Hugo Kitano, First Prize
Hugo Kitano, 18, is from San Francisco, CA. He won first place at the 11th International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition, and the San Francisco Young Pianists’ Competition and has also won awards at the California Intl. Young Artists Competition, the New York Intl. Piano Competition, and the Intl. Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA (Tokyo). He was a semifinalist at the Gina Bachauer Intl. Young Artists Competition, the New Orleans Intl. Piano Competition, and the Manchester Intl. Concerto Competition for Young Pianists and awarded “Best Chopin” prize in the 2012 MTNA national finals. Hugo is also a winner of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 U.S. Chopin Foundation Scholarship Competitions, and has performed on NPR’s “From the Top.” He currently studies with Hans Boepple.
Aleksandra Kasman, Second Prize and Yong Jury Award Winner
Aleksandra (Sasha) Kasman 17, is a student of Yakov Kasman, Professor of Piano/Artist-in-Residence at UAB. Sasha is the national winner of NFMC’s Stillman-Kelley award, Silver Medalist of the VII International Competition in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Kiev, Ukraine, prizewinner of numerous state and regional piano competitions, three time finalist of the Blount-Slawson Young Artist Competition, and Grand Prize winner of the Lois Pickard Competition, performing with the Alabama Symphony in 2009. Sasha has performed Mozart’s Concerto No.23, Chopin’s Concertos No.1 and No.2 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on Theme of Paganini with the Ukraine National Symphony. She has given solo recitals in USA, France, Ukraine, Russia and Japan. Sasha recently appeared in performances of Saint-Saens’s Carnival of Animals with Brevard Symphony, FL, and with New-York Chamber Players in Birmingham, AL, duo-piano recitals with Yakov Kasman in Russia, Colorado and Louisiana, and four hands programs and solo recitals in Alabama.
Eric Lu, Third Prize Winner
Eric Lu is 15 years old. He is a 9th grade student from Bedford, MA. He started piano at age 6 with Mrs. Dorothy Shi. He also has studied with A. Ramon Rivera. In 2010, he won the 1st Prize at the prestigious 12th Ettlingen International Piano Competition in Germany. The previous winners of this competition includes Lang Lang and Yuja Wang. Eric also won the MTNA 2009-2010 National 2nd prize. He has performed with the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Longwood Symphony, as part of the Foundation for Chinese Performing Arts, performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major. Eric has also performed with the Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra, with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor. He currently studies with Alexander Korsantia and Dang Thai Son.
Rachel Breen, Best Solo for Bach's Art of the Fugue
Sixteen-year-old Rachel Breen is a scholarship student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studies with Dr. Sharon Mann; until age 10, she was self-taught. Breen has won prizes in a number of national and international competitions. She has performed the Tchaikovsky First Concerto and Beethoven’s Fourth Concerto with orchestras the past two seasons. She was also an invited competitor and concerto-round semi-finalist at the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition this past summer and performed at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition this March.
Breen specializes in the music of Bach, and has performed many times for the Junior Bach Festival. Appearing frequently at openings for books about Glenn Gould, her musical idol, she has presented a series of recitals for the launching of author Katie Hafner’s book A Romance on Three Legs.
She is a five-year member of the Cerberus Piano Trio. Aside from piano, she is a student at Miramonte High School, where she received the first prize on the National Latin Exam and third prize on the National French Exam. She hopes to pursue a career as a performing and recording artist.
Anna Han, Discretionary Award Winner
Described by the Washington Post as “prodigiously gifted… a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower far beyond her years,” 17 year-old Anna Han of Chandler, Arizona, started taking piano lessons with her current teacher Mr. Fei Xu at New Century Conservatory at age five. She has garnered prizes at numerous prestigious international and national piano competitions, including the first prize of the 2012 New York International Piano Competition, the first prize of the 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, the first prizes of both the 2011 and 2008 IIYM International Piano Competitions, and first place of the 2007 MTNA National Junior Piano Competition.
Anna has soloed with the MusicaNova Symphony Orchestra, Chandler Symphony Orchestra, the Verde Valley Sinfonietta, and twice with the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in such venues as the at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C, the New World Center, Lied Center of Kansas, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, and the Temple Emanu-El in New York City. An alumnus of National Public Radio’s show, From the Top, she was also named a 2013 Silver Award winner by the National YoungArts Foundation.
Evelyn Mo, Discretionary Award Winner
At age 14, Evelyn Mois a freshman at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandra, Virginia. She currently studies with Dr. Thomas Mastroianni of Catholic University. Evelyn has won awards in many piano competitions, including first prize at the 2012 Blount-Slawson Young Artist Concerto Competition and the 2011 Chopin International piano competition in Hartford, CT. She was a two-time national finalist at the MTNA Junior Piano Competition and has appeared on NPR’s ‘From the Top’ program. She was a semifinalist at the 2013 Hilton Head International Young Artist Piano Competition, and was a prize winner at IIYM’s International Piano Competition and SEPF’s Arthur Fraser Concerto Competition.
Roger Shen, Discretionary Award Winner
Roger Shen is an 8th grader at NBJH, IL. He loves classical music; began piano studies at age 7. On February 17th, 2013, Roger made a successful debut with Northbrook Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Laurence Rapchak in the delight of Mozart piano concerto no. 15. In a week, on February 24, he performed Rachmaninoff piano concerto no. 2 (I) with MYA Symphony Orchestra at Pick-Staiger Hall, NWU, IL as the Overall Open Division Winner of 2012 Walgreens National Concerto Competition. On April 7th he will perform with Honolulu Youth Symphony in Hawaii as the winner of 2012 Aloha International Piano Concerto Competition. Roger performed and was interviewed for the radio 98.7 WFMT Introductions in February 2012. He performed twice at Carnegie Hall as first prizewinner of 2011 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and 2010 AFAF. He was the junior first place of 2012 MTNA Illinois State piano competition, 2011 Aloha International Piano competition, and 2010 Chicago Steinway Young Artist Competition. He was also awarded top prizes in SAM, Sejong Music Competition, Chopin Youth Piano Competition (WI), and NSMTA Summer Music Scholarship. As a scholarship recipient, he attended IIYM twice. He is a student of Sueanne Metz.