2008 Seattle International Piano Competition Winners, Finalists, and Semi-finalists
Raymond Wong, China/Canada (2008 Professional Gold Medalist)
Raymond Wong has performed on the stages of the Fontainebleau Palace, France; the Sheremetiev Palace and Composers’ Union Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia; Chan Centre for the Performing Arts and The Orpheum Theatre in Canada; San Lorenzo de’ Picenardi in Italy; the Disneyland Recording studio and Main stage; and Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. A Canadian Vocal and Performing Arts Society Featured Youth Artist, Raymond appeared on radio stations CBC, 1470am, Radio-Canada, and television networks TVB and CTV. Mr. Wong received scholarships from the Orford Arts Centre in Quebec; Casalmaggiore, Italy; Le Conservatoire Américain de Fontainebleau, France; International Academy , St. Petersburg, Russia; and SUMMIT International, New York, He has performed in master classes with Andre LaPlante, Philippe Entremont, Leslie Howard, Walter Hautezig, and Ann Schein. A prizewinner of Bradshaw & Buono International, Mieczyslaw Munz International, Festival of the Arts Canadian Music Competition, Pacific International, and The Artists International Auditions, Raymond will present his New York debut in 2009 at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Wong holds Performance Diplomas from The Royal Conservatory of Music and Conservatory Canada. He is currently a scholarship student of Andre-Michel Schub and Jeffrey Cohen at Manhattan School of Music, in New York City.
Chia-Lin Yang, Taiwan (2008 Professional Silver Medalist)
Chia-Lin Yang has currently acquired candidacy of Doctor of Music from Indiana University, where she is a recipient of the most prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship and was also an Associate Instructor of the Piano Department for three years. Ms. Yang has performed throughout Taiwan and the United States as both a concert soloist and an active chamber musician. In 2002, she made her orchestra debut with the IU Concert Orchestra as the winner of IU’s concerto competition. Chia-Lin has had success at numerous international competitions, including first prize at the 2004 Kingsville Piano Solo Competition and the second prize at the 2004 WAMSO Young Artist Competition. She was also awarded prizes at the Wideman Piano Competition. As the winner of the Camerata Orchestra Solo Competition, Chia-Lin performed Liszt First Piano Concerto and her playing was acclaimed by the critic as one “added the requisite touch of poetry that eludes so many pianists.” Ms. Yang earned her Bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan Normal University and her Master’s degree from Indiana University, studying with Professor Evelyne Brancart. Four years later, she joined the studio of the most significant pianist at the present time, André Watts. Chia-Lin is a frequent guest and participant at international music festivals, including the International Keyboard Festival at Banff Centre and the Sarasota Chamber Music Festival.
Seojin Yoo, Korea (2008 Professional Bronze Medalist)
Seojin Yoo, born in 1982, started to learn piano at the age of 4 in Seoul, Korea. In 1994-1999, she attended at Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School, a professional Arts Middle-High Schools in Seoul, and graduated with honors. During her school years, she won prizes at Korea Herald Competion, Sammik Piano Competition and World Symphony Orchestra Competition and she was awarded the first prize in Seoul University Music Competition held in 1999. After Seojin earned her bachelor’s degree of music in Seoul National University under Professor Hyungjoon Chang in 2004, she was admitted to Eastman School of Music. In the first year of Eastman, she participated in Women’s Music Festival and performed chamber music with her colleagues. At Eastman, she earned the Master of Music degree for performance and literature and Performer’s Certificate in May, 2006. Seojin is currently studying for Doctor’s degree at Eastman and she is working as a teaching assistant in the studio of Thomas Schumacher.
Edward Park, Australia (2008 Professional Fourth Prize Winner)
Edward Park was born in Seoul, Korea in 1973. He started playing piano at the age of 3 and gave a first public performance at the age of 12, playing Beethoven’s third piano concerto with Seoul Symphony Orchestra. Edward Park established himself by winning many national and international piano competitions such as Kawai Piano Competition, BHP Scholarship Competition, Australian National Chopin Piano Competition, Salerno International Piano Competition, Sydney International Piano Competition, Florestano Rossomandi International Piano Competition etc. He has studied at Sydney Conservatoire, Moscow Tchaikowsky Conservatoire, Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatoire, USC, Mannes School of Music and currently studies at the University of Washington. His past teachers include Elizabeth Powell, Lev Vlasenko, Valery Kastelsky, John Perry, Jerome Rose and is currently studying with Craig Sheppard. He also appeared with many orchestras such as Korean Philharmonic orchestra, Sydney symphony orchestra, Melbourne symphony orchestra, Washington D.C. Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic orchestra, Bolshoi symphony orchestra and Czechoslovakian Philharmonic orchestra. Edward Park made numerous recordings for Korean, Australian, Italian, and Russian radio and television.
Other Awards and Honorable Mentions
Audience Favorite: Maria Männikkö
Teachers’ Favorite: Maria Männikkö
Best performance of a work by O. Messiaen: Joonhee Kim
Best performance of a work by a composer of African descent: Laurie Kono Merchant
Best performance of a Classical sonata movement: Laurie Kono Merchant
Best performance of a work by R. Schumann: May Phang
Best performance of a work by K. Szymanowski: Elena Doubovitskaya
Best performance of a work by a composer of South American Descent: Elena Doubovitskaya
Best performance of a work by J. S. Bach: Yun-Kyung Choo
Inkyung Bae (Korea), Kris Becker (USA), Yunkyung Choo (Korea), Elena Doubovitskaya (Russia/USA), Seung Min Ha (Korea), Hee Sung Jang (Korea), Joonhee Kim (Korea), Maria Männikkö (Finland), Laurie Merchant (USA), Serhii Morozov (Ukraine), Junko Nagaya (Japan), Françoise Papillon (Canada), Edward Park (Australia), May Phang (Canada), Eka Shanshiashvili (Georgia), Tiffani Tibbitts (USA), Raymond Wong (China/Canada), Chia-Lin Yang (Taiwan), Ding Yang (China), Seojin Yoo (Korea)
Cole Burger (USA), Eugenia Jeong (USA), Eunjung Jung (Korea), Hyeyeon Jung (Korea), Kevin Kaukl (USA), Hong Kim (Korea), Bora Lee (Korea), Jinah Lee (Korea), Jin Hwa Lee (Korea), Jung Min Lee (Korea), Haichuan Li (China), Becky Lu (USA), Juliet McComas (USA), Chiharu Naruse (USA), Dmitry Palilov (Russia), Young Park (Korea), Sunhye Shim (Korea), Jung Woon Shin (Korea), James Tandy (Australia), I-Wen Wang (USA), Yu Zhang (China)
Jie Yuan, China (2008 Collegiate Gold Medalist)
Jie Yuan, Gold Medalist of 8th Crescendo International Award, Silver Medalist of 4th Shanghai International Piano Competition, Bronze Medalist of 13th Hamamatsu Acadmy World International Competition, Gold Medalist of 11th Hong Kong International Piano Open Competition, Jury Winner and People’s Choice of 25th Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and many other top prizes. 22-year old Jie has already made three recordings with China Record Company. In 2008-09 season, he will appear in China, Japan, United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Singapore, Malaysia, Italy and France, including concerts with Tulsa Symphony, Colombia National Symphony, China Philharmonic, Shanghai Philharmonic, Tsianjian Sinfonietta and Salt Lake City Philharmonic. China Ministry of Education declared Jie Yuan the Artist-in-resident at North China University last year and this year, at Jilin Arts College. Jie Yuan is signed with NAIM management Inc. Formerly a Bachelor and Artist Diploma student at Texas Christian University under Dr.Tamas Ungar, Mr. Yuan is currently pursuing his master of music degree with Yoheved Kaplinsky at the Juilliard School of Music.
Hui Shan Chin, Malaysia (2008 Collegiate Silver Medalist)
Born in Kuala Lumpur, Hui Shan began her music education at the age of three and two years later, she was selected to enter the elite Junior Special Advanced course for gifted musicians. She has won many awards and prizes; including a top prize in the Inaugural ASEAN International Chopin Competition, the First Prize in the Classical Open section of the Kuala Lumpur Festival of Music, the Most Outstanding Award in the Asian Electone Festival and she emerged as finalist in the 9th Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists, and the Inaugural Malaysian HSBC Classics Piano Competition to be held in July 2008. In addition, she was honored to perform in the 2006 ABRSM South-East Asia Diploma Awards Ceremony as the region’s high licentiate scorer. Hui Shan is also a talented composer and represented her country to perform her own compositions in Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. Awarded a full scholarship from The Bard College Conservatory (of Music), Hui Shan is currently pursuing her piano studies under the tutelage of Jeremy Denk. She has previously studied with Ng Chong Lim, Snezana Panovska and has played for Richard Goode, Alexander Tamir and Elza Kolodin.
Devon Joiner, Canada (2008 Collegiate Bronze Medalist)
Devon Joiner, 19, is a third-year Bachelor of Music student at the University of British Columbia studying with renowned Canadian pianist Jane Coop. At age 14, Devon received his ARCT Diploma under Lynne Gauthier and then continued his studies with Diana Lawton. He has won many awards including first place at the Canadian Music Competition and the Performing Arts BC Festival, third place at the BC Piano Competition and fourth place at the Canadian Chopin Piano Competition. He was a winner in the Burnaby Clef Concerto Competition and won the top prize at the 8th International Russian Music Piano Competition. Devon was the youngest finalist in the UBC Concerto Competition and was chosen to play with the UBC Symphony Orchestra as well as being selected as a 2008 Artsway UBC Music Ambassador. Recently he won 2nd prize in both the Knigge and Shean National Piano Competitions as well as winning the National Piano Class at the BC Performing Arts Festival. Devon was chosen to participate in the Morningside Music Bridge summer music programs in Shanghai in 2006 and Calgary in 2007. He has performed several solo concerts, has been featured on both TV and radio and has performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Other Awards and Honorable Mentions
Audience Favorite: Joseph Yungen
Teachers’ Favorite: Jie Yuan
Best performance of a work by R. Schumann: Jie Yuan
Best performance of a work by K. Szymanowski: Joseph Yungen
Hui Shan Chin (Malaysia), Trevor Hale (USA), Devon Joiner (Canada), Whitney Pizza Smith (USA), Jie Yuan (China), Joseph Yungen (USA)
Kristin Center (USA), Oh-Sung Choi (USA), Chi Zhang (USA)
John Provine, USA (2008 Amateur Gold Medalist)
John Provine was born in the United Kingdom and started to play violin and piano at an early age. In 2005 he graduated from Harvard University with a Bachelors degree in Computer Science and has since been employed as a software engineer at Google based in Mountain View, California. On top of his commitments at Google, John has studied piano with Kumaran Arul at Stanford University and currently studies with Yoshikazu Nagai at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. In recent years he has played for several pianists in master classes and private coachings including Malcolm Bilson, Jane Coop, Paul Hersh, Gabriel Kwok, Mack McCray, Lang Lang, Robert Levin, Jamie Parker, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Stephen Prutsman, Santiago Rodriguez, and Yehudi Wyner. John is an avid chamber musician and performs frequently in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Madalyn Taylor, USA (2008 Amateur Silver Medalist)
Madalyn is the mother of 6 children and 23 grandchildren. Music has always been a part of her life, but after her youngest son was killed in a tragic accident 8 years ago, she left it for awhile. During this time, another son was bravely serving in Iraq, and returned home having been awarded 2 purple hearts. This was an incredibly challenging time for her, and she realized that she needed music for comfort and healing and made her way back to serious music study. She currently studies with Eugene Watanabe who is her inspiration. Born and raised in Roy Utah, Madalyn is the daughter of a piano salesman, tuner, technician, who believed that piano lessons were so important that they were not an option for any of his children. Much of the practice was done in a piano shop located in their own back yard. Madalyn has many happy memories of playing the piano while her Dad sang and also “conducted” her practice. She has said, “I believe that music is a gift from God, but to be able to study the music of the great composers of this world, is also a gift.”
Other Awards and Honorable Mentions
Audience Favorite: Ronald Potts
Teachers’ Favorite: John Provine
Best performance of a Mazurka by Chopin: Madalyn Taylor
David Binkley (USA), Seth Darst (USA), Yuka Michitaka (USA), Ronald Potts (USA), John Provine (USA), Madalyn Taylor (USA)
Jeremy Stone (USA)
Christopher Lu, USA (2008 Youth, Ages 7-13 Gold Medalist)
Christopher Lu, 12, started piano lessons at the age of 5 with James Chen. He is currently a student of Dr. Peter Mack, Professor of Piano at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. Chris has won many prizes in both local and regional competitions. He won the Northwest Chopin Festival twice, the first time when he was 8. At the age of 11, Chris received Honorable Mention in the Washington State MTNA Junior Piano Competition (ages 11 –14). Other awards include: 1st place in the Seattle Simon Fiset Piano Scholarship Competition (5th – 6th grade); 1st place and “Overall Excellence” (highest honor) in both the Elementary Solo and Concerto Competitions of Performing Arts Festival of Eastside. Chris was also chosen as one of the three state recitalists representing Seattle in the WSMTA Convention honors recital of 2007. Chris attends Odle Middle School’s PRISM program for the gifted and talented in Bellevue, Washington, where he is an honor roll student and also a cellist in the school orchestra. In his spare time, Chris enjoys reading, video games, racquet sports and movies.
Sun Chang, Korea/USA (2008 Youth, Ages 7-13 Silver Medalist)
Sun Chang was born in Seoul, Korea, in 1995. She comes from a musical family: her mother and brother are both pianists, and her aunt is a choral conductor. Her earliest study was with youngju Park at ahreumdawoon academy near Seoul, Korea. Since coming to Seattle in 2004 she has studied with Dr. Peter Mack. Sun Chang has won several regional and local competitions. She was the junior division winner of the northwest Chopin competition in 2006. The same year she won the Washington State Music Teachers Association (WSMTA) Outstanding Artists Piano Competition, as well as the Seattle Korean Music Competition. Sun Chang was a Seattle Young Artist concerto finalist in March 2007. In November of the same year, she was chosen as the alternate winner in the WSMTA junior competition in Spokane. In 2008, she won both her division, and the overall first prize in the Simon-Fiset competition. As a result, she was chosen to represent the Seattle Chapter of WSMTA at the state convention in Bremerton. A television program created by Sylvia Kunin about Sun Chang entitled ‘Musical Encounter’ will be released soon. In the fall, she will be attending Kilo Middle School as an eighth grader.
Sean Jeong, USA (Youth, Ages 7-13 Bronze Medalist)
Sean was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States when he was 5. He started to learn the piano and viola at age 7. His musical inclination has been accelerated when he first won the Korea Times Music Competition and California International Young Artists Competition in 2007. Sean has won 1st place in many prestigious piano competitions including Cypress College Piano Competition, MTAC Los Angeles Scholarship Competition, Emerging Artist Piano Competition, Southern California Junior Bach Festival, SYMF (Southwestern Youth Music Festival) Open Chopin, and 2nd place winner of SYMF Young Pianist Competition in 2008. In May 2008, Sean performed as one of the piano soloists to raise funds, generously helping thousands of children who have suffered greatly by the recent earthquake in China. Sean is an honor roll student at Parks Junior High School in Fullerton, California. He recently achieved 1st degree black belt in martial arts, Taekwondo. His hobbies are reading space science books, writing stories, biking, and playing with his dog.
Other Awards and Honorable Mentions
Audience Favorite: Sean Jeong
Teachers’ Favorite: Christopher Lu
Artist of Special Promise Award: Hye Lim Kim
Best performance of a work by J. S. Bach: Christopher Lu
Best performance of a work by K. Szymanowski: Sun Chang
Best performance of a Mazurka by F. Chopin: Christopher Lu
Best performance of a work by R. Schumann: Sun Chang
Best performance of a Classical sonata movement: Dashle Hodge
Youth, Ages 7-13 Finalists
Thomas Burrill (USA), Sun Chang (Korea/USA), Dashle Hodge (USA), Sean Jeong (USA), Hye Lim Kim (Korea), Christopher Lu (USA), Asana Onishi (USA)
Youth, Ages 7-13 Semi-finalists
Tristan Teo (Canada), Rieko Tsuchida (USA), Lauren Tu (USA)
Fantee Jones, USA (2008 Youth, Ages 14-18 Gold Medalist)
Fourteen year old Fantee Jones of Roseville, CA accomplished her first public performance at the age seven as a solo pianist at the Yamaha Music Exchange in Sacramento, CA, and again as a piano soloist with the Sacramento Youth Symphony Premier Orchestra at age ten. She has continued her noteworthy accomplishments winning many awards in various competitions such as the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition, CAPMT, Los Angeles Liszt International Competition, MTAC, Russian International Piano Competition, California & Southwest Division MTNA Baldwin Piano Competition, Stockton Symphony Concerto Competition, and the Sacramento Youth Symphony Concerto Competition. Fantee was invited to New York’s Carnegie Hall for an international piano competition winner recital held at Weill Recital Hall in May 2005 and she has performed on Princess Cruise Lines and Mondavi Center. Also, she has been awarded the National Paderewski Medal. Besides playing piano, she also plays violin. Fantee has been a member of the Sacramento Youth Symphony since 2002, and is currently playing in the Premier Orchestra first violin section. In her spare time, she enjoys playing chamber music. Fantee began piano training with her mother at the age of three. She is currently under the tutelage of Tien Hsieh.
Fred Lu, USA (2008 Youth, Ages 14-18 Silver Medalist)
Fred Lu, 14, lives in Vancouver, WA. Fred started learning piano at the age of 4, and his current teacher is Dr. Carol Rich, having previously studied with Dr. Lena Vozheiko-Wheaton and Dr. Susan Smith. His recent prizes include 3rd Place of Washington State Outstanding Artists Competition (2006), winner of Northwest Chopin Foundation Piano Festival (2007), OMTA/MTNA Alternate in Junior Piano Division (2007), winner of Trula Wheelan Concerto Competition and Suzanne Raines Scholarship Competition (2008). He played in the Washington State Music Teachers Association Conference recital in 2002, being an alternate in the WSMTA Playoffs. He has been a winner in the Portland Baroque, Classical, and Romantic Festivals in 2003, 2007, and 2008. He has received master classes including from Daniel Pollack and Paul Roberts. Fred Lu will attend Skyview High School this year as a 9th grader. Aside from piano, he enjoys reading, writing, visual art and playing tennis.
Timothy Krippner, USA (2008 Youth, Ages 14-18 Bronze Medalist)
Timothy Krippner is an incoming student at the University of Michigan, where he received a music merit scholarship and was one of only 18 incoming freshmen offered the Penelope W. and E. Roe Stamps Academic Scholarship. Since beginning piano at the age of ten, he has won numerous awards and honors. He has soloed with the Spokane Symphony with the first movement of the Grieg Concerto. In the State WSMTA competition, he received three honorable mentions over three years, and in November 2007 was the Alternate Winner. This past year he also won his division in the Sherman Clay Bach Festival, and was a winner of the Northwest Chopin Festival. He has received eight gold and five silver medals over several years of participation in Musicfest Northwest in Spokane. While living in Spokane, Timothy was selected for the SMTA Adjudications honors recital numerous times and received an invitation to play in the WSMTA State Convention. He is a student of Dr. Peter Mack and was an active participant in the Academy of Music Northwest. He performed in the Academy’s 10th anniversary concerts at Benaroya Hall’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall in January and May 2008.
Other Awards and Honorable Mentions
Audience Favorite: Fantee Jones
Teachers’ Favorite: Fantee Jones
Best performance of a work by J. S. Bach: Fred Lu
Youth, Ages 14-18 Finalists
Rachel Chung (USA), Andrew Gerlicher (USA), Fantee Jones (USA), Timothy Krippner (USA), Fred Lu (USA), Terence Yung (USA)
Youth, Ages 14-18 Semi-finalists
Priscella Chan (USA), In Young Kim (Korea), Page Moon (USA), Mayumi Tsuchida (USA), John Wen (USA)