Duo Xu, a senior at Williamsville East in Amherst, studies with her private teacher Tamari Gurevich, from the Eastman School of Music. Her hobbies include squandering books, scribbling down poetry, and simply being there for her friends. Music is a huge part of her life, and the fourteen years of practice have finally begun to show.
In 2006, Duo participated in the BPO's Summerfest “ A Mozart Celebration ” playing a Mozart's Piano Concerto with the BPO. She won First Prize in Bradshaw and Buono's International Piano Competition, earning the honor of performing in Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall on May 20th, 2007. On March 2nd, 2012, she went to Pittsburgh to compete in the Duquesne Young Artist National Competition, and won First Place. Then on March 18th, she went to Rochester Philharmonic League's Young Artist Auditions to perform a concerto and placed First, winning the Mildred Ness Award for Piano.
On May 13th, she traveled to Schenectady to participate in the 2012 Heddy Killian Competition, and was awarded First Prize. In September of 2012, she went to Cape Vincent for the Chopin Thousand Islands International Piano Competition and earned a third place award. The following September in 2013, she went to Ithaca again and competed in the piano competition, rewarded with second place. She was also proclaimed a National YoungArts 2014 Winner this year. Recently, she was the winner of both the Amherst Symphony Orchestra Scholarship and first place of BPO's Young Musicians Scholarship.
On playing the piano and this concerto competition:
It’s strange, you know. To have fought and struggled for so long with this love I have for music and playing the piano and to have the simple results of people complimenting me or my friends idolizing me is a very strange feeling. I suppose you could say that I no longer care nearly as much on how many awards I get or if I ever become really famous. I have learned that fame and money can only do so much. For me, simply, is the plain joy of playing and the warmth I feel when people come up and tell me how much they liked something, or that they could listen to me for days. They have no idea how much that affects me. That, I think, is my true goal, to never forget the feeling of happiness and never stop loving.
It’s easy to say why I love Mozart’s 23rd concerto, KV 488. The opening starts so bright and clear, it’s like opening the curtains and letting the sunshine stream in. The long phrases match the setting well, and by the time I’m halfway through, I find myself swept by the river of multi - colored waves. If the first movement is bright and happy, then the second movement is heartbreaking. It’s one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve honestly ever heard. And we come straight back to the playful nature in the third movement with its swift, endless streams of perfectly combined notes.
Eden Chen, age fifteen, began lessons on the piano at the age of six. Since age seven, Eden has competed and placed in many piano competitions, notably winning 1st place in the Music Teachers ' Association of California Scholarship and Sonata Festival in 2008 ; 1st place in the 2008 American Fine Arts Festival, and 1st place in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in 2009.
Eden has participated in the Southwestern Youth Music Festival competitions in st California for many years and has received numerous 1 place awards, among them, his orchestral debut performing Mozart’s Coronation Concerto No. 26 in D Major with the st Southwestern Music Festival Orchestra after he took 1 place in the Young Pianist st category in 2010. This same year, Eden won 1 prize in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival Complete Works Audition in the Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue category. A year later, he won the Grand Prize at the American Fine Arts Festival Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition, and received the special prize for the Best Performance of a work by Liszt.
In 2012, Eden received a Gold Medal at the AADGT International Young Musicians nd th festival and in the same year, he received 2 prize at the 13 International Russian Music Piano Competition.
Most recently, Eden was selected to perform on NPR’s “ From the Top ” radio show. He has also been named a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, and was awarded $ 10,000 in scholarship funds.
Besides these awards, Eden has given four performances at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2008, 2009 and 2012. In March of 2012, He was invited to perform a solo concert at the American Jewish University. Eden has studied with Ory Shihor and Myong - joo Lee at The Colburn Academy. As a youngster, his first teacher was Elena Makarova. He has participated in master classes given by esteemed musicians such as Lang Lang, Daniel Pollack, Seymour Bernstein, Hung - Kuan Chen, Jerome Lowenthal, Jean - Yves Thibaudet and John Perry.
Why I am playing the Mozart No. 26:
I will be performing the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26, also known as the Coronation concerto. It earned this nickname when it was performed at the coronation of Leopold II, the Holy Roman Emperor. I selected this concerto because it gives one of the greatest reflections of the society in Mozart’s time period. In Mozart’s time, people were very concerned with appearance and decorum. As a result, the piece is light, gentle, and gives a sense of royalty. It’s like an extremely decorated and detailed palace.
What I love about the Piano:
The piano is an instrument that can be powerful or gentle, and fun or serious. It can be very relaxing to play. But, it can also be a challenge. The piano’s large range and the fact that you play with two hands gives you freedom to create whatever colors you want. The challenge comes in controlling all that raw power. But, when you play for an audience, you can share the challenge, the joy, and the wonder with them. That is what I love about the piano.
Fifteen - year - old Anson Hui is from Ontario, Canada and has given concerts throughout Europe, the USA and Canada. He recently won first prize at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1 with the ISO in the summer of 2013, followed by an evocative performance of Chopin Concerto No. 1 with the Canadian Sinfonietta last November. He also performed the Mozart Piano Concerto # 20 with New York Concerti Sinfonietta in New York City when he was only 11 years old and received rave reviews.
Anson began his music studies with Dr. Sofia Moshevich at the age of six. He is currently studying with pianist Edward Auer and Junghwa Moon Auer from Jacob School of Music at Indiana University. He also had masterclasses with Yoheved Kaplinsky, Jerome Lowenthal, Emanuel Krasovsky, Eugene Pridonoff, Peter Bithell, Hee Sung Joo, and Max Wilcox.
Anson performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City after winning The American Protégé International String and Piano Competition (2010). He was also the winner of the Canadian Music Competition (national) and was awarded The Kemble Trophy (the best of the festival for age 12 and under), the Tonoco Trophy (the best performance of Senior Division) and the Concerto Trophy at the Markham Music Festival. He won the Concerto Trophy at the North York Music Festival and performed with The Kindred Spirit Orchestra at the winner’s Gala. In 2012 he was given the Special Grand Prize in Royal Burlington Music Festival that he won over all different instruments and voices. He has also received the Most Promising Award at the Mandarin Lions Music Festival, the Most Outstanding Talent Award at the Richmond Hill Music Festival, The Best of Bach Trophy at the Music Scarborough Piano Competition, The Best of Bach Trophy and The Most Promising Trophy at the Canadian CCC Music Festival, He has won the first place and received scholarships from many other Canadian music competitions, such as The Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, The Davenport Music Festival, The Peer Music Festival, The York Region Music Festival and The Pickering Music Festival.
Anson is a homeschooler and currently pursuing his Grade 11/ 12 academic courses. In his leisure time, he loves building Star Wars Legos while listening to Bach (sort of a weird combination). At the age of 8 he managed to assemble the 5195 - piece Millennium Falcon Lego. He has an extremely wide range of interests, including advanced theories in physics, but he also has a special passion for biology and history.
What I Love about Playing the Piano and What it Means to Me
Music is a irreplaceable part of my life. About 70 % of my time is spent with music directly and indirectly (excluding sleeping). Uncomfortable symptoms (like feeling that your life is meaningless), develop when I am not playing the piano for a minimum of 2 weeks in estimation. So in consequence, I am somewhat piano dependent for keeping my morale high.
What I Love about the Mozart Piano Concerto # 20
Out of all the Mozart concertos I have heard, Mozart concerto # 20 seems to be the most attractive to me. I believe there are 2 known reasons for my attraction to this piece. The first reason is most likely due to my addiction to minor keys (although most people found this statement to be greatly exaggerated). I still keep this statement due to the fact that I tend to like converting major key pieces into their minor keys especially when I was little. The second reason might be because I seem to have this " special connection " for this particular piece compared with the other Mozart pieces I have played. Other reasons that are not mentioned are either unexplainable or indescribable.
A 13 - year - old eighth - grader, Eric Lin started his piano studies at age 5. He has been repeatedly praised for his concerto playing. Winner of the 2014 Ylda Novik Memorial Piano Concerto Competition, he will perform Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 with the Capital City Symphony in the 2014 - 2015 season. He was awarded first place at NVMTA Robert Spencer Concerto Competition in both 2013 and 2014.
At age 11, Eric won the first place in the annual Emilio del Rosario Piano Concerto Competition, which led to his performance with the Harper Symphony Orchestra under conductor Brian Groner. As the winner of the 2012 DePaul Concerto Festival, 11 - year - old Eric was awarded the opportunity to perform Mendelssohn's Concerto No. 1 movement I with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra. He was the youngest Finalist Prize winner at 2013 International Institute for Young Musicians Competition and the 2013 Princeton Festival Piano Competition (age 25 and less). He has been awarded the alternate prize twice at the Virginia State MNTA competition. His other awards include first place in the 8th annual Sejong Music Competition 2012, finalist and the Best Performance of an Etude by Debussy in the 2011 Seattle International Piano Festival Competition, and the first place in the 13th Annual Chopin Young Piano Competition in Milwaukee, WI.
Eric is also an active young performer, broadcast on Kansas Public Radio twice and performing in various community centers including the Young Artists Musicale at George Mason University and at Alden Theater. He is a student of Dr. Marjorie Lee.
" What I love about playing the piano and what I love about the Mozart Concerto " There are few things in the world, which can capture people's attention. Done right, performing music is one of those things. When I play for any audience, my goal is to invoke the audience's attention with an exciting story written down by composers and translated by me. Exploring, discovering, and communicating in the magical world of music is what I love about playing the piano. Mozart's Concerto No. 23 in A minor is one of the most graceful pieces you will ever hear. The repetition of resolving dissonance tells a wonderful story. The beautiful themes are shared between the orchestra and the piano, creating a magical interaction with sound.
Mayuki Miyashita is 14 years old and is from Hamamatsu City, Japan. She is now in the 8th grade at Maryville Junior High School in Maryville, Tennessee. Currently she studies piano from Dr. David Northington at the University of Tennessee.
Mayuki Miyashita has received 1st prizes in many competitions such as the Music Teachers National Association [ MTNA ] and the Tennessee Music Teachers Association. In 2013, she performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12 with the Knoxville Symphony Youth Orchestra, and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 1 " with the Maryville College Orchestra. She won the second prize in the 2013 Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition in New York, and was awarded third prize in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford. In January 2014, she appeared as a soloist in Christopher O’Riley’s “ From the Top ” and with a performance in the show’s gala concert in Boston.
She loves reading novels and also enjoys playing the violin at her school!
What I like about playing the piano:
For me, piano is a way to express myself. Piano can have a huge range of sounds and many colors. When I'm playing the piano, I feel like it's one big orchestra and I can be a conductor.
About Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 12
What I really like about is piece is that this piece is so pure and clean. It's so simple and pretty, so it makes me full of joy when I'm playing it.
At the young age of four, Kadar Qian began to learn the piano, inspired by his older brother, Kevin. After starting lessons, his grandmother would reward him with chocolate every time he played well. Twelve years later, he has given over one hundred concerts in the U.S. and China in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, and Sanders Theatre. At the age of eleven, he debuted as a soloist with the Quincy Symphony Orchestra performing Chopin’s Concerto No. 2, and at the age of fifteen, he debuted with the Boston Pops performing Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3. All together, he has appeared as a soloist over 10 times with orchestras such as the Boston Civic Symphony, Boston Landmarks, Cape Ann Symphony, Melrose Symphony, Merrimack Valley Philharmonic, Metrowest Symphony, Lowell Philharmonic, Rivers Symphony, and the Salem Philharmonic.
Kadar claimed first prize in the Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, receiving special prizes for the Best Bach Performance and the Best Chopin Performance. In addition to that, he was also the first prize winner of the Harvard Musical Association High School Achievement Award and the Steinway Society of Massachusetts piano competition. For the past two years, he has been a recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States Scholarship. Qian has won many Young Artist Competitions, including the Boston Civic, Boston Pops, Lowell, Metrowest, Quincy, and Rivers Young Artist Competitions. He was heard performing on NPR’s From the Top, and in 2013, he released his first album for Naxos Records.
Kadar studies piano with Angel Ramón Rivera at the New England Conservatory Prep School and the Rivers School Conservatory. He also studies conducting with Yoichi Udagawa and is currently the Assistant Conductor of the Melrose Symphony Orchestra. A high honor roll student at Westford Academy, Kadar strives to make a difference in the community as the president of his class. A huge fan of Apple products, his other hobbies include programming and math.
What I love most about playing the piano is the opportunity to communicate to the audience. There's a magical quality about creating music, since it's always amazing to see how many people can be touched by it. It's also extremely satisfying to know that music can act a uniting force that brings members of the audience together. Knowing that I can change and impact lives with piano motivates me to improve and innovate every day.
Regarding the Mozart Concerto:
Mozart is often known as a cheerful composer who composes works that are often associated with jubilance. However, this concerto seems to exhibit another side of Mozart that makes him more human in a way. Although its melodies are beautiful, there is almost an obsessive and dark mood to this concerto, which is contrary to the common stereotypes of Mozart's music. Because this concerto illustrates a darker side of Mozart, I feel like we get to see him as a more human - like figure who isn't only comprised of happiness. In this way, we get to fully experience Mozart not only as a composer but as an individual.
Roger Shen, a 9th grader at the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, studies piano with Dr. Jon Sakata at Exeter and Ms. Sueanne Metz when at home in Illinois. He also studied music theory with Dr. Matt Hagle.
Roger began his piano studies with Ms. Barbara Rubenstein at age 7. At age 9, he gave his first public performance at the Parisian Salon Concert Series held at the Northbrook Public library. Roger has been active in local, national, and international competitions. He won First Place awards for the 2013 Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) New Hampshire senior piano competition, the 2012 MTNA Illinois junior piano competition, the Bradshaw & Buono International Competition, the 2012 Walgreens National Concerto Competition Open Division, Aloha International Piano Concerto Competition, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Aloha International Piano Junior Competition, American Fine Arts Festival, and the Chicago Steinway Young Artist Competition.
Roger also enjoys playing with orchestras. On February 17th, 2013, Roger made his orchestra debut with the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra in the delight of Mozart’s th Piano Concerto No. 15 in B - flat major. A week later, on February 24, as the Overall Winner of the Open Division of the 2012 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, he performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (First Movement) with the Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra at the Pick - Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston, IL. th Shortly after that, on April 7, he made his third orchestra appearance — performed with Honolulu Youth Orchestra, as an award for the first place winner at the 2012 Aloha International Piano Concerto Competition. On February 23, 2014, Roger returned to the Northbrook Symphony Orchestra and played Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23 in A major.
Roger always wants to share his music with his community. He played two times at the Chicago classic music Radio station WFMT FM98.7. As a member of an Exeter student music outreach group, he enjoys performing for senior citizens in the New Hampshire and Boston area on a weekly base. He also was the winner of Exeter’s 2014 Talent Show and one of the three finalists of 2011 Northbrook Town Talent Show.
Roger likes sciences. He won a gold award at the 2013 Annual State Exposition of Illinois Junior Academy of Science. Among other interests, Roger enjoys playing chess, Ping - Pong, fishing, and hanging out with his peers.
William Wang, 16, began studying piano at the age of five. He has been studying with Steinway artist Yoshie Akimoto. He has performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Steinway Gallery in Westport CT, Whitney Center in Hamden CT, and Enlow Hall in Kean University. He was selected to perform in 2013 Foulgue International Music Festival.
William won first places in the 2012 Golden Era of Romantic Music International Competition, organized by American Fine Arts Festival, the 2013 MTNA (Music Teachers National Association) Connecticut Competition in senior piano division, and 2013 NTD TV Youth Pianist Competition.
What I love about playing the piano:
Behind every piece there are stories and emotions of the composer. By connecting the composer to the audience in my performance, I can share the composer's feelings with the audience.
What I love about Mozart Piano Concerto # 20:
Mozart's Piano Concerto # 20 is a piece that is different the stereotypical Mozart pieces ; it highlights the turmoil of Mozart's latter life. While still containing Mozart's charm, it has a dark and brooding tension that never resolves throughout the whole piece.