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Gene Marcus Archive

Community Arts Academy

A legacy that lives on.

 

Since 2012, Purdue Fort Wayne has been honored to host the annual Gene Marcus Piano Competition to showcase the talents of young pianists from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. Wilda “Gene” Marcus (1927–2005) was an ardent supporter of the arts and a lifelong piano teacher whose legacy lives on each year through this eponymous competition.

PAST Winners and Judges

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER)

Michael Moore, Age 8, Mishawaka, IN, Third Prize
Student of Dr. Geena Kam

Lucas Li, Age 9, Perrysburg, OH, Second Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Joanne Lee, Age 8, Carmel, IN, First Prize
Student of Svetlana Soleimani

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12)

Mae O'Brien, Age 10, Granger, IN, Third Prize
Student of Patricia Collins Jones

Olivia Xie, Age 10, McCordsville, IN, Second Prize
Student of Ada Shebanova

Miles Pan, Age 11, Carmel, IN, First Prize
Student of Ada Shebanova

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15)

Isabella Wang, Age 13, Sylvania, OH, Third Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Gabriel Wang, Age 13, Carmel, IN, Second Prize
Student of Dr. Robert Palmer

Montgomery Moore, Age 14, Forest, OH, First Prize
Student of Dr. Laura Melton

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18)

Gabriel Ackerman, Age 17, Auburn, IN, Third Prize
Student of Dr. Jonathan Young

Ben Morton, Age 18, Fort Wayne, IN, Second Prize
Student of Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

Felix Zhang, Age 17, Granger, IN, First Prize
Student of Dr. Geena Kam

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Melody Luan, Elementary Division, Students of Linda Belleville

Emily Wang, Elementary Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Ted Wang, Elementary Division, Student of Chloe Li

Wesley Xie, Elementary Division, Student of Ada Shebanova

Audrey Zhang, Elementary Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Zoe Cha, Intermediate Division, Student of Dr. Robert Palmer

Caroline Song, Intermediate Division, Student of Dr. Galit Gertsenzon

Angela Xiao, Intermediate Divisiosn, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Daniel Chen, Junior Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Edward Ng, Junior Division, Student of Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

Aiden Wang, Junior Division, Student of Esther Chiu

Miki Kawamura, Senior Division, Student of Kathleen Price

James Philpott, Senior Division, Student of Linda Witchie

Claire Tong, Senior Division, Student of Annie Leong

 

Judges

The competition final round is adjudicated by a panel of nationally and internationally renowned pianists and teachers. All finalists will receive written feedback from each adjudicator immediately following the conclusion of their respective division. Visit the competition archives page for listings of previous years’ judges.

DR. DAVID ABBOTT

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David Abbott has been Professor of Piano at Albion College since 2005.  Previously he lived for ten years in Switzerland where he was frequently heard both as soloist and collaborative artist through Switzerland, Germany and on tours in Australia as a member of the Swiss Chamber Soloists. His recording with that ensemble on the Swiss Claves label of Schumann’s piano quartet and quintet won the coveted Prix d’or prize for that year’s outstanding chamber music recording.

Dr. Abbott has dedicated a great deal of his career as mentor and teacher, serving on the faculties of the Zürich and Schaffausen Conservatories of Music (Switzerland), and earlier at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In 2010, he was asked to serve on the faculty of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as a sabbatical replacement for Edmund Battersby.  He has also directed summer courses in both piano and chamber music in Europe as well as in the United States for over 25 years. In 2003, he founded the Con Brio Music Academy at the Hindemith Music Center in Blonay, Switzerland where he works with students across Europe and from the United States in piano and chamber music.

In 2011, Dr. Abbott was invited to teach and perform in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and also appeared in recitals with his wife Lia Jensen-Abbott in France and Switzerland.  He was awarded a Bronze medal and two special prizes at the 1980 International Music Competition in Geneva.  A graduate of the Eastman and Juilliard Schools of Music, Dr. Abbott remains active in historically informed performance practice as a result of work with renowned fortepianist Malcolm Bilson.  He recently completed a two-CD recording project of solo and chamber music by 20th-century composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.

Education
B.M. Eastman School of Music
M.M. The Juilliard School
D.M.A. Eastman School of Music

Dr. JOSEPH BOGNAR

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Joseph Bognar is chair of the music department at Valparaiso University, where he teaches piano, harpsichord, and music theory. He has served on the faculties of the Maud Powell Music Festival, Lutheran Summer Music, and the Stamford International Music Festival. As a member of the Castillon Piano Trio, he has performed in the United Kingdom, receiving acclaim for “his superb technique … one could only marvel at this talented performer.” (Evening Telegraph, U.K.) His performances with the trio have aired on BBC radio. He toured China with Windiana, Northwest Indiana’s professional wind ensemble, where he appeared as piano soloist in works of Gershwin and Xian. His live performances from Symphony Center, Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center have aired on WFMT-FM.

As a proponent of contemporary music, he has premiered piano solo works of composer Stephen Wilcox throughout the United States, including a performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, and has recorded Wilcox’s work for the Capstone record label. He premiered a new piano work by Wilcox in November 2009 for the Santa Barbara Arts Fund. His most recent campus performances have featured some of the most formidable 20th-century works, including Rzewski’s The People United Will Never Be Defeated! and Ives’s Sonata no. 2: Concord, Mass.

He has presented lecture-recitals on the works of Fauré and Schubert. His doctoral research explores Schubert’s compositional self-borrowing in the construction of operatic arias, and his article, “J.C. Bach’s Temistocle: Detecting the Reform Spirit in Eighteenth-Century Opera Seria,” appears in volume XIV of the Music Research Forum. His compositions for organ are published by Augsburg Fortress Press.

Bognar completed undergraduate studies in piano and organ at Valparaiso University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Awarded two university fellowships, he studied piano with internationally renowned accompanist John Wustman at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned his doctor of musical arts.

Education
B.M. Valparaiso University
D.M.A. University of Illinois

DR. SIOK LIAN TAN

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Siok Lian Tan is a Professor of Piano and Coordinator of the Keyboard Area in the Department of Music. She teaches piano performance, piano pedagogy, chamber music, and class piano.

As a performer, Tan has been heard in live broadcasts on Cincinnati Public Radio Station WGUC and has appeared as a soloist with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Oxford Chamber Orchestra, and Miami University Symphony Orchestra. She has also presented solo and chamber music concerts in major cities such as New York, Chicago, Luxembourg, Cologne, Cape Town, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne, and London, including a solo recital at the St. Martin-in-the-Fields concert series. Tan has recorded the chamber music of James Lentini on the Naxos

Active as a clinician and pedagogue, Tan has presented lectures at prestigious music conferences such as the College Music Society National Conference, the National Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, and the Music Teachers National Association National Conference. Her articles appeared in Piano Pedagogy Forum, American Music Teacher, MTNA e-Journal, and Clavier Companion. She has received the 2011 Ohio Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year, the 2020 Miami University Crossan Hays Curry Distinguished Educator, and the 2023 American Music Teacher Article of the Year Awards.

Education
D.M.A. University of Cincinnati 
M.M. University of Cincinnati
Performer's Licentiate in Piano, Trinity College of Music, London

MARY SICILIANO

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Mary Siciliano has a very successful private piano studio that includes pre-college students and piano teachers. She continues to give pedagogy workshops throughout the country and recently taught at the Interlochen Adult Education Seminar. Siciliano was on the piano faculty at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she taught applied piano, piano ensemble, chamber music, and coordinated the piano pedagogy program. She also taught piano pedagogy classes at the University of Michigan, Madonna University, and Schoolcraft College. Her students have gone to prestigious music schools and have distinguished themselves in many local, state, national, and international piano competitions.

Siciliano and violinist Velda Kelly cofounded "Chamber Music with Piano". This summer workshop at Madonna University explores chamber music with piano and has included students from age 12 through adults. Students are offered intense

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER)

Sophia Liu, Age 8, Sylvania, OH, Third Prize
Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Angela Xiao, Age 9, Carmel, IN, Second Prize
Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Lucas Zheng, Age 8, Sylvania, OH, First Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12)

Katherine Bai, Age 10, Carmel, IN, Third Prize
Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Zoe Cha, Age 10, Carmel, IN, Second Prize
Student of Dr. Robert Palmer

Isabella Wang, Age 12, Sylvania, OH, First Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15)

Kenny Wang, Age 15, Fort Wayne, IN, Third Prize
Student of Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

Henry Shao, Age 14, Sylvania, OH, Second Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Andrew Lee, Age 13, Carmel, IN, First Prize
Student of Dr. Robert Palmer

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18)

Feilx Zhang, Age 16, Granger IN, Third Prize
Student of Dr. Geena Kam

Rohan Eapen, Age 16, Fishers, IN, Second Prize
Student of Shane Meredith

Chloe Park, Age 16, Fort Wayne IN, First Prize
Student of Dr. Hamilton Tescarollo

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Mae O'Brien, Elementary Division, Student of Patricia Collins Jones

Elin Zhang, Elementary Division, Student of Linda Belleville

Eason Lin, Elementary Division, Student of Dr. Galit Gertsenzon

Ian Luo, Intermediate Division, Student of Kathleen Price

Alice Zhang, Intermediate Division, Student of Patricia Collins Jones

Daniel Chen, Junior Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Jayden Wang, Senior Division, Student of Linda Belleville

 

Judges

DR. PAMELA HAYNES

Dr. Pamela Haynes is a multi-faceted musician, performer and educator. She received her first music degree from DePauw University (B.M. Choral Music Education) during which time she studied at the Austro-American Institute in Vienna under the tutelage of pianist Hans Graf (Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien). She then completed graduate studies at Ohio University (M.M. Piano Performance/Pedagogy) and the University of Kansas (D.M.A. Piano Performance/Pedagogy/Literature). She is grateful to have studied with Jack Winerock, Gail Berenson, and Lorna Griffitt-Bedelian.

Dr. Haynes has performed as a soloist with the DePauw University Symphony Orchestra, University of Kansas Symphony Orchestra and Manchester Symphony Orchestra. Her area of expertise is in collaborative performance. She has appeared with Grammy award-winning baritone Daniel Belcher, with saxophonist Farrell Vernon at the Manchester New Music Mini-Festival, as guest keyboardist with the Wagon Wheel Theatre, and in numerous performances in Indiana, California, Kansas, Ohio and New Zealand.

Haynes has adjudicated at various competitions over the past 20 years. Most recently this has included IMTA Hoosier Auditions, the Hartman Stickley piano competition, ISSMA Solo and Ensemble District and State competitions, and Symphony of the Lakes Young Artist competition. Other activities have included founding the Manchester University Faculty Trio as well as making her debut as guest musical director and pit orchestra conductor for Huntington University Theatre Company’s production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Dr. Haynes is currently an Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Piano Studies at Manchester University. Her previous positions have included teaching piano and music theory at Los Angeles City Community College, curriculum consultant for the M.I.N.D. Institute (University of Irvine), music specialist for P.S. Arts through the Crossroads School of Arts and Sciences (Santa Monica), adjunct professor at Huntington University and music instructor at O.J. Neighbours Elementary School. Haynes is a member of NAfME, MTNA and IMTA. In October of 2020, she shared the following presentation at the IMTA Virtual State conference: “Performance, (IM)Perfection, and the Pandemic.” Dr. Haynes resides in Wabash with her husband Matt, 4 of their 7 children, 5 cats and 2 dogs.

DR. LAURA MELTON
Professor of Piano and Chair of Music Performance Studies at Bowling Green State University, has performed in Asia, Europe, South America and throughout the US.  A prizewinner in several major international competitions, Melton has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Freiburg Musikhochschulorchester in Germany, the San Francisco Chamber Players, and the International Chamber Orchestra in California. She has been featured on Südwestfunk Radio (Germany), Kol Israel, Radio Nacional de España and National Public Radio's Performance Today in celebration of the birthday of composers, John Corigliano and Samuel Adler.

Melton received rave reviews for her Naxos American Classics Series CD, Solo Piano Works of Sebastian Currier. Gramophone hails her as “an artist who can tame formidable technical beasts and bring colorful delineation to a multiplicity of moods and textures. The New York Times praises her playing as “expressive and with dexterous flair.” Additional recordings include solo piano and chamber music works by Samuel Adler for Naxos, and Currier’s violin and piano works for Albany Records with violinist, Yehonatan Berick.Melton is an avid chamber musician and has appeared in several US summer festivals including Ravinia, Aspen, and Sarasota, as well as European festivals in Holland, Switzerland, Germany and Greece.  She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Maryland, where she was a student of Nelita True; a master's degree from the University of Southern California, under John Perry; and a doctorate from Rice University, where she was a graduate fellow and teaching assistant to John Perry. As a student of Robert Levin, she spent three years in Germany as a Fulbright Scholar, earning the Solistendiplom while studying at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg.

DR. MICHAEL SEREGOW

A native of the Pacific Northwest, pianist Dr. Michael Seregow enjoys a multifaceted career as a performer, teacher, and recording artist. Currently a member of the piano faculty at Ball State University, he has also served on the keyboard faculties at Washington State University, University of Puget Sound, and University of Oregon.

Winner of The American Prize in chamber music performance, a national competition in the performing arts, Michael maintains an active performance career, performing a diverse selection of repertoire spanning from the late renaissance through works by composers of today. A musician of uncommon versatility, he has also received formal training in a variety of keyboard instruments other than piano including harpsichord, fortepiano, and organ, in addition to studies in jazz piano, basso continuo, historical performance practice, and composition.

An avid chamber musician, Michael has performed with internationally renowned artists such as Chicago Symphony Orchestra principal bass clarinetist Lawrie Bloom and Indiana University professor of bassoon William Ludwig, as well as members of Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Eugene Symphony, Oregon Mozart Players, and many others. Recent international performances include recitals with saxophonists Nathan Bogert and Bob Eason at the XVIII Encuentro Universitario Internacional de Saxofón México in Mexico City; a world premiere performance with flutist Sophia Tegart at the 2nd International Conference on Women’s Work in Music at Bangor University in Wales, UK; and a recital as featured guest artists with saxophonist Nathan Bogert in the national theatre of Honduras for Honduras Sax Festival IV in Tegucigalpa. Michael has performed at various national conferences around the United States including those for the North American Saxophone Alliance (Tempe, AZ), College Music Society (Louisville, KY), and National Flute Association (Salt Lake City, UT). In addition, Michael has performed collaboratively as an invited guest artist at many universities across the United States including University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, The University of Texas at Austin, Stephen F. Austin State University, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Cal State Fullerton, and others.

Michael celebrates the forthcoming release on Centaur Records of his second CD titled Palouse Songbook. A collaborative project with flutist Sophia Tegart, this disc features new and recent compositions by women composers, including two works commissioned specifically for this recording by composers Emily Doolittle and Ingrid Stölzel. In June of 2017 Michael teamed up with the San Francisco Bay Area’s historically informed Sylvestris Quartet and Portland baritone Harry Baechtel to record his debut CD, The Good Song: Fauré in the 1890s. Featuring compositions from an especially important and prolific decade of composer Gabriel Fauré’s life, this disc was recorded in Seattle using a beautiful 1869 Érard piano.

An active member of Music Teachers National Association, Michael is in demand as a lecturer and adjudicator and has presented on topics including teaching tone production at the piano, effective strategies for learning and memorization, the development of healthy technique for advancing pianists, and the pedagogical repertoire of Béla Bartók. His students have been prizewinners in local and national competitions. Michael earned a D.M.A. in piano performance with supporting studies in piano pedagogy from the University of Oregon. He was twice awarded Outstanding Graduate Performer in Keyboard as well as Outstanding Graduate Performer in Music in addition to receiving graduate teaching fellowships in piano pedagogy, collaborative piano, and opera accompanying. In the summer of 2011 he was a Collaborative Piano Fellow at the Music Academy of the West, where he worked with Jonathan Feldman. His principal teachers include Dean Kramer and Mark Westcott, and he has played in master classes for such eminent artists as Emanuel Ax, John Perry, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Jon Kimura Parker, and Angela Hewitt.

PROFESSOR GREGORY SIOLES

Professor Gregory Sioles is adjunct associate professor of music in piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He was previously associate professor of piano at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge).

Sioles has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including an Atwater Kent Grand Prize and a Fulbright Scholarship to London. He has performed on three continents, at such venues as the Purcell Room (London), Amerika Haus (Berlin), and Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Following his London debut, in 1983, he made solo appearances in Spain, Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland. He has also performed extensively throughout the United States as a recitalist and soloist with orchestra and has been a featured artist on National Public Radio.

An avid chamber musician, Sioles has collaborated with numerous artists, including Edgar Meyer, Barry Tuckwell, and the Guarneri String Quartet, as well as members of the Baltimore and National symphonies.

Part of the Washington, D.C., music scene for more than a decade, Sioles performed solo and chamber recitals in many of the city's most important halls, among them the Kennedy Center and National Gallery, Phillips Collection, Strathmore Hall, French Embassy, and Corcoran Gallery.

Recent international engagements have taken Sioles to Taiwan with bassist Yung-Chiao Wei, where he performed and presented master classes in five major Taiwanese cities, including Kaohsiung and Taipei. In summer 2015, he traveled to Panama and Costa Rica, where he taught and gave both chamber and solo performances. Planned 2020 tours of Taiwan and Greece are currently being rescheduled.

His recordings for Centaur Records include a solo disc and a CD of French Sonatas with violinist Lin He. His most recent recording features Brahms clarinet sonatas played by Griffin Campbell on alto saxophone (CD Baby).

Sioles’s principal teachers were György Sebők, Maria Curcio Diamand, Victor Aller, and Aube Tzerko. Sioles earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and a Master of Music degree from IU.

He has also taught on the faculties of the University of Maryland, Peabody Conservatory, and Levine Music School of Music.

DR. ELIZABETH YAO

Dr. Elizabeth Yao is lecturer in music in piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she coordinates its secondary piano program and codirects the Young Pianists program and the Summer Piano Academy.

Yao has been praised for her sincerity of expression and the “intelligent, emotional coherence” of her musical interpretations. She has been featured as guest soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and as a guest artist on Spokane Public Radio’s From the Studio.

Other distinctions have included prizes and awards from the Southern Illinois Young Artists.

Organization Instrumental Competition, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarship Competition, Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Award Tour Competition. As a collaborator, she has played with the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and the modern music ensemble Inverted Space.

As an educator and a music advocate, Yao has worked with students of all ages and levels, with an emphasis on accessibility, student self-efficacy, and student wellness.

She has toured with the San Francisco Symphony Adventures in Music educational outreach program, performing to and teaching thousands of elementary school students throughout the San Francisco Unified School District. She has presented her research at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Chapters Symposium and has been invited as a guest panelist at the Jacobs School’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development and the CCM collegiate chapter of MTNA.

Yao earned a doctorate from the Jacobs School of Music, with double minors in music theory, and music history and literature, under the tutelage of André Watts. Her dissertation, “Let the Record Show,” analyzes historical and recent recordings as an entry point for contextualizing and understanding the evolution of performance practices over the past 100 years.

She earned a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Mack McCray and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with double bachelor’s degrees, in piano performance (with honors) and Chinese. Yao lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and dog.

DR. ERIC ZUBER

Hailed as an "irresistibly fluid" and "illuminating" pianist by the New York Times and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Dr. Eric Zuber has established himself as one of the leaders of a new generation of American pianism.

Eric holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (B.M., A.D., D.M.A.), the Curtis Institute of Music (Diploma), and the Juilliard School (M.M). His major teachers have been Boris Slutsky, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, and Robert McDonald. Dr. Zuber is a CME Artist.

During a period of just a few years, Dr. Zuber was a recipient of major prizes from twelve of the world's most prestigious international piano competitions including Arthur Rubinstein, Cleveland, Seoul, Sydney, Dublin, Hastings, Honens, and the Piano-e-Competition, and was named a Laureate of the American Pianists Association Classical Fellowship Awards. He was also a Gold Medalist in both the Hilton Head and Bösendorfer International Piano Competitions. For these and many other remarkable achievements, he was given the Arthur Rubinstein Prize by the Juilliard School.

Dr. Zuber has made solo appearances at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Severance Hall and for the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City. After making his orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he has gone on to perform with many of the major orchestras in the United States and abroad including Cleveland, Israel, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Phoenix, Sydney, RTE National, and the Royal Philharmonic. His collaborations with internationally acclaimed artists include performances with Lewis Kaplan, Paul Huang, Amir Eldan, Charlie Neidich, Joseph Silverstein, Gerard Schwartz, Johannes Moser, and Amanda Roocroft.

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER)

Sophie Shao, Age 9, Sylvania, OH, Third Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Audrey Zhang, Age 9, Carmel, IN, Second Prize
Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Fiona Zheng, Age 9, Sylvania, OH, First Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12)

Montgomery Moore, Age 12, Forest, OH, Third Prize
Student of Frank Huang

Isabella Wang, Age 11, Sylvania, OH, Second Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Andrew Lee, Age 12, Carmel, IN, First Prize
Student of Elena Nesterenko and Svetlana Soleimani

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15)

Kenny Wang, Age 14, Fort Wayne, IN, Third Prize
Student of Hamilton Tescarollo

Henry Shao, Age 13, Sylvania, OH, Second Prize
Student of Esther Chiu

Jason Shaye, Age 14, Kalamazoo, MI, First Prize
Student of Lori Sims

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18)

Aditi Dey, Age 16, Zionsville, IN, Third Prize
Student of Edward Moy

Arjun Siderys, Age 17, Indianapolis, IN, Second Prize
Student of Galit Gertsenzon

Micah Young, Age 16, Fishers, IN, First Prize
Student of Robert Palmer

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Sophia Liu, Elementary Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Olivia Xie, Elementary Division, Students of Ada Shebanova

Angela Han, Elementary Division, Student of Galit Gertsenzon

Jayden Xu, Elementary Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Eason Lin, Elementary Division, Student of Galit Gertsenzon

Leonardo Lu, Elementary Division, Students of Patricia Collins Jones

Mia Zheng, Intermediate Division, Student of Esther Chiu

Yuxuan Lin, Intermediate Division, Student of Patricia Collins Jones

Alice Zhang, Intermediate Division, Student of Patricia Collins Jones

Daniel Chen, Intermediate Division, Student of Svetlana Soleimani

Miki Kawamura, Junior Division, Student of Kathy Price

Aiden Wang, Junior Division, Student of Esther Chiu

Edward Ng, Junior Division, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo

Gabriel Ackerman, Junior Division, Student of Jonathan Young

Allison Shen, Junior Division, Student of Edward Moy

Helena Wang, Junior Division, Student of Edward Moy

Elsa Lund, Senior Division, Student of Luke Norell

Arthur Yeh, Senior Division, Student of Ada Shebanova

 

Judges

CAROLINE HONG 

Caroline Hong, professor of piano, and executive and artistic director of the Franz Liszt (U.S.) International Piano Festival and Competition (hosted by The Ohio State University School of Music), received her training from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (BM, scholarship student, graduating with performance honors), The Juilliard School (MM), and Indiana University (DM) where she also served as an associate instructor for theory and secondary piano. She has served on faculty for the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Vianden International Festival and School (Luxembourg), Longwood University, and was the first female faculty member at the Piano at Peabody Roads Scholar summer program (2005). Her teachers include Martin Canin, Jerome Lowenthal, Sergei Babayan, Dmitrii Paperno, Ann Schein, Karen Shaw, M. Deitzer and Fernando Laires; and Claude Frank, John Browning, Leon Fleisher, Gyorgy Sebok, and Menahem Pressler as master class teachers. Her first teacher, with whom she began study of piano at age two, was her mother, Mrs. Koon Ja Hong.

Hailed for her “expressive and powerful playing,” “formidable technique,” as well as her “keen sense of lyricism and the classical style,” Korean-American pianist Caroline Hong continues to flourish in her career as an internationally active soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, master class teacher, lecturer, adjudicator and recording artist. Pulitzer Prize and Academy award-winning composer John Corigliano referred to her as “one of the greatest pianists I have ever heard” after a performance of his Etude Fantasy (1976). Critics wrote that it was “breathtaking” and “hard to imagine a better performance.” Favorably reviewed by American Record Guide, she has recorded for Mark Records and Fleur de Son, further establishing herself as an interpreter of living composers’ piano solo music. As a chamber musician, she has performed with many fine artist groups including the Vermeer String Quartet and the Dorian Wind Quintet, and toured extensively in the U.S. as a member of the piano/violin duo, Duo Viardot, with Charles Wetherbee.

Caroline Hong made her debut at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a winner of the Frinna Awerbuch International Piano Competition. During her competing years, she became a laureate of the Van Cliburn International Audition, the Robert Casadesus International Competition, William Kapell International Piano Competition, UNISA International Piano Competition, Beethoven Foundation, Distinguished Performer of the Palm Beach International Piano Competition, Winner of the Society of American Musicians, Bach Festival of Southern California, among others. As winner of the Chicago Civic Orchestra Soloist Competition, she performed in Symphony Center under the baton of Michael Morgan, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26. She has been a featured on radio broadcasts worldwide, as a performer for the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy, Robert Sherman’s “Young Artists Showcase” (New York Times Radio), and South Afrikaans radio, among others. She is a Steinway Artist, the principal founder of the American Liszt Society Ohio Chapter, and an associate musician of the Columbus Symphony where she functions as the de facto principal keyboardist.

ELIZABETH YAO

Elizabeth Yao is lecturer in music in piano at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she coordinates its secondary piano program and codirects the Young Pianists program and the Summer Piano Academy.

Yao has been praised for her sincerity of expression and the “intelligent, emotional coherence” of her musical interpretations. She has been featured as guest soloist with the Coeur d’Alene Symphony and as a guest artist on Spokane Public Radio’s From the Studio.

Other distinctions have included prizes and awards from the Southern Illinois Young Artists Organization Instrumental Competition, Indianapolis Matinee Musicale Collegiate Scholarship Competition, Lima Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition, and Ladies Musical Club of Seattle Award Tour Competition. As a collaborator, she has played with the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and the modern music ensemble Inverted Space.

As an educator and a music advocate, Yao has worked with students of all ages and levels, with an emphasis on accessibility, student self-efficacy, and student wellness.

She has toured with the San Francisco Symphony Adventures in Music educational outreach program, performing to and teaching thousands of elementary school students throughout the San Francisco Unified School District. She has presented her research at the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Collegiate Chapters Symposium and has been invited as a guest panelist at the Jacobs School’s Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development and the CCM collegiate chapter of MTNA.

Yao earned a doctorate from the Jacobs School of Music, with double minors in music theory, and music history and literature, under the tutelage of André Watts. Her dissertation, “Let the Record Show,” analyzes historical and recent recordings as an entry point for contextualizing and understanding the evolution of performance practices over the past 100 years.

She earned a master’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Mack McCray and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington with double bachelor’s degrees, in piano performance (with honors) and Chinese.

Yao lives in Bloomington, Indiana, with her husband and dog.

SOPHIA VAN DER WESTHUIZEN

“Exceptional pianism through evocative coloring” and “superlative interpretative abilities” (CUE Magazine) are phrases used to describe the playing of South African pianist Sophié van der Westhuizen. She was the winner of numerous prizes, awards and scholarships during the course of her studies, which culminated in a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. Sophié continues to perform internationally as both soloist and collaborative pianist, with a specialization in piano duo with her husband Pierre. They regularly appear in residence at the Cleveland Institute of Music’s Summer Sonata Festival as performers, teachers and judges, and have done the same at the Colorado International Piano Festival, Chautauqua Piano Institute, and Kent State University Piano Institute, among others. They received fellowships as Young Artists at the prestigious PianoTexas International Academy and Festival, and were Shouse Artists at the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. Their performances are regularly broadcast on radio, including NPR, WCLV, WGTE, and ClassicFM (South Africa), and they are often featured as guest artists at music festivals across the globe. Their performance on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, with live broadcast on NPR, remains a highlight. The duo recorded Francis Poulenc’s music for two pianos for AMP recordings. Sophié is currently on faculty at Cleveland State University, and has served on the faculty of Heidelberg University, Youngstown State University, University of Mount Union, the Music Settlement and Aurora School of Music. She also maintains a private studio with students ranging from beginners to other professional piano teachers. Sophié is also director of ArtsConnect, a community outreach program for the Cleveland International Piano Competition.

Sophié is an International Steinway Artist.

PHOENIX PARK-KIM

Phoenix Park-Kim, Professor of Piano at Indiana Wesleyan University, has given recitals throughout the United States, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, Spain and Russia including performances in various music festivals such as the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Piano Texas, and the Summer Music School in Siena. She has won top prizes at national and international competitions including first place at the Miami Concerto Competition, Jefferson City Concerto Competition, Kansas City Philharmonic Concerto Competition, and was a finalist at the Liszt-Garrison International Piano Competition. She appeared as a soloist with the Korean Philharmonic Orchestra, Kansas City Philharmonia, UMKC, Fishers Chamber, and Marion Philharmonic Orchestras among others. An avid chamber musician, Phoenix has performed with the Oxford String Quartet, Duo Dolce, Soprani Compagni and appeared at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as part of the Distinguished Concerts Artist Series. She has been heard on public radio in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Virginia, New Jersey, California, Madrid, Spain and Ontario Canada. Phoenix is dedicated to providing more exposure to lesser known repertoire especially music by African-American composers. In this endeavor, she was awarded the Lilly research grant and also received special congressional recognition by U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. Her recent CD “Deep River,” a collection of Classical works by African American composers, was released under the MSR Classics label. Her other recordings are also available on cdbaby.com and iTunes.

RAY KILBURN

Pianist Ray Kilburn, recognized as being among Canada's most gifted artists, now holds dual citizenship and resides in the United States. His studies, competitions, and recitals have taken him throughout North America, Europe, and Japan. Critics have been unanimous in their praise of his outstanding technical abilities and artistic temperament. In one critic's words, if Kilburn is not the reincarnation of the great romantic pianists, he comes close. Arthur Kaptainis of the Montreal Gazette wrote, Kilburn came across as a pianist of serious musical aims and thorough technical command. Technical hurdles were cleared with aplomb and his warm, firm tone never faltered. John Lambert of Spectator Magazine wrote, Kilburn.... is a powerhouse player infused with musicianship and taste. Pianism of this caliber is rare, indeed. Mr. Kilburn's debut performance in Raleigh was named one of the top ten classical performances of the 1994-95 season by Spectator Magazine. His first solo compact disc was released in September of 1997, and his second solo disc Kilburn Plays Rachmaninoff was released in December of 2000. In early 2001, he completed a collaborative compact disc with his father, cellist Michael Kilburn.

Ray Kilburn has been heard frequently on Radio Canada in live concert broadcasts, as well as on WCPE and the ETV networks in the United States, and the NHK television network in Japan. Competition and career successes have brought him numerous opportunities to perform both in solo recital and with orchestra. He has been a featured guest artist on numerous concert series and at many colleges and universities. Beyond his work as a soloist, Ray Kilburn has been active performing chamber music. Highlights have included concerts with his father, cellist Michael Kilburn, as well as recent concerts in Japan with his wife, soprano Yoko Shimazaki-Kilburn. A wide variety of other collaborations include choreographed performances of Prokofieff's Third Piano Concerto with Les Grandes Ballets Canadiens. Mr. Kilburn's many accomplishments have been recognized through prestigious arts grants from both the US and Canada. His many competition victories include first place in various national competitions and his performances in the final rounds of numerous international competitions.

Dr. Kilburn completed a Licentiate diploma and Bachelor's degree at McGill University, and the Master's and Doctor of Musical Arts Degrees in Piano Performance at Indiana University. His primary teachers include the eminent Canadian pianist Tom Plaunt, and the late world-renowned pianist Gyorgy Sebok. Dr. Kilburn served for two years on the faculty of music at the University of South Carolina, Coastal, and then for seven years on the faculty of music at Peace College. He is a much sought after recitalist, master teacher, and adjudicator, and now serves on the faculty of music performance at Ball State University.

LEON HARSHENIN

Since arriving in Indiana, Dr. Harshenin has been much in demand as a piano competition adjudicator, and is currently state coordinator of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Junior High Performance Competition. He has also served as President of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) Board of Directors, and with the MPO has performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the Midwest, California, New York, western Canada, Ontario, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Ecuador. In fall 2007 Dr. Harshenin toured Indiana with a lecture-recital called The Artful Genius of Chopin, which he presented at the Indiana, Michigan and California Music Teachers Association state conferences, as well as the MTNA national conference in Atlanta during spring 2008.

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st place: Zoe Cha – Age 8, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

2nd place: Katherine Bai – Age 8, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

3rd place: Audrey Zhang – Age 8, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

Honorable Mention: Arina Bolotina – Age 7, Zionsville, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

Honorable Mention: Henry Liu – Age 9, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Evan Keenan  

Honorable Mention: Olivia Xie – Age 7, McCordsville, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st place: Aiden Wang – Age 12, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

2nd place: Daniel Chen – Age 11, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

3rd place: Andrew Lee – Age 11, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

Honorable Mention: Elva Gu – Age 11, Yorktown, IN, Student of Lori Rhoden 

Honorable Mention: Julia Herstein – Carmel, IN, Student of Phoenix Park-Kim 

Honorable Mention: Josephine Yeh – Age 12, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st place: Chloe Park – Age 14, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

2nd place: Alexander Chen – Age 13, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

3rd place: Jason Shaye – Age 13, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Lori Sims 

Honorable Mention: Margo Greyvenstein – Age 15, Westfield, IN, Student of Elizabeth Goodenough 

Honorable Mention: Miki Kawamura – Age 14, Findlay, OH, Student of Kathy Price 

Honorable Mention: Jayden Wang – Age 14, Granger, IN, Student of Linda Belleville 

Honorable Mention: Kenny Wang – Age 13, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Christine Freeman  

Honorable Mention: Micah Young – Age 15, Fishers, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st place: Emi Kawamura – Age 17, Findlay, OH, Student of Kathy Price 

2nd place: Yao-Han Gabriel Zhang – Age 18, South Bend, IN, Student of Ketevan Badridze 

3rd place: Arjun Siderys – Age 16, Indianapolis, IN, Student of Galit Gertsenzon 

GRAND PRIZE WINNER ELEMENTARY/INTERMEDIATE DIVISION 

Aiden Wang – Age 12, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

GRAND PRIZE WINNER JUNIOR/SENIOR DIVISION 

Chloe Park – Age 14, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

 

Judges

RYAN BEHAN 

Ryan Behan, Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Indianapolis, has performed throughout the US, in Europe and China, with radio broadcasts on ORF (Austria), BBC, and NPR. Recent performance highlights include: concerto soloist with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Franz Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, recital appearances with the Indianapolis Quartet, and with sopranos Sumi Jo at the Mozarteum, and Jolana Slavíková at the Salzburg Festival.  

Behan is Co-Director of the Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition (OH), and with a strong profile throughout the Midwest he has concertized with members of the Indianapolis Symphony, ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, Columbus Symphony, and Dayton Philharmonic, been guest artist at Indiana University-Bloomington and Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, adjudicated for the Ohio MTNA Young Artist State Competition and the Columbus Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, and he continues to present master classes throughout the US and abroad.  Since 2012 he has served on the collaborative faculty of the Mozarteum International Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria where he has taught piano students participating in the Lied classes of Wolfgang Holzmair, and coached instrumentalists and singers alongside many of the great artists and teachers of our time: including opera singers Grace Bumbry, Wolfgang Brendel, and Hedwig Fassbender; violinists Zakhar Bron and Michael Frischenschlager; cellists Umberto Clerici, and the late Heinrich Schiff at Attersee.  

Through a holistic approach to teaching, rooted in establishing a healthy, natural technique with musical interpretation informed by one’s own inner voice, he seeks professional and personal fulfillment for his students by helping them to be who they are and be that well. Behan holds degrees from Bowling Green State University, the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, and The Ohio State University, was a student of Jerome Rose, Imre Rohmann, Vedrana Subotic, Caroline Hong, and also studied with Leslie Howard at the International Keyboard Institute in NYC and James Tocco in Cincinnati. 

CHRISTOPHER HARDING

Pianist Christopher Harding maintains a flourishing international performance career, generating acclaim and impressing audiences and critics alike with his substantive interpretations and pianistic mastery. He has given frequent solo, concerto, and chamber music performances in venues as far-flung as the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.; Suntory Hall in Tokyo; the National Theater Concert Hall in Taipei; the Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary; and halls and festival appearances in Newfoundland, Israel, Romania, and China. His concerto performances have included concerts with the National Symphony and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestras, the San Angelo and Santa Barbara Symphonies, and the Tokyo City Philharmonic, working with such conductors as Andrew Sewell, Eric Zhou, Taijiro Iimori, Gisele Ben-Dor, Fabio Marchetti, Randall Craig Fleisher, John DeMain, Ron Spiegelman, Daniel Alcott, and Darryl One, among others. His chamber music and duo collaborations have included internationally renowned artists such as clarinetist Karl Leister, flautist Andras Adorjan, and members of the St. Lawrence and Ying String Quartets, in addition to frequent projects with his distinguished faculty colleagues at the University of Michigan. He has recorded solo and chamber music CDs for the Equilibrium and Brevard Classics labels. He has additionally edited and published critical editions and recordings of works by Claude Debussy (Children’s Corner, Arabesques, and shorter works) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Viennese Sonatinas) for the Schirmer Performance Editions published by Hal Leonard. 

MATTHEW HILL 

Matthew Hill, pianist and Goshen College professor of music, teaches piano, chamber music, music history, and is chair of the music department.  He is an active recitalist, chamber musician, concerto performer, and master classes teacher. His interests in monasticism, theology, and the role of silence in music, engage his teaching, scholarship, and performing with a unique perspective and depth. He was on the piano faculty at the Schlern International Music Festival in northern Italy and has also taught at the Wausau Conservatory (WI), at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, and has also been a member of the piano faculty at the prestigious Interlochen Fine Arts Summer Camp. 

Hill was awarded a faculty renewal grant that entails creation of a recital program to illuminate the connections that exist between music, color, image, and faith (‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’). The French Catholic composer Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992) said about his own music that it was intended as a type of “liturgy for the concert hall. This resemblance to liturgy is due for several reasons: the use of descriptive titles and accompanying religious texts that reveal the religious intentionality of the music, and the unique relationship that exists between ‘hearing’ and ‘seeing’ in his music. Messiaen had a unique synaesthetic reaction to music in the internal “seeing” of colors, a type rainbow of colors, that was related to his experience of stained-glass windows as a church organist. Franz Liszt (1811-1886), wrote several important works that emphasize images of faith. The images are those of a fountain in Les jeux d’eaux à la Villa d’Este.  In two other pieces, the images are those from the lives of Saint Francis of Assisi speaking to the birds, and Saint Francis of Padua walking on the waves. This program will be first performed at Benedictine University in Kansas in the fall of 2018 and again in March at the School of Music at Butler University in 2019. 

For the 2016 Indiana Music Teacher’s Conference Matthew performed a world premiere of a Piano Trio (Goyescas XXI Homage to Enrique Granados) by Jorge Muñiz  alongside his colleagues Solomia Soroka (violin) and Jose Rocha (cello). Hill was selected to present at the 2014 MTNA National Convention on his studies with Claude Frank (“Brushes with Greatness”). Other professional highlights include: a series of master classes and a recital performance at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China; contribution of a chapter to Silence, Music, Silent Music (Ashgate 2007), publication of articles for Clavier, and an invited presentation at “Couleurs dans le vent: Celebrating the Music of Olivier Messiaen” held at the University of Kansas.  Matthew Hill has performed with the UW-Madison Symphony, the Goshen College Orchestra, on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Live from the Elvehjem and at the White House in Washington D.C. as accompanist for the Wausau Conservatory Choraliers Children’s Choir. 

The Blue Griffin recording label released his CD recording, Silent Colors, containing works by Liszt, Debussy, Messiaen, and several Gershwin songs arranged as virtuoso etudes by Earl Wild. The American Record Guide commenting on this recording states: “Matthew Hill is a talented pianist who has definite ideas as to how this music should go. He has a respectable technique to accomplish his aims.” 

He has a doctorate in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison under Howard Karp and has also studied with the renowned Beethoven performer Claude Frank, as well as with Richard Angeletti, and Garik Pedersen. His students have won various competitions – including a variety of concerto performances, and have also gone onto graduate study at the following universities and conservatories: Westminster Conservatory, University of Wisconsin-Madison. University of Oklahoma, University of Kansas, Bowling Green University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of Southern Florida, and at the Kansas City Conservatory of Music. 

Matthew began piano lessons at the very late age of 12 because of a strong desire to learn “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin. His music education increased rapidly when he learned of the music of Beethoven from reading Peanuts comic strips. His five much older sisters explained to the young boy that record albums of Beethoven Symphonies were owned by their parents, and Matthew then spent many happy hours listening to these as well as many other musical masterpieces. Another highlight of his youth was the discovery of the Hanon Piano Studies, and he gleefully played through all 60 exercises daily. He even expanded into Czerny, Pishna, and especially valued the School of Finger Independence by Isidore Phillipe. He credits his parents’ growth in patience and holiness as a direct result of his daily, and highly repetitive, technique regime. 

LIA JENSEN-ABBOTT

Lia Jensen-Abbott brings a background steeped in the humanities to her piano playing and lectures.  In addition to her many performance activities, her current research interests include Beethoven, Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, and Florence Price, as well as incorporating semiotic research into piano pedagogy. Jensen-Abbott was invited to participate in the International Mendelssohn Piano Competition in Taurisano, Italy in 2009 where she reached the third round.  In 2005 she taught and performed at the Con Brio Music Festival in Blonay, Switzerland.  She has appeared as a clinician for The Gilmore Festival Keys Fest as well as a sought-after performer and adjudicator around Michigan.  She has also taught at The Gilmore Piano Camp and presented lecture recitals at Murray State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Western Michigan University, and Wayne State University. In January 2011 she performed recitals in Zurich and Paris. January 2012 began with a lecture recital at the Hawaii University International Conference on the Arts and Humanities in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In February 2012, Lia made her solo debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.  Additionally, Jensen-Abbott is active in the Michigan Music Teachers’ Association, where she has served for four years as the coordinator of the state MTNA competition.   

During the summer of 2012, Jensen-Abbott completed her first professional recording—Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel’s Das Jahr.  In July 2012, Lia taught theory, keyboard skills, and piano literature at the Western Michigan University Seminar.  She has also been a grader for the AP Music Theory Exam, attended the Music Theory Midwest’s annual conferences, and numerous piano pedagogy conferences.  Lia holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (BM, DMA), The Pennsylvania State University (MM piano performance and pedagogy; MA theory and history), and Indiana University (performer diploma). She has studied with Timothy Shafer, Edmund Battersby, and Jeremy Denk. Currently, she teaches at Albion College where she has been a Visiting Assistant Professor of Music since 2008.  She and her husband David are co-founders of the Albion College Piano Festival and Competition, which has grown to a four-day event with over eighty national and international participants. 

YEVGENY YONTOV

Yevgeny Yontov has established himself as one of the most promising Israeli pianists of his generation. As finalist in the 2017 Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, he received the Prize for Best Performance of Chamber Music, and the Prize for the Best Israeli Pianist. Other international top prizes include gold medals at the Wideman International Piano Competition and Berliner International Music Competition, as well as additional prizes at the Boesendorfer International Piano Competition, the Olga Kern International Piano Competition, and the Pinerolo International Piano Competition, among others. 

A founding member of icarus Quartet, an award-winning 2piano/2percussion group, Mr. Yontov holds chamber music close to heart. He has performed chamber music in Israel, Europe, Asia, and North and South America, in venues that include Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C. Chamber colleagues include distinguished artists, such as David Shifrin, Corrado Giufreddi, Roberto Diaz, Fred Sherry, and many others, including members of established string quartets like the Orion, Dover, Aviv, and Miro Quartets. Mr. Yontov has also performed in numerous chamber festivals, most notably returning visits to Chamber Music Northwest. 

As a soloist, Mr. Yontov has performed on stages across Israel, the US, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, and many European countries. Orchestral engagements include numerous orchestras in the US, including orchestras in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana and Arkansas, and all major Israeli orchestras. He also performed on Israeli national TV, and recorded for Israeli, US, Portuguese and Spanish radios. Mr. Yontov’s debut CD, “Schubert: Piano Variations,” was released on Naxos Records in 2017, and includes seldom performed piano pieces by Schubert, including his relatively newly discovered Grazer Fantasie. 

Mr. Yontov began his musical studies at the age of six with Adela Umansky, and later received his B.Mus degree summa cum laude from the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University, where he studied with Prof. Arie Vardi. He then moved to the US to study with Prof. Boris Berman at the Yale School of Music, from which he received his M.M. and D.M.A. degrees. 

Mr. Yontov has given masterclasses across the US, Israel, and China. In 2018, he joined the faculty of Bowling Green State University, where he serves as Assistant Professor of Piano. 

 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Abbie Zhu, Age 8, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

2nd Prize: Isabelle Wang, Age 9, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

3rd Prize: Katherine Bai, Age 7, Carmel, IN, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

Honorable Mention: Audrey Zhang, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Henry Shao, Age 11, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

2nd Prize: Kenny Wang, Age 12, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Christine Freeman 

3rd prize: Montgomery Moore, Age 10, Forest, OH, Student of Margarita Denenburg 

Honorable Mention:  Daniel Chen, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

Honorable Mention: Andrew Lee, Student of Svetlana Soleimani 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Felix Zhang, Age 13, Granger, IN, Student of Geena Kam 

2nd Prize: Chloe Park, Age 13, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

3rd Prize: Arthur Yeh, Age 14, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

3rd Prize: Henry Lee, Age 14, Carmel, IN, Student of Phoenix Park-Kim 

Honorable Mention:  Aditi Dey, Student of Edward Moy 

Honorable Mention: Micah Young, Student of Ada Shebanova 

Honorable Mention:  Sophaia Prabhu-Hensley, Student of Ada Shebanova 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Madison Weiss, Age 17, Indianapolis, IN, Student of Phoenix Park-Kim 

2nd Prize: Richard Wu, Age 18, Carmel, IN, Student of Karen Taylor 

3rd Prize: Kevin Wang, Age 17, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

Honorable Mention: Aidan Kroeker, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

 

Judges

Elementary/Intermediate 

Galit Gertsenzon, Ball State University Honors College 

Pamela Haynes, Manchester University 

Leon Harshenin, Taylor University 

Junior/Senior 

Young Hyun Cho, Michigan State University 

Joel Harrison, American Pianists Association 

Siok Lian Tan, Miami University 

 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Sara Yoshida, Age 9, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

2nd Prize: Juan Suarez, Age 9, Berrien Springs, MI, Student of Lydia Balorda 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Alexander Chen, Age 11, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

2nd Prize: Henry Shao, Age 10, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

3rd prize: Kenny Wang, Age 11, Fort Wayne, Student of Christine Freeman 

Honorable Mention: Claire Tong, Age 10, Portage, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

Honorable Mention: Katherine Yaya Wang, age 10, Carmel, IN, student of Ada Shebanova 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Etien Balorda, Age 13, Berrien Center, MI, Student of Lydia Balorda 

2nd Prize: Sai Ann Hamm, Age 15, Middletown, IN, Student of Galit Gertsenzon 

3rd Prize: Arthur Yeh, Age 14, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

Honorable Mention: Emi Kawamura, Age 15, Findlay, OH, Student of Kathleen Price 

Honorable Mention: Ian Sun, Age 14, Carmel, IN, Student of Ada Shebanova 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Sage Hamm, Age 18, Middletown, IN, Student of Robert Palmer 

2nd Prize: Madison Weiss, Age 17, Indianapolis, IN, Student of Irina Gorin and Phoenix Park-Kim 

3rd Prize: Harmon Balorda, Age 16, Berrien Center, MI, Student of Lydia Balorda 

Honorable Mention: Ruben Balorda, Age 18, Berrien Center, MI, Student of Lydia Balorda 

Honorable Mention: Rachel Mei Lanting, Age 17, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

 

Judges

MARGARITA DENENBURG 

Margarita Denenburg, NCTM is Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies at Heidelberg University, where she teaches applied piano and pedagogy among other courses. Denenburg was recognized for her teaching effectiveness through several campus and statewide awards, including the “Merit Faculty Award” (Fall 2015), the “Innovative Teaching Award” (Spring 2016), and the “Excellence in Education Award” for the state of Ohio (Fall 2016). 

As a researcher, Denenburg has multiple articles with American Music Teacher journal, Clavier Companion magazine, Piano Pedagogy Forum as well as a review of More Classics to Moderns, Books 1-6, Second Series with the journal The American Music Teacher. 

In 2017-2018 seasons, Denenburg presented at the National College Music Society conference, National Group Piano/Piano Pedagogy Forum, Ohio Music Teacher Association as well as several College Music Society regional conferences. In 2017, she was the keynote presenter for the Oregon Music Teacher Association conference. She has also presented internationally at the University of Savoy and Chambery Conservatory, France, as well as performed several concerts with her duet partner Gerald Evans. 

Denenburg is on the College Music Society Great Lakes board, is the Vice President for the OhioMTA Student Activities and serves as a chair for the Ohio Federation Music Club MA and DMA Scholarship Award. 

After receiving her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California in 2012. In addition, she participated in several summer festivals including Sergei Babayan’s International Piano Academy at Cleveland Institute of Music and International Keyboard and Institute at Mannes School of Music. 

For more information please visit: www.MargaritaDenenburg.com

JAMES HELTON 

James Caton Helton maintains an active schedule as a soloist, a collaborative performer and as an adjudicator and teacher of master classes. He has performed throughout most of the United States and in the Czech Republic, Spain, and Thailand. He has had the pleasure of working with Pulitzer Prize winning composers George Crumb, William Bolcom, Lucas Foss and Joseph Schwantner in concerts broadcast over public radio and television.  

For New World Records, Helton appeared with the Blair Woodwind Quintet on works by composer Michael Kurek (CD 80497-2), a disc that achieved a place on the short list of Grammy nominations for its category in 1996. AUR released Sky Scrapings, music of Don Freund, on which Helton collaborated with saxophonist John Sampen at the invitation of the composer. Two CD’s with Chinese soprano Mei Zhong include Chinese Art Songs for Leyerle Publications and, for North Pacific Records, The Silvered Lute, containing twentieth and twenty-first century song cycles by both Chinese and Western composers. An additional honor with Zhong was the world premiere performance of the cycle by Paul SanGregory [sic], Songs of Distance, at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Winter Workshop in San Diego, CA. Helton’s most recent publication is for Navona Records: a collaboration with violinist Mary Kothman of Amelia Kaplan’s Insolence. Other artistic pursuits include the solo piano music of Central Europe, Scandinavia, and England, focusing currently on the solo piano music of pianist/composer York Bowen.  

James Helton is Professor of Music Performance at Ball State University, where he teaches piano and chamber music and coordinates accompanying activities. He recently completed two terms as Coordinator of the Performance Area. Prior academic appointments include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Visiting Lecturer, 1998-2000) and Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, (Artist Teacher of Piano, 1993-1998). He is quite active in the Music Teachers National Association, having served as the Chairperson of Performance Competitions for the East Central Division.  

Helton earned the Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance and Literature (cognates in musicology and piano pedagogy) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance from the University of Texas at San Antonio. His principal teachers were Ian Hobson and Janice Hodges. He has performed in master classes of John Browning, John Perry, Ursula Oppens, Richard and John Contiguglia, Maurice Hinson, and Bela Siki, among others. 

YU-LIEN THE 

Yu-Lien The has performed throughout the US, Europe and Southeast-Asia, including appearances as a soloist with the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, the Kammerorchester Hannover and the Baroque Orchestra L'Arco. Other notable performances include a two-piano recital with Lori Sims of Messiaen’s “Visions de l’Amen” in 2008 and a lecture recital of “The Other Diabelli-Variations” in 2012, both at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo, Michigan. A prizewinner of the 12th International Piano Competition Viotti-Valsesia (Italy) and the Deutsche Musikwettbewerb, she was admitted to the National Concert Podium for Young Artists (Germany), which led to several concert tours with violinist Tomo Keller. Ms. The has been involved in a number of commissions and world premieres. She frequently collaborates with saxophonists Joe Lulloff and Henning Schröder as well as composers Dorothy Chang, Keith Murphy and Carter Pann. During her tenure with the new music ensemble Opus21, she worked with composers Anna Clyne, David Lang and Frederic Rzewski, which culminated in premiere performances at Symphony Space (New York) as well as Zankel Hall at Carnegie in 2007 and 2008, respectively. 

Born in the Netherlands, Yu-Lien The received most of her musical training in Germany, where she obtained degrees in both piano and recorder performance and pedagogy from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. She has earned an Artist Diploma from the Hochschule für Musik Detmold as well as a D.M.A. in piano performance from Michigan State University. Her principal piano teachers were Arie Vardi, Anatol Ugorski, Deborah Moriarty and Lori Sims. 

Yu-Lien The is Assistant Professor of Keyboard Studies at Western Michigan University and has previously served on the faculties at Bowling Green State University, Valparaiso University and Kalamazoo College. 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Montgomery Moore, Age 8, Forest, OH, Student of Margarita Denenburg 

2nd Prize: Claire Tong, Age 9, Portage, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

3rd Prize: TamDuc Tran, Age 9, Lima, OH, Student of Dawn Stratton 

Honorable Mention: Bella Marie Hilger, Age 9, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Mary Hilger 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Christa Scofield, Age 11, Granger, IN, Student of Mary Rose Norell 

2nd Prize: Kenny Wang, Age 10, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Christine Freeman 

3rd prize: Yolanda Hu, Age 11, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

Honorable Mention: Aidan Borbiev, Age 10, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Noemi Paraiso 

Honorable Mention: Catherine Ji, age 12, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Christine Freeman 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Nobel Zhou, Age 15, Sydney, OH, Student of Daira Skriblis 

2nd Prize: Kevin Wang, Age 15, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

3rd Prize: Aidan Kroeker, Age 14, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Stephen Cresse 

Honorable Mention: MinhDuc Tran, Age 14, Lima, OH, Student of Dawn Stratton 

Honorable Mention: David Jin, Age 15, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Cecilia Horner, Age 16, South Bend, IN, Student of Kathleen Keasey 

2nd Prize: Tristan Galeon, Age 16, Marion, IN, Student of Daniel Lin 

3rd Prize: Mei Lanting, Age 16, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

Honorable Mention: Sophie Steele, Age 17, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Jim Steele

 

Judges

KATE BOYD 

An active soloist and chamber musician, American pianist Kate Boyd has performed solo recitals at Schubert’s birth house in Vienna, the National Concert Hall in Dublin, the Musikhalle Hamburg, in addition to many places throughout the US and Canada. 

As a faculty member at Butler University, she has appeared as a soloist with each of the University’s large ensembles in performances ranging from Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. This season she will be performing a solo recital at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. 

A passionate advocate for the music of our time, Boyd has performed numerous world premieres, including James Woodward’s Concerto for Piano and Wind Ensemble. Her first solo CD, Music for the End of Winter (Ravello), consists of previously-unrecorded works for solo piano by composers Daniel Koontz, Michael Schelle, Frank Felice, Howard Frazin and John Halle. Her second solo CD, consisting of works by John Cage (Navona),was met with critical acclaim and has received more than 60,000 digital downloads and streams to date. 

With violinist April Johnson and cellist Peter Seidenberg, Boyd is a founding member of the New York-based Oracle Trio, a piano trio that performs works from the eighteenth century to the present. The Oracle Trio has been a featured ensemble for COLLECTANEA, a multimedia dance and music event, was a featured conference artist for the Indiana Music Teachers Association, and has performed on concert series in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Indiana, New York, and elsewhere. In addition, Oracle has commissioned works from Daniel Koontz and Douglas McConnell, and champions works by contemporary American composers including Marc Mellits, David MacDonald and Samuel Adler. 

In addition to her work with Oracle, Boyd regularly collaborates with musicians and artists of various disciplines. In Londonderry, NorthernIreland, she performed a work by composer Elaine Agnew with the Orbit Dance Centre dance troupe, as well as Bach’s C Minor Partita in live performances with the dance program at Butler University. She has performed dozens of chamber music works, including a televised performance of George Crumb’s Music for a Summer Evening, for two pianos and two percussion; and John Corigliano’s Chiaroscuro, for two pianos tuned a quarter tone apart. 

As an educator, Boyd is also active as a conference clinician. She has presented lectures and workshops at state, regional, and international conferences, including the International John Cage Conference in Malaysia, the European Piano Teachers Association Conference in Germany, the College Music Society Great Lakes Regional Conference, and the Kentucky Music Teachers Association State Conference. She is also in demand as an adjudicator, and has judged for many events, including the ISSMA state competition, the MTNA Southern Division Competitions, and Stickley Piano Competition. Boyd has also served on the national Fulbright screening committee for piano applicants. She regularly gives masterclasses to students through teacher organizations and universities,and has worked with students of all ages. 

Boyd has received numerous awards and prizes, including an Indiana Arts Commission Grant and a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis, an award funded by the Lilly Foundation for creative artists of all disciplines.  Other awards and prizes include a Fulbright scholarship and fellowships at the Tanglewood Center, Blossom Music Center, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and Prussia Cove(England). 

Boyd received her Bachelor of Music from Oberlin Conservatory, under the tutelage of Russian pianist Sedmara Rutstein; her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Stony Brook University, where she studied with renowned pianist and pedagogue Gilbert Kalish; and a Diploma from the Hannover (Germany) Academy of Music,where she studied with Israeli master teacher Arie Vardi. She also studied with Estonian pianist Arbo Valdma at the Cologne (Germany) Academy of Music, under the auspices of a Fulbright Grant. In addition to her major teachers, she received extensive coachings and attended residential masterclasses with Leon Fleisher, Peter Serkin, Gyorgy Sebok, John Perry, Reinbert DeLeeuw, and Ronald Copes, among others. 

Kate Boyd currently serves as Associate Professor of Piano and Piano Area Coordinator at Butler University, in Indianapolis, Indiana. In the summers she is on the faculty of the internationally-renowned Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan. Formerly, she was on the faculty of Heidelberg University, in Tiffin, Ohio, and for ten summers taught at Kinhaven Music School, in Weston, Vermont. 
 
STEVEN GLASER 

Steven Glaser, professor of piano at Ohio State University, performs frequently throughout the United States and abroad with solo recital appearances in Orchestra Hall, Chicago; Merkin Concert Hall, New York City; and numerous recital tours of Israel, Europe, the Far East and New Zealand. He has performed on recitals series in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Kaohsiung, Taipei, Corfu, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, and New York City. Among the chamber ensembles he has performed with are the Alard String Quartet, Thouvenel String Quartet, Quadriga Piano Quartet, and the Con Fuoco Duo with clarinetist Robert Walzel. The Con Fuoco Duo’s first compact disc, entitled Con Fuoco: Duets for Clarinet and Piano, received outstanding reviews; the duo has concertized in the United States, Europe, and toured Africa as part of the Artistic Ambassador Program of Arts America, a branch of the U.S. Information Agency. 

Glaser holds degrees from The University of Michigan and The Juilliard School, where he was a scholarship student of Nadia Reisenberg. He has garnered the top prize in numerous piano competitions including the prestigious New York Chopin International Competition, the Liederkranz Competition, and the Society of American Musicians Competition. He has been a visiting professor of piano at the prestigious Buchmann-Mehta School of Music at Tel-Aviv University and Capital University in the United States. Glaser is an advocate of Jewish music and a member of the distinguished faculty of the Melton Center for Jewish Studies at The Ohio State University. Prior to his appointment at Ohio State in 1994, he served on the piano faculties at Texas Tech University, Penn State University, and C. W. Post College. 
 
SUSAN WIERSMA UCHIMURA 

Susan Wiersma Uchimura is a resident artist with the Merling Trio and a member of the piano faculty and staff accompanist at Western Michigan University. Previously she served on the piano faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Augusta College in Georgia, and the accompanying faculties of the Meadowmount School of Music and the Aspen Music School. 

Ms. Wiersma Uchimura graduated as class valedictorian from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she received bachelor of music degrees in theory and piano as a student of Jack Radunsky and Eunice Podis.  Ms. Uchimura earned the master of music degree in pedagogy from the University of South Carolina, where she studied under Max Camp and Charles Fugo. She has also studied at the Banff School of Fine Arts and in New York with Dorothy Taubman and Edna Golandsky. 

Ms. Wiersma Uchimura has performed with major young artists as resident collaborative pianist for the Stulberg International String Competition, the Music Teacher National Association-Wurlitzer Collegiate Artist Competition, and the Pensacola Summer Music Festival.  As a faculty member at the acclaimed ENCORE School for Strings for 20 years, she performed with such esteemed alumni as Robert Chan, concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony, violinists Stefan Jackiw and Soovin Kim, and Sheryl Staples, Principal Associate Concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. She recently concertized with violinists Scott St. John, Jun-Ching Lin, and Ivan Chan. She is currently official accompanist for the International Cello Institute in Minnesota, where she collaborates with such prestigious cellists as Anthony Ross, principal cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra, Turtle Island String Quartet cellist Mark Summer, and Joshua Koestenbaum, Associate Principal Cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. In the summer of 2012, she was resident collaborative pianist for the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Morelia, Mexico. 

As a member of the renowned Merling Trio, Uchimura has performed in 40 states, as well as Canada and the United Kingdom. The trio made their debut China tour in 2017, featuring a week-long residency at the China conservatory in Beijing. The trio has appeared on prestigious series at venues such as Merkin Hall, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and the Columbus Museum of Art, to broad critical acclaim. Their latest CD, postcards in e, featuring works of Dvorak and Shostakovich, was recently released by MSR Classics to rave reviews. The Sierra Vista Herald said, “The Merling Trio possesses tremendous talent, ingratiating tone quality, and unlimited technique. They are formidable.” The 2017-18 season will include tours to Indiana, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Wisconsin, and Florida.  Of special note next season will be the launch of the Merling’s latest project, “The Great American Songbook”, featuring newly-commissioned arrangements of popular works by composers such as Gershwin, Duke Ellington, Henry Mancini, and Harold Arlen. The trio will be featured in June, 2018, on the final concert of the Kalamazoo Bach Festival Concert Series. 

Ms. Wiersma Uchimura maintains an active private studio.  Her students have won major competitions throughout the United States, and she is widely in demand as a clinician and adjudicator. She and her husband Bruce are the proud parents of two “hapa” daughters, both of whom became accomplished pianists. Melanie works in Arts Management at Kent State University, and Marissa is a fellow in the Teach for America program in Baltimore. 

 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Joshua Wang, age 9, Toledo, OH, student of Esther Chiu 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Chloe Park, age 10, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

2nd Prize: Felix Zhang, age 10, Granger, IN, student of Melissa Luan 

3rd prize: Etien Balorda, age 11, Berrien Center, MI, student of Sandra Camp 

Honorable Mention: Andrew Christensen, age 11, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Aubree Leuthold 

Honorable Mention: Catherine Ji, age 11, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Christine Freeman 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Cecilia Horner, age 15, South Bend, IN, student of Kathleen Keasey 

2nd Prize: Harmon Balorda, age 14, Berrien Center, MI, student of Sandra Camp 

3rd Prize: Peter Yang, age 14, Granger, IN, student of Patricia Collins Jones 

Honorable Mention: Kevin Wang, age 14, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Liya Jin, age 16, Kalamazoo, MI, student of Annie Leong 

2nd Prize: Ruben Balorda, age 16, Berrien Center, MI, student of Sandra Camp 

3rd Prize: David Detweiler, age 18, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

Honorable Mention: Allyn Beifus, age 17, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

 

Judges

JOHN BLACKLOW 

John Blacklow is a professor of piano and director of undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame. He received his DMA from the University of Southern California, his MM from The Juilliard School and his BA from Harvard University. Hailed for his "powerful and eloquent" playing (New York Times), as “a gifted musical presence with a high sense of pianistic fantasy” (Salzburger Nachrichten) and “capable of the utmost in virtuosity” (Fanfare Magazine), Blacklow is a pianist of unusual versatility, as a soloist, as a collaborator with many ensembles and recital partners, and as an interpreter of repertoire both past and current.  He has been presented in many prestigious venues and concert series throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia. 

As soloist, Blacklow has been presented in venues such as Alice Tully Hall and Merkin Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, the Royal Conservatoire in  Brussels, the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2009, EDI Records released a solo piano CD Prism , featuring works by Berg, J.S. Bach, Schumann, and Chopin. Blacklow has performed in several capacities with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As keyboardist, he has worked under conductors including Esa-Pekka Salonen, Pierre Boulez, Leonard Slatkin, John Adams, and Marin Alsop, and performed in the world premiere of Soundings by John Williams at the gala opening of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Blacklow has also participated on numerous occasions with the LA Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society, on the Green Umbrella New Music Series, and appears on the orchestra's Deutsche Grammophon/iTunes recordings. In spring of 2014, he was invited to perform in the LA Philharmonic's Minimalist Jukebox festival at Disney Hall, including the west coast premiere of Louis Andriessen's De Materie.

Blacklow was selected with violinist Jennifer Frautschi by Carnegie Hall and the European Concert Hall Organization for their “Rising Stars” program, and the duo was received with high acclaim at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Cité de la Musique in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, Wigmore Hall in London, and Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels, as well as on Carnegie’s own “Distinctive Debuts” series. They have since appeared in Symphony Hall in Detroit, the Windham Music Festival in New York, the Wilson Center for the Arts in Wisconsin, Harvard Musical Association, Wellesley College, as well as on NPR’s “Performance Today", Radio France and BBC 3 in the United Kingdom.  In 2014, Albany Records released a recording of the Three Sonatas for Violin and Piano of Robert Schumann, which was praised by Fanfare Magazine: "Frautschi and Blacklow really get this music, and because of this they deliver performances with both finesse and passion.  Not one phrase goes by without some detail striking the listener, and the best part is that none of this sounds forced or artificial in feeling." “Last year violinist Christian Tetzlaff and pianist Lars Vogt released a recording of all three Sonatas…and it is the only true competition for the Frautschi and Blacklow disc.”  Blacklow and violinist Hahn-Bin first performed together for the Grammy Awards in 2000, honoring Isaac Stern. In addition to highly acclaimed recitals at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and Carnegie's Zankel Hall, they have performed throughout the U.S., in Korea, at the Louvre in Paris, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and recorded the album HAZE for Universal  Music, Ltd., which was praised for its "great intensity and energy" (The Gramophone.)  Blacklow has also appeared with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Princeton Sound Kitchen, the Coolidge and Corigliano Quartets, Atlantic Brass, Quartetto Prometeo, and many prominent recitalists. 

Blacklow is an enthusiastic interpreter of new music, premiering works by composers such as Louis Andriessen, Steve Mackey and Magnus Lindberg. In 2011, Albany Records released a CD of works by Barbara White, featuring world premiere recordings of both chamber and solo piano works. The following year, Bridge Records released Dmitri Tymoczko's Eggman Variations for piano and strings, recorded with the Corigliano Quartet, and Centaur Records has just released a recording of three Soviet era sonatas (Shostakovich, Prokofiev, and Kabalevsky) for cello and piano with Karen Buranskas. 

In 2015, Albany Records released American Duos, with Blacklow in collaboration with violinist Jennifer Frautschi. The CD features five works by American contemporary composers Dan Coleman, Stephen Hartke, Steve Mackey, Elena Ruehr, and Barbara White. 

A Steinway Artist, Blacklow studied piano with Tatiana Yampolsky, graduating from both Harvard University and The Juilliard School. He serves as Professor of Piano at the University of Notre Dame. 

MICHAEL BOYD 

After receiving his high school diploma from the North Carolina School of the Arts as a student of Bela Nagy, he earned an undergraduate degree from the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Boyd’s studies continued at the Banff Centre School of Fine Arts in Canada as an invited student/performer. While at the Banff Centre he participated in chamber music performances with visiting international artists. Boyd’s studies culminated in a Masters and Doctoral degree from the Eastman School of Music. At Eastman, he was teaching assistant to Rebecca Penneys and served as studio pianist for soprano Jan DeGaetani and violinist Donald Weilerstein. He won first prize as pianist in the the Kneisel Lieder Competition and played a radio broadcast recital from Carnegie Hall with Naumburg prize winning violinist Ian Swensen while still a student. Boyd graduated from Eastman with that institution’s highest honor, the Performer’s Certificate. 

As a concerto soloist, Boyd has performed with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Toledo Symphony, the Dearborn Symphony, and the Eastman School Symphony. Solo recitals have taken him across the country, performing frequently in California, New York, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio. In March of 2007, he performed on the opening concert of the American Liszt Society’ Festival at the San Francisco Conservatory performing the rarely heard original 1838 version of Liszt’s Paganini Etudes. In Europe, Boyd has performed recitals in Austria, Belgium, and Greece, and in the summer of 2007 was invited to give two lecture recitals in Spain. The first program focused on Andalusian influences in the keyboard sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti and Padre Antonio Soler and was given in the city where they both had royal appointments to the Spanish court, San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The second program was in Granada on Manuel de Falla’s Andalusian keyboard compositions. It was presented at the concert hall of the Manuel de Falla Archive.  

Boyd’s sensitivity and skill as a collaborative artist, in addition to his wide knowledge of vocal and instrumental repertoire, have kept him in demand as a recital partner. He has collaborated with cellist Marc Moskovitz for a duo recording on the VAI label and most recently, Fleur De Son Classics released a CD of the two piano versions of the Rite of Spring and Petrouchka with Boyd and his duo partner, Joel Schoenhals. American Record Guide said “The results are most impressive and attest to the musicianship and technical skills of these artists” while Clavier magazine’s review stated “Boyd and Schoenhals negotiate these complex scores beautifully, creating rhythmic drive and excitement without becoming bombastic. This duo reminds us that these scores are filled with charm, color, and imagination.”  

Boyd is Professor of Piano at the University of Toledo. He was also a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music. His ability to verbalize and demonstrate how to efficiently use the body at the piano thereby freeing the performer to concentrate on musical expression has attracted students from all over the country. During the summer, he has been on the faculty of the Indiana University’s Summer Piano Academy and the Chautauqua Summer Institution. Boyd recently was named a Steinway Artist. 

LIA JENSEN-ABBOTT 

Lia Jensen-Abbott has been teaching at Albion College for ten years. Prior to that, she was an adjunct faculty at Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Known for lecture recitals and performances with a background in the humanities, Lia has performed and lectured around Europe including Sweden, Finland, Helsinki, Serbia, France, Switzerland, and Italy. Additionally she has concertized across the United States and Costa Rica, including a solo debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 2012. Her research interests include Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel, Beethoven, Florence Price, and working with semiotics to merge the fields of performance, pedagogy, and music theory. Jensen-Abbott is a co-founder of the Albion College International Piano Festival along with her husband, David Abbott. She has recently been collaborating with Karen Kness, Soprano, at Western Michigan University for several recitals across the United States. A sought after adjudicator, she has judged the MTNA National Piano Finals in 2014 (Chicago) and 2016 (San Antonio). This year she will take over as the President Elect of the Michigan Music Teachers Association. Jensen-Abbott attended Indiana University, The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She resides in Albion with her husband, her son Charlie, and two senior but spoiled Yorkies. In her spare time, she has begun competing in triathlons and plays golf.  

 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Kenny Wang, age 8, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Christine Freeman 

2nd Prize: Chloe Park, age 9, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Rebekah Smith 

3rd Prize: Joshua Wang, age 8, Toledo, OH, student of Esther Chiu 

Honorable Mention: Cindy Cai, age 8, Toledo, OH, student of Esther Chiu 

Honorable Mention: Felix Zhang, age 9, Granger, IN, student of Melissa Luan 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Haruka Sasaki, age 11, Findlay, OH, student of Kathleen Price 

2nd Prize: Catherine Ji, age 10, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Christine Freeman 

3rd prize: Sai Ann Hamm, age 12, Middletown, IN, student of Galit Gertsenzon 

Honorable Mention: Faith Seo, age 12, Toledo, OH, student of Esther Chiu 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Liya Jin, age 15, Kalamazoo, MI, student of Annie Leong 

2nd Prize: Sage Hamm, age 15, Middletown, IN, student of Galit Gertsenzon 

3rd Prize: Cecilia Horner, age 14, South Bend, IN, student of Kathleen Kessey 

Honorable Mention: Kevin Wang, age 13, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

Honorable Mention: Mei Lanting, age 14, Kalamazoo, MI, student of Annie Leong 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Peter Rutkowski, age 16, Granger, IN, student of John Blacklow 

2nd Prize: Thomas Schilb, age 17, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Dave Latchaw 

3rd Prize: Josiah Lund, age 16, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Christine Freeman 

Honorable Mention: Allyn Beifus, age 16, Fort Wayne, IN, student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

 

Judges

SOLUNGGA FANG-TZU LIU 

With a wide-ranging repertoire, pianist Solungga Fang-Tzu Liu has enjoyed an active career as a soloist and collaborator in venues across four continents. A dedicated performer of new music, Liu has performed music by many composers of our time, including the Lutoslawski Piano Concerto with Ossia, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music and Tehillim with Alarm Will Sound, and Meandering River and Three Braided-River for solo piano by Robert Morris (both are dedicated to her).  With AWS Liu has recorded two CDs of Reich’s major works, and a recording of Meandering River has been released by Albany Records.  In addition, Liu premiered Gregory Mertl’s Piano Concerto with the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble, conducted by Craig Kirchhoff.  Commissioned by the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, this concerto was written for Liu and the University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble and she has recorded it for INNOVA Records. This album will be released in 2015. 

Liu’s 2010 release, The Pleasure-Dome of Kubla Khan: Piano Works of Charles Tomlinson Griffes (Centaur), was praised as having, “excellent sound, sensitivity and beguiling color” by the American Record Guide and “thoughtful interpretations” by the prestigious Clavier Companion.  Of it, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote, “This is an excellent recording. Liu has done justice to this sometimes overlooked body of work with her playing, as she pays tribute to a unique and evocative composer.” 

Liu has concertized throughout the globe, including the USA, Canada, Austria, Romania, Brazil, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Hong Kong.  Her major performances include Ravel’s Concerto in G Major with Taipei Metropolitan Orchestra, a collaborative recital with Paul Merkelo, Principal Trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, solo recitals at Taiwan’s National Concert Hall, the Goethe Center in Bangkok, the Central Conservatory in Beijing, the Thailand International Mozart Festival, and a chamber concert with new music ensemble Open Gate at Carnegie Hall. Her upcoming fall 2014-spring 2015 performances include recital tours in ten states in the US, Canada and China, chamber music tour in Taiwan, and a guest artist piano recital at the MUBE Concert Series in Sao Paolo, Brazil. 

Liu is Associate Professor of Piano at the College of Musical Arts, Bowling Green State University. In addition to her dedication to her students at BGSU, Liu maintains a vigorous schedule as a guest artist teacher and as an adjudicator at major international conservatories and competitions, among them the Central Conservatory in Beijing, China, National Taiwan Normal University, the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, the First Thailand International Mozart Competition and the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition. Within the US, she has also presented master classes and lectures at numerous venues, among them the Eastman School of Music, the Providence Keyboard Festival, the Virginia Tech, and the University of Minnesota. 

Liu holds a doctoral degree in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music where she studied with Alan Feinberg, Douglas Humpherys and Elizabeth DiFelice. 

DEREK POLISCHUK 

Derek Kealii Polischuk is associate professor of piano and director of piano pedagogy at the Michigan State University College of Music. He has received critical acclaim for his performances throughout the United States. He was a prizewinner in the Carmel International Piano Competition and the California International Young Artists Competition. Born in San Diego, Polischuk studied with Krzysztof Brzuza before attending the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree with distinction under the tutelage of renowned piano pedagogue and concert artist Daniel Pollack. On graduating from the Thornton School in 2006, Polischuk was named Most Outstanding Graduate. An enthusiastic supporter of the education of young musicians at every age and ability, Polischuk has presented at meetings of piano teachers in the United States and Canada, including the Music Teachers National Association, the National Group Piano and Pedagogy Conference, and the Multidisciplinary Research in Music Pedagogy Conference.  He has served as a judge of piano competitions across the United States and teaches a studio of prizewinning pianists at the undergraduate, graduate, and pre-college levels. He has published in Clavier Magazine and in the MTNA e-journal on the topics of improvisation, outreach, and piano instruction for students with autism spectrum disorders. At MSU, Polischuk has developed a stimulating piano pedagogy curriculum in which piano pedagogy students have the opportunity to hone their private and group piano teaching skills while working with underserved young pianists from Lansing and Detroit. At Michigan State University, Polischuk has been the recipient of the Curricular Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Award, and the Teacher-Scholar Award, given in recognition of exceptional skill in teaching. His piano solo and chamber music recordings appear on the Centaur and Blue Griffin labels.   

RICHARD RATLIFF 

Richard Ratliff has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout much of the United States and in Europe, with solo recitals at the Kennedy Center, Phillips Collection, Carnegie Recital Hall, Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, and the South Bank in London. Highlights of recent seasons include solo and chamber repertoire at the 10th-anniversary Chateau La Gesse Summer Festival near Toulouse, France; an acclaimed series of concerts devoted to music of Mozart and contemporaries on period instruments; and numerous concerto and two-piano collaborations with Maestro Raymond Leppard at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center. In addition to nationally syndicated broadcasts by the WFMT (Chicago) Concert Music Consortium and the Parkways Fine Arts Broadcasting System, he has been heard on the Minnesota Public Radio Network in live performances from the Schubert Club of St. Paul. More than 200 solo and chamber performances at the University of Indianapolis since 1980 have been praised for “conviction in every phrase” and “splendors in clarity and precision” by the Indianapolis Star. A “Year’s Best” citation from the Star honored his “Chopin Celebration” concert as a “Top Five” event for 2010. 

Originally from northern California, Ratliff holds degrees through the doctorate from the Eastman School of Music (where he graduated with highest distinction and earned the Performer’s Certificate and the Easley-Hardenbergh Prize) and has also studied at Cornell University, the Curtis Institute, and University of the Pacific. His principal teachers were Cécile Genhart, Barry Snyder, Menahem Pressler, and Malcolm Bilson. Ratliff is Professor of Music and Director for Artistic Initiatives at the University of Indianapolis, where he teaches applied piano, piano ensemble, advanced theory courses, and special topics in analysis and criticism. Former students of Dr. Ratliff have pursued advanced study at Indiana University, Cincinnati College-Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, and the Universities of Michigan, Miami, Minnesota, Kansas, Florida, and Southern California, among others. His UIndy students have come from Athens, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Korea, Jordan, Japan, Singapore, Shanghai, and the Republic of Georgia and have performed to enthusiastic audiences on four continents. Ratliff was named 2009 Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Music Teachers Association and received a UIndy Teacher of the Year Finalist Award in 2005. 

For more than two decades, Ratliff has served as coordinator of the university’s acclaimed Faculty Artist Series. Reaching out to larger audiences through the Fine Arts Society on WICR, he was producer and host of the long-running radio series “Keyboard Kaleidoscope” and wrote more than 50 episodes of the Peabody-nominated series “Art for Ears.” His own performances on campus and at other venues in the area include the complete cycle of Mozart sonatas for fortepiano and violin (with colleague Dean Franke); all of the piano trios of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, and Brahms; the piano quartets and quintets of Schumann, Brahms, and Dvoák; and important works of the past century from Debussy and Stravinsky to Zwilich and Crumb. Concerts with the Ronen Chamber Ensemble at the Circle Theatre Wood Room have been characterized by the late Charles Staff of the Indianapolis Star/News as “high energy” (Beethoven Trio, Op. 11), “a strikingly dramatic reading” (Brahms C-minor Piano Quartet), and “a jam session in a madhouse” (Michael Schelle’s Godzilla Brillante). “It’s the pianist [in the Brahms Quartet] who makes all the difference and Ratliff is a pianist who can and did make that difference.” He has also premiered more than two dozen significant solo and chamber works by composers Andrew Fox, John Berners, Michael Schelle, Stanworth Beckler, Haskell Small, James Aikman, and others. 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Henry Shao, Age 6, Sylvania, OH, Student of Esther Chiu 

2nd Prize: AnnaMarie Behn-Link, Age 9, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Carol Hahn 

3rd Prize: Chloe Park, Age 8, Angola, IN, Student of Rebekah Smith 

Honorable Mention: Kenny Wang, Age 7, Fort Wayne, Student of Carol Hahn 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Kevin Wang, Age 12, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Hamilton Tescarollo 

2nd Prize: David Jin, Age 12, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

3rd Prize: Catherine Ji, Age 10, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Christine Freeman 

Honorable Mention: Maria Inoue, Age 10, Huntertown, IN, Student of Noemi Paraiso 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Peter Rutkowski, Age 15, Granger, IN, Student of Patricia Collins-Jones 

2nd Prize: Liya Jin, Age 14, Kalamazoo, MI, Student of Annie Leong 

3rd Prize: Mishael Paraiso, Age 13, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Noemi Paraiso 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Sang Jun Park, Age 17, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Alexander Klepach 

2nd Prize: Sarah Tinaphong, Age 17, Carmel, IN, Student of Edward Moy 

3rd Prize: Thomas Schilb, Age 16, Fort Wayne, IN, Student of Dave Latchaw 

 

Judges

LEON HARSHENIN 

Leon Harshenin, a native of Vancouver, British Columbia, is currently serving at Taylor University in his 17th year as professor of piano and coordinator of piano studies. He received his bachelor and master of music degrees in piano performance in 1984 and 1985 respectively from the Juilliard School in New York, studying with Beveridge Webster, and his doctor of musical arts degree in piano performance and pedagogy in 1998 from the University of Michigan, where he studied under Louis Nagel. 

From 1989 to 1994 Harshenin taught piano and music theory in Ontario, Canada, independently and at Redeemer College. He also has  been an instructor at the Interlochen All-State Piano Program in Michigan and a guest lecturer in piano at Wheaton College. While a graduate student instructor at the University of Michigan, he received the Joanne A. Smith Pedagogy Award for outstanding teaching. 

Since arriving in Indiana, Harshenin has been much in demand as a piano competition adjudicator, and is currently state coordinator of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Junior High Performance Competition. He has served as president of the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO) board of directors, and with the MPO has performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, Mozart’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the Midwest, California, New York, western Canada, Ontario, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and Ecuador. Between 2007 and 2010 Dr. Harshenin toured Indiana with a lecture-recital called "The Artful Genius of Chopin," which he presented at the Indiana, Michigan, and California Music Teachers Association state conferences, as well as the MTNA national conference in Atlanta. 

GIUSEPPE LUPIS 

With more than 20 years of experience in the musical field, pianist and composer Giuseppe Lupis frequently appears in the United States, South America, and Europe. 

As a composer, Lupis aims at restoring the prominence piano enjoyed in the 19th century by featuring the peculiar characteristics of the instrument. In crafting his works, Lupis gives great consideration to the performer, the audience, and the musical language. 

Giuseppe Lupis' piano works have been broadcast by Sky Classica TV, TV2000, Rai3 Lazio, BBC, Danish Radio, ORF Austria, Bavarian Radio, Vatican Radio, RSI Svizzera Italiana, Channel 4 Finland, Kol Ha-musica Israel, ABC Classics FM Australia, and performed at the Berlin Philharmonic, Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, Opera House in Copenhagen, Martha Argerich Presents Project in Buenos Aires, Harvard University in Cambridge; in Rome, London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Seoul, and across the United States, Canada, Italy, Poland, Finland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Holland, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Israel, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. 

His pedal piano arrangement of Gounod Marche funebre d'une marionette recently was released by pianist Roberto Prosseda on Continuo Records label. 

Lupis is active as an event organizer. His Grumo Festival & Opera Tour brings together international faculty and students for a series of concerts across Italy each year. A former pupil of Aldo Ciccolini, Giuseppe Lupis holds a doctorate from the University of Georgia and serves on the piano faculty at Grand Valley State University. 

MASSON ROBERTSON 

Pianist Masson Robertson has appeared as soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, the Fort Wayne Summer Symphony, the Marion Philharmonic, the Indiana Chamber Orchestra, and other ensembles. He has performed recitals and chamber music programs in Vienna, Austria; Chicago; New York; and throughout the midwest. During the summer of 1989, he was featured soloist in the Fort Wayne Civic Theater production of Dancin' Gershwin. Since 1980 many of his recitals have been broadcast on Indiana and Ohio public television and radio stations. 

Robertson retired in 2007 as associate professor emeritus of music at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne. He is a founding member of the Indiana - Purdue Piano Trio. During a sabbatical leave in 1984, he performed for Ivan Moravec at a masterclass in Columbus, Ohio, and coached with Sylvia Zaremba, head of the keyboard section at the Ohio State University. In 1979 he was awarded an IPFW research grant to study Liszt's Paganini études. He is a nationally certified member of the Music Teachers National Association and a multiple Paul Harris fellow in Rotary International. 

Robertson received the doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 1974. He studied piano with Olga Conus, composition with Scott Huston and Jenö Takács, and chamber music with the LaSalle String Quartet. 

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Catherine Ji 

2nd Prize: Michael Tapp 

3rd Prize: Kenny Wang 

Honorable Mention: AnnahMarie Behn-Link 

Honorable Mention: Daniel Liu 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Rachel Mei Lanting 

2nd Prize: Kevin Wang 

3rd Prize: Hanna Inoue 

Honorable Mention: Arisa Hocharoen 

Honorable Mention: Maria Inoue 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Michelle Tapp 

2nd Prize: Peter Rutkowski 

3rd Prize: Sage Hamm 

Honorable Mention: Jelena Nguyen 

Honorable Mention: Skyelar Raiti 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Mark Bixel 

2nd Prize: Eesha Bemra 

3rd Prize: Valentina Murzin-Kudrna 

 

Judges

DAVID ABBOTT 

David Abbott has been Professor of Piano at Albion College since 2005.  Previously he lived for ten years in Switzerland where he was frequently heard both as soloist and collaborative artist through Switzerland, Germany and on tours in Australia as a member of the Swiss Chamber Soloists.  His recording with that ensemble on the Swiss Claves label of Schumann’s piano quartet and quintet won the coveted Prix d’or prize for that year’s outstanding chamber music recording.

Abbott has dedicated a great deal of his career as mentor and teacher, serving on the faculties of the Zürich and Schaffausen Conservatories of Music (Switzerland), and earlier at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.  In 2010, he was asked to serve on the faculty of the prestigious Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University as a sabbatical replacement for Edmund Battersby.  He has also directed summer courses in both piano and chamber music in Europe as well as in the United States for over 25 years.  In 2003, he founded the Con Brio Music Academy at the Hindemith Music Center in Blonay, Switzerland where he works with students across Europe and from the United States in piano and chamber music.

In 2011, Abbott was invited to teach and perform in the Republic of China (Taiwan) and also appeared in recitals with his wife Lia Jensen-Abbott in France and Switzerland.  He was awarded a Bronze medal and two special prizes at the 1980 International Music Competition in Geneva.  A graduate of the Eastman and Juilliard Schools of Music, Abbott remains active in historically informed performance practice as a result of work with renowned fortepianist Malcolm Bilson.  He recently completed a two-CD recording project of solo and chamber music by 20th-century composer Dmitri Shostakovitch.

MARGARITA DENENBURG 

Margarita Denenburg won her first piano competition at the age of eight, gave her first European concert tour in her teens, and has been garnering awards and honors ever since. Denenburg graduated with distinction in piano performance from the University of Southern California in 2012. 

A recent project included a celebratory duo concert series with the pianist, Gerald Evans which centered around the Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring” performance, marking the 100 year anniversary of its’ premier. The concerts were held at the Stocker Arts Center, Lorain; Brenneman Ohl Concert Hall, Tiffin; Glick Recital Hall, Cleveland; and Ludwig hall in Kent State University. All received rave reviews with a Cleveland Music critic calling their performance “breathtakingly beautiful,” while an American composer Jeffery Mumford hailed it as a “refreshing fidelity to the composer's intentions.”

Denenburg received her Bachelor of Music and Master’s degrees in piano performance from Arizona State University. Born in the Soviet Union, she began her piano lessons at age 4 with Larisa Bogdanova and her mother Alla Denenburg who was a piano professor at the local music conservatory. With the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990, Margarita immigrated with her family to Israel and made her orchestra debut at age 14 playing the D Major Haydn concerto with the Ashdod Youth Orchestra. In Israel, Margarita won many awards and placed first in both the King’s Way competition, and the Young Artist competition. She received yearly awards and scholarships from Givataim and Ashdod Conservatories, the New Artist Award, and the America Israel Cultural Foundation Award.

Prior to her arrival at ASU, Denenburg attended the Samuel Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University, where she studied with Tomer Lev. While getting her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in piano performance at Arizona State University, under the instruction of Meir, Denenburg was awarded a full scholarship for both degrees. In addition, she was also awarded the Regent’s Scholarship, the Lincoln Kerr Music Endowment, the Liberace Scholarship, and the Joan Frazer Memorial Award in the Arts.

During her studies at ASU, Margarita won the concerto competition in 2004, and performed with the ASU Symphony Orchestra that same year. This performance was recorded live and put in a standard rotation on the classical radio station (KBAQ). Furthermore, she was a semifinalist at the prestigious Bösendorfer International Piano Competition in 2006. During this period she also attended the exclusive Mannes College of Music International Keyboard Institution and Festival in New York and was one of just eight pianists admitted to the Sergei Babayan International Piano Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2007 and 2008. While at USC she was awarded a full scholarship to pursue her Doctor of Musical Arts degree. Furthermore, she was the Maestro Foundation’s Steinway Grand Piano recipient from 2009-2011. In addition to her academic and teaching responsibilities, Denenburg has been performing regularly.

Teaching is as much a love for her as performing. She has been a part of the Music Teachers Association of California for four years where she served on the Board as a Director during 2010-2011. She is also a part of the Music Teachers Association of Ohio and the College Music Society. She enjoys teaching all aspects of music for all ages and strongly believes in the potential of each of her students. In addition, Denenburg is an active pedagogy researcher. Recent project includes participation in the Keyboard Wellness Seminar in Denton, TX and exploration of the Taubman approach.

Currently, Denenburg resides with her husband in Huron, Ohio, she is a full time Assistant Professor of Piano at Heidelberg University and a part time faculty at the Oberlin Conservatory-Community Music School. In addition, Denenburg is judging multiple piano competitions, one of which is a Carmel International Piano Competition.

SILVIA ROEDERER 

Silvia Roederer is a professor of music at Western Michigan University, where she serves as chair of the keyboard area, teaches piano and keyboard pedagogy and coordinates class piano instruction.

Her extremely active career as chamber musician has taken her all over the world. As pianist of the Verdehr Trio since 1997, she has performed in Moscow, Athens, London, Vienna, Warsaw, Stockholm, Hong Kong, Taipei, Beijing, Shanghai, Montevideo, Buenos Aires, Brasilia, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Puerto Rico and throughout the United States. The trio is a violin-clarinet-piano ensemble, which has created a new chamber music medium over the past 32 years by commissioning over 200 works for its unusual combination. The trio plays yearly in New York City and twice a year in Washington, D.C., where they are an ensemble in residence at the Phillips Collection.

This focus on new music had its early seeds in study with David Burge at the Eastman School. In graduate school at the University of Southern California, she studied with John Perry, and was coached in chamber music at summer festivals by Menahem Pressler.

Roederer was the 1981 winner of the Joanna Hodges International Piano Competition, as well as the 1994 winner of the fifth annual First Coast Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Fla.

In March 2008, she was invited to present a lecture recital at the national convention of Music Teachers National Association in Denver. At WMU, she is the faculty mentor for the student chapter of this organization.

Enthusiastically reviewed CD recordings with Roederer as pianist are on Crystal Records (five with Verdehr Trio) and Centaur Records (with trumpeter Scott Thornburg.

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Julie Ana Cmelik 

2nd Prize: Maria Inoue 

3rd Prize: Catherine Ji 

Honorable Mention: Soham Govande 

Honorable Mention: Daniel Liu 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Geoffrey Ladue 

2nd Prize: Skyelar Raiti 

3rd Prize: Kevin Wang 

Honorable Mention: Janhavi Govande 

Honorable Mention: Star Wei 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Andrew Ganahl 

2nd Prize: Peter Rutkowski 

3rd Prize: Michelle Tapp 

Honorable Mention: Mark Bixel 

Honorable Mention: Mark Mozina 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Stephanie Tapp 

2nd Prize: Caleb Stuckey 

3rd Prize: Jiwon Park 

Honorable Mention: Brian An 

Honorable Mention: Valentina Murzin-Kudrna

 

Judges 

PANAYIS LYRAS

Panayis Lyras is professor of piano and artist in residence at the Michigan State University College of Music. 

A native of Greece, Lyras attended the Athens Conservatory at age 6, and received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Juilliard School. Winner of the Silver Medal in the 1981 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Lyras has been seen and heard by millions of television viewers on PBS and the Arts and Entertainment Network.   

LAURA MELTON

"An artist who can tame formidable technical beasts and bring colorful delineation to a multiplicity of moods and textures."  --Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone  

"Expressive and dexterous flair" --Vivien Schweitzer, New York Times 

Laura Melton, professor of piano and coordinator of keyboard studies at Bowling Green State University, has won competitions and awards including the Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin.  

CAIO PAGANO

“Pagano is such a fine performer that any opportunity to hear him should be seized.” --Joseph McLellan, Washington Post 

Caio Pagano is an internationally renowned concert pianist, teacher and scholar. He has been a distinguished professor of piano at Arizona State University since 1986, having earned the honor of Regents' Professor of Piano at this institution.   

Winners

ELEMENTARY DIVISION (AGES 9 AND UNDER) 

1st Prize: Hanna Inoue 

2nd Prize: Catherine Ji 

3rd Prize: Julie Ana Cmelik 

Honorable Mention: Daniel Liu, Felix Zhang 

INTERMEDIATE DIVISION (AGES 10–12) 

1st Prize: Mishael Paraiso 

2nd Prize: Peter Rutkowski 

3rd Prize: Jessica Simon 

Honorable Mention: Andrew Ganahl 

JUNIOR DIVISION (AGES 13–15) 

1st Prize: Stephanie Tapp 

2nd Prize: Michelle Tapp 

3rd Prize: Caleb Stuckey 

Honorable Mention: Eesha Bemra 

SENIOR DIVISION (AGES 16–18) 

1st Prize: Steven Ngo 

2nd Prize: Devika Reddy 

3rd Prize: Brianna Bowman 

 

Judges

MICHAEL GURT 

Michael Gurt is Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University. Professor Gurt serves as Piano Mentor at the Hot Springs Music Festival, and is also the head of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Center. He has served as Piano Chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and he has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. Professor Gurt holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School. In 1982 he won First Prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, and he was also a prize winner in international competitions held in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia. 
 
Gurt has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa. He has made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet, and he recently performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. He has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur, and Redwood labels. 

ROBERT SATTERLEE 

Pianist Robert Satterlee has developed a reputation as an accomplished and versatile solo recitalist and chamber musician. He plays regularly throughout the United States, delighting audiences with his incisive and imaginative performances. He has appeared on the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts in Chicago, San Francisco’s Old First Concert Series, the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Music Teachers National Association national conventions, the Quad Cities Mozart Festival and many colleges and universities. In the summer of 2011 he played concerts at the new Romanian-American festival in Romania, the World Piano Conference in Serbia and at the Interlochen Arts Center in the United States. He recently was a featured performer at the Piano Plus Festival and the Corfu Festival in Greece and has also played concerts in China, Thailand, Sweden, Holland and Kenya. He has been heard in radio broadcasts throughout the United States, most notably on Minnesota Public Radio and WFMT in Chicago. 

Music of our time plays an important role in Satterlee’s performing activity, and he has given premieres of several works.  In June of 2004 he was invited to perform at the Music04 festival in Cincinnati, where he shared a program with the composer and pianist Frederick Rzewski. In 2006 he toured the US with a program of the composer’s works, including a new piece specially written for the tour, and has recorded a CD of his works. Satterlee’s most recent commissioning project centers around the American composer William Albright. Satterlee’s avid interest in chamber music has led him to collaborate with members of the Chicago, London, Philadelphia and Detroit Symphony Orchestras in chamber music performances, and he was co-artistic director of Chamber Music Quad Cities, an organization presenting a concert series and music festival in Iowa and Illinois.  He was also a member of the North Coast Chamber Players, a string/winds mixed ensemble which toured extensively on the West Coast. 

Satterlee was appointed in the fall of 1998 to the piano faculty of Bowling Green State University in Ohio, having previously held teaching positions in Illinois, Missouri, California and Connecticut.  He teaches at the Interlochen Arts Camp and the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany during summers.  He has been awarded prizes in many competitions, among them honors in the St. Louis Symphony Young Artists Competition.  Satterlee has participated in many music festivals and summer programs, including the Aspen Festival, the Banff Centre, the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Festival at Sandpoint.  He holds degrees in piano from Yale University, Peabody Conservatory, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music. 

LORI SIMS 

Lori Sims received the First Prize Gold Medal at the 1998 Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Other prizes include first place co-winner of the 1994 Felix Bartholdy-Mendelssohn Competition in Berlin, winner of the 1993 American Pianists' Association Competition with outstanding distinction from the jury. 

She has performed throughout America, Europe and China, including the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Spokane Chamber Orchestra, the Kalamazoo Symphony and the NordDeutsche-Rundfunks (NDR) Orchestra. 

She was the first local artist to be featured at the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (2000) and her Alice Tully Hall debut (2000) met with critical acclaim from the New York Times. Her teachers include Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank and Arie Vardi. At the Yale School of Music, she was awarded the Dean's Prize for most outstanding graduate student at the School of Music and she was the recipient of a two-year fellowship from the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (DAAD). 

She is the John T. Bernhard Professor of Music at Western Michigan University, where she teaches piano and lectures in accompanying and keyboard literature. Prior to her appointment at Western, she was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Illinois. During the summer, she is an artist-teacher at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina and the Internationale Konzertarbeitswochen in Goslar, Germany.