The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2013.
Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.
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The American Prize in Piano Performance (SOLO), 2013—PROFESSIONAL DIVISION:
The American Prize winner:
PETRONEL MALAN Waukesha, WI
Among judges' comments: "Beautiful playing that includes the element of breathing, boldness, and suppleness of sound as resources to music-making."
Hye kyeong Cho Lacey, WA
|Hye kyeong Cho|
Hye kyeong Cho is a popular piano performer throughout Korea and the Northwest U.S., as well as a soloist, an accompanist, a worship pianist and pedagogue.
She holds the Piano performance degrees B.M.M.M and S.M.E from Dong-A university and P. Vladigerov National Music Academy in Bulgaria with Prof. Anton Dikov and Elena Dikova. She won first prizes in several competitions including the Kyung-Hyang Piano Competition and Korea Music Association piano Competition – college division. And also she has had numerous concerts as a soloist with major orchestras, and as a chamber musician, as an accompanist in Korea, Bulgaria, Japan and the U.S. She has been invited several times to perform at the Korea-Bulgaria Music Festival as a piano soloist. She also has been gave numerous benefit concerts with her performance group (HCMC) every year. Through these benefit concerts, in 2009 she earned a certificate of appreciation from the Governor of Washington State. Currently, she is working as a piano faculty member in St. Martin's University, WA.
Among judges' comments: "Very crisp, clean, elegant playing that carries grace right from the start."
3rd Place (there was a tie):
Richard Fountain Plainview, TX
Richard Fountain enjoys a uniquely enriching career as a teacher, adjudicator, solo performer, choral, vocal and chamber collaborator, and orchestral keyboardist. Fountain is Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, TX, where he teaches applied piano and accompanying. Fountain holds both DMA and MM degrees in piano performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Taylor University.
Recent performance highlights include the College Music Society National Conference, the American Liszt Festival, the International Double Reed Society, International Clarinet Association ClarinetFest, Texas Music Teachers Association Convention and the Midwest Historical Keyboard Society. He also participated in the inaugural Westfield International Fortepiano Competition. In 2012, Fountain released his debut solo album “American Ivory,” available on iTunes and Amazon.com as well as through www.richardfountainpianist.com. Fountain holds the positions of Principal Keyboard with both Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra and the Lubbock Symphony Orchestra.
Among judges' comments: "You display a wonderful ability to express sensitivity of melodic phrasing, contrapuntal, harmonic, and formal considerations in your playing."
3rd Place (there was a tie):
Stephen Wilber Chattanooga, TN
Pianist Stephen Wilber has been hailed for the "freshness and refinement" of his playing and for his "force, imagination, feelings, and lyricism" (Edita de Arad, Romania).
A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Dr. Wilber also studied at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. He holds a Master's degree from The Peabody Institute and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland.
Some highlights of Dr. Wilber’s solo and concerto engagements have been; The Festival Orchestra of Zurich, The Great Hall, Saratov Russia; The Cultural Palace, Arad Romania; Merkin Hall, NYC; The Estonia Concert Hall, Tallinn, Estonia; The Academy of Art and Music, Honolulu Hawaii. He has been a guest artist in the Music Festival of the Hamptons, NY, Gina Bachauer Foundation in Salt Lake City, Shandelee Music Festival in New York City, The American Liszt Society in Washington DC, Celebrate the Arts in Atlanta and the Festival of Nations in Rome Italy.
Among judges' comments: "A good singing tone and balance of sound prevails throughout all your playing."
The American Prize in Piano Performance (SOLO), 2013—STUDENT DIVISION:
Alice Burla Ossining, NY
Among judges' comments: "Alice is a tremendous talent, both pianistically and musically."
Anthony Michael Cornet Altoona, PA
|Anthony Michael Cornet|
Anthony Michael Cornet, originally from Altoona, PA, is a recent graduate of Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music and Dance in Philadelphia. He received the Bachelor of Music Degree in Piano Performance while studying under acclaimed pedagogue Harvey Wedeen on a full-tuition scholarship. Anthony is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Piano Performance at Duquesne University. Attending on a full-tuition assistantship, he studies with renowned pianist, David Allen Wehr. Other principal mentors have included pianists Steven Herbert Smith, Arthur Goldstein, and his father, Richard Cornet.
Anthony is a prize winner in many nationally and internationally recognized piano competitions. He recently made his Carnegie Hall debut as a First Prize Winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. His performance was praised for its “confidence, spontaneity, and brilliance”. Maestro Istvan Jaray, a student of both Kodaly and Ligeti, proclaims, “In spite of his young age, Mr. Cornet is indeed an excellent, mature artist with a warm musicianship and an admirable talent.”
Among judges' comments: "Extremely gifted as a pianist and musician."
Hwayoung Noh Macomb, IL
Among judges' comments: "A very sensitive and clear-playing young musician."
The American Prize in Piano Performance, CONCERTO DIVISION, 2013
Anthony Michael Cornet Altoona, PA
|Anthony Michael Cornet|
Anthony is dedicated to merging his artistic ambitions with humanitarian efforts. In recent years, he has been able to raise thousands of dollars for Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Miracle League, the Shropshire Music Foundation, and the Altoona Symphony Orchestra through his own concert series, A Special Evening with Pianist Anthony Michael Cornet. The series has received high acclaim and has established Anthony as a dynamic and engaging recitalist. In addition to music, Anthony enjoys
casual reading and writing. Subjects of particular interest include philosophy, theology, and science.
Among judges' comments: Liszt: Totentanz—"Very solid, well prepared performance. The moods of each variation are diverse, with a fine sense of dynamics differentiating the many sections."
Sung-Eun Park Austin, TX
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Sung-Eun Park began her piano study at the age of five. She made her orchestra debut in 2003 with Jeju Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea. Since then, she has performed as a solo pianist and chamber musician throughout Korea and the United States.
SungEun has won several piano competitions including Seoul Asia International Music Competition, Tammora Music Competition, The Music Association of Korea Competition, Texas State University Concerto Competition (2010), and The University Concerto Competition at UT Austin (2012).
She has earned degrees from Presbyterian College and Theological Seminary (BM) and Texas State University at San Marcos (MM). While attending TSU, she served as staff accompanist in the Opera Department. Her principle teachers include Kyung-Ae Lee, Su-yeon Lee, Jason Kwak, and Nancy Garrett.
SungEun is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Professor Nancy Garrett.
Among judges comments: Prokofiev: Concerto no. 3 in C Major—"You have tremendous command with relative ease in the physical performance of this work. You interact very well with the orchestra."
Graciella Kowalczyk Alvaton, KY
French-born, Polish-raised pianist Graciella Kowalczyk has appeared in concerts and recitals as a soloist in over fifteen countries and four continents. She has won first prizes in numerous international piano competitions in Germany, Italy, Poland and the United States, among others, and has
received scholarships and prestigious awards from internationally acclaimed institutions. Graciella received her doctorate in piano performance from the University of Kansas. She is presently enjoying a very successful musical career and also serves as Artistic Director for the international non-profit foundation,
Doctors for Music...Where Medicine Meets the Arts. Graciella previously studied at the Chopin School of Music in Warsaw, Poland; Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia; Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas; and Park University in Parkville, Missouri.
Among judges' comments: Chopin: Concerto no. 2 in f minor—"Very fine playing throughout…You have a commanding presence and deliver exceptional performance demeanor."
SPECIAL CITATION: "MUSICAL ADVOCACY THROUGH PERFORMANCE"
Michael Rector Ridgeland, MS
Highlights of recent seasons include performances at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater in Washington, DC and a concerto appearance in Chattanooga, TN. In May 2012, Michael embarked on a four-city tour of Korea that included duo concerts with pianist Sylvia Hong and lecture-recitals in local universities.
Michael holds the doctoral degree from Manhattan School of Music. His dissertation was an investigation of Chopin's harmonic practice as influenced by the music of Louis Spohr and Romantic philosophy. He also holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College, where he majored in comparative literature.
Among judges' comments: "Fine spirited "Allegro" with excellent Mozartian wit. Bravo on your broad dynamic contrast...what a rollicking good time to hear you perform this piece with such energy and technical clarity."
Congratulations to all!