FIRST AGE CATEGORY (THROUGH 9)
First Prize - Seiha Park
Seiha Park age 8, is a student of John McCarthy in the Preparatory Division at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is in second grade at Fairmeadow Elementary School in Palo Alto .
Second Prize - Jamie Cleron
Jamie began playing the piano at the age of three, and is currently a student of Mrs. Christie Skousen. She previously studied with Mrs. Aniko Schueller. Jamie received first place in the 2008 USOMC Open Solo 5A competition, and third place in Open Solo 5B. In addition to piano, she enjoys reading, cooking, soccer, track and tennis.
Third Prize - Anwen Lin
Ever since I can remember, I have had dreams to be a musician. At three years of age, I started my piano lesson with my wonderful piano teacher Robin Beloff-Wachsberg. My passion for music continued to expand, as cello became part of my life at age of six, studying with master teacher Irene Sharp.
As I play my current repertoire, Grand Valse Brilliante, I can hear the unity /voices of the two instruments. Besides music, I also enjoy playing tennis, reading, and skiing.
Honorable Mention - Ashley Wen
Ashley Wen, age 9, is currently a student in Mrs. Mack’s 4th grade class in Sandpiper School . Besides piano, she also enjoys dancing, violin, French, ice skating and swimming. She treasures performances and recently performed as a 'Young Artist ' for the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra House Concert series. She likes the romantic period composers and her all time favorite is Chopin. Today she studies piano with Ms. Sujeeva Hapugalle.
SECOND AGE CATEGORY (10-12)
First Prize - Dustin Ping
Dustin Ping is twelve year old, 6th grade. He is currently studying in the Anna Poklewski Academy of Music under Mrs. Anna Poklewski and Mrs. Fonny Chandra. His favorite type of piece is concerto, because as he explains, “ in addition to having the voice of the piano, you have an abundance of other tones in the orchestra, making the music more interesting”. Dustin is especially drawn to the music of Chopin. Some of his hobbies are football, magic tricks, and a card game called Japanese Speed. The piano is Dustin’s favorite instrument. He quotes biology professor Kenneth Miller to express possibilities of this instrument “No other acoustic instrument can match the piano's expressive range, and no electric instrument can match its mystery.”
Second Prize - Rachel Breen
Rachel, a 12 year old attending the Academy school in Berkeley, CA has won numerous competitions including the Palo Alto Philharmonic competition, the Yehudi Menuhin Helen Dowling competition and the Junior Bach festival. She is a student of Dr. Sharon Mann at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Her favorite composers are Bach, Schumann, Prokofiev, and Rachmaninoff. She hopes to be a concert pianist someday.
Third Prize - Quinn Wu
Quinn began his piano studies at age five and is currently a student of Dr. William Wellborn at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Before SFCM, Quinn studied with the concert pianist, Aileen Chanco. Quinn also plays the violin for the El Camino Youth Symphony under Dr. Camilla Kolchinsky. This year, he received Honorable Mention in the East Bay Music Festival. Besides music, he won the 2nd place at 2007 International Mental Arithmetic Invitation Competition and the gold awards at 2007 and 2008 World City Cup – Abacus, Mental Arithmetic & Mathematics competition. Quinn enjoys reading, playing tennis, and traveling in his free time.
Honorable Mention - Gabriel Schillinger-Hyman
Gabriel is 10 years old and is studying piano at the San Francisco conservatory of Music with Sima Kouyoumdjian. Gabriel also plays clarinet, comes from a family of musicians, and has perfect pitch. He is in 5th grade at Buena Vista Elementary School (Spanish Immersion) and is bilingual in Spanish/English. Gabriel enjoys writing poetry and playing soccer and basketball with his friends. He is especially drawn to the music of Chopin and Khatchaturian.
Honorable Mention - Christopher Richardson
Christopher is 10 years old and is currently in 5th grade at Montair Elementary in Danville , Ca. He began piano lessons in 2005, and has been studying for the last 2 years with Dr. William Wellborn at the San Francisco Conservatory. He has also taken master classes with Dr Robert Schwartz as well as piano four hand lessons with Director John McCarthy. In 2008 he won 1rst prize in the Chopin competition for young pianists in San Francisco and performed in the honors recitals at the MTAC state convention. This year he won first prize at the East Bay piano competition, as well as summa cum laude first place in all three categories he entered in the "Kids Play The Darndest Things" competition (classical, romantic, and duet). He also placed 2nd in the Bradshaw and Buono international piano competition, and has been invited to play in New York this December. He's been invited to play this July in a festival master class in Miller Hall, World Forestry Center at the Portland Piano International Festival. His hobbies are playing with his many pets, hiking, reading, and playing video games and piano duets with his brother.
THIRD AGE CATEGORY (13-15)
First Prize - Hugo Kitano
Hugo Kitano, 14, is an eighth grader at the SF Day School. He began his piano studies at the age of six and currently studies with Dr. William Wellborn at the SFCM. Hugo has won numerous awards at local and international competitions, including first prize in San Francisco Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, the San Francisco Music Teachers Association of California competition, piano prize at Young Artists Competition at the Mondavi Center and the grand prize at 2008 “Kids Play the Darndest Things!” competition presented by Pro Arte Symphony. He also received second prizes at the Bradshaw & Buono International piano competition (duo), Pacific Musical Society competition, and the International Russian Music Piano Competition, and fourth prize in the International Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA held in Tokyo . Last spring, Hugo performed at Carnegie Hall as a winner of American Fine Arts Festival and this May, he will perform Beethoven 3rd concerto with Palo Alto Philharmonic as a winner of their Concerto Competition. Each summer, Hugo participates in the Franz Liszt Summer Piano Academy and Festival and performs concerts in Austria . On the academic side, he is a three-time state finalist for Geography Bee and the 2008 MATHCOUNTS competition. He enjoys playing basketball and volleyball on his school varsity team.
Second Prize - Rhed Shi
Rhed Shi is a sophomore at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose . He started learning piano at the age of six. Currently he studies under Dr. Namik Sultanov. Over the years, Rhed has won numerous competitions including the Doubles Grand Champion Prize for the Youth Music Competition at the age of eight and 1st Prize in the USOMC. He has been actively participating in the International Russian Music Piano Competition’s semiannual recitals and was granted the National Chopin Foundation Scholarship. Last summer he studied and performed at the Interharmony International Music Festival held in Germany . Rhed graduated from Quimby Oak Middle School as the Valedictorian of the Class of ’07. Also he enjoys playing soccer and before was a part of the school soccer team. Now, he is on the high school swim team and is involved in a number of club activities. Rhed wishes to become a virtuoso and to delight audiences around the world.
Third Prize - Rebecca Hu
Rebecca Hu entwined herself into the world of music when she began taking piano lessons at age 4. Since then, she has been exploring the intricacies of classical music under the instruction of Mr. and Mrs. Choupak. Her numerous piano awards include recognitions from CMTANC and USOMC. Rebecca is currently a freshman at Aragon High School and, aside from playing the piano, enjoys her free time dancing, drawing, playing volleyball, and playing the violin.
Honorable Mention - NiuNiu Teo
NiuNiu is a 9th grader at Pinewood School in Los Altos . She has being studying piano for more than 10 years now. She is currently a piano student of Mr. Yoshi Nagai at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Among her music achievements, she has won the James Denver Gary Piano Award at Pacific Music Society’s Annual Competition, 1st prize at CAPMT Honor’s Audition, and performed at the Carnegie Hall (Weill) for the American Fine Art Festival. NiuNiu is also leaning violin. She is a member of CYS.At her spare time, NiuNiu enjoys reading, skiing, and hanging out with friends.
Honorable Mention - Alexandra Cong
Starting piano at the age of six, Alexandra has garnered numerous awards and honors in piano competitions throughout the Bay Area, including the MTAC (2008 & 2004) and Menuhin-Dowling (2008) competitions. While striving to achieve excellence in piano performance, Alexandra has put her artistry to serve the community at large. In 2007, she was invited to accompany the Chinese Silicon Valley Chorus in their performance of "Butterfly Lovers." In 2008, she helped to organize and perform in the benefit concert "From Mozart to Muthanna" that raised nearly $4000 for impoverished children in Iraq and devoted her time and energy in the music camp for Children with Special Needs in the summer. Additionally, Alexandra has performed in master classes with noted piano teachers Ruth Slenczynska, the legendary pianist and educator, and Shi Shuchung, famous pianist and conductor, the Assistant Artistic Director of the China Philharmonic Orchestra.