23rd Annual Competition Winners
FIRST AGE CATEGORY (THROUGH 9)
First Prize $60: Allyson Yu
Second Prize $45: Tristen Chen
Third Prize $35: Leo Yoshida
Honorable Mention: Leighton Ko
Honorable Mention: Catherine Jian
Honorable Mention: Haruka Fukusumi
Honorable Mention: Jonah Tan
SECOND AGE CATEGORY (10-12)
First Prize $250: Ryan Wang
Second Prize $150: Jacob Winefeld
Third Prize $75: Celicia Thendean
Honorable Mention: Wilson Chen
Honorable Mention: Sean Sun
Honorable Mention: Brian Lin
Honorable Mention: Aaron Tu
THIRD AGE CATEGORY (13-15)
First Prize $500: Jeston Lu
The Winnie Tso Memorial Prize
Second Prize $250: Yejin Song
Third Prize $150: Riku Sakai
Honorable Mention: Anna Guan
Honorable Mention: Brooke Zheng
Tristen Chen started piano lessons at the age of five with Mrs. Nagisa Ariza. He has performed solo, piano duet and piano trio pieces in several concert venues including the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. In 2017, Tristen starred in a film by the Everybody Is A Star Foundation. He was also invited to perform solo piano at the Open Ceremony of the 21st Annual Sonoma International Film Festival in March 2018. He won the second place at the American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition in 2018, and recently performed at their Winners Recital at Carnegie Hall. Tristen also likes to compose his own music. In 2016, his school’s classmates all sang a Christmas song that Tristen composed when he was 7 years old, at the Ramblewood Elementary School annual Christmas Performance. Besides music, he enjoys swimming and speaking French.
Anna Guan (14) 9th grader from California. She has been studying piano with Ms. Liza Yasnogorodsky since April, 2009. Anna has been selected to perform at various festivals and concerts sponsored by CHOPINSF, MTACSF, EBMF, and American Protege. Anna has won numerous awards including second place in the American Protege International Piano and Strings Competition, second place in the Chopin Competition of San Francisco, second place in the Showcase Piano Solo in the USOMC, and first place in the MTACSF Competition. In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading and watching Marvel and DC movies.
Haruka Fukusumi, age 8, is a 3rd grader at Meyerholz Elementary School in Cupertino. She has been studying piano since 6 when she was in Japan and she moved to the U.S.A. in summer of 2017 due to her father's business. Her current teacher is Nagisa Ariza. Haruka performed at a series of regional competitions in Japan and won a number of awards during the first two years of her career as young pianist. In December 2016, she won special recognition award at regional competition of 7th Japan J.S. Bach Music Concours. In January 2017, she was awarded encouragement prize at final stage of 18th Chopin International Piano Competition in ASIA. Haruka is taking classic ballet training at a ballet school in San Jose. She also likes singing, drawing and playing with her puppy.
Catherine Jian (7) is a 2nd grader at Challenger School. She started her piano lesson at age 5, and her current teacher is Lena Grozman. She won 2nd place at USOMC Showcase Solo, in 2018. Besides playing piano, she loves ballet, ice-skating and reading.
Leighton Ko , age 8, is currently studying piano under Marilyn Thompson. Leighton won first place in the 2016 Little Mozarts Competition and was invited to play piano at Carnegie Hall (Weill Hall). Recently she won first place in the MTAC Sonoma competition for level 7. She is also a prize winner of AAGDT competition. In her spare time she enjoys playing piano for the seniors at retirement homes, playing tennis, swimming, reading, and art.
Brain Lin , age 10, is a 5th grader at Chadbourne Elementary school in Fremont. He currently studies Piano with Peyhawn Kuan. He is the 3rd place winner in the 2018 Pacific Musical Society Competition; Winner of the 2018 Fremont Symphony an Orchestra-Young Recitalist competition; 1st place winner at the 2018 USOMC Senior Level - Treasury of Baroque Composers ; 2nd place at the KAMSA piano competition in January. Brian loves spending time at senior nursing homes by regularly playing piano to the elderly. Apart from piano, Brian is very passionate about basketball. He also enjoys drawing, and cooking with his mom on his spare time.
Jeston Lu , age 13, is a 7th grader in Horner Junior High School in Fremont. He has been learning piano since 5, and his current teacher is Peyhwan Kuan. In recent years, he won numerous awards in several piano competitions such as Marilyn Mindell (Junior) Competition, 2nd Place in Kamsa Competition (Junior-Piano), 2nd Place in Showcase Piano Solo (Junior) and Open Duet Romantic (Advanced) in USOMC, etc. He enjoys learning music, and loves chamber ensemble. He is a regular piano performer in senior centers. In his spare time, he loves drawing, improvising music, geography and hiking.
Riku C. Sakai , age 13, is a 7th grader at JLS Middle School. He is currently studying with Dr. Axel Schmitt since 2017. Riku has been playing a piano for 6 years and 9 months. Riku received the 1st. place in 2018 USOMC with an additional Outstanding Gold Medalist Award, Silver Medal at 2016 Bay Area Music Association's US International Music Competition. Riku also played in an ensemble and won the first place in 2017 American Protégé Competition (including performing at Carnegie Hall), 2nd. place in 2017 USIMC, and the 3rd. place in 2017 USOMC. Riku also plays trumpet at his school Jazz Band A. While not playing piano or trumpet, Riku loves to play soccer at a competitive National Premier League.
Yejin Song , 13, is from Saratoga, California and is an 8th grader at Harker Middle School. She currently studies piano under Hans Boepple. Yejin is the winner of the 2018 MTAC Regional Piano Solo Competition and also won first place at the 2017 Korea Times Youth Music Competition. Additionally, she was a prizewinner at the 2017 United States International Music Competition and the 2018 United States Open Music Competition. Aside from her piano studies, Yejin enjoys participating in her school’s dance team and student council.
Jonah Tan (9 )years, 4th grade at American Indian in Oakland. I have been learning to play piano since 5. I have participated 2016 and 2017 US Open Music Competition. In 2016’s competition, I won one first place, two second places, two third places, and one fourth place. In 2017’s competition, I won the third place for Showcase Solo which I tried first time. In addition, I won one second place, four third places, and two fourth places. I just passed CM level 4 audition this March. Supposedly to assist learning, I am training to play the violin. I hope to continue to learn about this art of playing piano for a long time.
Sean Sun (12) student at JLS middle school, Palo Alto. He has been studying with Hang Li at the Pre-College division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has won the first place for International Music Competition Best Haydn Performance in the Great Composer Competition series, and the 3rd place for US Open Music Competition Showcase for Piano. His performance has been selected to the San Francisco Conservatory of Music pre-college youtube channel. Sean is actively working with local young chamber music groups. Aside from piano, Sean enjoys math, programming, reading, cooking, solving puzzles, playing clarinet, badminton, basketball.
Celicia Thendean , age 10, is a fourth grader at Mohr Elementary School in Pleasanton, CA. She started learning piano at the age of 3 from her mom. When she was 5 years old, she started taking lesson from Prof. Anna Poklewski. Celicia is currently enrolled in San Francisco Conservatory of Music pre-college program and taking lesson from Machiko Kobialka. She has won numerous prizes from U.S. Open Music Competition in 2014 to 2017, including Best Outstanding Gold Medalist in 2014, She also got third, second, and Contemporary award in East Bay Music Competition in 2015 and 2017. Celicia won first prize in American Protege and performed at Carnegie Hall in Summer 2016. Her other achievements include Second place at USIMC in 2016 and Second Alternate at CAPMT Honor Competition in 2018. Besides music, Celicia enjoys reading, dancing, and math.
Aaron Tu , age 11, is 6 grader at Lawson Middle school in Cupertino, his current teacher is Lena Grozman. Aaron has been studying Piano since age 6, he is a first prize winner and Chinese award winner at 2013 CMTANC INTERNATIONAL YOUTH MUSIC COMPETITION, group A. Aaron has won numerous prizes at USOMC competition in various categories. Aaron is 2nd place winner at 2018 CAPMT state Final honors competition group B. In his spare time, Aaron loves basketball, swimming and reading.
Ryan Wang , is a 6th grader at Bullis Charter School in Los Altos. Ryan studies with Prof. Hans Boepple. Ryan was awarded Outstanding Gold Medalist and won 1st place in US Open Music Competition showcase piano solo, 2nd place in United States International Music Competition, 3rd place in San Jose International Piano Competition and he was 1st Alternate in the 2018 MTAC concerto competition. He also plays violin. Besides love of music, Ryan also enjoys math, and many kinds of sports.
Jacob Winefeld (11) One of my favorite hobbies is playing piano. I have played it since I started kindergarten over 6 years ago. I like playing and listening to Chopin and Beethoven, and my favorite music is Tzvi Erez’s transcription of Czardas by Monti. I applied for the Chopin competition because there is a chance I could win and I love winning J and also because, like I already told, I like Chopin’s music. Other than music, I like playing ping pong, basketball , and solving interesting math brain teasers and puzzles.
Leo Yoshida, 9 years old, is a Japanese native, and a 3rd grader at Foster City Elementary School. He has been studying piano since 5 years old. He is the finalist of his age category in the Japanese National Competition of 2017. His current teacher is Ms. Machiko Kobialka.
Allyson Yu , 8 years old, has been studying piano for the past five years with her teacher Peyhwan Kuan. She has participated in piano audition for the Santa Clara Valley Chapter District II of the CAPMT. She has also performed in the CAPMT Northern Festival in 2017 and competed in 2017 US Open Music Duet (4th place). Besides music, she likes to read, draw, do gymnastics, play tennis and ski and swimming. She also loves to travel with her family.
Brooke Zheng , a freshman at Mission San Jose High School, has been learning piano under the guidance of Ms. Rozina Tenenbaum for seven years. She loves to play piano and performs in the MSSL group and at school to let other people experience the music. Other than playing piano, Brooke also enjoys fencing, photography, and reading.
Wilson Chen , 10-year-old, is currently a student at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He started to play piano at age of five. Wilson loves classic music very much, especially Chopin, Mozart and Bach. Besides piano, Wilson is also playing violin.