Best Solo Award Discretionary Awards Best Contemporary Work Written After 1990
Catherine Huang, First Prize
Catherine Huang, 15, is from San Jose, CA. She appeared on Kansas Public Radio as winner of the 2016 International Institute for Young Musicians Piano Competition. She also won the Junior Category and received a special award at the 2015 San Jose International Piano Competition and won the 2016 Marilyn Mindell Competition, two first places at the MTAC State Concerto Competition in 2013 (Division 1) and 2016 (Division 2), second place at the 2017 Blount-Slawson National Concerto Competition, first place at the 2016 Pacific Musical Society Competition, and third prize at the 2015 Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competition. She participated in the John Perry Summer Academy in 2015 and the International Institute for Young Musicians in 2016. In 2017, she made her orchestral debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony. Catherine performed at a Steinway Society benefit concert in 2014 and a Starting Arts concert in 2016 and regularly performs at senior centers. She studies with Hans Boepple.
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Kasey Shao, Second Prize and Best Solo Prize
Kasey Shao, 13, is from Cincinnati, OH. She made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the age of 12, performing the Mozart Concerto, K. 488 under Yannick Nezet-Seguin. Her awards include two grand prizes at the National League of Performing Arts, first prize at the Crescendo International Music Competition, first place at 2015 West Chester University Pre-college Piano Competition, and first place at 2015 Princeton Festival Piano Competition Intermediate Artist Division. She also won the grand prize at 2014 Steinway Society of South Jersey Young Pianist Competition. In 2015, Kasey was named winner of the children’s division at the Albert M. Greenfield Concerto Competition, and was also the winner of New Jersey, Eastern Division, and the national finalist at the 2016 MTNA National Competition. She was a finalist in the Midwest International Piano Competition, 2016. She has performed three times at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, and is currently studying with Ran Dank.
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Eric Lin, Third Prize
Eric Lin, 16, is from Falls Church, VA. In 2016, he performed Prokofiev’s Third Concerto with the National Symphony (Kennedy Center, Washington). He is the winner of the 2014-2015 Virginia MTNA, 2015-2016 D.C. MTNA and Alternate for the 2016 MTNA Eastern Division. He also won the David Dubois Piano Competition, McDonald Arts Scholarship, Elizabeth Davis Piano Competition, International Young Artist Pianist Competition, Lee University Piano Competition, Chopin Young Artists Piano Competition, Ylda Novik Piano Concerto Competition, Emilio del Rosario Piano Concerto Competition (Chicago), DePaul Concerto Festival and Robert Spencer Concerto Competition at Junior and Senior levels. Eric has performed with five orchestras in Chicago, Washington (DC), and New York, including his debut, at age 11, with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra. He performs weekly at local community centers and studies with Marjorie Lee.
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Eriko Darcy, Discretionary Award Winner
Eriko Darcy, 15, is from Chicago, IL. Her awards include: winner of the Chicago Area Steinway Young Artists Competition; a Gold Medal at the 2010 Seattle International Piano Competition, Youth Division, and, in 2015, winner of the Music Teachers' Favorite Award and winner of the DePaul University Piano Competition. Eriko has performed twice at Carnegie Hall's Weill-Recital Hall as a First Prize Winner of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and the 2010 American Fine Arts Festival. In May 2016, she performed a one-hour solo program on WFMT Chicago's “Introductions.” In June 2016, she performed with the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the Texas State Young Artist Concerto Competition. Eriko's non-profit fund-raising efforts include recitals in Japan, Chicago, and Huletts Landing, New York. The proceeds from her charitable performances support the victims of domestic violence. A former student of Brenda Huang, she now studies under George Vatchnadze.
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Raymond Feng, Discretionary Award Winner
Raymond Feng, 15, from Pittsford, NY, is a sophomore at Sutherland High School. Raymond has been a top prizewinner of international and national competitions since age 9, claiming first prizes in the Thousand Islands Chopin International, Ithaca College Piano Competition, MTNA Eastern Division Junior Piano Performance, and Claudette Sorel Piano Competition, among others. As a piano soloist, he has been featured with orchestras from the United States to Europe, including the Ashdod Symphony in Italy, Mercury Orchestra in Boston, MYA Symphony in Chicago, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, Ithaca College Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Greater Buffalo Youth Orchestra, and Hochstein Youth Symphony Orchestra (HYSO). An ambassador for promoting classical music and music education, Raymond appeared on NPR’s “From the Top” with the Rochester Philharmonic under the baton of Ward Stare and was selected as a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation in 2016. Major concert venues Raymond has performed at include Eastman Kodak Hall, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall in NYC, Sanders Theatre at Harvard, and Millennium Park’s Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago. Besides piano, Raymond is also a violinist and the former concertmaster of HYSO. He has studied with Elier Suárez since age 5.
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Yannie Tan, Discretionary Award Winner
Yannie Tan, 15, is from Atlanta, GA. She won first prize in the 2010 Merrell Calhoun Prodigy Award at age ten, and was Grand Prize winner at the American Protege Competition and the National Young Artist Showcase Competition in 2011 and 2012, performing in Carnegie Hall twice. Yannie won first place in 2013, 2014 and 2015 in the MTNA state competition, and was first place winner of the 2016 MTNA National Junior Piano Performance Competition as well as winner of the Best Chopin Performance Award. She won first place in the 2016 GMTA Concerto Competition, the 2016 International Piano Festival in Italy, the 2016 National Young Virtuosi Recital Competition, the 2017 Emory Young Artist Piano Competition, and the AMC 2017 Scholarship Competition. She has performed with the Johns Creek and LaGrange Symphony Orchestra, ACSO, and the Wesleyan String Quintet, and initiated many benefit concerts for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. She currently studies with Alexander Kobrin.
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John Cao, Best Contemporary Work Written After 1990
John Cao, 16, is from Arlington, IL. John’s awards include first place in the Walgreens Open Senior Piano Competition, International Valery Kuleshov Piano Competition, TMTA 10th Grade Piano Solo Competition, Austin Piano Festival, a Grand Prize in the McKinney Young Artists Competition, and Honorable Mention in the David Dubois Competition. Additionally, John was a participant in the Houston Young Artist’s Concert, playing for nursing homes and schools. Apart from his piano study, John also sang in the 2015 and 2016 Texas All-State Choruses and the 2017 Illinois Honors Chorus and received second place at the TMTA 9-10th grade Voice Competition. He also led children’s worship for the Houston Chinese Church and played for their children’s choir and adult choir. John hopes that as a musician he can make a positive impact on his community. A previous student of John Weems, he currently studies with Alan Chow.
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