17, Falls Church, VA
“I am a normal teenager who happens to be in love with music.... To feel the connection between myself and the audience is extremely rewarding"... something
Sejoon was eleven when he moved to the
In 2007 Sejoon won first prize in the Aspen Music Festival Piano Concerto and performed Edward Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orchestra of the
19, Rochester, NY & Tokyo, Japan
A dual student in Piano Performance at the Eastman School of Music and Brain and Cognitive Science at the
Yoshiko was born in
Although Yoshiko’s family now lives in
17, Naperville, IL
Brian Chang enjoys a challenge. He likes math, chemistry and music and being with people who can discuss those subjects. Brian is looking forward to the PianoArts competition, which he describes as “extremely challenging…. I enjoy the format: having to talk about each piece before playing it (to demonstrate some knowledge about the piece), being able to play a duo (displaying our ability to perform with others), and being able to interact with all of the other participants. Best of all, I would love the excitement of playing the concerto with a great orchestra.” Besides classical music, Brian says he tries not to take anything too seriously and in his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, listening to jazz, and rapping.
A junior at the Illinois Mathematic and
Brian has won many awards as a soloist, including the overall winner in the senior group and open division of the 2006 Walgreens National Concerto Competition. That same year, he was also a finalist in the
Amy K. Lauters
19, Manhattan, Kansas
Before she goes to her morning classes at Lawrence University Conservatory, Amy Lauters listens to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Requiem, a huge, grand work that she finds inspiring. Because Mozart is her favorite composer, she is happy to have this opportunity to perform a Mozart piano concerto and hopes that her audience shares her joy and other emotions that the music evoke.
A graduate of the
Amy enjoys participating in a wide range of musical activities – playing with jazz ensembles, for church services, and for musicals. She has a passion for Russian literature and gets “worked up” when she listens to the orchestral works of Peter Tchaikovsky, Gustav Mahler and Igor Stravinsky. She is a 2008 winner of Wisconsin Public Radio’s Neale–Silva Young Artists’ Competition and performed an April recital that was broadcast live on
Next fall, Amy will begin her sophomore year at Lawrence Conservatory, where she studies with Anthony Padilla. She is an accompanying fellow, teaches private lessons and recently performed for concert pianist Jon Kimura Parker. About her performance for PianoArts, she hopes that she can perform and verbally communicate with the audience about her pieces. “Music can be many different things for different people…. I love these pieces and want to convey to the audience that I love what I do.”
16, Libertyville, IL
When he was four, he began taking violins lessons and at six, he began piano, so it is no surprise that Sean Yeh enjoys performing chamber music. As a violist, he performs with the BAM quartet, the winner of the Bonze Medal at the 2005 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the youngest aged winners in the competition. The quartet was then featured on the National Public Radio program, “From the Top,” on WFMT Radio, at the Young Steinway Concert Series,
Sean has also won many honors as a solo pianist. In 2005 he was invited to perform at the Tenth World Piano Pedagogy Conference in
16, Saint Paul, MN
Starting first with piano lessons, then with violin lessons, Alexander Zhu now hopes to become a conductor. He has learned to play eleven piano concertos and several violin concertos. He is the concertmaster of the top orchestra in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestras, a freelance violinist and a piano accompanist. In addition to his love of piano and violin repertories, he enjoys the symphonies of Phillip Glass, Dmitri Shostakovich, Peter Tchaikovsky and Ludwig van Beethoven, as well as orchestral works by John Adams, Gustav Holst, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Leonard Bernstein and operas by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Alexander is also fluent in French and loves to study geography.
Alexander has won many awards, including first prizes in the 2007 and 2005 Twin Cities Youth Symphonies Concerto Competitions, and the 2007 Morningside College Young Artist Competition in
The reasons Alexander entered the PianoArts competition are to meet other young artists like himself, to bring his repertory to a higher level, and to have the opportunity to perform with professional musicians. His goals are to project a mature artistry, technical charisma and integrity in bringing out the composer’s thoughts and intentions. He has also been accepted to participate in the piano program of the Eastern Music Festival this summer. Alexander is home schooled and studies with Susan Billmeyer, the pianist with the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra.
“Choo Choo” Hu
19, Chesterfield, MO
Speaking about her PianoArts performances, Choo Choo Hu says that her ultimate goal is for her audience to “walk away with a sense of reflection and contemplation….” She wants “to engage them in the active process of music-making…. Just like playing with an orchestra, the rapport between performer and audience is very much a collaborative effort, and a performance cannot be successful without the full participation of both parties.”
Choo Choo has had the opportunity to put those words into action on many occasions. She was a two-time winner of the Washington University Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Piano Concerto Competition. As the winner of the 2005 St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, she performed all movements of Peter Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1. Choo Choo is interested in expanding her horizons and broadening her experiences as a collaborator with an orchestra and as a solo instrumentalist. Another recent award as a piano soloist was the second prize in the Margaret A Guthman Keyboard Competition.
Her life revolves around music. When Choo Choo is not practicing piano, she enjoys attending symphony concerts and is especially drawn to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler and Peter Tchaikovsky, as well as Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto, and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.
Because she was home schooled beginning with the eighth grade, her high school studies were accelerated and she entered college a year early. Next season, Choo Choo will be a junior at the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University, where she studies piano with Brian Ganz. “I have been playing the piano since the age of five. It is one of my greatest passions and one that I want to continue to pursue for the rest of my life.”
18k Highland, MA
As a double major in business and music performance, Hunter Jennings will be especially interested in the cultural and economic impact of the arts on
Hunter began his piano study with Dr. Joan Spicknall and completed the entire Suzuki Piano Method. He enjoys listening to classical music – string ensembles, such as the Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, violin concertos and the Beethoven symphonies. About his own performances and what he would like the audience to hear in his music, Hunter said, “I would like the audience to appreciate the amount of emotion, thought and concentration that goes into every performance.” He believes that if he can convey those things, while at the same time his performance sounds natural and beautiful, he will be successful.
Winning several competitions and receiving a full–tuition Fine Arts Scholarship to
Yi An Pan
16, Interlochen, MI
It is no surprise that Yi An loves both piano and cello music, such as the Edward Elgar Cello Concert and Peter Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme for cello and orchestra. Yi An also likes pop music. But for now, she is looking forward to performing classical piano music – solos, a concerto and the duo in the PianoArts competition, which she believes are invaluable experiences for young musicians. She hopes that her performances will “captivate and fascinate” the audiences.
Paige Chun Li
18, Interlochen, MI & Jiang Su, China
When she was twelve, Paige Chun Li moved to
“Being independent and optimistic, I adapt quickly to new environments….” says Paige, who is always ready for a challenge. When she was seventeen, she was accepted at the
The PianoArts competition is her first major competition in the
In addition to performing the piano, Paige plays traditional Chinese instruments and loves to sing. Outside the piano repertory, her favorite music is for the voice, “the most beautiful sound in the world.” But for now, she is concentrating on her piano performance.