Friday, August 15, 2014

2014 PIANO WINNERS, RUNNERS-UP: solo (professional division)

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2014, professional division.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Piano Performance (SOLO), 2014—PROFESSIONAL DIVISION:

The American Prize winner:
Brahms Third Piano Sonata (f minor)
Nassib Nassar
Nassib Nassar started playing the piano at the age of five with guidance from his father, who had studied under Zvart Sarkissian, a pupil of Marguerite Long.  At the age of 16 he began formal study with Francis Whang at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Nassar has performed the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven in chronological order, in a series of seven recitals, and his recordings have been featured on WCPE radio.  He teaches privately in Chapel Hill.

Among judges' comments: "The chords are masculine and richly colored, the sound is deep, the bass is always full and cantilenas always beautifully phrased."

2nd Place:
all Brahms program, including Handel Variations
Peter Miyamoto

Peter Miyamoto enjoys a brilliant international career, performing to great acclaim in Canada, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, China, and Japan, and in major US cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.  In 1990, Miyamoto was named the first Gilmore Young Artist.  He won numerous other competitions, including the APA National Fellowship Competition, the D’Angelo Competition, the SF Symphony Competition and the LA Philharmonic Competition.  Dr. Miyamoto holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Yale School of Music, Michigan State University, and the Royal Academy of Music.  Miyamoto’s principal teachers included Maria Curcio-Diamand, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, and Ralph Votapek.  Currently on faculty at the University of Missouri, Miyamoto formerly taught at Michigan State University, and the California Institute of the Arts, and is head of the keyboard area at the NY Summer Music Festival.

Among judges' comments: "There is a rich palette of sounds on this recording, from intimate whisper to the fully orchestral, “triumphant” sound so typical of Brahms’ piano music."

3rd Place:
JASON CHIU   El Cerrito  CA
Chopin Ballades
Jason Chiu

A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason Chiu has been performing on the piano since an early age. He has received numerous prizes in local competitions, including first place in the East Bay Music Festival and the Memorial Scholarship Competition as part of the Music Teacher’s Association of California. While attending U.C. Berkeley, where he received his B.A. in Music, he performed as a soloist with the University Symphony Orchestra, and was a recipient of the Eisner Award for achievement in the creative arts. Jason earned his Master of Music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2004, studying with Sharon Mann. Since graduating, he has been teaching piano at local music studios and performing arts centers, as well as giving performances in venues all over the Bay Area.   

Among judges' comments: "...many original interpretative ideas and a very individualistic way of listening."

"Championing the music of Cecile Chaminade"
Julia Mortyakova
Julia Mortyakova has performed solo recitals and concertos around the world.  Music festival appearances include: Assisi Performing Arts (Italy), Musica Nueva Malaga (Spain), Zhytomyr's Musical Spring (Ukraine), and Natchez Festival of Music.  She was the 2012 winner of the Sigma Alpha Iota Career Performance Grant.  2013 included solo recitals throughout the United States, Italy, and concerto appearances with the Assisi Festival Orchestra (Italy) and the Starkville Symphony Orchestra.

Dr. Mortyakova is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, Vanderbilt University, New York University, and the University of Miami.  Additional study includes Aspen Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts, and Symphonic Workshops International Piano Masterclass (Bulgaria).

Dr. Mortyakova currently serves as Chair of the Department of Music at the Mississippi University for Women.  Her research includes applying the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre to piano teaching, and the life and music of C├ęcile Chaminade and Olga Harris.


Congratulations to all!

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