2018 Festival Participants

Picture of Catharine BaekCatharine Baek is an 18-year-old senior from Willoughby, OH. She currently studies with Sean Schulze of the Cleveland Institute of Music Preparatory Department. The highlights of the past year were being awarded finalist at the 2018 David D. Dubois Piano Competition, the state winner, piano solo, senior division of the 2017 Ohio Music Teachers Association (OMTA) Buckeye auditions as well as the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) Concerto Competition winner, performing Ravel's Piano Concerto in G as her Severance Hall debut. Also involved in orchestra, she plays in the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra as a percussionist. Outside of music, Catharine enjoys musical theatre, film and reading. She hopes to pursue both piano performance and academics during college in the next year.
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Picture of Amy BaoAmy Bao, age fifteen, is a piano student of Annamarie and John McCarthy in San Francisco and has been playing the piano since the age of five. She has been enrolled in the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and has attended the International Institute for Young Musicians at the University of Kansas as a student of Professor Jack Winerock. Amy has been the recipient of numerous awards in the Northern California region, including the East Bay Music Festival, the Music Teachers' Association of California Competition, and the Young Arts Competition of the Etude Club of Berkeley. In addition to her piano studies, Amy is a member of the Monte Vista Speech and Debate team, and frequently competes in debate tournaments. Community service is a serious commitment for her, as a longtime member of the Girl Scouts. Amy is currently a sophomore at Monte Vista High School in Danville, California.
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Picture of Catherine BlackCatherine Black, 16, is a homeschooled student from Lexington, SC. A finalist in the 2018 Emory University Young Artist Piano Competition and a participant in the 2017 Southeastern Piano Festival, she has also performed Mozart’s Piano Trio in C, K548 and Brahms’ Piano Trio in B, Opus 8 in concert with the Sterling Chamber Players and was guest solo pianist in concert with the Lexington County Choral Society. Other awards include first alternate in the 2013, 2015, and 2017 South Carolina MTNA Piano Performance Competitions, first place at the 2016 SC Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities Junior Artist Piano Competition, and first place in multiple years of SCMTA, SC Piano Festival Association, Columbia Music Teachers Association, and Afternoon & Eau Claire Music Clubs competitions. Catherine has also participated in master classes with Sergei Babayan, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Washington Garcia, Diane Hidy and Faye Adams. She has served as accompanist for the adult choral activities at her church and plays the piano regularly at several assisted living facilities. In her spare time, she enjoys composing music, reading, and writing. Catherine has studied piano with Ann Wilson since age nine.
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Picture of Caleb BorickCaleb Borick, a homeschooled fifteen-year-old, studies with internationally acclaimed Steinway Artist, Dr. Joseph Rackers. Caleb has won numerous awards and scholarships including the Grand Prize in the 2014 Philadelphia International Music Festival's Concerto Competition, third place in the 2017 MTNA Nationals, first place in the 2017 Ronald Sachs International Music Competition, second place in the 2017 International Institute for Young Musicians International Piano Competition and first place in the 2017 SCGSAH Junior Artist Piano Competition. Caleb has been the featured soloist with the Fountain Inn Symphony Orchestra, the Charleston Symphony Youth Orchestra, the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra for their 20th Anniversary East Coast Tour to Carnegie Hall, the Alicante Symphony Orchestra, the Southcoast Symphony Orchestra, the Tidewater Intergenerational Orchestra and the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared on WPR's The Midday with Norman Gilliland, KPR's Classical Music in the Morning with Michael Keelan, and on NPR's From The Top Episode #320. When he is not playing the piano, Caleb enjoys karate. With less than two years of training, he earned his black belt in 2016 and is now a third-degree black belt who teaches younger students weekly.
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Picture of Christian ChiuChristian Chiu, 15, attends Upper St. Clair High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the age of ten, he made his orchestral debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, performing the third movement of Mozart's Piano Concerto #21. He has been chosen as a finalist in the Most Arts Festival Young Pianists Competition and the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition/Southeastern Piano Festival (SEPF). Most recently, Christian participated in the David D. Dubois Piano Festival and Competition. He has also been first prize winner of the Duquesne Young Artist National Competition and the Pittsburgh Concert Society Young Artist Competition. Christian has been invited to play on Saturday Light Brigade's live radio show ‘Neighborhood Voices’ and has appeared as a guest pianist with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra. Outside of his musical pursuits, his hobbies include tennis, ping pong, golf, and watching hockey games. He currently studies privately with Professor Natasha Snitkovsky of Duquesne University.
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Picture of Evan HuEvan Hu, 17, from Potomac Maryland is currently in Grade 10 at Montgomery Blair High School Magnet Program. He began studying piano at age 6 with Dr. Marjorie Lee. He was named Alternate Winner in the 2018 MTNA Senior Eastern Division and 2017 Junior Eastern Division. His recent awards include second prize of the 2017 Future Star International Piano Competition, first prize winner of the 2017 London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, first prize winner of 2017 FMMC High School Piano Competition and first prize winner of the 2017 Maryland State Music Teachers Elizabeth R. Davis Memorial Competition. Evan attended the Indiana University Jacob School of Music Summer Program in 2015 and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) Summer Program in 2017. In addition to competing, Evan plays regularly for hospitals, senior centers and veterans in Baltimore. He mentored for Piano Pals at Gibbs Elementary School and seniors at Asbury Methodist Village. Evan enjoys playing basketball and fencing.
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Picture of Kelsey LeeKelsey Lee, 17, is from Summit, New Jersey. In 2017, her awards include First Place in the Marian Garcia International Piano Competition, First Place in the NJMTA Young Musicians Competition, and Alternate in the MTNA Competition New Jersey Senior Division. Kelsey also won First Place in the Greater Princeton Steinway Society Piano Competition. As a result, she played in a masterclass with Emanuel Ax in August 2017 and was featured on the Kids on Keys radio program. In 2018, she won first place in the MEA-NJ Piano Competition and was a winner in the Suburban Music Study Club Scholarship Competition and the Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey Concerto Competition. She has participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Pianist Program and the Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival, and has played in masterclasses with Ann Schein, Charles Abramovic, Steven Spooner, and Jose Ramon Mendez. Aside from the piano, she has participated in the NJMEA All State Wind Ensemble 2016-2018 on oboe and placed first in 2018. Kelsey studies with Beatrice Long.
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Picture of Isabelle LianIsabelle Lian, 16 years old, is a 11th grader at Novi High School. She started piano at age 5 and currently studies with Professor Arthur Greene. Recently, she won at the 2017 MTNA Piano Competition and was alternate for MTNA Regionals, and she was awarded 2nd place at the David D. Dubios Piano Festival and Competition in February. placed 6th at New York Piano Festival and Competition, won 1st place for MMTA Concerto Competition in 2017, and won 1st place at Steinway Piano Competition in the Senior Division. In 2015, she got 1st in MMTA Concerto Competition, the Steinway Junior Artist Award, 4th in the International Young Artist Piano Competition (Washington, DC), and 1st in Young Artist Competition of Rochester Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, she won 1st in Young Artist Competition of Dearborn Symphony Orchestra, she also won 2nd in MMTA Concerto Competition. She holds a 2nd degree black belt in Kwon-Bop Combat and she is highly active in multiple extracurricular’s at school including DECA, Girls Who Code.
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Picture of Regina Lin Regina Lin began her piano study at age 5. Since then she has been a top prize winner in local and state competitions for the past 7 years. This includes first place at the 2016 TMTA solo competition, first place at the 2017and 2018 Texas State Young Artist Piano competition, first place multiple times at Dallas Symphonic Festival and Dallas Piano Solo competition. She was also a top prize winner at Colin County Young Artist Competition. Most recently, she won second place at Emory University Young Artist Piano Competition in Atlanta, Georgia. Regina made her orchestra debut with Round Rock Symphony Orchestra when she was 12, performing Prokofiev Piano Concerto No.3. Regina also won the 7th Texas State International Piano Festival Young Artist Concerto Competition. She was also featured as a Rising Star for 2017 Basically Beethoven Festival and performed a chamber and solo program including works by Beethoven, Shostakovich and Gershwin at Dallas City Performance Hall. Regina has also participated in master classes with Julian Martin, Nelita True, Enrico Elisi, Daria Rabotkina, William Ransom.
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Picture of Jason LinJason Lin, 17, from Plano, TX, began studying with Dr. Melody Ouyang at age six. He made his soloist debut with the Plano Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in 2010 as a Grand Prize winner of the 2010 Collin County Young Artist Competition and was invited back to perform in six concerts with the PSO to over 8000 young students in their outreach program 2 years later. In 2015, he won the prestigious Lynn Harrell Concerto, where he got to perform with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and was named a Grand Prize winner of the McKinney Young Artist Competition a year later. He has also placed in numerous competitions affiliated with the Texas Music Teachers Association. This year, he was the state (Texas) and divisional (South Central region) representative for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Senior Piano Competition and was named a National YoungArts Foundation Merit winner in Classical Music (piano). Jason is also an active member of the DSO Teen Council and participates in his choir as a singer and accompanist. He is currently studying under Dr. Alex and Mrs. Marcy McDonald.
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Picture of Maggie MaMaggie Ma, age 16, was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Maggie began her piano studies at age 6 and has been under the tutelage of Frederick Kuok at Brooklyn Musical Arts for the past six years. A seasoned competitor, Maggie has captured top prizes in many international and national piano competitions including the New York State Music Teacher Association (NYSMTA) NYC Piano Competition (first prize, 2012), New York Music Competition (second prize, 2015), International Young Artist Piano Competition (second prize, 2015), and Chopin International Piano Competition, Hartford, CT (third prize, 2016). She will be making her concerto debut as a result of winning her high school's concerto competition (Saint-Saens Piano Concerto No. 2.) Maggie is currently a 10th grader at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.
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Picture of Angelina NingAngelina Ning, age 13, lives in Charlotte, N.C. She began playing piano at the age of five and is currently studying with Dr. Marina Lomazov and Dr. Joseph Rackers. Her recent awards include first prize in the 2014 Romantic Impressionistic Piano Competition in Atlanta, two Grand Prizes at 2016 Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition in intermediate solo and concerto division, first prize and best performance of a solo piece in the 2016 East Carolina University Young Artists Competition, first prize in 2016 North Carolina MTNA, and first place at 2017 Peter Perret Youth Talent Search Concerto competition. She made her orchestral debut with the Alicante Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Uri Segal in July of 2015, and she played Mendelssohn Concerto in G minor with Winston-Salem Symphony orchestra in March of 2017. She also won first in MTNA South Carolina 2017 and alternate in 2018 MTNA Southern Division. She won 3rd place at David Dubois piano competition 2018. She loves soccer and reading books.
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Picture of Keona RoseKeona Rose, 16, is from Charlotte, NC. She began her studies in classical music at the age of 11 and has since won first place in the Music Academy of North Carolina’s Constance Kotis Competition, East Carolina University’s Pre-college Piano Competition, and UNCSA’s Classical Sonata Competition, as well as both solo and concerto divisions of the Charlotte Piano Teacher’s Forum auditions. As winner of the Malek Jandali International Piano Competition, she made her debut in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In January of this year, Keona performed as artist on Davidson College's Concert Series, hosted by WDAV radio. Keona has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School for two summers, where she studied under Anton Nel, Arie Vardi, and Julian Martin. She has also taken masterclasses with Stephen Hough and Veda Kaplinsky. Keona is currently a student of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, where she studies under Julian Martin.
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Picture of Avik SarkarAvik Sarkar is a seventeen-year-old pianist, cellist & composer, who is currently a junior at Buckingham Browne & Nichols (BB&N), Cambridge, MA. He is 2018-2020 Lang Lang International Music Foundation Young Scholar. He studies piano with Mana Tokuno and Alexander Korsantia at the New England Conservatory (NEC) and has been a student of Niva Fried for many years. Avik has also won top prizes at several international and national piano competitions, including Future Stars International, The American Prize, Forte International Music, New York International Artists, Louisiana International and Hartford Chopin International Piano competitions. He has won first prize at NEPTA, MTNA, MMTA & Steinway Society of Massachusetts piano competitions multiple times. He has performed in recitals at Cadogan Hall in London, UK, Symphony Hall in Boston, Carnegie Hall in New York City, and was heard on WGBH Radio, NPR, Boston. Avik enjoys bringing music to the community and raised over $5000 for refugees in the Boston area by organizing a classical music benefit concert. Aside from music, he enjoys competition math, writing poetry and watercolor painting.
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Picture of Henry TangHenry Tang, age 15, has studied piano with Igal Kesselman at Kaufman Music Center's Lucy Moses School since 2016. He is a sophomore at Special Music School High School. Henry began playing piano at age five under the tutelage of Frederick Kuok. In recent years he has won prizes and awards in national competitions, including First Prize at the Claudette Sorel Piano Competition at SUNY Fredonia (2017) and the Grand Prix of the VI Chopin International Piano Competition, Hartford, CT (2015). He also was a prize winner of Kaufman Music Center's 2018 Concerto Competition as well as the 2017 Special Music School High School Concerto Competition, where he performed as soloist with orchestra at both Winners' Concerts. In the summer of 2017, he participated in the Cooper Piano Festival at Oberlin Conservatory and won First Prize at Festival's competition. Henry's earlier award included First Place at American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music (2014) and First Prize at the 2012 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. Other performances included Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage in Washington D.C. He has been invited to the International Piano Festival "Lato Z Chipinem" Busko-Zdroj in Poland.
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Picture of Zhuoran (Simon) TaoZhuoran (Simon) Tao, 17, is currently a senior at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, CA. He has been studying piano since age 5 under Mrs. Dorothy Su, and currently studies privately under Professor John McCarthy of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has won numerous competitions in the past years, including 1st prize in the 2017 Ross McKee Piano Competition, 3rd prize in the 2016 San Jose International Piano Competition, 2nd prizes in the 2015, 2016 MTAC Solo Competition North, 1st place in the 2014 Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, and 2nd prize in the 2014 CMTANC Competition, and many more. This year, he has also performed Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto with the El Camino Youth Symphony Orchestra under Conductor John Eells. Aside from the piano, he also enjoys playing badminton, learning about business, and drinking milk tea.
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Picture of Junhao WangJunhao Wang, a high school junior, studies piano with Dr. Jack Winerock of the University of Kansas. His major achievements include, Second Place in the 2015¬-16 National level MTNA Piano Competition, Third Place in the 2015 Seattle International Piano Competition, and participation in several well-known international piano competitions. They are the 2017 Hilton Head International Piano Competition, the 2016 Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition, and the 2015 Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists. Recently, Junhao won the Third Prize in the 2018 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition for Young Pianists. He will perform with the Kansas City Symphony under the baton of Michael Stern as the winner of the 2018 KC Symphony Young Artists Competition. Other accomplishments include, First Prize in the 2018 KCMTA Concerto Competition, Second Place in the 2017-18 Kansas State level MTNA Piano Competition, First Place in the Utah Music Teachers Association Piano Concerto Competitions (2013 and 2015), and First Prize in the 2013 American Fine Arts Festival Concerto Competition (AFAF). As an AFAF winner, he performed at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in 2013. He also performed with the Salt Lake Symphony in 2013 and the American West Symphony.
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Picture of Yerin YangYerin Yang, 15, started piano at age 5 ½ and currently studies with Alan Chow and Winston Choi. Recently, Yerin performed in the finals of the 2018 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and was named winner. She will be playing with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 2018-19 season. Yerin won the 2017 MTNA National Junior Division competition and Overall Winner of the Junior Division in the 2016 Walgreens National Concerto Competition. She has taken first prize awards from numerous Chicago area competitions, including first prizes in various divisions of the Sejong Music and Chinese Fine Arts Society Competitions for three consecutive years (2012-2014). She was awarded first place in the 2013 Los Angeles Young Musician International Competition. As winner of the DePaul Concerto Festival in 2013 and 2018, she played with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra twice. With her performance in 2013, Yerin was briefly featured on WFMT’s Introductions, and appeared again to play a solo recital, broadcasted live in June 2016. Under direction of Uri Segal, Yerin performed with the Music Fest Perugia Festival Orchestra in Perugia, Italy in August 2016.
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Picture of Jessica ZhangJessica Zhang, 15, is a sophomore at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona. She has been studying piano with Hong Zhu since the age of five. Jessica was the first prize winner of the 2017 IIYM International Piano Competition, and subsequently she appeared on Kansas Public Radio. She attended the International Institute for Young Musicians Summer Music Academy in both 2016 and 2017. She has won multiple piano awards, including first place in the Arizona State Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition, Steinway Avanti Future Stars Piano Competition, Arizona Musicfest Piano Competition, Phoenix Youth Symphony Young Musicians Competition, and East Valley Music Teachers Association Piano Competition. Jessica made her orchestral debut with the MusicaNova Orchestra and has performed twice in the MusicaNova Young Artist Series. She enjoys sharing music with the community and takes part in local outreach programs for senior living and underprivileged youth. In her spare time, she likes to play badminton, swim, oil paint, and hike.
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Picture of Jessica ZhangShuheng Zhang has been passionate about music ever since he started piano lessons at almost 9 years old. He is a proud Young Scholar of The Lang Lang International Foundation. Shuheng has won top prizes in many competitions such as Thousand Islands International Chopin Competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, MTNA Michigan Competition, MMTA SAT Solo and Concerto Competitions, Albion International Piano Festival, to name a few. A frequent participant in prestigious piano festivals, Shuheng was selected as one of the ten young pianists around the world to attend prestigious Lang Lang International Foundation 2016 Allianz Junior Music Camp held in Poland, one of the six participants of 2017 Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival at Salt Lake City, and one of the only four pre-college students of 2017 Piano Summer at SUNY New Paltz with full scholarship to study with legendary pianist Vladimir Feltsman. Recently, he was invited by Emil Gilels Foundation to participate to the Giles Festival 2018 in Germany. He is very excited and looking forward to studying with Robert Levin, Jacques Rouvier, Gerald Fauth during the Festival. Shuheng studies piano with Dr. Logan Skelton of University of Michigan.
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