John-Micah Braswell is a seventeen year old musician who has been playing piano for thirteen years. He currently studies under Dr. Caleb Harris at the University of Northern Colorado, and has also been instructed by Dr. Mira Mintcheva, Dr. David McArthur, and Nicolette Bischoff. He was recently selected as a finalist in the Colorado Piano Festival and awarded 3rd place at the Kawai and Yamaha competitions, 2nd place at the MTNA and CSMTA competitions, and 1st place at the Loveland Orchestra, Denver Philharmonic Orchestra, Greeley Chamber Orchestra, and Baylor Summer Piano Institute competitions. In addition to playing the piano, John-Micah loves to sing, arrange, and compose.
John-Micah is currently the accompanist for the iSing home-school choir and also serves as a graduate assistant for Centennial Children’s Chorus. He is in the chorus of Opera Fort Collins and has performed in their productions of Barber of Seville and Daughter of the Regiment.
Sixteen-year-old Rachel BreenBreen 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.
Hannah Che is seventeen years old and a senior in high school. She has won top prizes in the 2012 WVU Summer National Classical Piano Competition, the 2011 Duquesne Young Artist National Competition, the 2012 Streator-Smith Memorial Competition, the 2012 MTNA Yamaha Senior Piano Performance State Competition, the 2012 Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist competition, and was a finalist in the 2013 David DuBois International Piano Competition. She was named a Steinway Young Artist by the Steinway Society of Western PA for three consecutive years, and has given pre-concert performances at Heinz Hall as a result. As first prize winner of multiple concerto competitions, she has performed with the Butler Symphony, the McKeesport Symphony, and most recently made her Heinz Hall solo debut performing with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. She currently studies with Dr. Marina Lupinacci and will be attending Rice University Shepherd School of Music as a piano performance major next fall.
John Gibson was born in Florence, South Carolina and began his first piano lessons with his elementary music school teacher Heather-Lynn Shannon. After beginning his 10th grade year at Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, John began studying with Mr. John Adams in the New England Conservatory preparatory program, where he also attends piano seminar class. Music is a big part of John’s life both in listening and playing. He also plays the violin and viola and enjoys composition. He has previously attended the UNCSA Chamber Music Institute to study the violin and IIYM to study piano. In 2012, John was selected as a winner of the South Carolina Piano Festival and a runner up of the SCMTA’s pre-college auditions in both solo and concerto categories. He was also a winner of the Florence Symphony Orchestra’s concerto competition and performed Mendelssohn’s Concerto in G Minor with the symphony last spring. He has studied with Heather-Lynn Shannon, Linda Mckenzie, and Dr. Benjamin Woods, and he currently studies with John Adams while at school and Greg McCallum while at home.
Katherine Melonie Guan, daughter of Li Wang and Bo Guan, is a 10th-grader at Columbus Academy in Columbus, OH. She began playing piano at the age of four in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to winning the 2007 Elementary Division of the Ohio MTNA Graves State Competition, she has also placed first in the Junior High Division of the 2010 Ohio MTNA Buckeye Competition. Katherine was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2011 International Young Musicians Festival and was invited to perform at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. She received 4th place and an honorable mention in the 2011 and 2012 Ohio MTNA Graves Junior and Senior Piano Solo Competitions. She consistently scores the highest ratings in the National Piano Guild Auditions each year as well as in numerous other programs and festivals. Most recently, Katherine was a finalist in the 2013 Columbus Symphony senior concerto competition. A former student of Fay Adams, she currently studies with Mary Craig Powell.
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.
American fifteen year old young pianist Vanessa Meiling Haynes possesses a unique combination of fine musicianship and special personal vitality. Miss Haynes is an emerging artist who wins the hearts of audiences wherever she performs. Born in Houston Texas, she spent most of her early years in Beijing, China. She is a former Young Artist program scholarship recipient in the Cleveland Institute of Music, studied piano under Professor Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Emanuela Friscioni. Miss Haynes recently moved to Shrewsbury, MA where she studies piano under Professor Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone at the New England Conservatory of Music.
Miss Haynes has won many significant prizes at young artist’s competitions including First Prize at the 2012 Cleveland Intl. Piano Competition for Young Artists (OH), First Prize at the 2012 Worcester Young Artists Music Scholarship Competition (MA), 2012 Young Soloist Award Winner of Cleveland Suburban Symphony Orchestra (OH); Second Prize at the 2012 David D. Dubois Intel. Piano Competition (OH), second prize at the 2011 Arthur Fraser Intl. Concerto Competition (SC), and second prize at the 2010 Burgos Intl. Music Festival (Spain).
Miss Haynes has performed with Orchestras and solo concerts in venues across the world. In Italy she performed with the Bella Bartok Orchestra of Perugia, and with the Muenster Orchestra of Germany. In the U.S. she has performed with the South Carolina Philharmonic at the Koger Center for the Arts, the Cleveland Suburban Symphony Orchestra, and WPI Orchestra of Worcester MA. She has had solo performances in the prestigious Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, Mixon Hall in Cleveland and appeared in nationally broadcasted 2012 NPR's From the Top live performance in Boston Jordan Hall and Boston Symphony Hall.
Henry Hsieh is a twelfth grader from Raleigh, NC. He has received awards from NCFMC and the Raleigh, Cary/Apex, and Durham Piano Teacher Associations. In 2006, he won a prize in the Old Dominion University Classical Period Piano Competition in Norfolk, VA. In 2009, he was state winner in the most advanced level of the NCFMC Festival and also received their Hinda Honigman Scholarship and Royalty Competition in the Prince Category. In 2010, he performed a recital at Ruggero Piano Auditorium in Raleigh. In 2011, Henry won the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra. He was later invited to perform with the Youth Symphony of Duke University String School. In 2012, he was a participant of the William Kapell Young Artist Piano Competition. He also participated in the 2011 and 2012 South Eastern Piano Festival. This year in 2013, Henry was the recipient of the Mary K. Paul Whitener Scholarship in Piano. He currently studies with John Ruggero.
William Hume, age 16, is high school junior, and currently resides in Yorktown, Virginia. He is a proud member of a military family and has lived in seven states and attended seven schools. He has recently appeared at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, The Kennedy Center, and on the National Public Radio program “From the Top.” He has performed Mozart, Bach and Grieg concerti with orchestras, and has won numerous competitions and awards to include The National School Orchestra Award, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Virginia Lions Club Bland Music Scholarship, and the Williamsburg Music Club Outstanding Performance Award. Earning Highest Academic Honors at school, he is also active in the Tri-M Music Honor Society and the French National Honor Society. William has attended the Interharmony International Music Festival in Italy, the Washington International Piano Festival, and chamber music programs, performing in solo recitals and ensembles in the US and abroad. He has studied piano for nine years and the cello for seven and hopes to attend a conservatory to study performance and composition. He is a student of Dr. Anna Kijanowska at the College of William and Mary, and receives coaching by Susan Starr.
Ik Hoon Jung is a 10th grader from Beaverton, OR. He was born in Korea and began piano study at the age of five. He attained the highest level in OMTA’s Syllabus program at age 12. In 2010, he placed 1st in the OMTA Suzanne Raines Competition. In 2011, he won second place at the MTNA State Junior Piano Competition and placed first at the OMTA Cris Tapang Scholarship Competition. In 2012, he performed with the Vancouver and Beaverton Symphony Orchestras after placing first in their Young Artists Competitions, placed first at OMTA’s Lillian Pettibone Scholarship Competition, and also received honorable mention at the MTNA State Senior Piano Competition. He has also won many prizes at the OMTA Romantic and Classical Festivals yearly. He has participated in master classes with Mei-Ting Sun, Hans Boepple, Kirill Gerstein, and Menahem Pressler, and attended Indiana University’s Summer Piano Academy in 2012. He studies with Linda Barker.
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.
Praised by Robert Beale in the International Piano Magazine as “unusual for a player of his age and an excellent augury for the future,” 17-year-old pianist Hugo Kitano is a young musical talent with profound artistic maturity. He is a senior at Lowell High School in San Francisco, and currently studies with Professor Hans Boepple of Santa Clara University. Hugo is a first place prize-winner at the 11th International Russian Music Piano Competition, the Young Pianist’s Beethoven Competition, and the San Francisco Young Pianists’ Competition. Hugo has also won awards at the California International Young Artists Competition as the youngest semi-finalist, the New York International Piano Competition, and the International Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA, held in Tokyo. He was a semifinalist at the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Competition, the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and the Manchester International Concerto Competition for Young Pianists. He was awarded “Best Chopin” prize in the 2012 MTNA national finals in New York. Hugo is also a winner of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 U.S. Chopin Foundation Scholarship Competition. Hugo has performed on NPR’s From the Top broadcastin Santa Fe in October 2011. This January, Hugo was a YoungArts Winner in Music. Hugo enjoys basketball, football, parkour, and exploring exotic cuisines.
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.
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.
Maria Parrini 15, is the daughter of Sherry and Fabio Parrini from Greenville, SC. She is a junior at Wade Hampton High School, and has studied piano since the age of three with both parents. She also studies cello with Martha Brons, and she participates in the Greenville Fine Arts Center’s chamber music program as both a pianist and a cellist, under the tutelage of John Ravnan.
Maria’s awards include first place in the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition, the SC MTNA Junior Piano Competition, the GCYO Solo Competition, and the Carolina Youth Symphony Concerto Competition; she was also a finalist in the GAMAC Concerto Competition. Concerto appearances include the first movement of Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, the first movement of the Schumann Piano Concerto with the CYS Symphony Orchestra, and the full Schumann with the GCYO Young Artist Orchestra. She has attended the Brevard Music Center, SEPF, and the Philadelphia International Music Festival, where she studied with Norman Krieger, Charles Fugo, and Hugh Sung, respectively. Maria has performed in masterclasses with Natalya Antonova, Christopher O’Riley, and Svetlana Smolina.
Matthew Reichenbergeris a 15 year-old ninth grader who is a pianist and composer. In the past several years, Matthew has won numerous awards in piano and composition. Matthew has been nominated for the Irene Muir Award (for extraordinary talent) for the last five consecutive years in the FFMC State Competition. He was a national finalist in the 2011 MTNA Junior Piano Competition, first place winner in the 2013 FSMTA District Concerto Competition, and 2nd place winner of the 2013 Alhambra Orchestra Concerto Competition where he performed with the orchestra. Matthew was the first place winner in the Advanced II category in the highly regarded 2012 Pompano Beach Piano Competition and received the Steinway Virtuoso Scholarship Award. In January 2012, Matthew and his brother were the featured artists in the Trinity Concert Series in Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, he was selected to perform in the Chopin Foundation’s Young Pianists Concert for the last three consecutive years. Matthew is a student of Maria Gomez.
Matthew also loves improvising and composing. He was the national winner of 2011 MTNA Junior Compositions Competitions, the 2012 national winner of NFMC composition competition, and 2012/2013 MTNA's Florida State Senior Composition Competition. Matthew studies composition and music theory with Donald Waxman.
Amber Scherer was born in 1997 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her family moved to Chicago that same year, and in 2005, she started taking music lessons with local teachers. Now at age 16, she studies at New Trier High School and in Northwestern University with Professor James Giles. In 2011, Amber was a first-prize winner of the National Walgreens Concerto Competition and subsequently performed at the Chicago Cultural Center. Later that year, she performed with the Harper College Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto Competition. Amber has also been a laureate of the senior divisions (solo and duet) in the Illinois State Music Teachers' Association Competition, Chicago Area Music Teachers’ Association Competition, Cardinal Stritch University Piano Festival, Missouri-Western Piano Competition, National Chopin Piano Competition, Hope College Young Artists Piano Competition, and DePaul University Piano Competition. Amber has performed in piano master classes for Menahem Pressler, Sara Davis Beuchner, Gabrielle Baldocci, and Robert Shannon. Amber enjoys working with other high school musicians, both in- and outside of school. Accordingly, she participates in Midwest Young Artists' chamber program; the New Trier High School’s Symphony Orchestra; and annual non-profit concert for Learn Charter School Charity. Outside of music, Amber has been a silver medalist in the National Spanish Exam and a published author in her school’s Literary Magazine.
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.
John C. Strickletthas been studying classical piano since the age of six. His soloist debut at the 2006 Capital Talent Showcase, Lincoln Theatre (Washington, D.C.) was reviewed by the Washington Post. He was selected to perform at the 2007 Music Friends Young Soloist Concert Series, Alden Center (Virginia). He won first place alternate at the 2008 Washington Music Teachers Association Competition. In 2008, his orchestral debut performance was with the Washington Conservatory Orchestra (Washington National Cathedral, Washington, DC). He performed at the 2008 Music Festival of the Hamptons (NY) with pianist Eric Himy and Jamie Bernstein (daughter of Leonard Bernstein). He was selected to perform at the 2009, 2010, and 2011 Annual Gala of the Foundation for the Advancement of Music & Education (Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, University of Maryland). He was selected to perform at the 2010 Winners Concert, American Fine Arts Festival (Weill Recital Hall, NYC). He won first place Senior Division, 2012 Cogen Concerto Competition, Levine School of Music. He performed at the 2012 Winners Concert, Friends of the Waterford Concert Series (Virginia). He performed at the Kennedy Center, as a finalist at the 2012 National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition. He won first place at the 2013 American Fine Arts Festival Concerto competition and performed at Weill Recital Hall (NYC); he has been invited to perform with the Kostromo Orchestra, Kostromo, Russia in July 2013.
Hannah Wangbegan studying piano at the age of 3 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. She completed her early studies in the Division of Preparatory Studies at the University of Manitoba Faculty of Music with Ann Lugsdin, winning numerous scholarships in the Enrichment Program Scholarship Auditions, as well as in the Manitoba Registered Teachers Association (MRMTA) competitions. At age 10 she won the Institute of Chartered Piano Tuners of Manitoba Trophy at the Winnipeg Music Festival. In Canada, she completed her Prelimary through Grade 4 Theory Examinations, receiving First Class Honors with Distinctions from the Royal Conservatory of Music. She received First Class Honors with Distinctions on her Grade 8 Royal Conservatory of Music Piano Examinations. Since moving to Charlotte, Hannah has placed consistently in the Charlotte Piano Teacher’s Forum Scholarship Auditions and CPTF Concerto Competitions, winning the senior categories in both. She was the category winner in the junior division of the Charlotte Symphony Guild Young Artists Competition in 2011. She recently won the MTNA National Competition in Senior Piano Duet with her duet partner Clara.
Hannah has played in numerous chamber music ensembles, workshops, and camps, attending the Chamber Music for Teens Summer Workshop at UNCC this past summer. She is a junior in the IB program at Myers Park High School and has been studying with Dr. Paul Nitsch since 2008.