Winners of the 2023 Arthur Fraser International
Piano Competition

First Prize | Second Prize | Third Prize | Young Jury Award
Best Performance of a Solo Work | Best Work Written Since 1990
Discretionary Awards

Picture of Noah KimNoah Kim
First Prize; Young Jury Award

Noah Kim, 16, is a Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. Noah studies with Academy faculty member and MIC Artist-in-Residence Marta Aznavoorian. Noah was a first-place winner of the 2022 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition and will appear as a soloist in a Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert during the 2022/23 season. He has also performed with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago as the 2020 DePaul Concerto Festival winner. In addition, he is a first-prize winner of numerous other competitions, including Sejong Music Competition, ISMTA, Clara Schumann International Piano Competition, CAMTA Roberta Savler, and Walgreens National Concerto Competition. He is also a second-prize winner of the David D. Dubois Piano Competition. Noah has been featured in WFMT’s “Introductions". Noah is also a member of the Goya Trio at the Academy. The Goya Trio recently won first prize in the Rembrandt High School and Chicago National Chamber Music Competition in the strings and piano division. Noah has performed in master classes with John O’Conor, Alan Chow, Christopher Harding, Jon Kimura Parker, Azaf Zohar, Gilles Vonsattel, and Jerome Lowenthal.
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Picture of Celicia ThendeanCelicia Thendean
Second Prize

Celicia Thendean, age 15, started to learn piano with her mother, then continue studies with Ilana Vered and Anna Poklewski. Celicia had her first solo recital in October 2022 to raise money for her high school music program. She has won top prizes in numerous music competitions, including a grand prize at the Philadelphia International Music Festival, 2023 Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition Senior Division, Palo Alto Philharmonic Concerto competition, 2022 MTAC State Concerto Competition, 2021 Chicago Music Competition, 2021 MTAC VOCE State Competition in Voice plus Instrumental Category, and many more. Celicia has soloed with the Livermore-Amador Symphony, the Orchestra Virtuosi Brunenses in Italy, and the Palo Alto Philharmonic. Celicia was participant at the 2022 Southeastern Piano Festival. She won the Vivace Award at Vivace Music Festival in 2020 and had been invited to perform in Wilmington, North Carolina alongside with Prof. Marina Lomazov, Prof. Joseph Rackers, and Prof. Ara Gregorian. Besides piano, Celicia enjoys playing cello, oboe, and clarinet. She was selected in the 2021 and 2022 All-State Honor Ensembles on cello, oboe, and jazz piano, and was the recipient of the Ed Wolfe Scholarship for her outstanding performance in the All-State Middle School Band.
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Picture of Ariel ChienAriel Chien
Third Prize

Ariel Chien is a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Menlo-Atherton High School. She began piano studies at the age of 8 and currently studies with Sandra Wright Shen at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College. Ariel is a second-year scholarship recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States. She is the prize-winner of numerous piano competitions, including the 2022 Marilyn Mindell Piano Concerto Competition, 2022 US Open Music Competition, 2021 San Jose International Piano Competition, 2018, 2019 and 2020 USIMC Young Artist Award, and 2019 Los Angeles Young Musician International Competition. As the winner of the GSYO Piano Concerto Competition, Ariel performed with the Camilla Kolchinsky Orchestra in the 2022-23 season. Ariel participated in the Young Performers Program at Music@Menlo and Piano Texas International Festival and Academy in the summer of 2022. Ariel has performed in masterclasses with great pianists, including Yuja Wang, John Perry, Ann Schein, Sasha Starcevich, Ning An, Ory Shihor, and Christopher O’Riley. In addition to her music studies, Ariel enjoys playing badminton and listening to music.
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Picture of Guanjie (Tony) LuGuanjie (Tony) Lu
Best Performance of a Solo Work; Discretionary Award Winner

Guanjie (Tony) Lu is a rising 9th at St. Mark’s School of Texas, and has been practicing the piano since age 4. In elementary school, he qualified for the 2019 Liszt International Piano Competition, preliminary round in China by winning first place in Shanghai, and won first place at the 2019 Sino-German Invitational Competition at Shanghai; in the past few years, he studied under Dr. Alex McDonald and Mrs. Marcy McDonald at Dallas, Texas. He won first place at the Dallas Symphonic Festival, Intermediate Concerto division in 2021, and also first place at the 2022/2023 Collin County Junior Piano division. As the Texas first place winner and the regional first place winner, he qualified for the 2022 MTNA National Competition through the South Central region. Outside of practicing the piano, he enjoys reading, competitive math, policy debate, and photography, and also runs on his school’s cross country team. He is a two-time USAJMO qualifier and Math Olympiad Summer Program invitee and aspires to excel at both piano performance and mathematical olympiads in the future.
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Picture of Jacob RockowerJacob Rockower
Best Work Written Since 1990

Jacob Rockower began studying piano performance at the age of three. He currently studies under the direction of Professor Hans Boepple and previously studied with Lena Grozman. Jacob has been a prizewinner of regional and international piano competitions, including Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Performance Competition, California and Southwest Division (2022, 2021), Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Concerto Solo Competition State Finals (2022, 2021), California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) Contemporary Music Competition State Finals (2020, 2017, 2015), CAPMT Honors Competition State Finals (2022, 2021), Pacific Musical Society & Foundation Annual Competition (2022, 2021, 2020, 2019), Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition Junior Division (2022), Seattle International Piano Competition (2022), Chicago International Online Music Competition (2022, 2020), Franz Liszt Center International Piano Competition (2022), Steinway & Sons Junior Piano Competition Northern California Regionals (2020), ENKOR International Piano Competition (2022), and San Francisco Chopin Foundation Competition (2016). Jacob has performed at venues including Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. He has attended summer programs such as Music@Menlo Chamber Music Festival and Institute Young Performers Program and Atlantic Music Festival Young Artist Program and will attend the Young Artists Piano Program at the Tanglewood Music Festival this summer.
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Picture of James LiuJames Liu
Discretionary Award Winner

James Liu was born in Texas and began studying piano with his current teacher, Lisheng Xu, at the age of 7. James won his first piano competition at the age of 10 at the Dallas Symphonic Festival Solo Competition in 2016. He has received other 1st prize awards in Texas, such as the gold medal prize at North Texas Young Artist Piano Competition in 2021. James has also received awards like the alternate winner prize in the Texas MTNA Competition in 2021, Silver Hands Award in the Milan International Piano Competition, 2nd prize at the Dallas Symphonic Festival Concerto Competition in 2021, and the "Commended" award in the 2nd ArtePiano International Competition in 2022. In the May of 2022, James was honored to perform at the Merkin Concert Hall in New York City after he won Gold Prize in the Music International Grand Prix Teen Piano. A few months later, James won the 1st J. Earl Lee Piano Contest, receiving a scholarship award as well as the opportunity to perform with the Augustana Symphony Orchestra. Outside of studying piano, James’ hobbies include playing piano for the elderly, playing board games, baking, and listening to music.
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Picture of Norman LuNorman Lu
Discretionary Award Winner

Born in Boston, Luke Turner began playing piano at 4, currently studying with Alexander Korsantia and Ya-Fei Chuang at NEC Prep School. He has been fortunate to participate in many master classes with Tamas Ungar, Robert Levin, Pascal Nemirovski, Victor Rosenbaum, HaeSun Paik, Max Levinson and others. Norman has been honored to win top prizes from many regional and international competitions, most recently, Norman was awarded the First Prize at the 2022 MTNA Piano Competition of Massachusetts. As a performer of the PianoTexas International Festival & Academy, Norman won the Junior Concerto Competition that earned him the honor to perform with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra at the Van Cliburn Concert Hall in Fort Worth. During the same year, Norman participated in the Internationale Mozarteum Salzburg and was awarded the opportunity to perform at the festival's final concert. Norman was the Grand Prize winner of 2020 XI Hartford Chopin International Piano Competition, First Prize winner of both Solo and Concerto Division of 2021 William Knabe International Piano Competition. Furthermore, Norman was also the First Prize winner of 2020 and 2023 RADDA RISE International Piano Competition, and bronze medalist of the 2020 Steinway Piano Competition for North America and Canada.
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