Matthew Griswold, Co-First Prize Winner
Matthew Philip Griswold, son of Don and Nancy Griswold, is an eleventh grader at Flint Hill School in northern Virginia. Matthew attended the prestigious Interlochen Summer Arts Camp in the summer of 2006 where he studied under Dr. Rose Grace. He will attend Interlochen again this summer and play in the concerto competition. Matt has participated in master classes with Olga Kern, Kevin Kenner, Eldar, Rami Bar-Niv, Marcus Roberts, and others. After graduation from high school next year, he plans to pursue piano studies at the college conservatory level. During the past two years, he has studied with Dr. Michael Adcock at the Washington Conservatory of Music in Washington, DC.
Ivan Moshchuk, Co-First Prize Winner
Ivan Moshchuk, son of Ludmila and Nikolai Moshchuk, is a tenth grader at Grosse Pointe South High School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and has been playing piano since the age of five. In summer 2006, he attended International Music Academy in Pilsen ( Czech Republic), where he studied with Dmitri Vorobiev and Miroslav Brejcha and played in master classes hosted by Ivan Moravec. He was alternate winner of the MTNA Solo Piano Competition (2006) and First Place Winner of the MMTA Concerto Competition (2005). He also won the Young Artists Scholarship Competition in the Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League in 2004, and attained a superior rating for eight consecutive years at the National Federation Festivals. Recently, he received first place in the Senior Piano Schoolcraft College Honors Auditions. In the spring of 2006, he made his debut as soloist with the Grosse Pointe Symphony Orchestra. He has studied during the past eight years with Marina Zarklin.
Gregory Wang, Third Prize Winner
Gregory Wang, son of Dorothy and Bo Wang, is a tenth grade student at Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tennessee. He has won various awards from the Tennessee MTA, including TMTA Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Ninth Grade Piano, and was also a four-year winner of the TMTA Elementary and Junior High Piano Concerto Competitions. Gregory was runner-up in the 2005 MTNA Southern Division Baldwin Junior Performance Competition. Last summer, he received second prize in Lee University’s Piano Competition. He is a past winner of the Knoxville Choral Society’s Young Classical Musicians Competition and played in the Tennessee Theatre in Knoxville. He has appeared three times at “Tunes at Noon” in the Paramount Theater in Bristol, and has performed with the Johnson City and Maryville Symphony Orchestras. Gregory began his piano studies in the second grade and since third grade has studied at East Tennessee State University with Dr. Benjamin Caton.
Carolyn Colton, Discretionary Award Winner
Carolyn Anne Colton, daughter of Ken and Nancy Colton, is a ninth-grader in the gifted and talented program at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. She was the Alternate in the MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition for the state of Virginia in 2004, and was recently selected as the First Prize winner of the Maryland Baldwin Composition Competition and Second Prize winner in the northeastern division. As a winner in the American Fine Arts Festival she performed as soloist at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. She has received First Prize in the Northern Virginia Music Teachers Concerto Competition and has been a laureate in many other competitions including the Asian American International, Ruth P. Cogen, and the Marlin-Engel. Currently, she studies composition and theory with Francis McKay at the Levine School of Music, where she is in the Honors Program, and piano with Dr. Michael Adcock at the Washington Conservatory of Music.
Sean Gao, Discretionary Award Winner
Sean Gao, son of Zhiyong Gao, is currently a tenth grader at Clements High School in Houston, TX. He has been studying the piano since he was five, and has won numerous awards and honors. He won Brooks Mays Piano Fest, a local competition, three times, the HYAC (Houston Young Artist Competition) twice, and also achieved honorable mention in the TMTA state competition. Recently, Sean played with the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra after placing first in the HYAC concerto competition. He loves sports and spends time playing tennis outside of school. Among his other hobbies are video games, programming (computers), writing, reading, and board games. He speaks Chinese and is currently learning Japanese. During the past seven years, he has studied under Shu-Mei Shao.
Mariana Olaizola, Discretionary Award Winner
Mariana Olaizola, daughter of Guillermo and Maria Luisa Olaizola, is a tenth grader at Walt Whitman High School in Bethesda, Maryland. She is also in the Honors Program at Levine School of Music. At age eleven she won second place in a national competition in Venezuela, her native country, awarding her a solo performance with orchestra. At Levine, she has placed first in the Cogen Concerto Competition (intermediate and advanced) and the Margin-Engel Solo Competition (intermediate and senior). For the last three years she has received special recognition at Levine and was awarded “Student of the Year” in 2003 and 2004. In 2006, she was a winner of the Arthur Fraser Concerto Competition (SEPF) and the International Young Artist Piano Competition Festival, and performed at the Spring Gala Concert in Carnegie Hall, New York. In addition, she was a concerto soloist with the Maryland Youth Orchestra, and, in 2007, with the South Carolina Philharmonic. She currently studies with Irina Orlov.