Sean Yeh, First Prize Winner
Sean Yeh, son of Rosa and Tony Yeh, is a senior at Libertyville High School in Illinois. In 2006 he won first place in the Sejong Music Competition and was a national finalist in the MTNA Baldwin Junior Piano Competition. Sean was a national finalist in the MTNA Yamaha Senior Piano Competition in 2008. Sean also won third prize in the Piano Arts National Piano Competition and performed with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In 2009 Sean won first prize in the Eighteenth Annual Steinway Young Artists Solo Piano Competition. His solo performance appearances include the Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, Skokie Public Library (Young Steinway Concert Series), the Jay Pritzker Pavilion at the Millennium Park, Chicago WFMT radio, and From the Top radio show. Sean has worked with some of the most internationally renowned piano teachers at master classes including John Perry, Pawel Skrzypek, Lee Kum-Sing, and Thomas Hecht. Sean made his orchestra debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as a pianist in Camille Saint-Saëns' Carnival of the Animals in 2008. Sean studies with Matthew Hagle and Alan Chow.
Joseph Mohan, Second Prize Winner
Joseph Mohan, son of William and Jean Mohan, is a junior at Clarence High School in Clarence, New York. Since beginning his piano studies at age seven, he has participated in many competitions, adjudications, masterclasses, workshops, and festivals. He won the New York Music Teachers Association Junior Division, was a finalist in the Julia Crane Piano Competition, won the Thousand Island Piano Competition, and has performed with the Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra. Joseph has been selected to play with the Pittsburgh Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic in the upcoming year. He also plays he violin and enjoys swimming and biking. He currently studies piano with Alla Kuznetsov at the Eastman Community Music School in Rochester, New York.
Baron Fenwick, Third Prize Winner
Baron Fenwick, son of Cindy Norris and Jay Fenwick, is a fifteen-year-old ninth grader at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Baron's honors and awards include honorable mention in the 2007 North Carolina ASTA competition, winner of the 2007 Western Piedmont Youth Symphony Concerto competition, finalist in the 2006 and winner of the 2009 North Carolina Symphony Concerto Competition, and performance opportunities in master classes with renowned instrumentalists such as Roy Eaton, Paul Neubauer, and Cho-Liang Lin. In addition, Baron performed at the Washington Ballet Company Gala in Carnegie-Mellon Auditorium in Washington DC, and had the distinct honor of performing at the unveiling of the $1.2 million Kuhn-Bosendorfer piano in Winston-Salem. Baron has been playing piano since the age of six and currently studies with Appalachian State University professor, Bair Shagdaron, and UNCSA professor, Clifton Matthews.
Jacob Buser, Discretionary Award Winner
Jacob Buser, proud son of Curt and Janine Buser, is an 11th grade student at McLean High School, in McLean, VA. This year, Jacob appeared as a finalist in the NSO Young Soloists Competition at the Kennedy Center and performed with the Washington Sinfonietta. He took top piano honors in Levine's Cogen Concerto Competition in 2008 and the Marlin-Engel Soloist Competition in 2007, earning a chance to play in the Waterford Concert Series. He participated in the Southeastern Piano Festival at the University of South Carolina in 2006 and 2007. He has also played in Carnegie Hall and at the Kennedy Center as a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival. Jacob Buser studies with Irena Orlov at the Levine School of Music in Washington, DC.
Naomi Causby, Discretionary Award Winner
Naomi Causby, daughter of Tom and Suzie Causby, is a ninth grader at Ben Lippen High School in Columbia, South Carolina. In addition to her award in the Afternoon, Eau Claire and Morning Music Clubs Scholarship Auditions, she has won awards in the MTNA Junior Competitions, SCMTA District and State, SC Federation of Music Clubs, and Columbia Music Teachers Association Scholarship Auditions. Three times she has been chosen in the S.C. Piano Festival Auditions to appear as a soloist on SCETV. She attended the Summer Arts Camp at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in 2007 and 2008, where she studied under Ani Gogova and Ruthanne Schempf. In 2008, she attended the Southeastern Piano Festival and competed in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, receiving an honorable mention. Naomi won first place in the 2009 SCMTA and went on to place third in the Southeast Division of MTNA Junior Piano Competition. Later that month, Naomi was a finalist in the Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition. Naomi currently studies with Dr. Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers, both professors at the University of South Carolina.
Brook Zhang, Discretionary Award Winner
Brook Zhang, son of Li and Mindy Zhang, is a tenth-grader at the Columbus Academy in Columbus, OH. Most recently, he was the winner of the Columbus Symphony's Young Musicians Competition and played with the CSO at the Ohio Theater. He was the first prize winner (Senior Division) at the Ohio Music Teacher Association/Graves piano competition and a recipient of music summer scholarships. As a winner of both concerto and solo divisions of Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Brook was invited twice to play at the Weil Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall. He won the Discretionary Award at last year's SEPF concerto competition, and is a student of Nina Polonsky.