22nd Annual Competition Winners

FIRST AGE CATEGORY (THROUGH 9)

First Prize $60: Stanley Du
Second Prize $45: Cecilia Zhuo
Third Prize $35: Xinran Shi
Honorable Mention: Jesleen Lu
Honorable Mention: Emily Tsai


SECOND AGE CATEGORY (10-12)

First Prize $250: Emma Lee
Second Prize $150: Riley Kong
Third Prize $75: Elisabeth Floyd
Honorable Mention: Sarah Yuan
Honorable Mention: Jeston Lu


THIRD AGE CATEGORY (13-15)

First Prize $500: Catherine Huang
Second Prize $250: Melody Choi
Third Prize $150: Joshua Schiller
Honorable Mention: Irene Geng
Honorable Mention: Curtis Li


Bio:

Emily Tsai, age 9, is a fourth grader at Eaton Elementary School. She currently studies piano with Lena Grozman. She won 1st place at 2014 USOMC Treasury of contemporary, 3rd place at 2015 USOMC Showcase Solo, USIMC by CMTANC in 2016, and received honorable mention in the 21st SF Chopin Competition. Emily also won 2nd place at the USOMC Showcase Solo in 2017, alternate winner in 2017 CAPMT Honors Competition, and honorable mention in 2017 MTAC solo competition. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading, drawing, and playing tennis. Her favorite subject at school is language arts and her favorite composers are Beethoven and Chopin.

Jasleen Lu, age 9, is a 3rd grader in Fred E. Weibel Elementary School in Fremont. Jasleen has been studying piano since 6, and her current teacher is Peyhwan Kuan. In 2017, she won Honorable Mention in East Bay Piano Competition (Primary I) and 4th Place in Treasury of Romantic Composers (Intermediate) in United States Open Music Competition. She is a regular piano performer in various senior centers. In addition to playing piano, she enjoys playing violin. She is an animal lover. In her spare time, she loves reading, swimming and playing tennis.

Cecilia Zhuo, age of 9, is a 4th grader in Bayfarm School in Alameda California.  Cecilia started private piano lessons at age 4 and began her formal piano training with acclaimed pianist Robert Schwartz in 2012. She won the first prize for the East Bay Piano Competition in 2015.  Cecilia got selected to perform at the Junior Bach Music Festival in 2016 and 2017.   Cecilia just passed CM level test for level 8 with the highest grade 5+.  Cecilia has performed at the MTAC-SF recitals the MTAC-SF Music Festival many times. Cecilia loves listening to the classic music, drawing, and golfing in her leisure time.

Xinran Shi, age 7, is a 2nd grader at Challenger School. She started her piano lesson at age 4, and her current teacher is Lena Grozman. She won 2nd place at USOMC Showcase Solo, Treasury of Baroque Composers Intermediate and Treasury of Classical Composers Junior in 2017. Besides playing piano, she loves dancing, swimming, ice-skating and reading. She also won several National Elite First prizes with her dance team. 

Stanley Du, age 9, is a 4th grader at Lincoln Elementary School in Cupertino. Stanley Has been studying piano since 5, and his current teacher is Ms. Lena Grozman. He won 3rd place at 2017 USOMC Showcase solo and 3rd place at 2017 USOMC Treasury of Romantic Composers Senior. He loves music and all kinds of sports. Besides playing piano, he loves playing basketball, tennis and he loves running, swimming, riding scooter and bicycle.

Jeston Lu, age 12, is a 6th grader in Fred E. Weibel Elementary School in Fremont. Jeston has been studying piano since 5, and his current teacher is Peyhwan Kuan. In 2017, he won 1st Place in East Bay Piano Competition (Primary II), and 2nd Place in Showcase Piano Solo Junior in United States Open Music Competition. He also won numerous awards in 2016, including Honorable Mention in Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition. In addition, he achieved a Distinction in Grade 8 Piano Exam of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. He is a regular piano performer in various senior centers. His favorite composer is Chopin. In his spare time, he loves improvising music, drawing landscapes, studying weather, and playing basketball. 

Sarah Yuan was born on February 28, 2005. Starting piano at the age of seven, she first started taking lessons with Mrs. Sharon Linton and later with Mr. James Gardner. Now, Sarah is studying with Dr. Sharon Mann in Dr. Mann's private studio. In 2015, Sarah won second place in the East Bay Music Festival. She has also been chosen as the first alternate in the Music Teachers Association of California for the Northern Region in 2016, In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Sarah was selected to perform at the Junior Bach Festival. Sarah also plays the violin and enjoys reading when she is not practicing.

Elisabeth Floyd is 11 years old and a 5th grader at Cherry Chase Elementary in Sunnyvale. She is a student of Frank Levy. She won 1st place at the 2016 The Korea Times Youth Music Competition. She won 2nd place at the 2017 US Open Music Competition showcase solo. She is the 3rd place winner at the 2015 US international Music Competition. She loves golfing and swimming in her free time.

Riley Kong, 12, currently studies with Lena Grozman.  Riley has won 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in USOMC on various categories; best Chinese performance in 2016 USIMC; 1st, alternate 1st and 3rd place on Contemporary, Honors Competition, Concerto in 2015-17 CAPMT; first prize on Best Chopin and Bach performance in 2017 Great Composers Competitions. Besides playing piano, Riley also enjoys reading books, competing in math, geography bees, and volunteering.

Emma Lee, age 12, currently a seventh grader at Graham Middle School in Mountain View, began piano at the age of 4. Her parents first introduced her to the music world hoping that classical music could become her lifelong friend.  Ever since her first lesson with teacher Doris Lin, she not only loved music, but she also devoted herself to personalizing it, weaving individual sentiments into her music, her own Fantasia of imagination.  Emma continued her piano studying since 2012 under Dr. Anna Semyanovsky. Under teacher Anna’s mentorship, Emma’s unique style flourished.  In addition to winning numerous awards from USOMC, she also performed in the Junior Bach Festival, has won 1st Alternate in MTAC, and was one of the winners in 2017 Palo Alto Philharmonic Concerto Movement Competition.

Curtis Li, 7th grader from Pleasanton, is a student of Peyhwan Kuan. Curtis is the first place winner in the 2013 District II CAPMT Honors Auditions; third place winner in the 2015 United States International Musical Competition. Besides that, he also received numerous awards in the US Open Music Competitions and Piano Competitions hosted by East Bay Music Foundation between 2014-2017.

Irene Geng is a 9th grader at Irvington High School, Fremont. She has been studying piano with Ms. Rozina Tenenbaum for 7 years. She enjoys music and shares her love of music with people by performing with MSSL (Music Students Service League, Southern Alameda County) and the Rising Stars group. She is the secretary of her high school’s Science Bowl and participates in Science Bowl competitions. Irene also likes ballet and playing with her dog, Belle.

Joshua Schiller is a 7th grader, going to Helios school in Sunnyvale. He started playing piano at the age of 4.  He started studying with Erna Gulabyan since 2014.  That same year, Joshua won second prize in the AFAF competition, and performed in Carnegie Hall.  Since then, he has competed and won other competitions. He enjoys playing board games, dodgeball, soccer, and video games.

Melody Gawon Choi, age 13, is an 8th grader who attends Valley Christian Junior High School in San Jose. She is currently studying with Dr. Hyun Ju Sung since 2010. Melody has won several prizes from US Open Music Competition, including First Prize in 2017, and has also been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall through the American Protege Competition. Melody was also awarded Honorable Mention in the Northern Regional Audition for the MTAC Piano Solo Competition in April of 2016. In 2015, she won third place for the San Francisco Chopin Competition. Melody is very passionate about writing and enjoys playing badminton in her spare time.

Catherine Huang, age 15, is a freshman at Lynbrook High School. She studies with Prof. Hans Boepple. Catherine won first prizes at the 2016 International Institute for Young Musicians Piano Competition, 2013 and 2016 MTAC State Concerto Competitions, and 2014 SF Chopin Competition. In February, she made her orchestral debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony. Aside from piano, Catherine enjoys math and dance.