respectively. He received his MM and Master of Musical Arts at Yale and is now a candidate for the Doctoral program there. His principal teachers include Peter Frankl, Nelita True, Melvin Chen, Nicholas Angelich, and Nelms McKelvain. During the past season, Michael performed throughout Western Europe, Thailand, and the United States.
Nineteen year old Aaron Petit is an American pianist who currently studies with Mark Westcott in Portland, Oregon. He began learning to play the piano at age twelve. His first impressions of Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin developed his deep interest for classical composers. He completed the MTNA Piano Syllabus level X at the age of fourteen. Aaron has won 7 piano competitions in the United States including the Seattle Philharmonic Young Artist Don Bushell Concerto Competition and the 22nd annual Metro Arts Concerto Competition in Portland. He has played with orchestras in Seattle, Portland, Salem, Renton, and Puyallup since making his debut at age fifteen with Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 1. Most recently, he performed the first movement of the Chopin Concerto No. 1 with musicians of the Oregon Symphony and Oregon Ballet Theater Orchestras. Aaron’s schooling has included the Seattle Conservatory of Music and the Colburn School Young Artists Academy. His previous teachers were Peter Brownlee, and Mark Salman. Currently, he has his own teaching studio located in Beaverton. Aaron’s enjoys solving puzzles, walking in the woods, reading, and learning languages for recreation. His long term ambition is to help the public relate to classical music and share the love he has for the arts through teaching and performing.
Christopher Richardson, age 18, was the featured soloist with several orchestras including the Minnesota Orchestra, Bainbridge Symphony Orchestra, Federal Way Symphony, Pacific Orchestra and Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. He was one of the top Prize Winners in numerous national and international piano competitions, including the 2015 International Keyboard Institute & Festival, Kaufman Young Artist, Lee, ENKOR International, Carmel, 2013 and 2015 International E-Piano Competition, Lennox International Young Artists Concerto 2011, 2011 Virginia Waring Junior International, Tureck International Bach, 2012 LA Liszt International, 2011 Seattle International, and International Russian Competitions of 2012 and 2013. He won first prize and Best Chopin Prize at the National MTNA Competition. He has attended numerous music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Sejong International Music Festival, and the Oberlin International Artists Recital Series Festival. He appeared on NPR’s From the Top, TV program PIE on KCTS 9, and King FM98.1. He spoke about and performed piano at the TED x Youth@Redmond Conference in Washington. Christopher was accepted to the Juilliard School of Music and the Peabody Conservatory under Leon Fleisher. He currently studies at UC Berkeley and piano with Mack McCray. His non-musical interests are Reading, Economics, Philosophy, Computer Science, and Medicine.
Giulia Rossini was born in Milan, in 1993 and began studying the piano at the age of seven. She graduated at the Conservatorio in Milan in 2011, with top marks and special mention, as a student of Silvia Rumi. She received her second level degree in 2015. Since September 2011 she has been attending the “International Piano Academy” in Imola, Italy in the class of M° Leonid Margarius. She took part in masterclasses with Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Anna Kravtchenko, Boris Petrushansky, Lang Lang, Dmitri Bashkirov and François J.Thiollier. She has been awarded prizes competitions such as Bologna Festival, Festival MiTo, Estiva Lugano, Cremona Pianoforte, “Mozart Italia” Association, “Venice in Peril Fund” in London and Clare Hall in Cambridge. She has performed, in recital and with the orchestras, in many concert halls in Milan, the most important of which are Sala Puccini and Sala Verdi of the Conservatorio, the Triennale, the Auditorium “Verdi” and the “ridotto dei palchi” of the Teatro alla Scala. Other venues include: La Fenice (Venice), Teatro Massimo (Palermo), Malibran (Venice) as well as in cities such as London, Valberg, Lugano and New York. In May 2009 she made her début in the “Sala Verdi” in Milan with the Mendelssohn Concerto No. 2 and returned in 2013 performing Saint-Saens Concerto No.2.
Julan Wang was born in Chongqing, China in 1988 and started his musical study at the age of six. In 2003, he was admitted to the middle school of the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Professor Huaguo Yang. In 2006, he began to study with Professor Bin Su at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in 2010. He then came to the US to study with Professor Yoshikazu Nagai at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he received the George Sarlo Scholarship and finisher his Master’s Degree in 2012. In 2014, he received his Artist Diploma at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, where he studied with pianist Awadagin Pratt. He is now pursuing a Doctoral Degree at Cincinnati. Mr. Wang gave his debut recital at Carnegie Hall in 2014 and has performed in California, Ohio, Michigan and Louisiana. Since 2012, he has been the recipient of the Enlight Foundation’s Outstanding Scientists and Artists Scholarship. Wang’s non-musical interests include photography, working out, traveling and movies.
Israeli pianist Yevgeny Yontov, born in 1989, began his musical studies at the age of six with Adela Umansky. He later received his Bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, where he studied with Prof. Arie Vardi. He then moved to the US to study with Prof. Boris Berman at Yale, where he received his M.M. degree and is currently pursuing his D.M.A. Top prizes at international piano competitions include the gold medal at the Wideman International Competition in Louisiana, 1st prize at the Tel-Hai International Concerto Competition in Israel and a top prize at the International Competition in Pinerolo, Italy, where he also received a special prize for an outstanding performance of a Beethoven Sonata. Yevgeny has played chamber concerts in Israel, Europe, South America, Canada and the US, in venues that include Carnegie Hall and Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
He has performed in solo recitals and with orchestras, on stages in Israel, the US, Korea, and in many European countries. He also performed on Israeli national TV, and recorded for Israeli, Portuguese and US radios.
Born in Panjin (China) in 1987, Mr. Baolong Zhang began piano lessons at the age of four. At the age of six, he made his first appearance on the stage. In 1999, he was accepted to the Shenyang Conservatory of Music. In 2005, Mr. Zhang was admitted to both the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing and the Hong Kong Academy for Preforming Arts (HKAPA). In 2011, he was awarded a full scholarship for study in the HKAPA. Mr. Zhang was a prize winner in both the KAWAI Asia Piano Competition and the TOYAMA International Competition. Mr. Zhang has participated in master classes with pianists such as Angela Hewitt and Malcolm Bilson. Baolong graduated with a Master’s degree from the Hong Kong Academy for Preforming Arts, studying with Professor Eleanor Wong. Presently, Zhang is a Graduate Artist Certificate student at the University of North Texas and studies with Dr. Pamela Mia Paul. He received the Special Award of the 65th Wideman International Competition and the first prize of the Lewisville Lake Symphony International Competition. Beside piano, Mr. Zhang’s other interests are in photography.
Lisa Nakamichi, Concert Pianist
Pamela Mai Paul, Concert Pianist
Eugene Pridonoff, Concert Pianist
Mary Lou Falcone, Classical PR Executive
Tom Evered, Naxos A/R Executive
Ory Shihor, Dean of the Colburn Music Academy in Los Angeles
The 2017 Senior Competition March 26 – April 2, 2017.
All rounds of the competition were open to the public. All preliminary rounds and master classes were free to the audience at the Indian Wells Theater, located on the campus of CSUSB-Palm Desert, 37-500 Cook St., Palm Desert, CA 92211
Solo Winners: 1st Place & Michael Masser Carnegie-Weil Hall Winner – 188 – Yi-Yang Chen
2nd Place – 112 – Youkyoung Kim
3rd Place / Earl Wild Transcription – 154 – Jiwon Han
Audience Favorite Award – 132 – Christopher Richardson
Scroll down for Sat and Sun schedule of who plays in which order.
Starts at 2:00 pm in the Indian Wells Theater at CSUSB-Palm Desert Campus, 37-500 Cook St., Palm Desert, CA 92211. Teacher: John Bayless Free admission, free parking
Each pianist plays a 30 minute solo program of their choice at the Indian Wells Theater. 5 contestants per session. Includes Earl Wild transcription.
Evening Session 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Each pianist plays a 30 minute solo program of their choice at the Indian Wells Theater, 5 contestants per session.
Afternoon Session 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Evening Session 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Each pianist plays a 30 minute solo program of their choice at the Indian Wells Theater. 5 contestants per session. Includes Earl Wild transcription.
Morning session 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Afternoon Session 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Evening Session 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Each pianist plays a 45 minute solo program of their choice at the Indian Wells Theater. Approximately 4 contestants per session.
Morning Session 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Afternoon Session 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Evening Session 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Each pianist plays 20 minutes from the concerto of their choice, accompanied by 2nd piano. 5 contestants per session.
Morning Session 9:00 – 12:00 pm
Afternoon Session 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Evening Session 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Each pianist plays full concerto accompanied by 2nd piano, at the Indian Wells Theater. Free admission, free parking
Morning Session 9:00 am:
# 173 – Hanbo Ma – Prokofiev
# 112 – Youkyoung Kim – Beethoven
# 179 – Baolong Zhang – Prokofiev
# 115 – Simon Malich – Brahms
Afternoon Session 2:00 pm:
# 132 – Christopher Richardson – Tchaikovsky
# 146 – Sung-Soo Cho – Prokofiev
# 144 – Yun Lu – Beethoven
Each pianist plays 45 minutes. 3 contestants, followed by jury deliberations to determine who gets 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Earl Wild Transcription Prize and Audience Favorite Award announced.
Solo Final requires a $ 20 ticket, purchase at the box office during the competition rounds or before start of Performance.
Solo Finals 7:00 pm
# 112 – Youkyoung Kim
# 154 – Jiwon Han
# 188 – Yi-Yang Chen
9 am – Indian Wells Theater – Eugene Pridonoff
9 am – Oliphant Auditorium – Lisa Nakamichi
12 noon – Special Seminar with record executive Tom Evered, now with Naxos Records, and formerly with Angel / EMI – everything you need to know to help your music career. Indian Wells Theater – FREE
2 pm – Master Class with John Bayless – Room IW 120
2 pm – Indian Wells Theater – Ory Shihor
2 pm – Oliphant Theater – Pamela Mia Paul
# 179 – Baolong Zhang – Prokofiev (People’s Republic of China)
# 184 – Stephanie Ng – Beethoven (USA)
# 112 – Youkyoung Kim – Beethoven (South Korea)
Order of April 1 – Wed morning’s semi finals:
# 27 JR – Sarah Tuan
# 50 JR – Angela Lee
# 35 JR – Tarisa Chanpong
# 16 JR – Athena Deng
# 21 JR – Josephine Chan
# 14 JR – Crystal Chen
Order of April 1 – Wed afternoon’s semi-finals:
# 64 IN – Tristan Yang
# 63 IN – Alexander Lu
# 30 IN – Hannah Shin
# 48 IN – Yi Chen Feng
# 27 IN – Andrew Zhao
# 50 IN – Mariya Orlenko
What you’ve all been waiting for! Here are the 2015 JUNIOR Contestants, in alphabetical order:
Cassandra Carrasco is 11 years old and has studied piano with Mary Ann Cummins for the last four years. In 2014 she was awarded 1st Place in the Palisades Symphony Young Artist Awards Competition and in the MTAC West Los Angeles Concerto Competition. As a result, she soloed with the Palisades Symphony and with the Culver City Chamber Orchestra. She was also a winner in 2013 in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival Regional Audition and received 1st Place in the Junior Division of the 2012 Alice Frazier Kitchen Memorial Scholarship Competition. Cassandra is the recipient of violin scholarships from the Westside Committee if the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Fe Bland Foundation.
Josephine Chan is currently a scholarship student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, studying with Corey McVicar. She was selected to perform at the Junior Bach Festival in 2011 and 2013. She also performed at the Conservatory’s Showcase Concert, Graduation Ceremony, and Steinway VIP Night. She participated in the Lang Lang 101 Pianists Workshop in San Francisco. Josephine won 2nd Place in the San Francisco Chopin Competition in 2012 and 2nd Place at the American Protege International Piano and String Competition in 2013. Josephine was also awarded Outstanding Achievement in Musicianship from the Conservatory.
Tarisa Chanpong started music studies at age 4 with Yamaha Music School. She was selected to attend the Siam Rama Three Conservatory of Music and currently studies with Dr. Pornphan Banternghansa. She has received numerous awards in both national and international competitions and was awarded a 1st and 2nd Prize in the 1st Hong Kong International Piano Competition for Young Pianists,. In 2014 she won the Solo Piano Prize at the Yamaha Thailand Music Festival and was a 2nd Place winner in the American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition. Tarisa was also a winner in these competitions in 2013 and was a Golden Prize winner in the 16th Settrade Music Youth Competition in 2013. She has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York.
Crystal Chen from Hemet, California is 12 years old and studies piano with Jenny Shin. In 2011 she performed with pianist Lang Lang and received a 1st Place in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition. She received a 2nd Place prize in the 2010 Bradshaw and Buono Competition. Crystal placed 1st in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival in both 2012 and 2013.
Athena Deng was born in China and now lives in Canada where she studies piano with Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham. At 11 she had her concert debut playing Prokofiev Concerto no. 3 with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra after winning the Burnaby Clef Concerto Competition. She has won many other awards including three1st Place Awards in the 2014 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival. At the Hong Kong International Piano Festival she received a 1st Place in Children A Group, 2nd in Schubert Open Group, 3rd in Chopin Waltz Open Group and 4th Place in Chopin Polonaise Open Group. Athena won four 1st Place Awards in the Coquitlam District Music Festival and three 1st Place Awards in the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival, both in 2013.
David Du studying the piano and winning prizes in competitions at age 5. He won a Silver Medal in Level 2 at the 2009 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati as the youngest contestant and was awarded a recital at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2010 he again won both a Gold Medal and a Grand Prize in Level 5 in the same competition and had his 2nd performance at Carnegie Hall. David won several awards in 2012 including a Gold Medal in the International Young Musician Festival in New York, 1st Prize in the Allan W. Keller Concerto Competition which led to his orchestral debut with Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, and was a winner in the Sejong Music Competition in Chicago. He previously studied with Evelyne Brancard at Jacobs School of Music and currently studies with Ilya Fredberg.
Michelle Fan is a 4th grader at Alderwood Elementary School in Orange County, CA. She started formal music training at age 6 and studies with Ariel Yang. Also at age 6 she was awarded a 1st Prize in the 2013 San Jose International Russian Music Piano Competition. In addition to playing the piano, Michelle’s favorite subjects in school are math and science.
Ursula Hardianto currently studies piano with Ariel Yang and has won an award for her piano performances for community service organizations. She was a 1st Place winner in the 2014 Glendale Piano Competition and won 1st Place Prize in the 2013 H.B. Goodlin Audition in San Diego. Ursula has had the privilege of performing twice in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. In addition to piano, she enjoys taking care of her koi fish and maintaining a succulent garden.
Loren Kim studies piano with Dr. Chun Yi Wang at Opus 119 School in Irvine. He began playing piano at 5 1/2 years of age. Loren has been invited to play at several recitals including the MTAC Honors Recital, and most recently he played a Mozart Concerto with the LA Dream Orchestra. He was a 1st Place winner in the Los Angeles Gold Star Young Pianist Competition, won the Grand Prize at the 43rd Annual Korea Times Music Competition and also won a Grand Prize Award in the Orange County Korean Cultural Center Young Musicians Competition. Loren also plays the guitar.
Angela Lee is a 5th grade student who started her formal piano training at age six. Inspired by her piano teacher’s great guidance, she developed a strong love for the piano and classical music. Angela won 1st Prize in the 2014 Glendale Piano Competition, 1st Prize in the 2013 San Jose International Russian Music Piano Competition and a Gold Medal in the Seattle International Piano Competition the same year. She has also won 1st Prizes in both the Southwestern Youth Music Festival and MTAC Piano Competitions. She studies piano with Ariel Yang.
Katharine Lee is only nine years old but has shown great passion in music since she was very young. She was the winner of the 41st Annual Long Beach Mozart Festival and was featured as a soloist at the Opening Gala of the Long Beach Symphony’s 2013 season. In addition, she was awarded 3rd Prize at the 2013 San Jose International Russian Music Competition. She studies piano with Ariel Yang.
Jessica Ma studies piano with Wolfram Linnebach. She began winning competition prizes when she was 8, receiving 2nd Place in the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition. In 2013 she received 1st Place in the 12 and Under Alberta Provincial Music Festival and 3rd Place in the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition. At only 11 years of age in 2014, she received 1st Prize in the 24 and Under group at the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition and performed with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra. Also in 2014 Jessica won 2nd Prize at the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition and 1st Prize in the 16 and Under category at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival. She has given solo recitals at Muttart Hall and at Red Deer College in Alberta.
Daniel Mori has won several piano awards. In 2014 he was the youngest winner in the David Froelich Music Enrichment Award at the National Young Virtuosi Recital Competition, Junior Category and was a 1st Prize winner in the 16th New York Music Competition. He also received 1st Prize in the Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition and 2nd Prize and Steinway & Sons Award for Best Performance of a Romantic Piece. In 2013, Daniel won 1st Prize, Junior Division, at the IV Chopin International Piano Competition. He has performed at Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York, at the Speyer Legacy School with Vladimir Feltsman and at the Kaufman Center Gala. He studies piano with Irina Morozova.
Jairus Rhoades is in the 5th grade and has been studying piano with Joanna Fan since 2011. He won 2nd Prizes in 2012 and 2013 and 1st Prize in 2014 in the Aloha International Piano Festival Competitions. He also won 1st Prizes in the 2012 and 2013 Hawaii Music Teachers Association Competitions. Jairus has been a QUEST (Gifted and Talented Program) student in his elementary school since the first grade. He enjoys reading non-fiction and playing tennis.
Sarah Tuan is a scholarship student at San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College Division studying with Corey McVicar. In 2011 she was selected by the Bay Area Steinway Society to perform in the Young Artists Concert at Le Petit Trianon Theatre. That same year she won 3rd Prize in the International Russian Music Piano Competition. She was a Gold Medal winner in the AADGT International Young Musicians Festival in 2011 and 2012 and performed in Carnegie Hall. Sarah has won 1st Place prizes in the Pacific Musical Society Competition and the AFAF Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition. She has performed at the Liszt House in Weimar Germany and with the El Camino Youth Symphony Sinfonietta Orchestra as the winner in the ECYS Piano Concerto Competition.
Naomi Yamaguchi began playing piano at age four and won her first competition at the Albion College Piano Competition when she was six. She has won 1st Prizes in the Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League Young Artist Competition, Chopin Youth Piano Competition and National Federation of Music Composition Competition. Her composition was introduced at “An Evening with American Composers”. Naomi was the youngest winner of the James Tatum Foundation’s Millennium Arts Scholars and the youngest pianist to receive the Doreen Wessell Taylor Piano Award. She has performed twice at Carnegie Hall and has played Mozart Concerto K. 488 with the Orchard Lake Philharmonic Society. She studies piano with Arthur Greene.
Dominik Yoder began studying piano at age three. He received 1st Prize in the 2013 CAPMT State Level Honors Auditions, the 2012 Long Beach Mozart Festival, the 2012 Southern California Junior Bach Festival (Gold Medal) and the 2011 CAPMT State Competition. In 2009, he won 1st Prizes in the CAPMT Sonata Competition and the SYMF Competition. He has also been a prize winner at the Glendale Piano Competition and the Cypress Piano Competition. He has performed in Zelazowa Wola, the birthplace of Chopin and concertized in both Poland and Germany. In 2012, Dominik performed for Polish radio and television. He studies piano with Roza Yoder.
Hailun Yu was born in China and now lives in Canada. She started studying piano at age 3 and won 2nd Prize in the Canadian Music Competition at age 6, playing J S. Bach Concerto in f minor. In 2013 she participated in the Vladamir Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev and won 4th Prize in the Debut Category Group C (14 and under). She has participated in many festivals and competitions, winning several awards and prizes. In 2012 Hailun achieved Grade 10 Examination of Royal Conservatoire of Music in Toronto with Honours. Currently Hailun is studying piano at the Vancouver International School of Music with Dr. Eugene Skovorodnikov.
Ningxin Zhan is a sixth grade student in the Elementary School Affiliated with Shanghai Conservatory of Music, where she lives with her grandmother and studies piano with Guanwen Wang. She started piano lessons at age 5 and won 1st Place in a provincial piano competition one year later. She has also won 1st Place in two national competitions in China. She has had Master Classes from Lang Lang and Arron Wunch, a professor at Juilliard. She is the youngest volunteer pianist in a local hospital and loves playing for the patients there. Ningxin dreams of bringing beautiful music to people around the world.
Rongzhi Zhang won 3rd Place in 2014 in the “Shenyin” Piano Concerto Competition, Junior High Division. In 2010 she won 2nd Place in the Memory of Chopin 200th Anniversary Piano Competition, Children’s Division and took 6th Place in the 3rd Hong Kong Kawai Asian Piano Competition, Children’s Division. In 2012 Rongzhi performed in the Liaoniang Theatre Piano Solo Concert. She studies piano with Danwen Wei.
Heather Chang is originally from Taiwan but now lives in California and is a scholarship student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-College Division. She has performed in Taiwan and in several US cities. Heather is part of a piano trio that regularly performs in the San Francisco area and recently had a Chamber Trio master class with cellist Bonnie Hampton. She has had successes in several competitions including the Pacific Musical Society Competition, the San Francisco Chopin Competition, the Kawaii Piano Competition in the Taiwan Regional Division, and received a Level 1 Award at the 2015 National Young Arts Foundation’s Young Arts Week in Miami. Heather currently studies piano with Corey McVicar.
Yi Chen Feng began piano studies at age 7 in Taiwan. He is currently a first year student at the Colburn Academy where he studies with Ory Shihor and Myong-joo Lee. While in Taiwan Yi Chen performed frequently and won first prizes in piano in both elementary and junior high school. As first prize winner in the 2011 Taiwan Asia Pacific Music Competition he qualified to perform in the finals held in Hong Kong. In 2014 he won first place in the Taiwan Steinway Youth Piano Competition and represented Taiwan in the finals in Singapore. He has performed the Liszt Concerto No. 1 with the Kaohsiung Youth Orchestra
Leyla Kabuli began winning performance prizes in 2010. In 2014 won first place in the CAPMT Honors Competition State Finals, the East Bay Piano Competition, the Classical Masters Competition and the International Competition US-China Exchange CAPMT, among others. Other prizes include the Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, the Etude Club Berkeley Young Artist Competition and the Pacific Musical Society Competition. She has performed in Lenox, MA, at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and twice at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in New York City. Leyla currently studies with John McCarthy.
Thomas Kim is a high school junior. He currently studies piano with Jenny Shin. Last year he received 2nd Prize in the Glendale Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Young International Los Angeles Piano Competition. Additionally, he won three awards from SYMF. He placed 4th in the Liszt International Competition in 2012 and in 2011 won a Grand Prize at the 41st Korean Competition and 1st Place in the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition. He has performed at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. Thomas is President of JKT Music Foundation and has performed for them to fundraise for the needy in Southern California.
Alexander Lu made his orchestral debut in 2013 with Philharmonia Northwest as a winner of the Seattle Young Artist Music Festival Concerto Competition. Also that year he won the Symphony’s Young Artist Audition Competition and also performed with the Ashdod Symphony Orchestra from Israel at the “Music Fest Perugia” in Italy. In 2011 Alexander won 1st Prize and Judges Distinction Award at the American Protege International Competition, the Grand Prize winner at the 2010 “KING FM Ten Grands” Young Artist Awards Competition. He has appeared on local television, radio and other media including MSNBC and in the Seattle Times. Alexander studies with Sasha Starcevich.
Lauren Nguyen has won many awards including 2nd Place in the 2014 and 2013 Aloha International Piano Festivals, High School Division; 1st Place in the 2012 MTNA State, Junior Division; and 1st Place AIPF Level 3. Also in 2012 she won 1st Place in the National Orchestra Festival. In 2011 she won 1st Place in the American International Protege Festival Level 2 and Level 3 Divisions. She was the recipient of 1st Place in the 2010 HMTA Level 2 Division and a 1st Place in the AIPF. Lauren is part of the Science Olympiad team which was State Champion in 2014 and won 2nd Place State Prize in 2013. She studies piano with Joanna Fan.
Mariya Orlenko was born in Kiev, Ukraine but moved to Canada in 2002 where she began piano lessons with her grandmother. She is currently a student of Ian Parker. She was a Grand Prize Winner of the Canadian Music Competition in 2014 and performed with the Orchestre Symphonique de Quebec. She also received the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Scholarship and the Royal Conservatory of Music Alumni Association Scholarship last year. She participated in the Vancouver Russian Music Festival Gala concert and in “A Night of Stars” Gala supported by Backstage Youth Performers Society. In 2014 Mariya received the highest mark in Royal Conservatory of Music grade 10 piano exams in British Columbia and was awarded the Provincial Golden Medal.
Nathan Qi was a Silver Medalist at the 2013 Piano Arts Youth Concerto Competition where he performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 in the finals with a string quartet from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Francesco Lecce-Chong. He was a finalist at the 2011 Milwaukee Chopin Youth Piano Competition, and a semifinalist at the 2012 Boltz Artist Competition. He received an Honorable Mention at the 2011 Fall Youth MSO Concerto Competition. Nathan has participated in Master Classes with Boris Slutshi, Akiko Ebi, Nina Lelchuk, Jerome Rose and others. He currently studies with Vladimir Valjarevic in New York City.
Hannah Shin began studying piano at the age of eight and gave her debut solo recital at age thirteen. She has performed in the United States, Korea and Australia. In 2014 she made her concerto debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 with the Zelman Memorial Symphony Orchestra. She has been a prizewinner at the Hephzibah Menuhin Memorial Awards, received an Honorable Mention at the 2013 IIYM International Piano Competition in Kansas and was the youngest finalist in the 2012 and 2014 Melbourne Recital Centre’s Richard Mills Bach Competition. She studies with Glenn Riddle at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music.
Sean Tang-Wang was a semi-finalist in the 2011 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, Junior Division, and is back this year as an Intermediate. In 2012 he was a semi-finalist at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and won 1st Place in the SYMF Chopin Long Works. Other awards include 1st Prize in the 2013 Glendale Piano Competition and 1st Place in the SYMF Chopin Scherzo. In 2014 he was a Spotlight Awards semi-finalist, won 1st Place in the Scholarship Awards and was awarded 2nd Prize in the San Jose International Piano Competition. Sean was chosen to participate in the Ettingen International Piano Competition and was featured on the Germany Weekly. He studies with Jenny Shin.
Sora Watanabe is an 8th Grader at Mid-Pacific Institute in Honolulu. She is a student of Dr. Wendy Yamashita. Sora is a prize winner in several piano Competition including 1st Place in the Kamakura Student Music Competition, 2nd Place in the Miyoshi Net Piano Competition, 2nd Place at the International Chopin Piano Competition and 3rd Place in the MTNA Hawaii Junior Competition. In addition to solo performances, she is a violinist in the Mid-Pacific Institute Orchestra.
Natasha Wu lives in Taiwan where she studies piano with Grace Chung. Since 2006 she has received many awards in Taiwan, China, Japan and the United States. They include 1st Prize in Taipei Orchestra and Symphonic Band Competition; 2nd Prize in Kawai Asia Piano Competition, China; 1stPrize in National Student Music Competition in Taiwan; 2nd Prize in Asia Piano Open in Hong Kong; 2nd Prize in Osaka International Piano Competition,; 2nd Prize in Lee University International Festival and Piano Competition, Tennessee; and 1st Prize in the Tureck International Bach Competition for Young Pianists, New York.
Siyuan Xu was a 1st Prize winner at the Bradshaw &Buono International Piano Competition in New York in 2014 and a 3rd Prize winner in the Imola International Piano Competition in Italy in 2013. He received a 1st Prize in the Dr. Lily New Award Piano Competition in 2012. Siyuan was also a 1st Prize winner in the Germany Irmler International Piano Open in Shanghai and was a previous 1st Prize winner in the Junior Division of the Across-Pacific Piano Competition in Los Angeles. He was invited to perform at Steinway Hall in New York and at La Sierra University in Los Angeles. He studies with Christopher Zhong.
Bernadene Blaha has a “brilliant command of the piano” whether featured as a recitalist, concerto soloist or chamber musician. Her performances have been heralded throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Mexico. Originally from Canada, Ms. Blaha is a highly regarded chamber musician and a regular guest at international festivals including The Newport Festival, Tucson Chamber Music Festival, La Jolla Summerfest, Festival of the Sound, Bard Festival, Banff Festival of the Arts, Round Top International Festival and Festival de San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She is currently on the Keyboard Faculty of the USC Thornton School of Music in Los Angeles.
Igal Kesselman is praised by the New York Times for his “kaleidoscopic” playing. He is one of today’s most forward-thinking performers and music educators. After making his American debut with the Washington Chamber Symphony at the Kennedy Center, he has performed throughout the country in such venues as Alice Tully Hall, Symphony Space and Merkin Concert Hall in NYC; the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC and the Kravitaz Center in West Palm Beach.
Dr. Kesselman was a top prizewinner at “Citta de Marsala” International Piano Competition in Italy and has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, including the Anapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Camerata. He is a past recipient of 10 America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarships.
He received his Bachelors’ of Music degree, cum laude, from S. Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, and his Masters and Doctorate degrees from Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore. His teachers have included Yoheved Kaplinsky, Emanuel Krasovsky and Irina Zaritskaya. Currently he serves as the Director of the Kaufman Music Center’s Lucy Moses School, New York City’s largest community arts school and serves as the Chair of the New York chapter of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Dr. Kesselman is a member of the piano faculty at Lucy Moses School and Special Music School, New York’s only K-12 public school for musically gifted children.
Sakiko Ohashi, a native of Japan, began her piano studies at the age of four. By the time she was 10 years old, she was accepted to the Juilliard Pre-College Division as a student of Herbert Stessin. Since then, performances have taken her throughout the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe.
In 1996 Ms. Ohashi made her concerto debut at Lincoln Center in New York City, performing Baqrtok’s 3rd Concerto with the Juilliard Symphony conducted by Otto Werner Mueller. She is also the winner of the 1993 E. Nakamichi Concerto Competition at the Aspen Music Festival where she appeared with the Aspen Young Artists Orchestra. Her other concerto appearances have included the South Carolina Philharmonic, Florence Symphony Orchestra, New Orleans Civic Orchestra, Dover Symphony, Killington Music Festival Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. In New York, her appearances have included venues such as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Juilliard Theatre and the Harvard Club.
An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Ohashi has appeared in numerous music festivals, including the Aspen Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, Orford Centre for the Arts, Banff Center for teh Arts, Fontainebleau Music Festival in France, Glassboro Summer Session and Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria.
She holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School and has taught at the Greenwich House of Music in New York and at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee. From 2002 to 2008 Ms. Ohashi served as Assistant Chair of Music at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts teaching piano, theory and chamber music ensembles. In 2004 she founded the New Orleans Chamber Music Festival. A dedicated teacher, her students have won numerous competitions locally and nationally.
Antonio Pompa-Baldi was born and raised in Foggia, Italy, Antonio Pompa-Baldi won the Cleveland International Piano Competition in 1999 and embarked on a career that continues to extend across five continents. A top prize winner at the 1998 Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition of Paris, France, Antonio Pompa-Baldi also won a silver medal at the 2001 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.
Mr. Pompa-Baldi appears regularly at the world’s major concert venues including New York’s Carnegie Hall, Paris’ Salle Pleyel, Milan’s Sala Verdi, Shanghai’s Grand Theatre, and Boston’s Symphony Hall. He performed in London, Tokyo, Seoul, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Kiev, Auckland, Hong Kong, and Beijing, where he played a recital in the Forbidden City Concert Hall and conducted Master Classes at the China National Conservatory, being named Honorary Guest Professor of that institution. Pompa-Baldi has played with the Houston Symphony, Berliner Symphoniker, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Boston Pops, and Colorado Symphony, among many others. He has collaborated with great musicians and conductors such as Hans Graf, James Conlon, Louis Lane, Keith Lockhart, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.
His extensive recording catalogue features 20 CDs and is constantly growing. Among his recordings, the entire piano repertoire of Grieg for Centaur Records in twelve CDs, a live recital of his award-winning Cliburn Competition performances on Harmonia Mundi, and “The Rascal and the Sparrow-Poulenc meets Piaf”, piano arrangements of songs by Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf on the Steinway Label. His CD, “After a reading of Liszt”, is a tribute to Liszt recorded live in recital at the Stellenbosch Conservatory, and released by the South African label TwoPianists. For Centaur Records, he has also recorded an all-Schumann disc, an all-Rachmaninoff CD, as well as the Rheinberger Piano Sonatas. Pompa-Baldi is now recording the complete Hummel Piano Sonatas. The first two volumes are already available, with a third scheduled to be released in the near future.
In May 2014, Pompa-Baldi completed live performances of all the Rachmaninoff Concertos and Paganini Rhapsody with the Cape Town Philharmonic. In January 2015, he performed a recital at the First Lang Lang International Piano Festival in Shenzhen, China. In March 2015, he performed all the Beethoven Concertos in Fresno, CA, under the baton of Maestro Theodore Kuchar. Other recent notable engagements include the Cheyenne Symphony (Respighi Piano Concerto), Nova Scotia Symphony (Rachmaninoff Second and Third Piano Concertos), and recitals in Wenzhou and Xiamen (China), San Jose, CA, Ravello Festival, Todi International Music Masters festival, and the island of Sardinia, Italy.
A Steinway artist, Mr. Pompa-Baldi is on the piano faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music. He is the founder and faculty member of Todi International Music Masters, a summer Festival in Italy, and sits on the juries of the most prestigious piano competitions of the world, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head Piano Competition, the International Edvard Grieg Piano Competition in Bergen, Norway, and the San Jose International Piano Competition.
Among his generation of concert pianists, pianist Awadagin Pratt is acclaimed for his musical insight and intensely involving performances in recital and with symphony orchestras.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pratt began studying piano at age six. Three years later after moving with his family to Normal, Illinois, he began studying violin. He entered the University of Illinois at 16 where he studied piano, violin and conducting. He subsequently enrolled at the Peabody Conservatory of Music where he became the first student in the school’s history to receive diplomas in three performance areas: piano, violin and conducting. In recognition of this achievement and for his work in the field of classical music, Mr. Pratt recently received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Johns Hopkins.
In 1992 Mr. Pratt won the Naumburg International Piano Competition and two years later was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant. Since then, he has played numerous recitals throughout the US including performances at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles and Chicago’s Orchestra Hall. His many orchestral performances include appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and the Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis, National, Detroit and New Jersey symphonies among many others. Summer festival engagements include Ravinia, Blossom, Wolf trap, Caramoor and Aspen, the Hollywood Bowl and the Mostly Mozart Festival in Tokyo.
As a conductor, Mr. Pratt participated in the American Symphony Orchestra League and Conductor’s Guild workshops and the National Conducting Institute where he worked closely with Leonard Slatkin and conducted the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. He has also conducted the Toledo, New Mexico, Vancouver WA, Winston-Salem, Santa Fe and Prince George County symphonies, the Northwest Sinfonietta, the Concertante di Chicago and several orchestras in Japan.
Mr. Pratt is a strong advocate of music education, and participates in numerous residency and outreach activities wherever he appears. these activities may include master classes, children’s recitals, play/talk demonstrations and question/answer sessions for students of all ages.
Ernst Krenek Prize – Scott Cuellar
Chamber Music Prize Winner – Stephanie Ng
HanQing Chang is in the Doctor of Music Arts program at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where she studies Piano Performance with Awadagin Pratt. She began piano at the age of four and performed publicly at age 10. When she was twelve, Hanqing entered the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, studying with Professor Li Xiumei. She went on to receive a full scholarship at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music at the National University of Singapore where she received her Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance with Professor Thomas Hecht. In 2010, Ms. Chang received another full scholarship to pursue the Masters of Music degree at the Peabody Institute where she studied with Professor Young Hi Moon. HanQing has won several piano competitions including the Wiesbaden International Piano Competition, the “XinHai” National Piano Competition, the HGS National Piano Competition and the Hong Kong Piano Open Competition. She received 2nd Prize in the Asian Youth Music International Competition and has given many recitals throughout China and the United States.
Yi-Yang Chen holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Douglas Humphreys. He is currently working on his graduate degree at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal. His prizes include 1st Prize in the MTNA National Steinway Young Artist Piano Competition, 1st Prize in the Thousand Islands International Chopin Piano Competition and 1st Prize in the Pacific International Piano Competition. He placed 3rd in the Russian Music Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Louisiana International Piano Competition. Mr. Chen was also a 2nd Prize winner in the Schmidbauer International Competition and a 1st Prize winner in the Coeur D’Alene Symphony Orchestra National Young Artist Competition.
Sookkyung Cho completed the Bachelor of Music degree at The Juilliard School, studying with Julian Martin, the Master of Music degree at Peabody Conservatory under the tutelage of Boris Slutsky and is currently in the Doctor of Music Arts program at The Juilliard School with Matti Raekallio. Ms. Cho has performed at the Ecoles d’Art Americaines de Fontainebleau, the France College Music Society International Conference in Korea, The Liszt Festival, the Musica Bella Chamber Music Series and Morse Hall in New York. She was a semi-finalist in the Washington International Competition at Juilliard, received the Grace Clagett Ranney Prize in Chamber Music at the Peabody Institute and took 3rd Place in the Harrison Winter Competition. Sookkyung was the recipient of the C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellowship and the Career Development Grant at Peabody as well as other merit scholarships.
Jennifer Chu has performed many solo and chamber music recitals in New York and other venues in the United States. She has been a featured performer in International Piano Festivals throughout Spain and appeared at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Ms. Chu earned a B.A. in Music from Princeton University, a Master of Music in Piano Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and Doctor of Music Arts in Piano from The Juilliard School. Her teachers include Elizabeth DiFelice, Solomon Mikowsky and Jerome Lowenthal. Jennifer’s concerti performances include the Princeton University Orchestra, the Festival Orchestra of Toledo, Spain and the Eastern Philharmonic. She received 3rd Prize in the Wideman Piano Competition and was a semifinalist in the Jose Roca International Piano Competition in Spain. She was a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School and received a Frances Hall Ballard Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.
Scott Cuellar has a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music from The Juilliard School where he is currently studying with Julian Martin. Mr. Cuellar has participated in summer programs in the Hamptons studying with Paul Schenly and Daniel Shapiro, and at the Music Academy of the West, studying with Jerome Lowenthal. In 2012 he was a finalist in the Juilliard Concerto Competition and in 2011 received a Special Recognition Award in the Wideman International Piano Competition. Scott was the Piano Winner in 2010 in the Oberlin Conservatory Senior Concerto Competition, and received other Oberlin Competition prizes as well. Winner of a Silver Medal at the Crescendo Music Awards, he was also a finalist at the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition. He has performed with the Lima Symphony Orchestra in Lima, OH, and the St. Paul Civic Symphony. In 2011, he was a Guest Artist at the Beinen School of Music at Northwestern University.
Somang Jeagal graduated with the highest honors from Seoul University for both his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Music and studied with Jong-hwa Park. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree at USC’s Thornton School of Music where his teacher is Kevin Fitzgerald. He has been a 1st Prize winner in the Asia-Pacific Young Artist Piano Competition and the Dong-A Music Competition. He was a 2nd Prize winner in the KIMF Piano Competition and received the Grand Prize from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Korea, in the Student Competition for Overseas Music Study. Mr. Jeagal has performed with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra in Seoul, at the Hamamatsu International Piano Academy in Japan and the Salzburg Schloss Konzerte in Austria. He toured Australia as part of the KUMHO Virtuosi Trio Concert series and in the US sponsored by the Seoul National University Alumni. Somang has participated in several Master Classes, studying with Klaus Hellwig, Michael Krist, Leon Fleisher and John O’Connor.
Vladimir Khomiakov was born in Russia where he began his music studies at the age of four and performed his first solo recital at the age of eleven. He has been a prized-winner in many competitions including 1st Prize in the St. Petersburg Open Piano Competition, 3rd Prize in the Anton Rubinstein International Competition, 1st Prize in the ISAM International Piano Competition in Germany, 4th Prize in the Maria Canals International Piano Competition, 2nd Place in the Jose Iturbi International Piano Competition. He was also a medalist in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. He holds degrees from the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory and the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, studying with Professors Alexander Sandler and Yuri Martynov. In 2011, he completed the Artist Diploma Program at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music with honors under the tutelage of Daniel Pollack, and he is currently a DMA candidate there. Mr. Khomiakov has performed recitals in major concert halls in the US, Canada, Russia, South Korea and Europe.
Hyoung Kim received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Professor Nelita True. He is currently pursuing a Masters Degree at the University of Southern California under the tutelage of Stewart Gordon. He was awarded 2nd Place in the 2011 Harold Protsman Classical Period Piano Competition, was a 1st Place winner in the Orange County MTNA Sonata Competition and was a finalist in the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale National Young Artist Competition. Mr. Kim has performed at the University of Syracuse, the Eastman School of Music, and the Washington Square Concert Series. In Korea, he was a member of a heavy metal group, playing electric guitar, and also performed with the Military Band as a guitarist and trumpeter.
Ji Young Lee
Ji Young Lee holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Ewha Womans University in Seoul, a Master of Music degree from Eastman School of Music and is a Doctor or Musical Arts candidate at the University of Cincinnati where she will graduate this year. She has received awards from the 2010 Los Angeles International Liszt Competition, the American Protégé Competition in New York (1st Prize) and the World Music Competition in Ibla, Italy (Grand Prize, Distinguished Pianist). Ms. Lee has performed solo recitals in Keumho Hall, Seoul, Korea, Weill Hall, New York and in Ibla, Italy. She has given many chamber music recitals at the University of Cincinnati and attended the Prague International Piano Master Classes in the Czech Republic and the Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival in Italy. She has studied with Thomas Schumacher and Eugene Pridonoff.
Tae Yeon Lim
Tae Yeon Lim graduated from Kyung-Hee University with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance and from the Manhattan School of Music with a Master of Music in piano performance. She is currently studying with Dr. Stewart Gordon at the Thornton School of Music for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Her other teachers include Phillip Kawin and James Tocco. She received a special award in the MPE Loeb Competition and was a winner in the Beijing International Academy Concerto Competition. Ms. Lim also won 1st Prize in the Busan Duo-Piano Competition. She was the recipient of a Manhattan School of Music scholarship and currently has a William H. and Beatrice C. Phillips Music Scholarship. As a Beverly Hills Audition Series winner, she performed at Trinity Lutheran Church and Music in the Mansion. Tae Yeon has given recitals in the US, China, Korea, Germany and Italy.
Ihang Lin earned a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory and is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Boston University. Her teachers include Professors Jonathan Bass and Gila Goldstein. She received 3rd Prize in 2012 in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition and had a debut recital at Weill Hall, Carnegie Hall in New York. Ms. Lin was also a 1st Prize winner in the 2009 Aaron Richmond Piano Competition.
Christopher McKiggan graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, where he studied with Robert Weirich. He holds a Master of Music degree from Rice University and continues to study there for his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree under the tutelage of Jon Kimura Parker. His awards include prizes at the UNISA International Piano Competition, the Rice Concerto Competition and the World International Piano Competition. He received a Gold Medal at the Seattle International Piano Competition and a solo 2nd Prize and concerto 3rd Prize at the Kingsville International Isabel Scionti Piano Competition. He has premiered works by Robert Beaser, Viktor Ekimovsky and Atsuhiko Gondai. Mr. McKiggan has performed with the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the UMKC Conservatory Orchestra and has been presented in many concert halls such as Weill Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall, the Payatia Palace and Folley Theater.
Priscila Navarro is an 18 year old Junior Piano Performance Major at the Bower School of Music at Florida Gulf Coast University where she studies with Dr. Michael Baron on Steinway Society and Williams scholarships. She began piano studies at the age of 9 at the National Conservatory of Music of Peru under the guidance of Professor Lydia Hung. In 2009, Priscila was awarded the Maddy Summer Artist Award at the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in Michigan. She received a full scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts during the summer of 2011. Priscila has won awards in MTNA Competitions, the Florida MTA Competition, the International Chopin Competition of Texas, and the South America Chopin Competition. The Chopin prizes included two summers of study at the Warsaw Conservatory in Poland. She will have a Carnegie Hall debut recital in March 2013. Ms. Navarro has performed solo, chamber and concerto concerts throughout North and South America and Europe.
Stephanie Ng holds a B.A. in Piano Performance from USC where she studied with Walter Ponce. She is currently pursuing her Artist Diploma at The Colburn School with John Perry. Last year Ms. Ng was a semi-finalist in the Ima Hogg Concerto Competition. In 2011, she was 1st Prize winner in several competitions including the UCLA Benno Rubinyi Piano Competition, the Pacific Musical Society Piano Competition, the Edith Knox Concerto Showcase Competition and the UCLA Atwater Kent Piano Concerto Competition. Also in 2011, she was a Finalist in the Dorothy Van Waynen Piano Competition and a Semi-Finalist in the Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition. She has given many solo, chamber and concerto performances. Her solo recitals include a fund-raiser for the Peninsula Symphony, Banff Centre in Canada, San Francisco Conservatory and Snider Hall at CSU Stanislaus. Stephanie has also performed with the Peninsula Symphony Orchestra, the UCLA Philharmonia Orchestra, the Brentwood-Westood Symphony Orchestra and the Saratoga Symphony Orchestra.
Michael Rector holds a doctoral degree from Manhattan School of Music where his dissertation was an investigation of Chopin’s harmonic practice as influenced by the music of Louis Spohr and Romantic philosophy. He also earned a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College in Comparative Literature. His principal piano teachers are Lydia Frumkin, Lee Kum-Sing and Phillip Kawin and he also values private coaching and master classes with artists such as Benjamin Pasternack, Ursula Oppens and Jerome Lowenthal. Mr. Rector has performed across the US and in Canada in venues such as Steinway Hall in New York and the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, D. C. Michael frequently competes in international contests and is a prize winner in the Jacob Flier Competition in New York. He recently embarked on a concert tour in Korea that included duo concerts with pianist Sylvia Hong. Upcoming performances include recitals in Arizona and concerto engagements in Washington, D. C. and Tennessee.
Keenan Reesor holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano from Utah State University and a Master of Music in Piano from the University of Southern California where he is currently studying for a PhD in Historical Musicology. His teachers include Gary Amano and Norman Krieger. He is a 2013 nominee for an American Pianists Association Classical Fellow Award, and has a Keyboard Collaborative Award and an Outstanding Graduating Master’s Student Award, both from USC. Mr. Reesor was a winner in the USC Concerto Competition and the USU Alumni Concerto Competition. He placed 4th in the Wideman International Piano Competition. Keenan has performed with the Utah University Symphony Orchestra, the Downey Symphony Orchestra and the Utah Festival Opera Orchestra. Solo recitals include Temple Square Performances in Salt Lake City, Irvine Valley College, the Dixie Music and History Series in St. George, as well as collaborative performances with members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Alina Sarkisyan earned a Masters Degree from the Russian Academy of Music and is now in a Masters program at Columbus State University in Georgia. She has studied with Igor Nikonovich and Vladimir Tropp and is currently under the tutelage of Alexander Kobrin. In 2011, Ms. Sarkisyan was a special prize winner at the CSU Concerto Competition and in 2012, she received Honorable Mention at the International Russian Music Competition in San Jose, CA. Other prizes include a 2nd Place in the International Europe-Asia Competition in Orsk, Russia and a Special Prize at the International Maria Yudina Competition in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Benjamin Smith received the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Toronto, Artist Diploma from The Glenn Gould School, Masters degree from The Juilliard School and Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University. His most recent teachers were Julian Martin and Christina Dahl. His awards include 1st Prizes in the 2010 Stony Brook University Concerto Competition, the 2010 Glenn Gould Chamber Music Competition and the University of Toronto Chamber Music Competition. He has performed major concerti with orchestra and also premiered a new work with the New Juilliard Ensemble at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. He has had notable chamber music collaborations at the Banff Centre and the Toronto Summer Music Festival.
Dominika Szlezynger received a degree in Piano Performance from the Academy of Music in Cracow, Poland. She holds a Master in Piano Performance from the Haute Ecole de Musique, Conservatoire de Geneve and is pursuing post graduate studies at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory of Milano, Italy. Her teachers include Ewa Poblocka, Elisabeth Athanassova, Emanuela Piemonti and Christina Frosini. She won 1st Prizes in the L. de Fortunato at Milan Conservatory, an International Piano Competition in Alassio, Italy and in a Contemporary Music Competition in Warsaw. She also won 3rd Prize in the Gussago-Brescia International Piano Competition in Italy. Ms. Szlezynger has given recitals at Mairie de Collonge-Bellerive in Geneva, Conservatoire du Luxemburg, Chopin Societies in Australia and Poland, Theatre EDI in Turin and Musee de Grenoble in France. She has performed with orchestras in Poland, Italy and Belgium.
Diyi Tang holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Shanghai Conservatory. His principle teachers were Pavlina Dokovska and Min Kwon. He has performed solo recitals in Asia, Europe and the US at Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Cleveland Play House, Moscow Conservatory Auditorium, Shanghai Concert Hall and Lucerne Concert Hall. His concerti performances include South Carolina Symphony, Mannes Orchestra, Moscow Symphony and Beijing Symphony. Mr. Tang was awarded the Kapo-Barwick Memorial Prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in 2012 and 1st Prize in the 2010 Mannes Concerto Competition. He received 3rd Prize in the Heida Hermans International Piano Competition and 2nd Prize in the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. He is the recipient of the John and Anna Sie Foundation Scholarship and a Mannes College Scholarship Award.
Hong Tang is currently a candidate for Master of Piano Performance at the Manhattan School of Music where she is studying with Jeffrey Cohen. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from Vancouver Music Academy under the tutelage of Kim Sung Lee and is a graduate of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China. She was the 1st Prize winner in the Kay Meet Scholarship Competition and the Dora Zaslavsky Koch Concerto Competition. Ms. Tang was also the winner in the 2012 Lillian Fuchs Chamber Music Competition. She performed in Holland, Orford Art Centre in Vancouver and played “Chopin Prelude” on CBC TV. Her concerto performances include the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Philippe Entremont and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Julan Wang received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the direction of Bin Su. He holds a Master of Music degree from the San Francisco Conservatory, where he studied with Yoshikazu Nagai. Hi is currently a candidate for an Artist Diploma at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Awadagin Pratt. Mr. Wang has performed widely in China: the Jiaozi Concert Hall, the Chongqing Theater, Shanghai Grand Stage, Bengbu Grand Theater and Fudan University. He has also given piano recitals at the Concert Hall at the San Francisco Conservatory and performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the CCM Philharmonia Orchestra. Mr. Wang won 1st Prize in the Chongqing Youth Piano Competition, 2nd Prize in the Sichuan Youth Piano Competition and 2nd Place in the Wiesbaden Piano Competition. He won 1st Prize in the CCM Concerto Competition and was the recipient of a scholarship as Outstanding Graduate in 2010 and the Enlight Scholarship in 2012.
Alice Yoo is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Southern California, studying with Antoinette Perry. She also holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Western Ontario where her teacher was James Anagnoson and an Artist Diploma from the Glenn Gould School in Toronto under the tutelage of Leslie Kinton. She was a prize winner in the World Piano Competition in 2012, and received 1st Prizes in the National Musical Festival and the Korean Broadcast Music Competition in Toronto. Alice has performed solo and chamber recitals in Los Angeles and Toronto, a chamber recital in Saarburg, Germany, and participated in a Chopin Marathon. Her performance of the Rachmaninoff Piano Suite No. 2 for two pianos was broadcast on KUSC in 2011.
Eunkyung Yoon is currently studying for her DMA at the Peabody Conservatory of Music under the direction of Professor Yong-Hi Moon. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Her competition awards include 1st Prize at the Harrison Winter Competition in 2012, and 2nd Prize in the Wonderlic Piano Competition in 2010. She also won 1st Prize in the Puigcerda International Competition in Spain and in several MTNA State and Regional Competitions. Ms. Yoon has performed with the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, the Sungham Philharmonic Orchestra, the Seoul Royal Symphony Orchestra and the Raleigh and North Carolina Symphony Orchestras. She has performed solo piano recitals in the US, Korea and Europe.
The 2013 Judges are:
Sara Davis Buechner – University of British Columbia
Jon Nakamatsu – concert pianist & recording artist
Anton Nel – University of Texas
Orli Shaham – concert pianist and recording artist
Nelita True – Eastman School of Music
Junior Solo Winners:
Intermediate Solo Winners:
Junior Concerto Winners
Intermediate Concerto Winners:
Over $25,000 in scholarships and performance prizes!
Junior Solo Performance Prize – Recital at Snowmass, CO
Junior Concerto Performance Prize – Performance with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Golan on the Youth Concert Series – at Yakima, Washington
Intermediate Solo Performance Prize – Recital at St. John’s Cathedral
Intermediate Concerto Performance Prize – Week’s residency with the Gulf Coast Symphony that includes a recital, performance with the Symphony, and outreach performances at local schools
Intermediate Concerto Performance Prize – Performance with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Golan on the Mainstage Classical Series Concert
Additional scholarships are:
Junior and Intermediate Solo 1st Place Prize-$3,000 each
Junior and Intermediate Solo 2nd Place Prize-$2,000 each
Junior and Intermediate Solo 3rd Place Prize-$1,000 each
Junior and Intermediate Concerto 1st Place Prize-$3,000 each
Junior and Intermediate Concerto 2nd Place Prize-$2,000 each
Junior and Intermediate Concerto 3rd Place Prize-$1,000 each
Special Eli Birer Memorial Award for the Most Promising Junior Contestant – $1,000
Artem Aleksanyan began his studies at age nine, showing a unique passion for music. He has won top prizes in the Bolognini Piano Competition and the MTNA State and Regional Piano Competitions. In 2007, he made his orchestral debut as a soloist with the Nevada Chamber Orchestra, playing Haydn. In 2008 and 2009, Artem participated in the Green Valley Chamber Music Festival and worked with many prominent teachers. He was recently a soloist with the Henderson Symphony Orchestra, playing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 1, under the baton of Taras Krysa. He studies with Ekaterina Melkamini, and enjoys piano, chamber music, music harmony and the history of music.
Joey Chang gave his first formal recital at age 10 as the solo artist at the Well-Prepared Pianist Institute’s International Festival, with a program that included live improvisation. He was the youngest winner of the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition at 13 and gave a debut concerto performance with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic under the baton of Vladimir Feltsman. He has won awards from the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the Gina Bachauer Piano Team Competition and other local competitions. Joey’s passion for music includes composing and he performed his first original work at the US national “Junior Original Composer” concert at age 7.
Andrea Choi’s musical accomplishments include 1st Prize and Most Promising Musician award in the 2010 Los Angeles Philharmonic Bronislaw Kaper Young Artist Awards Competition. She was also a state winner in the MTAC competition. In 2009, she was a semi-finalist at the USASU Schimmel International Junior Piano Competition and the Music Center Spotlight Awards Classical Instruments category. She was a 1st Place winner in the 2008 SYMF Young Pianist category and won a performance prize as a soloist with the Southwestern Festival Orchestra. Andrea was also a participant in the 2010 Cooper International Piano Competition in Oberlin. She attends the LA County School of Arts and studies piano with Dr. Myong-Joo Lee.
Dennis Fang has been studying piano with Ariel Yang since 2003. He won 1st Place in the LA International Liszt Competition, 1st Place in the California International Young Artists Competition, 1st Place at the MTAC State Solo Piano Competition, 1st Place in the MTAC Irvine Concerto Competition, and was three times a Grand Prize winner at the Cypress Piano Competition. In 2008, he was the youngest student to be invited to study at the Lake Como International Piano Academy in Italy and in 2009, and was invited to the prestigious Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts. Dennis performed at a “Rising Star Concert” with the Yorba Linda Orchestra, at the “Sapphire Concert” at the Hollywood Ford Amphitheater and at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. He is involved in charity works, including a fundraising concert for earthquake victims.
David Horton studies with Dr. Heather Conner. He was a 1st Place winner in the 2010 Summer Arts solo Competition at the University of Utah and their 2008 Concerto Competition, the 2010 Riverton Metropolitan Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the 2009 Interlochen Concerto Competition. He received the Ironman Award for the Elementary Division at the 2008 University of Utah Summer Arts Competition. David has soloed with the Riverton Metropolitan Orchestra, the University of Utah Wind Ensemble and the Rocky Ridge Faculty Orchestra in Colorado. He has had private lessons with Rebecca Penneys and James Giles, among others. David enjoys hiking and skiing.
Kimberly Hou is a student of Dr. Marjorie Lee and has been studying piano for 12 years. She has won many awards at MTNA Competitions and was a winner of the 2010 Chopin Scholarship from the Chopin Foundation of the US. She won 1st Place prize in two International Young Artist Piano Competitions, the Connecticut International Piano Competition and the American Fine Arts Festival Piano Competition in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall. She has performed many recitals and also played with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the New River Valley Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, Kimberly’s duo and trio ensembles have won top prizes, including 1st Place in both the 2010 Levine Chamber Music Competition and the Horowitz Piano/Violin Duo Competition. She likes learning foreign languages and participating in debate tournaments.
Shannon Hsu studies with Yin Yin Huang as a Young Musician Foundation Scholarship Recipient. She was a prize winner at the MTAC Solo Competition and the American Protégé International Romantic Music Competition. Shannon was also a semifinalist at the IIYM International Piano Competition. She made her debut with the Los Angeles Doctors Symphony Orchestra at age 12 and also performed in a Junior Chamber Music Recital at Carnegie Hall. She took part in the MTAC Convention Honors-Master Class Recital. Shannon is a student representative of her School Board and is a member of the City of Pasadena’s Human Relations Commission. She enjoys composing pop music and designing digital graphics.
Yidie Hua started playing piano at the age of five. In 2008, she won 1st Prize in the Third Steinway China Youth Competition for Eastern China Region and a 2nd Prize in the 16th Clementi China National Competition, Division A. Also in 2008 Yidie was accepted into the Shanghai Conservatory of Music’s Middle School and studies with Dr. Xi Zhang. She has had several solo performances in the Shanghai Symphony Chamber Music Series. Yidie enjoys classic literature and animated books.
bio & photo hidden by request
Fantee Jones is from Roseville, CA, and is currently studying at the Manhattan School of Music in New York under the tutelage of Dr. Marc Silverman. She had her first public solo piano performance at age seven and at age 10 she soloed with the Sacramento Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has won awards in many competitions such as the Bradshaw & Bouno International Piano Competition (2005), LA Liszt International Piano Competition, Russian International Piano Competition, and the Viardo International Competition. Fantee has been a member of the Sacramento Youth Symphony for eight years and palys both violin and flute. Fantee enjoys playing chamber music with fellow avid musicians. Recently she performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Sacramento Youth Symphony.
Since her debut as soloist with orchestra at age seven, Arianna Korting has performed in important concert venues throughout the world in recital and with orchestra, on radio and TV, and winning top prizes in piano competitions. She was a 1st Prize winner in the 5th Julia Crane International Piano Competition, the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the Duquesne Young Artist National Piano Competition and the Solon Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artists Competition. She has performed in the opening ceremonies for the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Mixon Hall, Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory, Carnegie Hall in New York and the Canadian Embassy in Prague. Arianna is a scholarship student of Gerardo Teissonniere in the Preparatory Piano Division at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She is an honor student and has received several U.S. President Education Awards.
Aaron Kurz began studying the piano at age three, and before his seventh birthday in 2002, he was named “Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Kid of the Month.” In 2004 he began studying with Dr. Carol Leone, Chair of the Keyboard Dept. at SMU Meadows School of the Arts; he also began theory and composition at SMU’s Piano Preparatory Department. Aaron has won 1st Place awards at the MTNA and TMTA Competitions and was an MTNA National Finalist. He was a winner in the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, and the Viardo International Piano Competition. He has performed at Carnegie Hall, at Salle Cortot in Paris, and performed live on FOX TV’s “Good Day” morning show. He enjoys sports and video games in his spare time.
Evan Lin studies piano with Joanna Fan and has been playing since he was six years old. He started winning competition awards in 2005, when he placed first in the Honolulu Symphony’s Talent Pool Competition. He has won 1st Prizes in HMTA and Aloha International Piano Festivals in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009. Evan was also a winner in the 2008 MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition in both the Hawaii State division and the Southwest region. In 2010, he debuted on “From the Top, live from Hilo Kam School.” Evan plays the violin in his school’s symphony orchestra and electric guitar in the Jazz Band.
Jessica Ma studies with Ethan Dong and won 1st Prizes in both the Cypress Piano Competition and the Emerging Artist Competition in 2009, and 1st Place in the 2007 International Young Chinese Piano Competition. She won the Grand Prize at the 2008 Glendale Piano Competition and 1st Place in the 2009 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, winning a performance at Carnegie Hall. She also won 2nd Prizes at the 2009 and 2010 MTAC Solo Competitions. Jessica enjoys sports and has participated on her school’s varsity water polo and swim teams.
Theodora Martin started piano lessons in Romania when she was seven years old. In 2004, she won 1st Prizes in Romania at the Pro Piano International Competition and the Carl Filtsch International Competition, and in the Giovani Talenti International Competition in Italy. She has won many competition awards, most recently in 2009 as a 1st Place winner in the National MTAC Concerto Competition and in 2010 in the Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, where she received a performance prize with the Peninsula Symphony. Theodora also won the 2010 Young Artists’ Beethoven Competition and was a 3rd Place winner at the 2010 International Russian Music Piano Competition. She has studied with Hans Boepple since 2004. She likes writing, learning new languages and cats.
Jiaxin Min is currently a student at the Middle School of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and studies with Ting Zhou. She began her piano studies at age 4. Jiaxin won 1st and 2nd Prizes at the HAIMAN and ZIYI National piano contest, respectively, in China. She also received the honor of being named one of the ten best young virtuosos in piano performance in 2004. In 2007, she won 1st Prize at the Hong Kong-Asia International Piano Competition, and in 2010 won 2nd Prize at the 3rd Asia Piano Competition in Hong Kong. Jiaxin has given many piano recitals throughout China.
Weston Mizumoto studies with Dr. Susan Boettger. In 2010 he was a winner in the Lee University Piano Competition, the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Competition, and the MTAC VOCE Regional Chamber Music Competition, and was a scholarship winner from the Chopin Foundation, and the Warsaw Piano Institute. He has received additional awards in the CAPMT Concerto Competition, the Whittier College Chamber Music Competition, the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition and the Parness Concerto Competition for Young Artists, and the Virginia Waring Junior Concerto division. Weston has performed throughout California at the Redlands Bowl Summer Festival, Orange Coast College Gallery Concert, Young Stars of Tomorrow Concert, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, as well as a Live Satellite Performance for 3ABN, Fresno. He has performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Central Conservatory of Music Concert Hall in Beijing, China. Weston likes “speedcubing” the Rubik’s Cube and was a finalist at the National Rubik’s Cube Competition at MIT.
Zhui Song studies piano with Zhou Fan on scholarship at the Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. He has performed with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and has had recitals at the Parsons Concert Hall and Steinway Concert Hall in Shanghai, and also at the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou. He has awards from the “Pearl-Kayserburg” National Youth Piano Competition, the 1st National Competition for Young Pianists, the 4th Gulangyu Competition for Young Pianists and the 69th Steinway International Competition for Young Pianists – China Audition. Zhui has participated in the Shanghai Summer Music Festival and the Xiamen Gulangyu Music Festival. He enjoys composing, piano improvisation and playing billiards.
Kevin Sun began his piano lessons at age five and currently studies with Dr. Lorna Peters of CSU Sacramento. From age eight, he has entered competitions and won 12 Gold Medals over a five year period at the U.S. Open Music Competition in Oakland. He won the 2004 CAPMT Bartok and Contemporary Music Piano Competition, the 2009 University of the Pacific Henry & Carol Zeiter Piano Competition and Grand Prizes in both the Junior (2007) and Senior (2009) Divisions of the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition. Kevin is a Presider & Program Coordinator of the “Lifting Spirits with Music” program, a group that gives outreach recitals to senior residences, cancer centers and children’s hospitals. He performed at the 2010 Sacramento Bach Festival, and in concert with Steinway Concert Artist Lara Downes for her 88 KEYS Foundation. He is a member of his school’s National Honor Society and likes swimming and contract bridge.
Trenton Takaki has been studying piano with Sueanne Metz for nine years and has won many competition awards, including 1st Place in the Bradshaw & Buono Competition, the Young Artists Piano Competition in Indiana, the Society of American Musicians Competition and the Chicago Duo Piano Festival Competition. In 2010, he was one of seven National Finalists in the MTNA Junior Performance Competition after winning Division and State Competitions. Trenton was a featured artist in the Young Steinway Concert Series, and he had his Weill Hall debut in May 2009. He recently received 1st Place in the senior division of the Chopin Music Festival in Wisconsin. Trenton also enjoys playing soccer for his school.
Tristan Teo began formal piano lessons at age six and now studies with Dr. Sasha Starcevich. He has been a frequent prize winner at many competitions, including the 2008 Canadian Music Competition and the 2008 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival. Most recently, he was awarded 1st Place in the BC Piano Competition and gave a series of solo recitals as BC Young Artist of 2010-11. He made his orchestral debut at 11 with Seattle’s Philharmonia Northwest, and has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. In 2010, Tristan entered the Cooper Piano Competition in Oberlin, advancing to the solo finals where he was awarded the Audience Prize. He enjoys traveling, reading and building with his LEGOs.
Zhige (Angela) Xu
Angela Zhige Xu began her piano lessons at age four and currently studies with Christopher Zhong at the Middle School affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2008, she won 1st Place at the Across Pacific Piano Camp and Competition in California, also winning a performance at Steinway Hall in New York. In 2009, she won 2nd Place in the Chinese Section of the Steinway International Juvenile Piano Competition. Angela won 2nd Prize in the 9th ADRIATICO International Music Competition in Italy in 2007, and in the same year was invited to be a member of the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation Roster of Artists for 2007-08. She has performed several piano recitals at Shanghai Concert Hall in China.
In 2010, Marika Yasuda was a semi-finalist at the Julia Crane International Piano Competition, a 2nd Place winner at the Virginia MTA Concerto Competition and a 1st Place winner in the Concerto Competition of the Maryland MTA. She also placed second in the 2009 Classical Period Piano Competition at PianoFest at Virginia Commonwealth University and the Harold Protsman Classical Period Piano Competition by Old Dominion University of Norfolk. Marika has participated in summer music studies at the Summit Music Festival in White Plains, New York, the Gijon International Piano Festival in Spain and the International Institute for Young Musicians in Kansas. She studies with Dr. Marjorie Lee and has been awarded music grants from the Williamsburg Music Club for eight consecutive years. Marika’s other interests include tennis and drawing.
Min Joo Yi
Min Joo Yi studies piano with Duane Hulbert and has received 2nd Place twice at the MTNA National Piano Competition, once in the 2008 Junior Division and once in the 2010 Senior Division. She was also a finalist at both the 2009 International Institute for Young Musicians and the 2010 New York International Piano Competition. Min Joo has appeared on the Seattle Art Zone Channel and on Kansas Public Radio. She performed in 2009 for the Music for Medicine Benefit Concert. Min Joo enjoys drawing illustrations for Stone Soup Magazine.
Audrey Yim studies with Haksoon Swiatkowski and most recently won the 1st Place prize at the West Covina Symphony Young Artist Competition, performing with the orchestra at the Winners’ Concert. She also won 1st Place at the Virginia Taylor Piano Scholarship Competition Auditions, and the Grand Prize at the OC Korean Cultural Center Music Competition. She has performed with the Young Artist Concerts Concerto Orchestra at the Wilshire Ebell Theater on two occasions. Audrey won 1st Prize at the 2007 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, giving her debut recital at Carnegie Hall, the Grand Prize at the 35th Long Beach Mozart Festival and the coveted Gold Medal at the 43rd Southern California Junior Bach Festival, Concerto Category in 2006. She has performed with the Celebration of Young Talent Concerto Orchestra many times and with the Stenske-Acosta Trio. She enjoys traditional Korean dance and is an honor student at LA County High School for the Arts.
John Yoo began studying the piano when he was seven and has participated in many competitions since then. He was an award winner at the SYMF Piano Competition in 2010, the Long Beach Mozart Festival in 2008 and the Cypress Piano Competition. He was a 1st Prize winner at the Antelope Valley Gail Newby Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance with their orchestra, and a 1st Prize winner at the North Valley MTAC. He has been on tour in Utah and Florida and performed on KUTV in Utah. John performed the Liszt Concerto No. 2 at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in LA. In 2007, John received a special prize at the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition as the most promising young contestant. He studies with both Haksoon Swiatkowski and Dr. Aaron McClaskey.
Haiqi Zhang began taking piano lessons at age six and currently studies with Professor Hua Chang. In 2008, he was accepted into the Middle School of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing. He won 2nd Place in the 2008 XingHai Cup Competition, and 3rd Place at the 2009 Cadenza Piano Competition, both in Beijing, and Encouragement Awards at the 2010 Ettlingen Piano Competition in Germany. Haiqi is also interested in table tennis and swimming.
Derek Chao is a 7th grader who started the piano at age five and currently studies with Susan Boettger. He has been a top prize winner at several piano competitions, including Orange County Music Festival, John Walker Music Competition, Southern California Bach Festival and Southwestern Youth Music Festival. He has participated in Junior Chamber Music for four years. Derek has performed at many events, such as Cerritos talent show, a local TV show and at fundraisers. He held a piano recital to raise funds for World Vision Organization in 2008 and raised $3,200. Derek also studies violin and has won several competitions. He studies and speaks Mandarin Chinese and likes the Rubik’s cube.
Eden Chen began his music education at Moscow Central School of Music in Los Angeles when he was six. His teacher, Elena Makarova has played a key role in developing his passion for music. Eden has won many top awards, some with performance prizes: 1st Place 2010 Southern CA Junior Bach Festival, 1st Place 2010 Southwestern Youth Music Festival Young Pianist award with an orchestral performance prize, and 1st Place 2009 Bradshaw & Buono Piano Competition (Elementary School Division) with a performance prize at Carnegie Hall in New York. He also won a 1st Place prize in the 2008 American Fine Arts Festival.
Alex Chien studies with Kai Chi Zhu and has had a busy performance schedule in the last year. He was a piano soloist in six major South American cities on tour with the CA Youth Symphony Orchestra, performed with CYS in the Bay Area, and gave a solo recital at Newcastle University in England. He received the 1st Place award and the “Most Promising Young Talent” special award in the 9th International Russian Piano Competition’s Young Musician category and 1st Place in the 2010 Young Artist Competition of the Diablo Symphony Orchestra. Alex has received many 1st Place awards in both solo and concerto categories each year since 2003. He is a member of the Rising Stars of California.
Born into a mathematical family, Nan Kang began his piano studies at age four. He has won numerous competitions in China and Austria. Awards include a 2nd Place prize at the Xinghai National Piano Competition in 2009, a Best Performer prize at the 6th International Piano Festival at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2009, and a 2nd Place prize at the 2010 Vienna International Piano Competition. He is now a pupil of Professor Eleanor Wong of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts.
Charlie Liu began studying piano at age four and taking part in competitions at five. He has won many competitions, including 1st Place in the Steinway Society Scholarship Competition, 1st Place in the Massachusetts MTA Competition and Gold Prize in the American Fine Arts Festival. Charlie set a record by performing in all three recital halls of Carnegie Hall in New York by age eight. He has performed on the Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey Shows, and for Queen Rania of Jordan and Bono of U2. He currently studies with Professor Ingrid Clarfield.
Vera Lu started piano lessons at age five and has received many competition awards, including 1st Place prizes in the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals, 1st Place prizes in 2007 and 2009 Vancouver Russian Music Festivals and 1st Place prizes in the 2007 and 2008 Richmond Music Festivals. In 2009, Vera also received 1st Place and a scholarship at the Canadian Music Competition National Finals. She was one of three selected students that participated in a Lang Lang Master Class in Vancouver in 2009. Vera has performed twice in the Wonder Child Showcase Concert and Young Stars Festival. She studies with Dr. Victor Shevtsov.
Valerie Narumi studies with Chun-Yi Wang. She is the recipient of many awards including 1st Place in the 2009 SWMF Competition in the Baroque and Chopin Impromptu Categories, 1st Place in the 2010 SWMF Baroque Category and was a winner in the Yamaha National Junior Original Concert Composition in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Valerie was a 2nd Place winner in the 2009 MTAC Composer Today Competition and a 3rd Place winner in the 2006 California International Young Artists Competition. She was named a “Shining Student” in the June 2010 issue of Family Magazine.
Helen Nebeker studies with Dr. Timothy Woolsey in Austin, Texas and has won many awards since 2003, including first prize in the Texas State Young Artist Piano Competition and second prize in the Hubbard Chamber Music Young Artists Competition, both in 2010. She has competed several times in the United States Open Music Competition, where she was a Gold Medalist in 2007 and 2008. She was also a First Prize winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in 2006. Helen has performed recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Estes Park Music Festival in Colorado and Tunghai University in Taiwan.
Anita Pari has been winning piano Competition and Festival awards since 2006, cello awards since 2009 and composition awards since 2008. Her first award in 2006 was a Silver Medal in a Royal Conservatory of Music Competition. She went on to win several awards at the Canadian Music Competition in 2008 and 2009, and in 2010 won Concerto, Concert Group, Baroque and Sonata trophies in the Kiwanis Music Festival of Ottawa. Also in 2010, Anita received an ARCT diploma with distinction from the Royal Conservatory of Music, and performed at an “Encore” benefit concert. She currently studies with Andrew Tunis at the University of Ottawa School of Music.
Christopher Richardson is a student of Dr. Frederick Weldy and has performed in various venues in San Francisco and New York, among them Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. He was a 1st Place winner in the 2008 San Francisco Chopin Competition and the 2009 East Bay Competition. He is also a summa cum laude 1st Place winner in the Classical, Romantic and Duet categories of the Kids Play The Darndest Things Competition. Christopher was a Gold Medal winner at the 2010 Carnegie Hall International Young Musician Festival. Also in 2010, he was a winner at the American Fine Arts Festival and took 2nd Place in both the Seattle International Piano Competition and the Tureck International Bach Competition.
Yoko Rosenbaum started piano at the age of four and currently studies with Mary Ann Cummins. At 10, she made her solo debut with the Los Angeles Doctors’ Symphony as a concerto winner in the 2009 Robert Turner Piano Competition. She has been a featured artist at the fundraising gala for the Los Angeles Philharmonic and has performed with the Palisades Symphony. In April of 2010, Yoko made her chamber debut at Carnegie’s Weill Hall in New York, performing in a piano trio. Also in 2010, she participated as one of the select Young Performers in the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival. Yoko also studies music theory at the Colburn School for Performing Arts.
Noah Simon began playing the piano at age four. He studies with Mary Ann Cummins. His many awards include 2010 honors as winner of the Robert Turner Piano Concerto Competition, winner of the MTAC Southern California Bach Festival, and 1st Place in the Palisades Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Award Competition. He was a winner in the 2007 and 2009 Southern California Bach Festival. Noah has had concerts with the Pacific Palisades Symphony and the Los Angeles Doctors’ Symphony. He is in the sixth grade in Los Angeles.
Sean Tang-Wang is a twelve-year old GATE student in Walnut, CA and began playing the piano at the age of three, giving a debut recital at four. He recently won a 1st Prize at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition with a performance prize in Carnegie Hall. He has won numerous other competitions with 1st Place prizes in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival in the Chopin Etude, Open Solo and Concerto categories, 1st Place in the MTAC Sonata festival and 2nd Place in the Long Beach Mozart Competition. Sean has passed the Piano Performance of the Diploma Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and currently studies with Jenny Shin. He participates in Math Olympics.
Allison To started studying the piano at age six and also plays the violin. She has won multiple awards in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival, Music and Teachers’ Assoc. of California festivals. She was awarded the Gold Medal prize at the 2010 AADGT International Competition. Also in 2010, Allison gave her debut performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. She currently studies piano under the direction of Ariel Yang at Opus 199 school of music’s Conservatory Program.
Derek Wang is a pre-college student at The Juilliard School, studying with Dr. Matti Raekallio. He showed innate musicality at an early age and began taking piano lessons at age five. At age seven, he won 1st Place in the MA MTA State Piano Competition and has been a winner of several other competitions, including the International Young Musicians Competition of the AADGT, the American Protégé International Piano Competition, the Bradshaw & Buono International Competition and the American Fine Arts Festival. He has performed at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall in New York City. In 2008, Derek was selected as a scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and performed at the inaugural concert. He was featured as part of a piano trio on the Oprah Winfrey show with Lang Lang last May, and he actively participates in activities that promote classical music education and fundraising.
Valerie is a 12 year old pianist currently studying with Ethan Dong. She has performed at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall and twice at Carnegie Hall in New York. She won 1st Place in the Cypress Piano Competition, was a winner at the Bach Festival Regional Competition and, in New Jersey, received high honors at the state competition. Valerie attends Opus 119 in Irvine for her musical studies and also pursues among other artistic interests, including drawing and ballet.
Zitong Wang began playing the piano with her grandfather when she was two and a half years old. She began formal piano studies with Hua Chang at age five. In 2006, she won 1st Place in the Xinghai Competition and the Performance Award for Chinese Composition. In 2007, Zitong won 1st Place in both the KAWAI Piano Competition and the Steinway Competition in China. At age eight, she was admitted to the middle school attached to the Beijing Conservatory of Music where, in 2009, she began studying with Mr. Yuan Sheng.
Norman Krieger, Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California
Julian Martin, Juilliard School of Music
Yong-Hi Moon, Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University
Elizabeth Pridonoff, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
Santiago Rodriquez, Frost School of Music, University of Miami
The VWIPC is pleased to announce the 2011 Master Class teachers for the Junior and Intermediate Competition:
Santiago Rodriguez, Cuban-American virtuoso and Silver Medalist at the 1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, will conduct the Master Class for local, Coachella Valley students on Saturday, March 26.
Elizabeth Pridonoff, performer, adjudicator and master class teacher who is currently at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, will give the Junior Master Class on Saturday, April 2.
Julian Martin, winner of several piano competitions, and an international performer who teaches at The Juilliard School, will teach the Intermediate Master Class on Saturday, April 2.
Ernst Krenek Prize – Stanislav Khristenko
Taiwanese pianist Wen-Yin Chan has performed throughout the United States and abroad, including such venues as Carnegie Hall and the Taiwan National Recital Hall. She has won numerous national and international prizes, including 1st Prize at the Taiwan National Music Competition at 14, and a year later, 2nd Prize at the Taipei Chopin Piano Competition.
She received a special prize from the Moscow International Chopin Piano Competition for Young Artists, after which she was invited to perform at the Polish Embassy in Moscow. Ms. Chan began playing the piano at age four. After graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she worked with pianist Peter Serkin, she continued her studies under the tutelage of Claude Frank at Yale University. She is currently a Doctor of Musical Arts candidate at Yale University.
Dr. Young-Hyun Cho is recognized as a versatile pianist, appearing as orchestral soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. As a soloist, she has appeared with the Eastman Symphony Orchestra, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra and the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra. As a recitalist, she has performed in notable venues across the United States and Asia. Dr. Cho is an active chamber musician and was selected as a member of the Eastman Chamber Music Society. She received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music, a Master of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music degree from Seoul National University. Her teachers include Nelita True, Boris Slutsky and Mi Kyung Kim.
Eric Clark has performed at Carnegie Mellon University, Carnegie Music Hall in Pittsburgh, the Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania and at Severance Hall in Cleveland. In 2006, he performed with the Sinfonia Perugina at a summer festival in Umbria. Mr. Clark has achieved success in many piano competitions and was a finalist in the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Concerto Competition in 2008 and a semi-finalist in the 2008 Viardo International Piano Competition. He also won second place in the 2008 Steinway Society of Western Pennsylvania Competition. He graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 2007 with University and College Honors and has studied with Sergey Schepkin and Enrique Graf.
Kimball Gallagher made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2008 at Weill Recital Hall and has performed at many other venues in New York and New England. He has also appeared with the Shepherd School Symphony in Houston. Mr. Gallagher was the recipient of a top prize at the Corpus Christi International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Washington International Competition and the Juilliard Concerto Competition. He was a Tanglewood Fellow in 2004. His principal teachers include Joseph Smith, Robert McDonald, Jeanne Kierman Fisher and Jonathan Biss. He is a graduate of Rice University with a Bachelor of Music degree and The Juilliard School with a Master of Music degree.
Yoko Hagino was born and raised in Japan, where she began her piano studies at age four. As a child, she performed her own compositions in Europe and in the United States. She has won several piano competitions in Japan and the U.S. Ms. Hagino received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees with honors from Tokyo National University and won its concerto competition. She earned an Artist Diploma from the Longy School of Music, studying with Victor Rosenbaum, and again won the school’s concerto competition. She completed a Performance Diploma at Boston Conservatory as a student of Michael Lewin and received the Churchill Scholarship. She has performed throughout New England, in Germany, and on live radio in Switzerland.
Yoonjung Han is a recipient of “Most Promising Young Artist” award from the Korean Minister of Culture after receiving the Grand Prize at the Korea National Competition. She has been a prize winner in many competitions, including the Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition where she was the youngest contestant. Ms. Han made her debut with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra at age 13, and has performed both as a soloist and with orchestra throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute and is pursuing her Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School, studying with Robert McDonald. She is a recipient of Gina Bachauer and Munz Chopin Scholarships at Juilliard.
Born into a musical family, Miao Hou began her piano studies in China at age four and by seventeen had concertized throughout China. She has won numerous competition prizes in China and the United States and was a finalist at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. She has appeared as a soloist in many US venues and has participated in many music festivals. Ms. Hou recently had her Carnegie Hall debut under the baton of Leon Fleisher. She is a graduate of The Curtis Institute of Music, where she was a pupil of Seymour Lipkin and received the school’s Festorazzi Prize for “Best Pianist of the Year.” She is now pursuing her Master of Music Degree from The Juilliard School, where she studies with Jerome Lowenthal.
Hyeyeon Jung, born in Seoul, Korea, earned the Master of Music degree from Cleveland Institute of Music. She began studying piano at age seven and since then has placed in various competitions in Korea. Ms. Jung has also been featured as a soloist with the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, Sunwha Symphony Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She has been invited to several music festivals including Sydney, Salzburg, Bowdoin, and Kent/Blossom where she was active in chamber music. She was recently named the recipient of the Dr. Joseph and Bess Scharff Leven Prize in Piano at Cleveland Institute of Music. She has studied with Robert McDonald, John Perry, Sergei Babayan, Ann Schein and Jerome Lowenthal.
Tanya Karyagina is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at the University of Southern California, where she studies with John Perry. She was born in Kazakhstan, studied at the Central Music School in Moscow, and graduated from the Special Music College in Almaty in her native country. Ms. Karyagina received the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance, magna cum laude, from Texas Christian University, where she studied with Tamas Ungar. She went on to earn a Master of Music Degree and Artist Diploma from the University of Southern California. A frequent competition winner, she has performed with orchestras in Kazakhstan, Italy, Texas, and has given recitals in Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and California. Her debut CD features works of Bach through Rachmaninov.
Stanislav Khristenko was born in Ukraine and studied at the Children’s Musical School in Kharkov with Larisa Oschepkova. He went on to graduate from Moscow Chopin College and Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory, where he studied with Professor Vera Gornostaeva, Maxim Philippov and Daria Petrova. He is currently pursuing his Artist Diploma at Cleveland Institute of Music with Seigei Babayan. Mr. Khristenko is a prize winner of many international competitions and festivals and has held grants from the Mstislav Rostropovich Foundation and the Russian Performance Art Foundation. He gives concerts throughout Europe, Russia and Asia, and his CD recordings have been issued in the Netherlands, Germany and Russia.
Mihyun Kim holds a Bachelor Degree from Seoul National University, and a Master of Music Degree from Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Oregon, where she studies with Dean Kramer and holds a Graduate Teaching Fellowship. She has served on the faculty of Busan Arts Middle and High Schools in South Korea and on the faculty at Dongeui University. Ms. Kim has performed widely in Korea and Oregon and at the Aspen Music Festival, as well as the Sommeracademie Mozarteum.
Jihae Lim was born in Seoul, Korea and began private piano studies at the age of four. She participated in the Young Virtuoso International Competition in Moscow and won third prize at the age of fifteen. She has won numerous competitions including the Bradshaw and Buono International Competition in New York (2005), the International Chopin Competition in Japan (2004) and the Eumyoen Competition (2002). She received her Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from Seoul National University and her Master of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music where she studied with Solomon Mikowsky. Ms. Lim is currently in the graduate program of piano performance at New York University, studying with Eduardus Halim.
Serhii Morozov holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Maryland, where he studied with Larissa Dedova, a Master of Music from Moscow State Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music from Dnepropetrovsk State Music College in Ukraine. He has won prizes in many piano competitions in Ukraine, Italy and the United States. Mr. Morozov has appeared as soloist with the World Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati; the Flint Symphony in Michigan; the National Symphony of Kiev; and orchestras in Ukraine and Russia. As a recitalist, he has performed in Russia, Ukraine, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and throughout the eastern United States.
Yuka Nakayama has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in both Japan and the United States. She received both her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from Tokyo Gakugei University, graduating summa cum laude. She accepted an assistantship offer at Ball State University, where she received her Artist Diploma in 2008 and is currently working on the Doctor of Music degree in Piano Performance. Her primary teachers include Takamichi Kobayashi, Hiromi Takazawa, and Ray Kilburn.
Hye-Yeon Park made her debut at age ten with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra and then went on to win prizes at most of the top competitions in Korea. Internationally, she has won prizes in the United States, Germany and Spain. Ms. Park has performed extensively as a recitalist and soloist, has appeared at many music festivals and has been featured on television in Korea, Mexico and Spain. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Korean National University under full scholarship, studying with Daejin Kim. Under the tutelage of Peter Frankl, she obtained her Master of Music degree and Artist Diploma at Yale University. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Peabody Institute, where she studies with Yong Hi Moon.
Ji Soo Seo
Ji Soo Seo holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the Seoul National University and a Master of Music from the Eastman School. She is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts at Eastman School of Music where she is a Graduate Assistant in accompanying and a Teaching Assistant to Professor Barry Snyder. She has performed at the International Academy in Scotland, where she received 1st Prize, the Prague International Piano Master Classes, and the New Paltz, New York Summer Festival. As a 1st Prize winner at Bradshaw and Buono International Competition, she performed in Weill Recital Hall.
Pianist Liza Stepanova debuted at age 11 at the Philharmonic Hall of her native Belarus. After moving to Germany, she performed in many concert halls in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France and Sweden. Since 2004, she has appeared in many venues in the United States and performed live on WQXR, New York’s classical music station. Ms. Stepanova has been the top prize winner in many piano competitions. She earned her Master of Music degree in piano performance from The Juilliard School under the guidance of Jerome Lowenthal and a Bachelor of Music degree from the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin, studying with Georg Sava. In 2007, she began the DMA program at The Juilliard School as a C. V. Starr Doctoral Fellow, studying with Seymour Lipkin and Joseph Kalichstein.
Tianjiao Wang began her piano study at age seven. At the age of nine, she gave her first public performance and since then she has won many prizes in piano competitions and made numerous public appearances throughout China. Ms. Wang has performed as soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Shenyang Symphony Orchestra and Xiamen Symphony Orchestra. She completed degrees from Shanghai Conservatory of Music and Indiana University. She has studied with Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Fou Tsong, and Jerome Lowenthal.
A native of Japan, Chie Watanabe graduated from Tokyo College of Music with a Bachelor of Music degree and received an Artist Diploma from Texas Christian University, where she was a winner of the University Concerto Competition. She continued graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, receiving a Master of Music degree as a student of Solomon Mikowsky. Ms. Watanabe has won many prizes and awards in Japan and the United States and had her New York debut as an Artists International prizewinner, performing at Carnegie Hall in 2006. She is currently a scholarship student of Gustavo Romero at the University of North Texas where she is pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree.
Jean Barr (USA), Professor of Music and Director of the Chamber Music Degree Porgram at the Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, New York
Boris Berman (Russia / USA), Professor of Piano at the School of Music at Yale University. Professor Berman will also teach the Master Solo Class on Saturday, April 4, 2009
Evelyne Brancart (Belgium / USA), Professor of Music and Chair of the Piano Department at Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana
Norma Fisher (United Kingdom), concert pianist, director of the London Master Classes and Professor of Piano at Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England
Ick Choo Moon (Korea), concert pianist and head of the Piano Faculty at the prestigious Seoul National University’s College of Music
Dubravka Tomsic (Slovenia), concert pianist and Professor of Music at Ljubljana Academy of Music in Slovenia
Frederick Weldy (USA), concert pianist and Senior Lecturer in Piano, School of Music at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California
Junior Solo Winners:
Intermediate Solo Winners:
Junior Concerto Winners
Intermediate Concerto Winners:
Stephanie Cai began studying piano at four and a half. At age 10, she competed in the 13th Annual U.S. Open Music Competition in Oakland, CA, placing 1st in the Solo Elementary Division and the Level 6a Category. In July 2006, she participated in the public master class for the Young Pianists Institute during the Portland International Piano Festival. She is a consistent winner in piano festivals and competitions in the Portland District of the Oregon Music Teachers Association. Some of Stephanie’s awards in 2006 were 1st Place in the Trula Whelan Concerto Competition, the OMTA Portland District Romantic Period Festival and Baroque Period Festival. in 2005 she was the winner of the same OMTA Awards plus the Classical Period Festival as well .
Andrea M. Choi started playing piano at the age of six and she has been improving her piano skills steadily since then. Andrea’s accomplishments include a grand prize at the 2004 Korea Times Youth Music Competition and 1st place winner at the 2005 California Association of Professional Music Teacher’s Bartok/Contemporary Festival. She was also a fourth place winner in the Young Artist Category and a 2nd place winner in the South American Composer category at the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. In addition, Andrea’s other recent accomplishments include a grand prize at the 2006 Orange County Korean Music Festival and a solo performance in Zipper Hall at the Colburn School of Performing Arts. Most importantly, she really loves and enjoys playing piano.
Gabrielle began violin at age four, piano at age five, and compositions at age nine. She studies piano with Maria Gomez and was in her first international competition in 2006, receiving a special award in the 10th Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, which is only the second time an American has received an honor at this renowned event. When she was nine she was invited as a piano and violin soloist with the Coral Gables Chamber Symphony. Her performance has aired many times as part of the public television program “American Ideal.” Gabrielle has been the recipient of 26 winner awards and many honors in the FFMC and FSMTA Florida state competitions for various piano, violin, and composition events since 2001.
Dennis Fang is a GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) student in recognition of his 4.0 G.P.A. and outstanding academic achievement. He studies piano under the direction of Ethan Dong and Ariel Yang of Opus 119 School of Music and has had master classes with Mary Ann Cummins, Chairman of the Elizabeth Mandell Music Institute of Santa Monica. His awards include 1st Place and Grand Prize in the 2006 Cypress Piano Competition-Contemporary Era, 1st Place in the 20066 Southwestern Youth Music Festival-Open Baroque Division and winner in the Open Solo and Open Concerto Divisions. Also in 2006 he was 1st Place winner in the MTAC Orange Count North Concerto Competition which resulted in performances with the Yorba Linda Orchestra at the Rising Stars Contest.
Alex Carolynne Few
Alex Few began studying piano at age seven and Eva Martin-Hollaus is currently her teacher. Her prizes and class participation began as early as 2002 when she was an alternate in the Bartok & Contemporary Music Festival and in 2003 when she received a superior rating in the same festival. in 2003, She also won a Gold Medal in the Temecula Valley Red Balloon Festival and performed in the Gold Medal Recital in 2003 and 2004. Also in the same year, she received 3rd place in the Arts Council of Temecula Piano Competition. In 2005, Alex participated in the Inland Empire Piano Festival, The Southern California Junior Bach Festival, and the Arts Council of Temecula Valley Piano Competition, where she placed 2nd. She also received a superior minus in the International Annual Composition Test American College of Musicians. She was a Steinway Society of Riverside County participant. In 2006, Alex received the Eva-Martin-Hollaus Piano Studio Outstanding Achievement of the Year Award.
Aileen Gozali currently studies piano with Xiaou Qi Li and she has participated in many competitions, master classes, and performances. In 2002 she won 2nd Place in the Xing Hai Bei Children’s Piano Competition, 4th place in the Asian Youth Piano Competition in Hong Kong, and 1st place in both the Meng Ya Pei Piano competition and the Toyoma Piano Competition. Master classes have included sessions with James Giles, Adam Gyorgy, Barry Snyder and Zhao Yi Tan. Performances have been included as prizes for winning the First Piano Competition in Jakarta, Indonesia, as well as in a Bartok Celebration & Mozart Anniversary Celebration In 2006, Aileen received a scholarship and participated in classes at Kinhaven Music School in Weston, Vermont.
Hilda Huang is a piano student of John McCarthy and a harpsichord student of Jorey Jamason in the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has also studied in the Music@Menlo Chamber Music Program, one of only four pianists selected after an international audition process. She received 1st Prize in the 2006 San Francisco Chopin competition in the US Open Music Competition
Raymond Ku started taking piano lessons at age seven and currently studies with Dr. Myong-Joo Lee. His competition achievements include 1st Prize at the 2006 MTAC Solo Competition South Division and 2nd Place in the MTAC State Final Competition. He also received 1st Place in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Open Solo Category and 2nd Place in the Open Chopin category. Raymond received top prize at the “Young Musician Festival,” and event celebrating a century of Korean immigration in 2003, top prizes in the ASCI Piano Festival in both 2003 and 2004, and he was 4th Place winner in the 34th Annual Korea Times Youth Music Competition in 2004. His solo appearances include a performance in the Biltmore Bowl Hall, California State University at Dominguez Hills and the Korean Cultural Center.
Aaron Kurz began his piano studies at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas. Shortly afterwards, he began composing minuets and other short pieces. Just prior to his seventh birthday, he was named Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Kid of the Month. Aaron transferred to the Preparatory Music Department at Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts, studying with Professor Carol Leone, Chairman of the Keyboard department. He performs regularly in their master classes and recitals and he accompanies for his school’s plays. Aaron continues to compose in his spare time; his current projects include preludes and sonatas. In 2006, he studied at the Bosendorfer International Piano Academy and at the University of Music in Vienna, taking master classes and studying with professor Wolfgang Watzinger, Krassimira Jordan and Carol Leone. Aaron was a prizewinner in the 2004 and 2006 North Texas Youth Competitions and in the 2006 Collin County Young Artist and Dallas Symphonic Festival Competitions.
Annie On-lei Kwok
Annie began studying the piano at the age of four under the tutelage of Ellen Masaki. She received Honorable Mentions in the 2005 Honolulu Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and Oahu Arts Center’s Mozart Festival. She tied for 1st Place in the Thayer Piano 100th Anniversary Celebration’s advanced elementary largest repertoire division, 2nd Place in the elementary level sight-reading competition and a 3rd Place tie in the musical scale competition. Also in 2005, Annie performed with the Windward Ensemble Group at the Calvary Episcopal Church. She has also performed for the Honolulu Symphony’s Women’s Associates, the Morning Music Club, the Arts and Letters Organization and at the University of Hawaii Orvis Auditorium.
Evan Lin has been studying the piano since the age of six, under the guidance of Ms. Joanna Fan. Evan has received many awards in an array of competitions during this time. In 2005, Evan was 1st place winner at the Hawaii Music Teacher’s Assn. Junior Artists Auditions, won 1st Place at Oahu Art Center’s Mozart Festival and 1st Place at the 2005 Honolulu Symphony Music Talent Pool Competition, He is a recipient of the Rita Thompson Music Scholarship and Grant from the Morning Music Club. Along with playing the piano, Evan also studies the violin with James Stanford and takes pleasure in composing music. He won the 2005 and 2006 state level Reflections Program for the musical composition category.
Jan Lisiecki began his piano studies at age five at the the Mount Royal College Conservatory. From 2003 to 2006, he was the winner of the National Finals of the Canadian Music Competition and in 2005 was also awarded the CBC Galaxy Rising Star Scholarship for the highest mark in the competition. in 2006, he performed with the NACO (Canada) Orchestra with Pinchas Zuckerman conducting and, for the Gala Concert, performed on the same program with Yo Yo Ma, Gil Shaham and Emanual Ax. Jan was the winner of the Calgary Concerto Competition and was personally invited by her Excellency, the Governor General of Canada to play a recital in Rideau Hall. He was 1st Place winner representing Calgary at the Alberta Provincial Music Festival for 12 and under in 2005 and for 16 and under in 2006. He has twice appeared with both the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and with the Calvary Civic Symphony. Jan is also a composer and his work on at the National Finals of the Canada Music Week Writing Competition and placed 2nd in the CBC Mozart Variations Competition.
Cindy Lu began studying with Dr. Paul Wirth at the age of three. Chosen three times for the National Yamaha Jamboree, she won 1st Place in the 2006 Lee National Piano Competition, the Minnesota State Fair Talent Contest, and the St. Paul Conservatory of Music Piano Competition. She has also received honors at the Upper Midwest Piano Festival, the National Federation of Music Club Piano Festival, and the Minneapolis Music Teacher Federation Mozart Concerto Competition, which named her its youngest-ever winner. As a soloist, Cindy has performed throughout the Midwest, most recently at the Twin Cities Schmitt Music Center and at the Goshen, Indiana National Piano Teachers Workshop. She was also a featured soloist with the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Weston Mizumoto began playing piano lessons at age seven when he first heard a George Gershwin CD, which was an inspiration to him and an incentive to study classical music. He currently studies with Ariel Yang. In 20005, he started entering local and state piano competitions, and has won top awards in all he has entered. in 2006, these included 1st Place in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival , Open Concerto and Open Solo Divisions; 1st Place in the California-Nevada District Exchange Club Talent Competition- District and Regional Division and 2nd Place in the finals; 1st place in the MTAC Orange Coast Cities Romantic Festival and Classical Festival. He won 1st Place in the 2005 MTAC Concerto Competition and the Cypress College Piano Competition/Romantic Era. At age 11, Weston was thrilled when he was awarded a solo performance at the Irvine Barclay Theater Accompanied by the Four Seasons Youth Orchestra, Playing Gershwin’s Concerto in F.
Although only 12, Colton has already performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, playing the Gershwin “Rhapsody in Blue.” He repeated his performance with the Allegra Orchestra in Wayzata, MN, then spent the summer studying in Aspen. He has performed on the “Salon De Leve Concert” series which showcases young emerging artists. Colton also performed on television playing the 1st and 5th Concerti and the Pathetique Sonata on the “Beethoven’s Back” program. At nine he played with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and was the youngest player to ever solo with the orchestra. In 2005 he was the winner of the Minneapolis Piano Teacher’s Forum Concerto Competition and also participated in a Jeffrey Kahane Master Class. He is scheduled to play six more concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra in January 2007 and will also perform with the Des Moines Symphony
Kristin Qian began piano at five and has studied with Elizabeth Stern for the last two years. Several months after beginning her training, she became a winner in the 2003 National Guild of Piano Teachers. She won consecutive Piano OMTA Festivals from 2003 to 2006 and the Trula Whelan Concerto Competition in 2006. Kristin has had master classes with Professor Ingrid Clarfield from Rider University at the Eighth Annual Portland International Piano Festival and with Dr. Jean-David Coen of the Aspen Music Festival & School. She started writing music at an early age and her original music composition “Mozart, the Musical Dog” won an award from the National Junior Keynotes Magazine. She is also a violinist and has participated in competitions and performed in many concerts. An Accomplished fine artist, one of Kristin’s paintings was collected by president George W. Bush in the White House in 2005.
Tyler Ramos has studied piano with Ellen Masaki since the age of seven. He received Honorable Mention in the 2006 Oahu Arts Center Mozart Piano Competition, and the 2003 and 2005 Hawaii MTNA Piano Competitions. In the 2005 Thayer Piano 100th Anniversary Celebration, Tyler won a 1st Place tie in the Advanced Elementary Repertoire Competition. Competing against students much older than he, he also received Honorable Mention in the 2004 Oahu Arts Center Mozart Piano Competition . He has performed many times on KHPR, Hawaii’s public radio station. In addition to the piano, Tyler has started studying the cello and is already 2nd chair cello in the Honolulu Youth Symphony’s Concert String Orchestra
Trenton Takaki studies piano with Sueanne Metz and has won many awards. In 2006, he was 1st Place winner in the Granquist Music competition; Third Place winner in the Augustana College, Lee Piano Competition; finalist in the Society of American Musicians; and 1st Place winner in the North Shore Music Teachers Association, 1st Place in the North Shore Music Teachers Sonata- Sonatina Festival and 1st Place in the Illinois Music Association Competition. In 2006 he participated in a master class with Mary Sauer and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra
T.J. Keanu Tario
T.J. Tario won his first Concerto Competition at the age of eight and played with the Honolulu symphony in a concert. He won it again at age 10. In 2006 he won a Mozart Competition and in 2005 he won the HMTA Piano Competition. He has performed for the Governor and Lt. Governor of Hawaii at Washington Place, played at Ihilani Spa and Resort for a Hewlitt Packard convention in 2004, and, dressed as a young Mozart, T.J. played in the pre-show entertainment for Diamond Head Theater’s production of Amadeus. He has also performed at Kawaiaha’o Church and the Morning Music Club (Honolulu Symphony Association).
Wesley Tiu began piano studies at age four. Under the guidance of his teacher, Violette Hu, he has on numerous Southern California Junior regional and Branch Bach Festivals, multiple MTAC Branch Contemporary Festivals, and won 1st Place in 2004 and 2nd Place in 2003 in the Chinese American Education Association’s annual piano competitions. He was second alternate in MTAC’s 2005 State Concerto Competition- Division 1, Southern California Regional Audition and honorable mention in the 2006 MTAC State Solo Competition- Division 1, Southern California Regional Audition. Wesley also plays the violin and is a member of CSUN Symphony Orchestra. He is also the concertmaster of his school orchestra.
Reiko Tsuchida began to love the piano when she heard her big sister practicing. At age three, she began studying piano and played in public that same year. When he family moved to San Francisco, she started lessons at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she presently studies with the Director of the Preparatory Division, John McCarthy. in 2006, she was one of fifteen, and the youngest, selected to compete in the semifinal round of the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition. In 2005 Reiko was the first solo pianist to win both state solo Piano competitions (CAPMT “Honors Auditions” and MTAC); and she won 1st Place in the 10th Annual San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. While only eight, she was a prizewinner in the International Chopin Piano Competition of Asia and at age six she was the youngest pianist invited to perform at the Junior Bach Festival in Berkeley, California. She will participate in the Yehundi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar this summer.
Audrey Vardanega began piano lessons at age six and now studies with Robert Schwartz in San Francisco. In 2006, she was 1st Prize winner of the U.S. Open Music Competition- Junior Piano Concerto Division, was selected to perform at the Junior Bach Festival in Berkeley and was awarded a full scholarship to study piano from the Vienna International Young Pianists, Vienna, Austria. In 2003 Audrey was a winner of the Yamaha National Jamboree for piano solo and in 2004 she was a winner for violin and piano. She also plays violin and studies with Wei He.
Tracy Wong began her piano lessons at age of four and was twice the winner of the Ohio Music Teacher Association Competition. After a two year hiatus, she met her current teacher, Sergei Polusmiak and has made great progress since then. She recently played a recital with the piano students at Northern Kentucky University.
Audrey Yim began piano lessons at age five and currently studies with Paul Huebner. She has participated in several competitions and in 2006 she placed third in the SYMF Young Pianist category, 2nd Place in the MTAC State Concerto Competition, Southern California Division, and winner in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival (Branch and Regional). Audrey placed Fourth in the SYMF Young Pianist category in 2005 and Third in the Cypress Piano Competition- Romantic Era. She has performed a Mozart Concerto in concert with orchestra, in an Opening Night Mozart Piano Recital and in a Chamber Music Concert with the Stenske-Acosta Trio. She also participated in a master class with Dr. Robert Roux at the Virginia Waring Piano Competition.
John Yoo began to play piano at the age of 7. In 2004 he received a Superior Performance rating in the National Federation of Music Club Contest. In 2005, he was a 3rd Place winner in the MTAC Los Angeles Scholarship Competition, and received the Grand Prize at the 35th Korea Times Annual Children’s Music Competition, which resulted in performing in a recital as a soloist at St. Mary’s college. He is scheduled to perform at Wilshire Ebell Theatre in 2007 with the Pasadena Youth Chamber Orchestra.
Chris Zhang studies piano with Fang-Fang Shi Inouye and has a 2006-2007 YMF Scholarship. He participated in the 2006 SYMF Young Artist Concert with Festival Orchestra and was the 1st Place Winner in the Pianist Competition. Also in 2006, he was the 2nd Place winner in the MTAC State Concerto Festival. In 2005 Chris took 1st Place at the Bach Festival Complete complete Works Audition and 2nd Place in the MTAC State Solo Competition.
Sarina Zhang began formal piano training at five and a half with Mrs. Tatiana Stignev and began cello study at seven with Mr. Lu-Yan Guo she also took private piano lessons with Maestro Vladimir Viardo. In 2006 she had her Carnegie Hall debut on “From the Top, Live from Carnegie Hall,” a PBS T.V. show to be broadcast in 2007. In 2006, she won the San Diego MTAC Concerto Competition and the San Diego Symphony’s Young Artist Competition. Sarina also won the 2005 International Russian Piano Competition, the 2005 and 2006 MTAC Southern California Piano Solo Competition and the state VOCE Competition. In 2005 she also won both the piano and cello title in the Goodlin Scholarship Competition. She is the youngest member and assistant principal cello in the San Diego Civic Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the San Diego Symphony and the New City Sinfonia and has worked with Maestro Matthew Barbutt, Maestro Nuvi Mehta and Maestro Danielle Ratelle.
Jason Bae is from South Korea and moved to New Zealand in 2002 to study English. His music teacher for the last four years has been Rae De Lisle and during that time he has won several competitions, including 1st prizes and 1st prizes in the North Shore Performing Art Piano Competition and in the West Auckland Performing Arts Piano Competition.In 2005, Jason was the winner of the Rotorua Unison Junior Recital Competition. He placed 2nd and was also awarded Most Promising Pianist Award in the Kapiti Coast National Piano Competition for under 25 year olds. Key performances include the Grieg Piano Concerto in a minor with the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor” with the Auckland Symphony Orchestra
Caitlin Carmack began playing the piano at the age of 7 and is currently a student of Dr. Irene Peery-Fox. She has won many competitions including 2nd prize in the Encore Keyboard Competition in 2006. In 2005 she won 1st prize, Utah Valley Symphony Young Artists Competition; 1st Prize, Utah Symphony Salute to Youth Competition; 1st Prize American Fork Symphony Salute to Youth Competition; 1st Prize Encore Music Assn. Concerto Competition; 2nd Prize, Utah State Fair Intermediate Piano Competition and 2nd Prize UMTA Concerto Competition.
Maile Cha is in the 10th grade and was the 2005 winner of the Honolulu Symphony’s Concerto Competition. She was also first Alternate in the Hawaiian Music Teacher’s National Assn.’s Junior Performance Competition in 2004 and 2005. She currently studies the piano with Ellen Masaki. At age 9, Maile received an honorable mention in the Honolulu Symphony Concerto Youth Talent Competition. She has studied with Martin Canin of Juiliard, and has master classes from Lang Lang, Steven Graff, and Normal Kreiger
Gary Chan started playing piano at the age of six and currently studies with Edward Francis. He has won many competitions, including the Young Pianists Competition and the Artists of Tomorrow Competition in 2004, in which he played the Chopin Concerto No. 2 with the Brentwood Westwood Symphony. In 2006, he won the Discovery Artist Competition. He has performed at the Rising Stars Recital with the Thousand Oaks Orchestra, at the Certificate of Merit Panel Honors Recital in Los Angeles and he was one of eight winners of a United States Chopin Foundation Scholarship. Gary also plays first violin in the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra.
Priscella Chan began her piano studies at age five. At age 10, she made her concerto debut with the South-western Youth Music Festival Baroque Orchestra. She has performed with the L.A. Bach Festival String Quartet and the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra and appeared on KMZT 105.1 FM “Sunday’s Live”. Priscella has also performed with the Youth Musicians Foundation at the World Piano Pedagogy Conference. Her prizes include Grand Prize winner in the 2006 Glendale Piano Competition, 1st Prize at the MTAC State Concerto Competition, the SYMF Open Solo Baroque, Young Baroque Musician and Piano Trio categories and the Cypress College Piano Competition. She has received honors in the Long Beach Mozart Festival, at the Antelope Valley Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, among others. Priscella attended the 2005 Summer Institute of Chamber Music at the University of the Pacific Conservatory under full scholarship and in September 2006, made her solo recital debut at the United University Church on the U.S.C campus.
Yue Deng began her piano lessons at the age of four in China and currently studies with Dr. Elvin Rodriguez. In 2006 she began participating in piano competitions and has won various prizes 1st Prize in the MTAC Riverside Young Musicians Competition (High School Division I), second place in both the Rotary Internationl District 5330 Piano Competition and the Inland Empire Piano Music Festival (Solo Divison IV-), and she was a finalist in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival. She also participated in a Master Class given by the Steinway Society of Riverside, coached by Kevin FitzGerald. Yue also studies the cello and was the principal cello of the Sacramento Youth Symphony Orchestra in 2004-2005 and was a member of the Claremont Young Musicians Intermezzo Orchestra in 2005-2006
Ronald Ho started studying the piano at age six and is a student of Glenn Riddle at the College of Arts Secondary School. He was 2nd Prize winner in 2006 in the third IIYM International Piano Competition, Dandenong Festival’s Chopin Prize, and the Musical Society of Victoria’s Pat Leslie Award. Ronald is a two-time finalist in the Yamaha National Piano Competition. In 2005 He made his Concerto debut performing Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 with the Zelman Symphony. At the age of nine, he was awarded his AMusA. Ronald also enjoys playing chamber music.
Gi-Young “Alice” Hwang
Alice Hwang is currently a student at the Idyllwild Arts Academy and studies primarily with Paul Huebner. She attended a workshop in Warsaw, Poland, participated in the Cold Country Piano Institute in Nevada City, and attended the Aspen Music Festival and School. Alice was the 2006 winner of the Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival and was 1st Place winner in the Young Pianist Category of the South-western Youth Music Festival, resulting in a performance with the Festival Orchestra. In 2005, she was the winner of the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Auditions with a performance at the Redlands Bowl.
Irwin Jiang studies piano with Ellen Masaki. In 2006 he was the Scholarship Competition Winner in the Morning Music Club of Honolulu and in 2005 he received Honorable Mention in the MTNA Baldwin State Competition.
Jonathan Keith has studied piano for the past seven years with Dr. Irene Peery-Fox. In 2006 he was the All-Star Winner of the Utah Symphony Concerto Competition and he also won the Utah Symphony Youth Guild Solo Competition. He won 1st place in the UMTA concerto competition in 2005. He has performed many times with the Utah Valley Symphony, the American Fork Symphony, and played the Hyde Park Concert series in London in 2004. Jonathan won four 1st place awards at the Boise International Festival for Creative Pianists in 2004 and 1st Place two years in a row for the “best composition” award. His composition for “Jazz Big Band” won the National MENC Composition Competition, and he performed in a national convention in 2005.
Christine Kim is a student of John McCarthy at the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Christine made her concerto debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony at the age of 12 and has received numerous awards: Grand Prize in the Korea Times Piano Competition, 1st Prize in both the Chopin Foundation of San Francisco and Thera Rabinowitch Competitions. In addition to her commitment to the piano, Christine also plays the cello.
Danielle Kim is a student of Ema Gulabyan in Palo Alto and is accomplished musically and scholastically. Her musical awards include 3rd place in the Ross McKee Piano Competition in 2006; 2nd Place, Olympiad of the Arts; 2nd Place and Best Performance in an Etude, Peninsula Symphony Concerto and Solo Piano Competition; Grand Prize winner, 14th Annual Open Music Competition and 1st Place at the Bartok Contemporary Music Festival
Jae Kim began piano lessons at the age of seven and is currently studying with Myong-Joo Lee. She has many musical accomplishments and was chosen to be one of the fourteen pianists accepted to participate in the “Meisterkurs Klavier John Perry” in Germany in 2006. in 2004 she placed 2nd in the Bach Festival and received 4th Plac e in the solo competition at the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. After winning 1st Place in the W.Y.A. National Korean Youth Competition in 2001, she attended the Sun-Hwa Music Prodigy Academy in 2002 and 2003.
Connie Kim-Sheng has been studying piano with John Perry for Nine Years. She made her first public piano appearance when she turned five. She has attended Morningside Music Bridge summer program for the last three years, where participants are awarded full scholarships. In 2006, she placed second in the concerto competition and in 2005 was a prize winner in the chamber music competition. Also in 2005, Con nie attended a music festival in Sydney, Australia, where performed a Grieg concerto and in May of 2005, she was a featured pianist on the NOPR radio program “From the Top”. Most recently she was named a Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship recipient.
George Ko began playing the piano at the age of five with Dr. M. W. Chen. When he was eight, he started to study with Mr. Leonid Levitsky who graduated from Moscow Conservatory and is a well-known concert pianist. George has played in recitals and school productions. He has received many awards in competitions and festivals, including 1st Prize in the Saddleback Contemporary Festival, 1st Prize in the Musical Arts Club of Orange County and 1st Prize in the Orange County Talent Search. His most recent accomplishments were participating in the Bradshaw and Buono International Paino Competion and performing in Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2006. Besides the piano, George also plays the guitar, saxophone, and the Chinese flute
Yuebing (Brian) Lin
Yuebing (Brian) Lin currently studies with Eleanor Wong of Hong Kong and in 2004 performed in the Korea-China Exchange Concert of Piano Prodigies in Seoul Korea. He has received three prized in 2004, including 2nd Place Award at the First National Art Academy of China, 2nd Place Award at the Tenth XingHai Cup National Youngster & Children Piano Competition of China, and 3rd Place Award at the Second National Youngster Piano Competition of China. He placed 2nd in the Toyama Asian Youth Music Competiton in 2004 and received 1st Place and Best Performance Award, Children’s Group at the Kingsburg Cup in 1999. He has also won English and Math competitions in school in Shenzen.
Grace Li Ma
Grace Li ma gave her first public recital at Arizona State University at age 9. She played at the World Pedagogy Conference in Las Vegas and Nashville in 2003 and 2004, and played liver performances on NPR in Lawrence, Kansas and KBAO Phoenix in 2004. She gave two performances at Royal Mount Conservatory in Calgary, Canada, a solo recital at Bosendorfer Saal in Vienna, Austria and was a National Winner at the National Keyboard Piano Pedagogy Conference in 2005. Her prizes and awards include 1st Prize in the Phoenix Symphony Guild Young Musician Concerto Competition in 2005; National 1st Prize winner of MTNA Junior Baldwin Piano Competition and winner of the Stravinsky International Piano Competition in 2004. Other prizes include Young Artist Piano Competition and Outstanding Festival Performance Award in 2002.
Page Moon studies piano with Svetlana Velitchko. In 2006, she was a semi-finalist, advancing to the third round of the Oberlin International Piano Competition and was a senior division alternate in the MTNA Northwestern Competition. Page also participated as part of the peer jury at the Gina Bachauer International Artists Piano Competition. She has performed in the Downey Marguerite Piano Competition, receiving 1st Prizes in both the Junior and Intermediate levels. In 2005, Page was awarded 1st Prize in the MTNA State Senior Division and in 2003 was a 1st Prize winner in the Junior Division. Also, in 2005, she performed a solo piano recital at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
Alexander Nelson began winning major competitions at an early age. By 2003 he had won the Southern California Junior Bach Festival, South Bay Branch, played in the Certificate of Honors Recital and received Honorable Mention in the Artists of the Future Concerto Competition. In 2004, he performed at the Music Teachers’ Association of California Convention in San Diego and gave a recital at the Young Artist Peninsula Festival Competition. Alexander also played a recital at the Norris Theatre and attended both the Liszt Academy Festival in Hungary and the World Piano Pedagogy Conference in Australia. In the Southern California Junior Bach Festival in 2005, he was the Regionals winner, the piano/violin duo winner, the 1st Prize winner in the Solo Division and 1st Prize winner in the chamber music division. in 2006, he continued winning MTAC awards, appeared as a finalist in the Redlands Bowl Young Artists Competition and in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival.
Junyao Peng began her piano studies at age 6 and is currently under the tutelage of Richard Cianco of Cal. State U. at Sacremento. She won 3rd Place in the Sacramento Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition in 2005, playing the Grieg a minor Concerto. She won 1st Place in the Eight Annual Sylvia Ghiglieri Piano Competition and in 2006, received a scholarship and was chosen to compete as a finalist in the Stecher and Horowitz Foundation. She has performed with the Central Valley Youth Symphony, the Sacramento Philharmonic Symphony’s Fifth Birthday Pre-Concert, and at Formal Evenings in Arizona and Wisconsin at the architectural schools built by Frank Lloyd Wright. For five years, she was a Sacramento Philharmonic League Scholarship Recipient. Junyao has performed in master classes with the Yin Chengzong at the Festival of New American Music and with Van Cliburn Gold Medalist Jon Nakamatsu.
Andrew Ramos has studied piano since the age of eight and is currently under the tutelage of Ellen Masaki. In 2005, he won the 1st Prize in the Hawaii Music Teachers Assn. Baldwin Young Artist Competition, 1st Prize in the MTNA Regional Competition and 3rd Prize in the MTNA National Finals Competition. Andrew was a 2004 Honolulu Symphony Concerto Competition Honorable Mention Winner. Also in 2004, he won a 1st Place tie in the Thayer Piano 100th Anniversary Celebration (Junior High Largest Repertoire Competition) and a 3rd Place tie (Musical Scale Competition). He received 3rd Place in the Hawaii Music Teachers Assn. Junior Artist Level II Piano Competition in 2001. Andrew also studies the cello and is a member of the Honolulu Youth Symphony’s Concert Orchestra.
Hotaik Tommy Sung
Hotaik Tommy Sung is currently studying with Mack McCray and a previous teacher was Dr. Jonathan Jou. In 2005, he made his debut recitals at Santa Clara University and Cal. State University at Stanislaus. He has been awarded numerous prizes, including the Grand Prize (Christine Piper Plumb Memorial Scholarship) and 1st Place in his division at the MTAC Piano Solo Competition and 1st Place in the Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition, both in 2005. Hotaik received 1st Place in the Chinese Music Teachers Association of Northern California Youth Competition in 2004, 2003, and 2001; 1st Place in the Sylvia Ghiglieri Piano Competition in 2004 and 1st Place in the International Russian Music Competition in 2003. He has participated in several Master Classes.
Reed Tetzloff began studying piano at age 4 and has recently added composing to his accomplishments. His prizes include 1st Prize in the Northwestern Piano Competition in 2004, the Schubert Club Scholarship Competition in 2005; the Lee Biennial Piano Competition, the Young Artists Piano Competition, UMD Concerto Competition, and the Minnesota Orchestra Concerto Competition in 2006. His performances include the “Salon de Leve” Young Artist Series, the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series, a Minneapolis Music Teacher’s Forum Honors Recital and as a soloist for a national television program, “Music da Camera”. Reed has also played with the Minnesota Orchestra and the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra. He currently studies with Dr. Paul Wirth.
Jeremiah began his piano studies when he was six years old and has been a student of Ron Cole since 2000. He graduated from high school last year at the age of 14 and was Valedictorian of his class. At age 11, he won the High School Division of the North State Young Artist’s Auditions and as the winer, performed in concert with the North State Symphony, conducted by Kyle Wiley Pickett. Jeremiah has given solo performances, has played chamber music with the Sundial Music Project and has attended Master Classes with visiting artists. He gave his Master’s Recital at Tedding Old City Hall Performing Arts Center.
Vijay Venkatesh was born in Mission Viejo, CA and began studying piano at the age of 4. He made his concert debut at age 6 at the “International Friendship Concert” in Sacramento, CA. He was the 1st Prize winner at the 2006 American Beethoven Society Competition and is a five time winner of the Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship. Vijay also won 1st prize in the 2004 Russian Music International Piano Competition and the Young Artists Peninsula Music Festival. He has also appeared at Walt Disney Hall, San Jose State University, Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and Norris Center for the Performing Arts in San Jose.
Wei Xin Zhou
Wei Xin Zhou started studying piano at age 3 and is currently a student with Professor Christopher Zhong and Kuan-wen Wangm studying at Middle School Affiliated with Shanghai Conservatory of Music. In 2005 he won the 1st Prize in the Shanghai Conservatory of Music “Sander’s Cup” Cross-Taiwan Strait National Competition. In 2004, he was awarded the Special Prize at both the Gina Bachauer International Junior piano Competition and the Ettlingen International Competition for being one of the youngest participants. In 2002, Wei Xin as awarded 1st Prize for Excellence in the Chinese Children’s Piano Competitoon and in 2001 received the 2nd Prize “Toyama Cup” in the Shanghai International Piano Competition.
Dai Zhang has been winning piano competitions since she was in the first grade. She won both the solo and concerto competitions from 2003-2005 in the So. Carolina Music Teacher’s Assn. piano Auditions. For the past three years she has been declared the So. Carolina state winner of the MTNA Junior Piano competitions. She currently studies with Elizabeth Pridonoff and has participated in several summer music programs, some with scholarships, including the International Institute for Young Musicians Piano Academy and Adamant Music School Traditional Summer Sessions. Dai was featured on Vermont Public Radio in 2004 and 2005 through courtesy of the Adamant Music School. In 2003 she played in her first solo piano recital at Fort Hill Presbyterian Church.
Xuan Amy Zhang
Xuan Amy Zhang studies with John McCarthy and has participated in competitions, taking 1st Place in the Open Chopin Category in SYMF Competition in 2004 and 4th Place in the Young pianist Category in SYME competition in 2005. She played with a trio in Junior Chamber Music and the group was a finalist in the VOCE Competition of MTAC. She performed in the Stars of Tomorrow Concert, and in 2006, participated in the Gold Country Piano Institute and the Warsaw Piano Workshop.
Elvina Truman Pearce teaches the Intermediate Master Class on Monday, March 26, 2007 starting at 9 am.
ELVINA TRUMAN PEARCE attended the University of Tulsa followed by study in New York City with the renowned Russian artist-teacher, Isabelle Vangerova. She was also a longtime pedagogy student of Frances Clark I in Princeton, N.J. For fourteen years, she taught pedagogy and directed the Preparatory Piano division at Northwestern University. She currently resides in Naperville, IL where for more than twenty years she has been associated with North Central College, both as a teacher and as a director of its Division of Preparatory and Community Music, a program which she founded in 1980. Her concert career is highlighted by a solo appearance with the Chicago Symphony in Orchestra Hall, a coast-to-coast broadcast over The Chicago Theater of the Air, and by recitals in Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
JANE SMISOR BASTIEN teaches the Junior Master Class on Sunday, March 25 starting at 9 am.
The Bastien name has become synonymous with piano pedagogy. With more than 300 books to their credit, Jane, her late husband, James and their daughters, Lisa and Lori, have inspired millions of teachers and piano students worldwide.
Jane, the daughter of piano teacher Gladys Smisor, developed a love for piano very early in her life. She began piano lessons with Leota Anderson in Hutchinson, Kansas, at the age of three. Jane received an Associate of Arts degree from Stephens College, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College, and a Master of Arts degree from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. Her piano teachers during her college years included the late David Milliken, Santos Ojeda, and Isabelle Vengerova.
In 1958 Jane founded the Preparatory Piano Department of Music at Newcomb College, Tulane University. She taught piano pedagogy at Newcomb and also maintained a fulltime teaching studio of pre-college students, which inspired her to begin creating what is now known as Bastien teaching materials.
Jane currently maintains a full time teaching schedule in her home studio in La Jolla, California. She teaches students of all ages and abilities and truly understands the day to day realities and challenges facing piano teachers.
Jane is committed to a tradition of excellence in piano pedagogy and continues to create new and exciting teaching materials for students. At the Centennial Convention of the Music Teachers’ Association of California, 1996, Jane and James Bastien received the award for lifelong dedication as piano teachers and composers. In 1999, Jane and James were presented with the Music Teachers’ National Association Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of their significant contribution to music and music education.
2005 WINNERS LIST
Senior Events – Ages 18 – 35
ERNST KRENEK COMPETITION
Mikhail Korzhev –
Winner – Teacher: Daniel Pollack
Prize: Solo Recital at the Bosendorfer-Saal in Vienna, Austria
Nationality: Russian – Resides in Rowland Heights, CA
Performance: Krenek’s Sonata No. 2, Opus 59
Sponsored by the Ernst Krenek Society
Naoko Sugiyama –
Winner – Teacher: Randall Hodgkinson
Nationality: Japanese – Resides in Brookline, Massachusetts
Sponsored by the Ernst Krenek Society
Stepan Simonian First Place
Winner – Teacher: Pavel Nersessi
Nationality: Russian – Resides in Moscow
Performance: Liszt Transcription of Wagner’s Overture to “Tannhauser”
Prize: Solo Recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, New York
Sponsored by the Adams Family
Hyun-Soo Lee –
Winner – Teacher: John Perry
Nationality: Korean – Resides in Los Angeles, California
Emi Kagawa –
Winner – Teacher: Christina Dahl
Nationality: Japanese – Resides in Forest Hills, New York
ORCHESTRAL COMPETITION WITH THE INTERNATIONAL
CHAMBER ENSEMBLE OF ROME
CONDUCTOR: FRANCESCO CAROTENUTO
Sungeun Kim –
Winner – Teacher: Julian Martin
Prize: Solo and Orchestral Performances in Rome, Italy with the International Chamber Ensemble of Rome
Nationality: Korean – Resides in Okemos, Michigan
Performance: Brahms Concerto in B-Flat, Opus 83
Accompanied by The International Chamber Ensemble of Rome – Conductor: Francesco Carotenuto
Sponsored in part by Isabel and Lawrence Barnett
Nikolai Maloff –
Winner – Teacher: Jane Coop
Nationality: Canadian – Resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Sarah Rhee – Honorable Mention –
Teacher: Nelita True
Nationality: Canadian – Resides in Rochester, New York
Stepan Simonian – 2005 McCallum Theatre Solo Recital Prize – January 15, 2006
Nikolai Maloff – A Solo Recital at Old First Church in San Francisco, Sponsored by the Ross McKee Foundation of the Bay Area – Sept. 23, 2005
Hyun-Soo Lee – A London Performance Award including a solo recital, a Concerto appearance with the “London Soloists Chamber Orchestra 2006 Series” and a full scholarship to London Master Classes, Summer 2006
Sungeun Kim – Recital on the 2005-2006 Sunday Afternoon Concert Series at the Palm Springs Desert Museum
Intermediate Events – Ages 13 – 17
Michelle Naughton – (aged 16)
Winner – Teacher: Sergei Babayan
Prize: Solo Recital on St. John’s Cathedral Concert Series in Denver, Colorado
Nationality: American – Resides in Madison, Wisconsin
Ryan MacEvoy McCullough – (aged 17)
Winner – Teacher: Dr. Deborah Clasquin
Nationality: American – Resides in Eureka, California
Michelle Naughton – (aged 16)
Prize: Artist in Residency with the Gulf Coast Symphony in Fort Meyers, Florida
The residency includes a performance with the Symphony, a Solo Recital and participation/performance in the Musical Gateways Education Program.
Ryan MacEvoy McCullough – (aged 17)
Sean Chen – Honorable Mention – Teacher: Edward Francis
Nationality: American – Resides in Oak Park, California
Michelle Naughton – A Solo Recital to open the new Rancho Mirage Library Auditorium – Jan. 31, 2006
Ryan MacEvoy McCullough – A Recital at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Palm Desert, under the auspices of the Donna Norman Memorial Fund – Feb. 5, 2006
Junior Events – Ages 12 and Under
Joseph Tsai (Age 12) – First Place Winner – Teacher: Chun Wang
Prize: A Recital with the “Music at Snowmass Chapel…Concerts for the Community” Series in Snowmass Village, Colorado
Nationality: American – Resides in Northridge, California
Elaine Zhong (Aged 12) – Second Place Winner – Teacher: Chunyi Wang
Nationality: American – Resides in Chino Hills, California
Fantee Jones (Aged 11) – Honorable Mention – Teacher: Hsieh Tien
Nationality: American – Resides in Roseville, California
Abigail Sin (Aged 12) – First Place Winner – Teacher: Thomas Hecht
Prize: Concerto Performance with the Lamont Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Lawrence Golan, at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music in Denver, Colorado on May 26, 2005.
Sponsored in part By Dr. and Mrs. Joseph L. Darr
Nationality: Singapore – Resides in Singapore
George Li (Aged 9) – Second Place Winner – Teacher: Dorothy Shi
Nationality: American – Resides in North Andover, Massachusetts
Andrew Tang (Aged 9) – Honorable Mention – Teacher: Paul Huebner
Nationality: American – Resides in Walnut, California
Andrew Tang – Eli Birer Memorial Award Winner
Sponsored by Lillian Birer Lapidus
Andrew also performed “Cat and the Mouse,” written by Aaron Copland at the Black and White Ball on February 6, 2005.
The Virginia Waring International Piano Competition [VWIPC] was pleased and proud to announce that after more than 16 years of association of mutual respect and esteem, the International Chamber Ensemble of Rome [the Orchestra], conducted by Maestro Francesco Carotenuto, was our Orchestra-in-Residence for the 2005 Senior Concerto Competition. This highly respected group of musicians have presented first place winners from the last five events in concert with the Orchestra in Rome to enthusiastic supportive audiences. Maestro Carotenuto has been a valuable member of our judging staff and member of the Honorary Artistic Committee of the VWIPC.
This “union” brought a long needed quality component to our selection of concerto winners, in addition to master class opportunities in Orchestral performance and Conducting with Maestro Carotenuto and the Orchestra. With this single addition, our 2005 Competition was greatly enhanced and provided a magnificent sold out Winners’ Concert for the greater cultural enjoyment of our area.
London Performance with the Academy of London Orchestra, Richard Stamp, Conductor, London, England
1986 – Anton Nel (Frank Weinstock, Teacher)
1987 – none awarded
1988 – Daniel Shapiro (Leon Fleisher, Teacher)
1989 – William (John) Nauman (Herbert Stessin, Teacher)
1991 – aka The City of Palm Desert Performance Award
Ervin Nagy (Tamas Ungar, Teacher)
1986 – Toma Labe (Michael Block, Teacher)
1987 – Mark Anderson (Aiko Onishi, Teacher)
1988 – Thomas Otten (John Perry, Teacher)
1989 – none awarded
1991 – Anders Martinson (James Bonn, Teacher)
1993 – aka The Minna and Robert Hirsch Award donated by Minna Hirsch
Jonathan Bass (Menahem Pressler, Teacher)
1997 – James Giles (Byron Janis, Teacher)
(Janet Geary New York Recital Award)
International Chamber Ensemble of Rome Italy Performance
Francesco Carotenuto, Conductor
1987 – Paner Ying (Mack McCray, Teacher)
1988 – Babette Hierholzer (Paul Badura-Skoda, Teacher)
1989 – Sandra Lau (John Browning, Teacher)
1991 – Anders Martinson (James Bonn, Teacher)
1993 – Mikhail Korzhev (Daniel Pollack, Teacher)
1997 – Lily Popova (Paul VanNess, Teacher)
Sao Paolo Symphony Performance, Sao Paolo Brazil
Maestro de Carbalho, Conductor
1988 – Daniel Shapiro (Leon Fleisher, Teacher)
1989 – Hyung-Sook Kim (Daniel Pollack, Teacher)
1991 – Anders Martinson (James Bonn, Teacher)
Joanna Hodges/Gina Bochauer Reciprocal Recital Performance Award
1987 – Anton Nel (Frank Weinstock, Teacher)
1988 – Sandra Lau (John Browning, Teacher)
1991 – Anders Martinson (Joames Bonn, Teacher)
1993 – Bridget Olavson (Krassimila Jordan, Teacher)
1997 – James Giles (Byron Janis, Teacher)
San Francisco Performance Award
1986 – Anton Nel (Frank Weinstock, Teacher)
(Old First Concert Series)
1987 – Mark Anderson (Aiko Onishi, Teacher)
(First Tanya Ury Memorial Award)
1988 – Thomas Otten (John Perry, Teacher)
(Old First Concert Series)
1989 – John Makanatsu (Marina Derryberry, Teacher)
(Tanya Ury Memorial Award)
1991 – Anders Martinson (James Bonn, Teacher)
(Tanya Ury Memorial Award)
1993 – John Novacek (Bruce Sutherland, Teacher)
Pasadena Conservatory of Music Recital Award
1985 – Gregg Pauley (Joanna Hodges, Teacher)
1986 – Ross Kalling (Scott Smith, Teacher)
1987 – Starla Hibler (John Banowetz, Teacher)
1988 – Renee Chang (Rizia Lin, Teacher)
1989 – John Novacek (Bruce Sutherland, Teacher)
1993 – John Novacek (Bruce Sutherland, Teacher)
To excite, educate, and engage the community at large with the joy of classical piano by presenting, promoting, and nurturing classical music through live piano performance including international competitions, concerts, and local educational outreach programs for all ages.
Alive and Well in the Contemporary World