Micah McLaurin, Co-First Prize Winner
Micah McLaurin, son of David and Karen McLaurin, is a home-schooled 9th grader from Charleston, SC. He was the second prize winner of the 2008 IIYM International Piano Competition and has performed with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, and the Youth Orchestra of the Low Country (YOLOW). He has appeared in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and was the youngest ever to perform in the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston. He has also performed in Music Fest Perugia, in Perugia and Spoleto, Italy. A former student of Marsha Gerber, he currently studies with Enrique Graf at the Charleston Academy of Music.
Naomi Causby, Co-First Prize Winner
Naomi Causby, daughter of Tom and Suzie Causby, is a tenth-grader at Irmo High School in Columbia, SC. In addition to her award in Music Club Scholarship Auditions, she has participated successfully in MTNA Junior, SCMTA District and State, SC Federation of Music Clubs, and Columbia Music Teachers Scholarship Auditions, and has appeared three times on SCETV. She has attended the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, studying under Ani Gogova and Ruthanne Schempf, and the Southeastern Piano Festival, receiving an honorable mention in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition. Recently, she was a finalist in The Blount-Slawson Young Artists Competition, received third prize in the Burgos International Competition (Spain), and performed with the Greenville Young Artist Orchestra. She currently studies with Marina Lomazov and Joseph Rackers.
Nicolas Biniaz Harris, Third Prize Winner
Nicolas Biniaz Harris, son of Susan Biniaz and Robert Harris, is an eighth-grader at Georgetown Day School in Washington, D.C. He has received first prize honors in the Levine School of Music's Cogen Concerto Competition and Marlin-Engel Solo Competition. He has played several times in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall and the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater as a winner of the American Fine Arts Festival. He has performed on the Waterford Concert Series and at several concerts of the Rock Creek Chamber Players. He studies with Irena Orlov at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C.
Hao Feng, Discretionary Award Winner
Hao Feng, son of Yi Feng and Jie Liu, is a twelfth-grader at Farragut High School in Knoxville, TN. He began studying the piano when he was seven years old, in Louisville, Kentucky, with Jessie Xu. Hao began the violin when he was five years old, and currently studies with Bingkuang Fang, a member of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. In 2008, he was selected as one of the eight piano students from across the state to study at the Governor's School for the Arts, and was one of the five selected out of the entire school to perform on Nashville's Classical Radio Station, WPLN-FM Live in Studio C. Hao has performed with the Nashville, Knoxville, and Maryville Symphonies, as well as the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has studied since 2004 with Dr. David Northington.
Albert Wang, Discretionary Award Winner
Albert Wang, son of Connie and Bingcheng Wang, is a tenth-grader at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, OH. He has won prizes including a Boston University Tanglewood Institute scholarship, the Duquesne Young Artist National Competition, International Young Artist Piano Competition (DC), Lee University National Piano Competition, 2008 OMTA Scholarship Competition, MTNA Competition, World Piano Competition, and National Walgreens Concerto Competition. He has performed in Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall (NY) and Severance Hall (Cleveland) and at the age of nine was the youngest to perform on the WCLV classical music station for Cleveland International Competition, returning in 2009. After performing at the IYAPC's winner's concert, he was invited to play at a U.S. Department of State concert. He currently studies with Emanuela Friscioni and Antonio Pompa-Baldi.
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.