Friday, March 5, 2021

Finalists: PIANO (SOLO), 2021

The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.  

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST pianists for 2021 in the SOLO divisions.


As the contests unfold, runners-up and winners will be selected from this list. To know the exact date when winners will be announced, please like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter #AmericanPrize, where that information will be published first.

From Maestro Katz: 
"Why so many finalists?" Different from some other contests, The American Prize is first and foremost about encouraging artists, not about eliminating contestants. Each of the individuals below was judged to be worthy of further consideration as we move towards selecting winners and runners-up in the various divisions. At the end of the contest year each will receive a written evaluation. Especially during this most difficult time for performing artists everywhere, we hope the recognition will prove valuable. Thanks to all these individuals for a most impressive display of artistry. —DK

But if you are not a finalist this year, please remember that the contests are not yet over. The American Prize reserves the right to award Honorable Mentions and Citations for Special Achievement to any contestant, regardless of final placement. TAP has honored a number of semi-finalists and quarter finalists in the past--to recognize a unique talent or focus, unusual repertoire, vital programming or outreach. Citations and Honorable Mentions are usually awarded at the same time as winners and runners-up, but can be presented at any time up to the last winners' announcement of the contest year.

All contestants are reminded they are responsible for the viability of their online links to audition materials. Those links must remain active until the end of the contest year. Questions, or to make us aware of any misprints in the listings below, please email: 

We invite finalists to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media, and including a link to this announcement on their website or blog. A sample announcement may be found at the end of the post.

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the performing arts. The American Prize is unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States at professional, college/university, community and high school levels, based on submitted recordings. Now in its tenth year, The American Prize was founded in 2010 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Contestants hail from all fifty states, representing literally hundreds of communities and arts organizations across the nation. 

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2021, professional solo division:

Elina Christova  

Norwalk  CT  


Christine Ifen Chuang



Ezra Donner

Ypsilanti  MI     

Ann DuHamel    

Morris MN  


Leah Kang

Urbana. IL  


Dongyul Lee 

Los Angeles. CA  


Bruce Leto Jr.   

North Hampton  NH  


Liana Paniyeva   

Quincy  MA  


Yoon-Wha Roh 

Pullman  WA  


Alexandra A. Saraceno   

Brooklyn  NY  


Helga Scheibert  

Pittsburgh  PA  


Rosemarie Suniga

Potsdam  NY  


Kristin Jonina Taylor

Omaha  NE  


Alexander Tchobanov  

Abu Dhabi UAE 


Muen Wei 

Tampa  FL  


Heidi Louise Williams   

Tallahassee. FL  


Chi-Chen Wu  

Laramie  WY  


Susan Yang

Nashville  TN   


Jonathan Young 

Fort Wayne  IN

The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2021, college/university solo division:

Lanjiabao Ge  

Gainesville  FL       


Brandon K. Hamilton        

Plano TX       


Claudia Hu  

Raritan NJ       


Yunhee Kim 

Cambridge  MA       


Yera Kim 

State College  PA       

Bogyeong Lee 

Iowa City  IA       


Changhee Lee 

Montreal  QC       


Yang Li  

Rochester NY       


Junwen Liang           

State College  PA       


Haoyue Liang           

Denton TX       


Bora Ryu 

Kildeer  IL       


Yun Tang

Changchun China   


Shuk Ki Wong

Madison  WI       


Jen-Hao Yeh 

New York  NY       


Jingshu Zhao

Denton  TX  


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2021, community solo division:

Karen Salicath Jamali                     

Winter Park FL       

Luisa Kay Reyes                      

Tuscaloosa. AL       

Michael Shui                       

Tempe  AZ

NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Piano Performance, 2021, high school solo division:

Christian Brann         

Amherst  NY       


Jeslyn Zhu Cai           

Spokane  WA             


Ayushman Choudhury     

Ellington  CT       


Natalie Chow          

Livingston  NJ       


Amy Liu           

Setauket  NY       


Zizheng William Liu           

Sugar Land  TX       


Meredith Nam           

Bothell  WA             


Marc Soong         

Alhambra  CA        


Esther Tang          

Gaithersburg  MD       


Angela Gigi Tsang         

San Jose  CA


Finalists are encouraged to make the most of their selection by announcing it on social media and by including a link to this announcement on your website or blog. 

Here is a sample announcement:

"Great News! I've just been selected as a FINALIST in the (blank) division of The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts. Here's the link: (copy link here). The American Prize will be announcing WINNERS in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: or follow the news on Facebook: or Twitter: "

Please feel free to modify or expand this announcement to suit your needs.

Congratulations to all finalists!

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