Zachary Hughes, First Prize Winner
Zachary Hughes, son of David and Melinda Hughes, is a home-schooled twelfth grader who currently resides in Travelers Rest, SC. He has studied the piano for nine years. He was born in San Luis Obispo, CA. He has received prizes from numerous regional and national music competitions, including First Place in the 2009 TN State Competition for MTNA, the 2010 SC State Competition for MTNA, and the 2010 Lee University Piano Competition. As a soloist, Zachary regularly appears at a variety of venues, performing a growing range of repertoire. In the fall of 2009 he was asked to play the Chopin E minor concerto for the “Chopin 200” concert series at East Tennessee State University, and in January 2011, he performed the Saint-Saens G minor Concerto with the Young Artist Orchestra of Greenville, SC led by Dr. Gary Robinson. He currently studies with Chih-long Hu and Fabio Perrini.
Vanessa Meiling Haynes, Second Prize Winner
Vanessa Meiling Haynes, daughter of James and Linda Haynes, is an eighth grader at Shaker Heights Middle School in OH. She was born in Houston TX and began study at age six from China with pianist Lang Lang’s first teacher, Ya Fen Zhu. She has received awards from the Bradshaw & Buono, AADGT’s 2009 Passion for Music and Seattle International Piano Competitions, Burgos (Spain) International Competition, the Second Kawai China National Piano Competition and the 2006 China International Hope Cup, and been accepted at Piano Texas, Perugia Music Fest, and the Burgos, Alexander & Buono, and Val-Tidone Music Festivals. In 2010 she performed with the Bela Bartok Orchestra in Perugia, Abano, Naples, and Val-Tidone, and also at Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Hall (NY) and the Forbidden City Music Hall and Beijing Concert Hall (China). She currently studies under Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanula Friscioni in the Cleveland Institute’s Young Artist program.
Bolton Ellenberg, Third Prize Winner
Bolton Ellenberg, the son of Prof. and Mrs. George Ellenberg, is a home-schooled twelfth grader in Pensacola, FL. He began piano studies at age 6 and is currently a dual-enrolled student at the University of West Florida in Pensacola. During the past few years, Bolton has participated in master classes under Panayis Lyras, William Wolfram, Eugene Alcalay, Christopher Harding, Alexandre Dossin, Ivo Kaltchev, Read Gainsford, and Dorian Leljak and has won numerous awards. He performed the first movement of Felix Mendelssohn’s G minor Concerto with the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in February 2008 and returned in February 2011 to perform Totentanz by Franz Liszt. Both of these performances were made possible by concerto competitions sponsored by the NFSO. A former student of Jana Sutoova and Eileen Cook, he currently studies with Dr. Hedi Salanki-Rubardt.
Allison Freeman, Discretionary Award Winner
Allison Freeman, daughter of John and Debbie Freeman, is an eleventh grader in the high school program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She began studying piano at age five with Barbara Furr. She is a five-time winner at Old Dominion University's Classical Period Piano Competition, and has participated in master classes with artists such as Bart van Oort, Peter Takacs, and Lambert Orkis. In 2008, she soloed with the Wilmington Symphony Youth Orchestra as the Junior Division winner of the Richard R. Deas Student Concerto Competition. As the High School Division winner of the same competition, she performed with the Wilmington Symphony Orchestra in February 2010. She currently studies with Eric Larsen.
Andrew Tung, Discretionary Award Winner
Andrew Tung, son of Shang Tung and Jingwen Su, is an eleventh-grader at Vernon Hills High School in Vernon Hills, IL, and also attends The Academy, a pre-college program at the Music Institute of Chicago. His previous piano teachers include Emilio del Rosario. He has won first place in the Steinway Young Artist Piano Competition and the Edward & Ethel Martin Scholarships at the Union League Civic & Arts Foundation (Chicago), semi-finalist in the Ettlingen International Piano Competition (Germany) and the Missouri Southern International Piano Competition, honorable mention in the New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, and third place at International Russian Piano Music Competition (San Jose). His performances iinclude a master class with Leon Fleisher and a live broadcast solo piano recital in WFMT’s “Introductions.” He currently studies with Alan Chow.
Frank Wu, Discretionary Award Winner
Frank Wu, son of Sophia Li and Jianzhong Wu, is a twelfth grader at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL. He has been playing the piano since age five. He recently became an NFAA YoungArts National Finalist. Other honors include second prize at the IIYM International Piano Competition, first place in the ISMTA senior division, first place in the senior and junior divisions of the Chinese Fine Arts Music Competition and the piano category winner of the Walgreen's National Concerto Competition. He is currently the pianist of the MYA Chamber Music Group Trio Fantastique/Lyrique and was the pianist of Trio Trifecta, featured on NPR's “From the Top” and WFMT's “Introductions.” His chamber groups have received honors at the Jules M. Laser Chamber Music Competition, Discover National Chamber Music Competition, and Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. He currently studies with Brenda Huang.
Francisco Chomnalez, Young Jury Award Winner
Francisco Chomnalez, son of Maria Herrera and Pedro Chomnalez, is an eleventh-grader at the Dalton School (NYC) who also attends the Pre-college Division, Manhattan School of Music. Awards include the American Protégé International Piano and Strings (First Prize, 2011 and Second Prize, 2010) and Romantic Music International (First Prize, 2010) Competitions, The Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition (First Prize, 2010) and The Thousand Islands International Piano Competition (Second Prize, 2009). He has performed at major venues in the US, Europe and South America, including Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall, participated in festivals in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ukraine, and frequently performed with orchestra, including performances of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine in Kiev and the Orquesta Estable del Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires. He studies with Maria Asteriadou.