Esther Pham, a homeschooled fourteen-year-old, started her piano lessons at the age of five with her mother. Esther has won first prize numerous times at Dallas MTA and made her orchestral debut at the age of thirteen. She won the grand prize in the UTA Fall Piano Contest (2017) and received second prize at the 2017 Texas MTA solo competition. Esther has served as accompanist for the adult choral activities at a church. She has studied piano with Dr. Alex McDonald since the age of nine.
Rebekah Hong, 13, resides in Solon, Ohio. Rebekah began studying piano at age five and won first prize in the 2011 Indiana Piano Teachers’ Guild Competition at age 6. She participated in the Royal Schools of Music Exams and scored with highest distinction from 2013-2016. She placed first in the NE Ohio MTA Buckeye Competition 2016-2018. Rebekah became a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2016, where she was a finalist of the All Departmental Concerto Competition. As a result of her performance, she was invited to a masterclass by professor Hyoung-Joon Chang from Seoul National University. She studies piano with Terry Moran.
Kayla Shen, from San Ramon, California, is a sophomore at California High School. She has competed in numerous competitions since age 7, and was awarded first place in the Music in the Vineyard Solo Instrument Competition 2018, Ghiglieri Piano Competition, and USOMC. She placed second in the Pacific Musical Society Competition, MTAC Piano Solo Competition, and the Chopin Foundation Competition. She has performed with the El Camino Youth Symphony and was a finalist for the Mondavi Center National Young Artists Competition. Kayla participated in the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) in 2017. Kayla currently studies with Tamriko Siprashvili.
Shuheng Zhang, a proud Young Scholar of The Lang Lang International Foundation, has been passionate about music ever since he started piano lessons at 9 years old. He has appeared with orchestras from Alfred, New York, to Saarlouis, Germany. Shuheng has won top prizes in the Thousand Islands International Competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, MTNA Competition, and MMTA SAT Solo and Concerto Competitions, to name a few. A frequent participant in piano festivals, Shuheng attended Lang Lang International Foundation 2016 Allianz Junior Music Camp, 2017 Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, and the 2018 Emil Gilels Festival in Germany, among others.
Hsi-Yun Wu, 17, began studying piano at the age of four in Taiwan. In 2015, she received a scholarship to the Pre-College Program of The Juilliard School, and became a student of Hung-Kuan Chen. In 2016, Hsi-Yun was awarded as the “Jacke Kent Cooke Young Artist” by From the Top organization. Now, at the age of 17, she has held over thirty recitals in the United States, China, Taiwan, and some European countries. She has also been invited to perform as a soloist with various orchestras, including appearances with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Japan Classical Music Association Orchestra, and Kaohsiung Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Shu Ming Chen, 19 years old, started learning the piano at the age of eight. She currently studies at University of Taipei. Shu Ming has performed in a masterclass for Oxana Yablonskaya.
Wei-Hsuan Chien, born and raised in Taiwan, began playing piano at the age of four. She is majoring in piano performance and minoring in viola performance at the University of Taipei, studying with Jen-Lin Shen. In 2016, Wei-Hsuan participated in Summit Music Festival in New York. In 2017, she participated in International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York. She has performed in masterclasses for Victor Rosenbaum, Dmitry Rachmaninov, Alon Goldstein, Massimiliano Ferrari, Eduard Ziberkant. Ruth Slenczynska, Geoff Duce, and Chico-Ying Chang.
Chin Lee, a native of Taiwan, has participated in various competitions and festivals, including the 2011 Musik Camp für junge Pianisten in National Taiwan Symphony, the 2013 Wettbewerb National Student Conpetition of Muisic in Taichung, and the 2014 Musik Camp Académie Internationale d'été de Nice, France. In 2018, Chin performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. I with the University of Taipei’s orchestra.
Imsun Lee is from South Korea, and came to United States when she was thirteen years old. She began studying piano when she was 16 years old, and is currently attending University of Georgia in Athens where she studies with Evgeny Rivkin. Her favorite composers are Schumann and Liszt.
Ying-Ju Lai, from Taiwan, is majoring in piano performance and minoring in violin performance at the University of Taipei, where she studies piano with Wen Ling Shih. She has performed in masterclasses by pianists including Tai-Cheng Chen and Kuan-Ting Lin.
Sara Lee, from Auckland, NZ, received the grand prize in the USA Cincinnati World Piano Competition. She won first prize at Citta di Barletta in Italy, Hamilton Piano Competition, and the 2017 Auckland University Graduation Gala Piano Concerto Competition. She received second prize and Best Performance prize at the Austria International Chopin Piano Competition. Sara was also a scholarship recipient for Rutgers University and the Brevard Music Festival. She was also selected to perform in Accademia Pianistca Siciliana piano concerts (2016), and in a concert at Palazzo Nicolaci, UNESCO World Heritage Site in Italy.
During her senior year of high school, Lucy Shirley began studying in the pre-college program at the University of Indianapolis, and started college there in the fall of 2016. Currently a junior pursuing a degree in Piano Performance with an Honors concentration, she studies piano with Dr. Sharon Parr. She enjoys choir, voice lessons, composing music, and is president of her school’s chapter of the music honor society Mu Phi Epsilon. Lucy hopes to continue onto graduate school after finishing her undergrad.
Grace Tran is a twelve-year-old from Texas. Her mother began teaching piano to her when she was 5 years old. When Grace was seven years old, she began studying piano with Dr. Alex McDonald. She has won numerous times competing in DMTA. She has also won top prizes in the Dallas Symphonic Festival Concerto in 2016 and 2017. Besides playing the piano, Grace loves to cook, read and try new things.
Catherine Shih, 16, from Atlanta, Georgia, is currently a junior attending Northview High School. She has been playing piano since the age of 5, and has since participated in, and won, top prizes in numerous competitions. Recently, she received the first alternate award at GMTA, and was the recital winner for two consecutive years (2014 and 2015) at the GMEA Allstate Competition. In the summer of 2015, she was a performer at the InterHarmony Festival and studied with various renowned artists. Last year, Catherine won the second prize for the American Protégé Competition and performed at Carnegie Hall.
Lynnae Eades, 17, is a homeschool student from Dalton, Georgia. She began studying piano at the age of seven. The last few summers, she has had the opportunity to serve as a collaborative pianist for two full musicals: Beauty and The Beast, and Wizard of Oz at her community theatre. She hopes to continue her education as a piano performance major next fall in college.
Grace Peng is a 13-year-old pianist from Johns Creek, Georgia and has been studying piano for almost 8 years. She has won numerous competitions and performed extensively. Most recently, she was the winner of the 2017 and 2018 Georgia MTA Auditions, the 2017 C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Awards, and the 2018 Southeast Young Artists Piano Competition. She will be attending Northview High School next semester.
Zhuangzhuang (William) Peng began his piano studies at the age of five. He currently studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. William has given recitals in Australia and China. He was awarded 1st place in the 16 & Under Group and 2nd place in Open Age Group of Australia Boroondara Eisteddfod in 2018. He has also received 1st place in the Geelong Eisteddfod Open Age Group (2017), the 7th Macau International Competition (2016), and in the Taiwan International Piano Competition (2015).
Catherine Huang, age 16, is a rising junior at Lynbrook High School in San Jose, CA and studies piano with Professor Hans Boepple. She won first prizes at the 2017 Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition and the 2016 IIYM International Piano Competition. She is also a top prizewinner at the Blount-Slawson Young Artist, San Jose International Piano, and the Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competitions. Catherine performed with the El Camino Youth Symphony and the Peninsula Symphony and will be performing with the South Carolina Philharmonic and the California Youth Symphony in the 2018-2019 season. She participated in the Southeastern Piano Festival and the John Perry Academy Summer Festival.
Amy Lao, 17, is a rising senior from Jacksonville, FL. She has won all piano categories (solo and ensemble) for the Greater Jacksonville Piano Competition and the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, placing top five in senior concerto twice. In 2016, Amy won the Gulf Coast Steinway Society Competition, the Edvard Grieg Society of America's Grieg Competition (with her winning performance archived by the International Edvard Grieg Society), and performed in the Selby Music Archive concert series. She has also won the FSMTA state concerto competition. Amy has performed in masterclasses under Dr. William Ransom, Dr. Elena Cholakova, and Dr. Robin Williams. She studies under Mrs. Mary Lou Wesley Krosnick.
Aidan Hedrick, a native of Union, Kentucky, was selected as the Second Prize winner and Best Cadenza Award at the Tri-State Piano Concerto Competition (2014) and as a semi-finalist in the Overture Awards competition (2017). He performed with the Northern Kentucky Youth Sinfonia as a concerto soloist in Bach’s Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055 in Orlando’s Universal Studios, where he received the “Maestro Award” for outstanding soloist. In 2018, Aidan was selected as a semifinalist in the Emory University Young Artist Competition. Aidan studied with Audrey Causilla from age five until graduating high school. He currently studies at Lee University with Dr. Cahill Smith, as a recipient of an academic scholarship and a Young Musician’s Award.
Veronica Cain, from Knoxville, Tennessee, is a rising junior at the Webb School of Knoxville. She has been playing the piano for ten years and has received many awards throughout her career as a pianist, including the Paderewski medal and several state trophies. She is also a singer and is very active in the choral department at her school. Although she is interested in pursuing a professional career in history, she also plans on continuing to play the piano and to study music in her future.
Levi Deal is from Copperhill, Tennessee. He is sixteen years old and a junior at Copper Basin High School. He began taking piano lessons from Katie Gilbert in 2008. He enjoys playing piano and singing at his church. He also plays percussion in the CBHS band and is a member of the Beta Club. Levi’s favorite composers are Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, and Chopin.
Nick Joslin is a senior performance major at William Carey University, where he is studying with Professor Brian Murphy. At William Carey, he has accompanied voice students, as well as the chorale. This past spring, he was pianist and music director for WCU's production of The Fantasticks. Also, in the summer of 2017, Nick attended AIMS in Graz, Austria as a collaborative pianist.
Ariel Hsu, from Taiwan, loves music and spends every minute she can with her piano. She studies with Pei-Chun Liao.
Rachel Song, 23, is a South Korean-born pianist residing in New Zealand. She has studied piano with Bryan Sayer, David Guerin and Stephen de Pledge, and currently studies under the tutelage of Dr. Rae de Lisle at the University of Auckland. She has a particular interest in chamber music and collaborative performance, and has performed with many diverse ensembles and soloists in occasions including Secondary Chamber Music competition, Royal Over-Seas League Scholarship Competition, Gisborne International Music Competition, and APO and Friends. Rachel received Bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Music, and this year, will receive her Master’s degree with particular focus on Russian classical piano music.
Ramsey Reyes graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. Ramsey is now a second-year MM student at the Temple Boyer College of Music, where he studies piano performance with Charles Abramovic. Ramsey began lessons with Zalina Gurevich in high school. His other teachers include Michael Sheadel, Mikhail Yanovitsky, and Amy Yang. Ramsey was awarded as the Rollins Community Music School Piano Student of the Year, Winter Park High School Concerto Competition Winner, and was selected as a Finalist in the South Florida Young-Artists Solo Competition. He has participated in masterclasses with Ciro Fodere, Amy Yang, Vadim Serebryany, and Daniel Epstein.
Ella Riley, from Tellico Plains, TN, is a 16-year-old rising junior in high school. Ella began playing piano nine years ago, and has since competed in many competitions. Her favorite composer is Chopin.
Katherine Yang, 14, began studying piano at the age of four and currently studies with Dr. Elena Cholakova. She was a winner of the 2018 Ruth Kern Concerto Competition and played with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra. She won 1st place in the Georgia MTNA Junior Category, the Rachel Howard Sonatina Competition, and the Romantic and Impressionistic Competition. Additionally, she was a winner of the C. Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Scholarship award. Katherine has been selected as a winner of the GMEA and GMTA piano competitions multiple times.
Wendy Case has performed all over the world as a chamber musician and recitalist. She is the founding violinist of the Brahms' Ghost Piano Trio and has collaborated with prestigious musicians such as David Finckel, Amir Eldan, Kirsten Docter, Soovin Kim, and ensembles including the Blossom Festival (Cleveland Orchestra), and the American Symphony. Her passionate performances have been heard on NPR, in Carnegie Hall, the National Opera Center, the Kimmel Center, and Severance Hall. She studied at the University of Michigan, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the Stony Brook University. Influential teachers include Andrew Jennings, Yehonatan Berick, Philip Setzer (Emerson Quartet), Soovin Kim, Hai Xin Wu, and William Preucil