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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.
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 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.
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