SEPF Competition Young Jury

Matthew Figel

Matthew Figel

“With a tone and approach entrancing from the outset,” (New York Concert Review, Inc.) Matthew Figel is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music, where he studies under Marina Lomazov. He received his undergraduate degree in Applied Music and Musical Arts from this institution as well, graduating with Highest Distinction and was further inducted into the musical honor society, Pi Kappa Lambda. While in his sophomore year, Matthew was named winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, becoming one of the youngest students to solo with the Eastman Philharmonia in the school’s history. Among his other awards are first prizes in the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition and the Harold Protsman Classical Period Competition. An alumnus of Interlochen Arts Academy, he was chosen as the school’s first-ever Senior Performer, offering a solo performance to represent the graduating class at the final Commencement ceremony. His teachers here included Thomas Lymenstull and Michael Coonrod before Matthew would begin studies with Nelita True. Matthew has performed in masterclasses instructed by Emanuel Ax, Pascal Rogé, Hung-Kuan Chen, Paul Lewis, and Simone Dinnerstein, among others. He is also an avid collaborative pianist and chamber musician, performing in masterclasses for artists such as Renée Fleming and Jon Nakamatsu. A past fellow at PianoFest in the Hamptons and PianoTexas International Festival and Academy, he has attended summer festivals such as the Aspen School of Music and the Southeastern Piano Festival. Matthew currently serves as the Artist-in-Residence at Valley Manor Living Center, where he performs monthly recitals for the senior community in Rochester, New York.


Yanting Wang

Yanting Wang

Born in China, Yanting Wang began studying piano at the age of five. Wang received her bachelor’s degree in music education major (with a focus on piano) from Shandong Normal University, with the awards of University's Outstanding Graduation Thesis and Outstanding Graduates. Wang received her master’s degree in piano performance and piano pedagogy from West Virginia University, with the award of West Virginia University Canady Scholarship. Now Wang is a DMA candidacy in piano pedagogy major at the University of South Carolina.

Yanting Wang is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association, who also learning and teaching constantly. She had a teaching internship at Shandong Normal University and West Virginia University. Wang also worked as a secretary at the University of South Carolina’s MTNA Collegiate Chapter. Currently, Wang working as a piano instructor at the University of South Carolina’s Center for Piano Studies.


Andrew Choi

Andrew Choi

Andrew Choi began playing piano at age of six. Before pursuing piano as a major area, he already had success in performances, school talent show, and music competitions, several of them in which he placed one of a top prize. While studying in college, he performed at Kosciusko Foundation (New York) and appeared twice on school webcast concert which was broadcasted world widely. He participated Pilzen Summer Academy in Czech Republic where he performed a concert and also was invited to attend Aspen Music Festival. Recently, he has been doing collaboration and gave a piano quartet recital.

As a recipient of President Award Scholarship, Andrew Choi holds Bachelor and Master Degree from Manhattan School of Music. He also earned Performance Certificate from the same school. Currently, he is pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at University of South Carolina, under the guidance of Dr. Joseph Rackers. His previous teacher includes Dr. Donn-Alexandre Feder and Dr. Marc Silverman.