Monday, November 28, 2016

WINNERS: The American Prize in Piano (solo), 2016 (REVISED)


The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2016, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

(This listing was revised on December 1, 2016 to reflect the addition of two FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION recipients in the College/University category.)

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (solo), 2016
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
JEREMY SAMOLESKY
Auburn AL
JEREMY SAMOLESKY
Jeremy Samolesky, a native of Manitoba, Canada, currently serves as Professor of Piano at Auburn University, where he teaches piano performance majors and serves as Piano Area Coordinator. Known for his passion for both solo and collaborative performances, Samolesky has appeared in concert as a soloist and chamber pianist throughout the North America, Italy, Austria, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Singapore, Serbia, Colombia and Ecuador, including a full recital at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., which was broadcast nationally on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.”

Dr. Samolesky achieved the rare distinction of graduating with two doctoral degrees from the Eastman School of Music in New York: a feat permitted just once before in the school’s history. In the summer of 2013, he was featured as a lecturer and soloist at the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia, and in 2014 gave a series of concerts and taught at music conservatories in Colombia and Ecuador, South America. Samolesky’s debut solo CD was released on the Centaur label in early 2015.


2nd PLACE:
MIROSLAVA KISILEVITCH
Santa Barbara CA
MIROSLAVA KISILEVITCH
Miroslava Kisilevitch's extensive performance experience includes solo and chamber performances and as soloist with many orchestras throughout the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and the United States. In 1999, Miroslava won first prize in the Thursday Musical Competition and made her Chicago debut in a concert sponsored by the Ukranian Museum of Chicago. In 2000, she was invited to perform a chamber recital as part of the Smithsonian Institution Recital Series by the Embassy of the Ukraine in Washington, D.C.

Miroslava received her Bachelor of Music in piano performance, teaching, accompanying from Drohobych State College, Ukraine; Master of Music in piano performance, ensemble, pedagogy from Lviv Higher State Music Institute, Ukraine; Master of Music in piano performance from the University of Minnesota; D.M.A. piano performance, from Lviv Higher State Music Academy, Ukraine; and D.M.A. piano performance, University of Minnesota.


3rd PLACE:
ARTINA MCCAIN
Memphis TN
ARTINA MCCAIN
Described as a pianist with “power and finesse”, Artina McCain, enjoys an active career as a solo and chamber performer, educator and lecturer. She has performed in the Czech Republic, Italy, China, Croatia and throughout the United States. Recent honors and guest artist appearances include: Austin Critics Table Award, Global Music Award and performances at the TAMIU Master Performers Series, Desoto Uptown/Downtown Concert Series and Zagreb Brass Festival. Upcoming 2016-2017 season performances include Saint-Saens Second Piano Concerto and a tour of works by American composers for cello and piano.

She graduated from Southern Methodist University (BM), Cleveland Institute of Music (MM) and University of Texas at Austin (DMA). Currently, she is an Assistant Professor of Piano at the University of Memphis. More info at www.artinamccain.com


SPECIAL CITATION: "Excellence in the Performance of The Indian Character Piece"
STEPHANIE BRUNING
Catonsville MD
STEPHANIE BRUNING
Dr. Bruning has performed extensively as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the Unites States.  She holds degrees in Piano Pedagogy and Performance from Drake University and University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.  In demand as an instructor and adjudicator, she often conducts master classes and has adjudicated numerous competitions.

An expert in Native-American-influenced music from the early Twentieth Century, she frequently performs and lectures on the subject at venues such as The State Department in Washington, DC, and the 2007 College Music Society National Conference in Salt Lake City, UT.  In November 2009 Ludwig Masters published the first in a series of piano books compiled and edited by Dr. Bruning entitled The Indian Character Piece: Native-American Influenced Piano Works from the Early Twentieth Century, Volume I.  Volume II was published in 2012.

Dr. Bruning serves as a reviewer for the journal Clavier Companion where she reviews new teaching and performance scores.  Additionally, Dr. Bruning maintains an interest in helping students address issues of performance anxiety.  Currently, Dr. Bruning is Associate Professor of Music and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. 


SPECIAL CITATION: "Championing Classical Piano Music from Los Angeles"
ANDREE-ANN DESCHENES
Los Angeles CA
ANDREE-ANN DESCHENES
Currently based in Los Angeles, Canadian born pianist Andree-Ann Deschenes has had the opportunity to perform extensively across North American and Europe.
Pursuing a strong interest in Latin American classical repertoire, Andree-Ann Deschenes’ graduate thesis reflected on piano music of Cuba and Brazil, and is accompanied by a recording currently available on Amazon and iTunes. This album was featured on the New & Noteworthy page for “world music” album releases of iTunes Canada and the piece Los Tres Golpes can be heard on KXLU 88.9FM.

Ms. Deschenes holds a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin music from California State University Los Angeles, where she obtained several Friends of Music scholarships and is currently serving as adjunct faculty. She is currently completing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Claremont Graduate University. Prior to relocating to Southern California, she graduated with honors from the prestigious Humber College in Toronto, Canada.


SPECIAL CITATION: "Exceptional Performance—Baumgardner's Eight Preludes"
JESSICA KOEBBE
Leawood KS
JESSICA KOEBBE
Jessica Koebbe is Instructor of Piano at MidAmerica Nazarene University. She is an active soloist and collaborative pianist, performing frequently with the Midwest Chamber Ensemble and with internationally recognized instrumentalists including those from the Fort Worth, Kansas City, Omaha, Topeka, and Santa Fe Symphonies as well as with singers from the Fort Worth, Nashville, and Cincinnati opera companies.

A proponent of new music, Ms. Koebbe has premiered and recorded works by several US and Taiwanese composers, recordings of which have been released on the albums Collage by Harbor House Records and Voices From the Middle by BRC Audio Productions. In addition to her current position, Ms. Koebbe has held faculty and graduate teaching positions at Texas Wesleyan University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ms. Koebbe holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kansas (summa cum laude) and a Master of Music degree from Texas Christian University.


SPECIAL CITATION: "Artistry in the Performance of Religious Music—Songs for My Father"
NAN CHILDRESS
Orchard Union NJ
NAN CHILDRESS
Nan Childress Orchard, professor of piano at Caldwell University, received her DMA in piano performance from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She actively performs in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. Solo and chamber performances have included music by Libby Larsen, Amy Beach, Rebecca Clarke and Nkeiru Okoye. In an effort to support the work of women composers she has commissioned and performed works by New Jersey women composers. One of those pieces is featured on the Beauport Classics CD In Concert: Composers in Collaboration. She has performed for, and with, international artists including Jean Pierre Rampal and Lukas Foss. Childress Orchard is a founding member of Terzetta, a flute/cello/piano trio and also performs 4-hand keyboard music.  Her solo CDSongs for my Father, released in 2013, celebrates the tradition of the Christian faith through hymns.


SPECIAL CITATION: "Championing the Music of Camargo Guarnieri"
ROSANGELA YAZBEC SEBBA
Mississippi State MS
ROSANGELA YAZBEC SEBBA
Rosângela Sebba combines an active concert and teaching schedule, and is noted for her lecture-recitals and research in Brazilian music. Her CD album, Sonata and Sonatinas by M. Camargo Guarnieri, became a reference to Brazilian music researchers and has been featured at WWFM and WQXR radio station. She has performed, given lectures and master classes in the United States, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Spain, Portugal, England and Taiwan. As a sought-after chamber musician, she has accompanied master classes and concerts of renowned artists. Her articles and book reviews were published in magazines and journals in Brazil, United States and England. As the founder and coordinator of the Mississippi State Piano Pre-College Program, she has provided undergraduates teaching opportunities while being supervised. She serves as Professor of Piano, Theory-Ear Training and the Piano Area and Performance Division Chair. Rosângela Sebba is a Mississippi Artist Commission Fellow and a Steinway Artist. http://www.music.msstate.edu/faculty/bio/rosangelasebba/


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
SEKYEONG SEONG
Columbus OH
SEKYEONG SEONG
A Native of South Korea, Dr. Seong is an active soloist, collaborative pianist, chamber musician, educator and scholar. Her performances have been televised and broadcasted through The Korea Broadcasting System (KBS), the Columbus Ohio radio station, Classical 101 and WOSU television. Dr. Seong received her Master and Doctoral degree from The Ohio State University. She is the winner of many competitions including but not limited to the Wonkwang concerto competitions (2001 and 2002), the Korea-Germany Brahms association competition (2006), and the American Protégé international competition (2013). Her engagements as a collaborative pianist include Wind Symphony and Symphony Orchestra at The Ohio State University, Opera and musicial for the Departments of Theatre, Dance and Music and Choral Art Society at Ohio Wesleyan University, Ohio Christian University and Columbus Women Chorus.


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (solo), 2016
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
EUNSUN SO
Lansing MI
EUNSUN SO
Eunsun So, a native of South Korea and award winning pianist, has a bachelor of music in piano performance from Kyungwon University, South Korea.  She received her master’s in piano pedagogy from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul. Eunsun is completing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Michigan State University under Deborah Moriarty, chair of piano, and serving as a teaching assistant after completing her second master’s in piano pedagogy under Derek Polischuk.

As a performer, Eunsun So has won several competitions in Korea and performed in Tody, Italy and the United States. Her other work includes being a soloist and accompanist for Seoul International Choir, the Community Music School of Michigan State, and as a presenter at the Michigan Music Teachers Association Conference of 2011.  As a performer, she was part of a piano duo titled “Day for the Disabled” in 2003. In 2007, she performed, as a scholarship recipient, at the master class of noted composer and educator Randall Faber in Ann Arbor, MI. Eunsun continues to pursue her interests as a pianist and professional educator. As her artistic career unfolds, her achievements and accomplishments are limitless.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
AURELIEN BOCCARD
Kansas City MO
AURELIEN BOCCARD
A native of Geneva, Switzerland, Aurélien Boccard is currently completing his DMA in Piano Performance with Dr. J. Solose as well as a Masters in Musicology at UMKC Conservatory. He previously obtained degrees in German, Music Education, and Musicology at the Geneva Conservatory, the University of Geneva, and the Bern Conservatory. He also holds a Masters and Advanced Certificate in Piano Performance from the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville.

As a performer, Aurelien has been an active soloist and collaborator in Europe as well as in the United States. His love for languages has brought him to work with many singers. He has played for opera productions for the Opera Theater in Fayetteville, AK. As an experienced pedagogue, Aurélien has taught music to children and young adults for over ten years in the U.S. and internationally.

In his desire to transmit and help others through music, Aurélien's interests have brought him to study and seek knowledge outside of the scope of music performance in fields such as biomechanics, human anatomy, somatic education, psychology and coaching. He has been working in the field of keyboard injury prevention with some of todays’ leading methods such as the Lister-Sink method, the Taubman approach and Alan Fraser’s approach to technique.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
AHYEON YUN
Tempe AZ
AHYEON YUN
Ahyeon Yun was born and raised in South Korea. She earned a bachelor's degree in a piano performance at Sookmyung Women's University, a master's degree in piano performance pedagogy at Arizona State University, and is currently pursuing a DMA degree in solo performance. Ahyeon was granted a 'Special Talent Award' at ASU, and recently won the second prize at the Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition, the third prize at the I Future Stars International Piano Competition, the second prize at The American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, third prize at the International London Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, and the third prize at Haneum Music Competition in Korea. She has performed in New York City's Weill Recital Hall and will release a compact disc of Walter Saul's music in 2017. She is currently a student of Professor Walter Cosand.


3rd PLACE:
TYLER RAMOS
Waipahu HI
TYLER RAMOS
Pianist Tyler Ramos is a Junior in the Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance degree program at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. He started his piano musical studies with legendary pedagogue Ellen Masaki, while studying cello with her daughter Nancy Masaki. His current teachers for piano and cello are Thomas Yee and I-Bei Lin, respectively. Tyler's accolades include winning top prizes at the Aloha International Piano Competition, the Hawaii state MTNA competition, as well as the MTNA Southwest Division competition for piano solo, piano duet, and chamber music. Most recently, Tyler won the MTNA Southwest Young Artist Piano competition, and will be one of seven national finalists invited to compete at the National MTNA competition in April 2016.  In 2009, he won the Aloha International Piano Competition concerto division, which resulted in a performance of Bartok's Second Piano Concerto with the Hawaii Youth Symphony.


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
JAE YOUNG KIM
New York NY
JAE YOUNG KIM
Jae Young Kim, a senior at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal, started his piano studies at the age of five in South Korea. Mr. Kim has garnered prizes in national and international competitions including the Teenager National Competition, Ewha & Kyunghyang Competition, Cooper International Competition, and MTNA New York State Competition, where he became the winner in 2012. Moreover, he was nominated as the Piano Winner of the prestigious 2015 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition. Mr. Kim has appeared in major concert venues such as Kumho Art Hall, Yamaha Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and Hahn Hall and has performed masterclasses for Jerome Lowenthal, Jeremy Denk, and Stephen Hough. He was one of the eight solo pianists to attend Music Academy of the West on full scholarship in summer of 2014 and was one of the six pianists at the Sarasota Music Festival this summer. 


FINALIST / HONORABLE MENTION:
FRANCISCO MONTERO
New York NY
FRANCISCO MONTERO
Pianist Francisco Montero has performed in some of the most important halls in the USA (Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, Bruno Walter Auditorium at Lincoln Center, Festival Ubuntu organized by Carnegie Hall and 4th Texas State International Piano Festival playing as a Rising Star artist. Some of these concerts have been reviewed by The New York Times with great acclaim); in United Kingdom (concerts at Dukes Hall, Purcell Room and Constance Pilkington Hall in London which was broadcasted by BBC Radio 4); Germany, Austria, Italy and most of the cities in Spain. Francisco´s most recent competitive awards include Grand Prize at New York Artists International Competition, making his debut at Carnegie Hall- Weill Recital Hall this year as part of the award. Francisco Montero studied his Master of Music at The Juilliard School in New York under the guidance of Julian Martin.


HONORABLE MENTION:
WILLIAM HUME
Carslisle PA
WILLIAM HUME
Pianist William Hume is a sophomore at the Eastman School of Music where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Music Degree as a piano performance major. He has performed as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician, and in 2014 was recognized by The American Prize as the 1st Place Winner in the High School Solo Division, and 2nd Place Winner in the Concerto Division.  He has won local and national awards, including first prize in the 2014 Enkor Piano Competition, where he later served as a juror in the Enkor Academy, and from 2013-2015 he received various National Federation of Music Clubs awards and scholarships.  William has attended summer programs to include the Aspen and Bowdoin Festivals, performed in numerous master classes, and actively volunteers in community outreach programs. He also enjoys exploring his interests in composition, writing and business. Visit him at www.williamhume.com


HONORABLE MENTION:
LUKE RHODES
Lawrence KS
LUKE RHODES
Luke Rhodes is a concert pianist, recording artist, and pedagogue.

In 2015, his debut solo album, Luke Rhodes: Piano Recital, was honored with the Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award, which recognizes outstanding creativity among University of Kansas students. Rhodes was selected in 2012 to participate in the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival’s Young Artist Program. His orchestral debut was with the International Music Festival Orchestra in Cleveland, Ohio, where he performed concertos by Mozart and Saint-Saëns.

He is currently pursuing a degree in piano performance at the University of Kansas where he studies with Dr. Steven Spooner. Some of his other esteemed instructors include Dr. Ray Landers, Dr. Scott McBride Smith, and Dr. Leonard Richter. Rhodes has also participated in masterclasses with notable pedagogues such as Ádám György, Dr. Logan Skelton, Luiz de Moura Castro, and John Perry. For more information, please visit www.lukerhodespiano.com


The American Prize 
in Piano Performance (solo), 2016
(high school division) 

The American Prize winner:
RUOBING ZHANG
Voorhees NJ
RUOBING ZHANG
Ruobing Zhang, age 18, has made a name for himself both as a pianist, singer, and martial arts specialist, winning serious prizes in all areas. He continues to study voice and piano in New York, and is currently a student at The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Matti Raekallio (piano) and Doc White (voice). At the age of 14, he performed Prokofieff's Concerto No. 3 at the World Piano Competition's ‘Go for the Gold’ concerto competition, winning first place and theGrand Prize for levels 9 -12. During that same year, Ruobing competed in the 2012 US Youth Talent and Art Competition, receiving first place and Grand Prize as well. Other competitions he has won include the Metropolitan International and the 2nd Catholic University of America International. He has performed in the winners’ concerts at Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, and The Kennedy Center. As a soloist with the Philadelphia Boys Choir from 2006 to 2010, he traveled to Argentina and Uruguay. Ruobing has performed in concerts in the Kimmel Center, Academy of Music, Drexel’s Irvine Auditorium, and has also appeared on FOX, NBC, CBS, and ABC's Good Morning America.


2nd PLACE: 
LEYLA KABULI
Davis CA
LEYLA KABULI
Leyla Kabuli, 16,­ a high school junior, studies at San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College, and is the pianist of SF Symphony Youth Orchestra. She received a 2016 National YoungArts Award and performed on NPR’s From the Top. Leyla won competition first prizes including Mindell, Ghiglieri, Classical Masters, CAPMT, Berkeley Etude, MTAC, US Open, American Protége, MTNA Piano Duet, Wildflower Music International, second prize and best contemporary award in Los Angeles International, second prize in Enkor International, third prize in Virginia Waring International, and other top prizes in Seattle International, MTAC Panel, Pacific Musical Society, McKee, SF Chopin, Zeiter competitions. Her piano studies include masterclasses and summer programs at BU Tanglewood Institute, Southeastern Piano Festival, and Colburn Academy. Her performance venues include Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and Benaroya Hall. She performed with Ensemble SF, Waring Festival Orchestra, and has upcoming performances with Solano Symphony, Nova Vista Symphony, and Sonoma Philharmonic.


3rd PLACE:
JARRETT MITSUHIRO TAKAKI
Willmette IL
JARRETT MITSUHIRO TAKAKI
Jarrett Takaki, age 17, is a Junior at New Trier High School, and a student of Sueanne Metz.  He received first place awards at the American Fine Arts Festival International Piano Competition, The Young Artist Piano Competition in Tennessee, The Walgreens National Competition, The De Paul Concerto Festival, the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto Competition, The Lee Piano Competition, and the Cardinal Stritch University Piano Festival.  Jarrett was a semifinalist at the Yamaha International Piano Competition, the Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition, and won second place in the Junior Division of the Cleveland International Piano Competition.  He has received prizes in the Bradshaw Buono International Piano Competition, the Aloha International Piano Festival, the Steinway Piano Competition, and the Music Teachers National Association Competition. He has performed the Bach D minor Piano Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante at the 2015 Music Fest Perugia, the Prokofiev Piano Concerto in C Major, Mvt. 1 with the Harper College Symphony Orchestra, and the Mozart Concerto #20 in D Minor, Mvt 1 with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago.



*** 
Congratulations!

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