Friday, May 28, 2021

Finalists: CONDUCTORS (choral ensembles), 2021

PLEASE NOTE: COMPOSERS looking for the posting of CHORAL FINALISTS, please view the previous blog post (posted at 4pm today.)

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce 2021 FINALIST conductors in choral divisions. Congratulations!

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

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

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.
  
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.

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

***
 
NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—professional division, 2021

Jon L. Culpepper   

Dallas Chamber Choir 

Dallas  TX    


Benedict Sheehan     

The Saint Tikhon Choir     

Waymart PA    


Dan Wells

Voices in the Woods

Jenkintown   PA


Nathan Zullinger   

Viva Voce Chamber Singers  

Haverford     PA




NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—college/university division, 2021

Francis Cathlina    

UNT Men's Chorus     

Denton  TX   


Warren Cook

Bob Jones University Choirs and Orchestra   

Greenville    SC


Maria Hagan 

University Chorale at Indiana University   

Bloomington   IN   


Brandon Hollihan    

Concordia—Sacred Music at Notre Dame  

Notre Dame    IN   


Jeremy D. Jones 

Miami University Men's Glee Club

Oxford  OH


Catherine Sailer

University of Denver Lamont Chorale   

Denver  CO   


Jennifer Sengin

Georgia State University Women's Chorus     

Atlanta  GA   




NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—community division, 2021

Ryan Brandau     

Princeton Pro Musica, Westminster Kantorei   

New York  NY  


Rachel Carlson     

Six Degree Singers   

Silver Spring MD  


Tom Trenney     

Plymouth Choir/ Cantorei   

Lincoln NE  


Lisa Graham 

Metropolitan Chorale 

Brookline     MA   


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Conducting—high school division, 2021

Mark Lawley          

Willard HS Chamber Choir                                     

Willard           MO        


Connor Scott           

Parkway South High School Choirs                             

Manchester        MO          


McKenna  Stenson         

Chamber Ensemble                                             

Manassas      VA         


Matthew Swope           

Winter Park HS Choirs                                        

Winter Park     FL




*** 

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. 

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 results in my division soon. You can learn more about this prestigious national competition here: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.

Finalists: COMPOSERS (choral music—all divisions), 2021

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST composers of choral music for 2021 in three divisions: major choral works (professional), shorter choral works (professional), and student choral works. Congratulations!

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

"Why so many finalists?" Different from some other contests, The American Prize is first and foremost about encouraging artists, not about eliminating contestants. Are each of the works below equal in terms of quality or interest? Of course not. But 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 the performing art everywhere, we welcome these works and hope the recognition conveyed by finalist status will prove valuable, both personally and professionally. Thanks to all these individuals for their creativity. —DK

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.

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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: theamericanprize@gmail.com 

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.


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (professional division), 2021 (SHORTER CHORAL WORKS) 
See the note: "Why so many finalists?" above

Paul A. Aitken     

Boise     ID 

How Can I Keep From Singing   


Shelly & Matthew Armstrong  

Wayne     NE 

Remember; A Tennyson Trilogy  


David Avshalomov 

Santa Monica    CA 

Gemeinsam; Now the Hazy Mirage  


Charles O. Beck 

Alexandria OH 

Seven Songs of Spring        

 

Joshua  Burel

Huntsville AL 

Escaping


Michael Bussewitz-Quarm  

Sound Beach     NY 

So, it was I; I'm Not Lost; The World, This Wall, and Me


Jerry Casey

Naples    FL 

Yet, I Will Rejoice 


Megan DiGeorgio 

Hyattsville     MD 

the in between spaces     


Wallace DePue Sr.  

Bowling Green   OH 

Old Time Religion   


Genevieve Douglass   

Bainbridge Island     WA 

The Mountains; You'll Find Me   


Otter Dreaming   

Decorah   IA 

A Something in a Summer's Day   

  

Sherry Flanigan   

Port Angeles    WA 

Psalm 


Jessica French     

Kent WA 

Eloi, Eloi    


Martin Gaskell    

Santa  Cruz     CA

Deus Creator Omnium 


Gerald Gurss

St. Paul  MN 

And the People Stayed Home


Joseph Hasper     

Grove City  PA 

Twenty-Four Hallelujahs; If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking; The Kings,They Came; 


Barbara K. Holm

Bloomington MN

Children of the Heavenly Father 


Derek M. Jenkins    

Jonesboro AR 

These Are Enough    


Kieun Steve Kim  

Redding   CA 

The Human Touch     


Katie Kring

Springfield     MO 

I See You; Land of Rest, At The Hour of Closing 


Chris Maunu

Arvada    CO 

While the Air is Ours     


John McLaughlin 

Pittsburgh PA 

In The Garden; Little Trees     


Zachary J. Moore

Waukesha  WI 

Let My Silence Grow 

 

Lawrence R. Mumford    

Laguna Niguel   CA 

Open the Gates


Stephen Murray     

Stockbridge     MA 

When Death Came For Us; Pater Noster  


Stas Omelchenko 

Waterloo Ontario  

AMEN      


Denice Rippentrop 

Scottsdale AZ 

God Jehovah   


Miguel Roig-Francoli    

Cincinnati OH 

Five Gothic Miniatures    


Kira Zeeman Rugen

Scottsdale AZ 

Desert Sky Songs    

 

Joshua Shank

Spokane   WA 

He Was Singing

 

Paul David Thomas     

Denton    TX 

I'll Never Study    


Ludwig Tuman

Oxnard    CA 

El Sol  


William Vollinger  

Woodcliff Lake  NJ 

Three Songs About the Resurrection    


Donald M. Wilson     

Lambertville    MI 

Let Us Sing Unto the Lord 


Stephen Yarbrough  

Vermillion SD 

In Memoriam 




NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (professional division), 2021 (MAJOR CHORAL WORKS)

 

Paul A. Aitken     

Boise     ID 

And None Shall Be Afraid 


Brian Bloye

Chicago   IL 

Lully, Lullay: A Nativity Cantata     


Marc-Andre Bougie     

Texarkana AR 

Requiem 


Michael Bussewitz-Quarm  

Sound Beach     NY 

The Unarmed Child       


Ed Frazier Davis

Kansas City     MO 

Through the Wildernesses of Worlds     

  

Daniel B. Elder

Nashville TN 

Absalom 


Collin Heade

Portland  OR 

An Abandoned Lighthouse   


Michael D. McClish    

Los Angeles     CA 

Magnificat      


John Muehleisen 

Mukilteo  WA 

Eternity Passing Over—An Arctic Requiem   


Dave Ragland

Nashville TN

Black Sonnet: Suite for Chamber Chorus and String Quartet 

 

Jasper Randall    

Van Nuys  CA 

Requiem 


Scott Rieker     

Cumberland MD 

Ted Kooser Suite      

 

Paul John Rudoi

Saint Paul MN 

SONG OF SKY AND SEA: A Song of Realization 


Carlyle Sharpe    

Springfield     MO 

Of These Years I Sing


Benedict Sheehan    

Waymart   PA 

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom  


Stephen Yarbrough  

Vermillion SD 

Everlasting is His Love 

 


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (student division), 2021

Jacob Beranek    

Oconomowoc WI 

Abendgebet; Trisagion


Anuj Bhutani    

Houston   TX 

The "Moments" Cycle: Moments; Yar Little Voice; Oaks and Roses


Jack Herscowitz 

Cabin JohnMD 

Voz del Pueblo, Voz del Cielo     


Carol Koffinke   

Pembroke  MA 

Journey to God  


Evgeniya (Jane) Kozhevnikova     

Kalamazoo MI 

Remember  


Joogwang Lim  

Brighton  MA 

Musika    


Mikeila McQueston  

Peachtree City  GA 

Descent   


Mitchell Piantanida 

Mission Viejo   CA 

Beyond the Wandering Moon   


Khoa Kim Sands

Oakland   CA 

The Life of Love


Kristian Schembri   

Newark    DE 

Regina Coeli    


Sarah Shapiro    

\Wilmette  IL 

Choose Something Like a Star; After Death; The Years


Ethan Soledad    

Miramar   FL 

Music and Poetry


Nicholas Emanuel Wheeler    

Stone Mountain  GA 

Star Spangled Banner  

 

Adrian Wong 

Hong Kong 

War of the Red Cliff    

 


*** 

We encourage 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. 

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: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.

“36 Blocks,” a musical work commemorating the Tulsa Massacre, recognized by The American Prize


“36 Blocks,” a musical work commemorating the Tulsa Massacre, by Oklahoma composer Heather Koehn, with poetry by Quraysh Ali Lansana, has received a Special Judges Citation from The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts. Recognizing its “Vital Perspective on Historical Events Through Words and Music” “36 Blocks” commemorates the events of exactly one hundred years ago, May 31 and June 1, 1921, when hundreds of Black citizens were killed by mobs of whites in the community of Greenwood in Tulsa, at that time one of the wealthiest Black communities in the United States. Approximately 36 blocks of Greenwood were destroyed.

Heather Koehn
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts is the nation's most comprehensive series of non-profit competitions in the musical and theater arts, unique in scope and structure, designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles and composers in the United States based on submitted recordings. The American Prize was founded in 2009 and is awarded annually in many areas of the performing arts. Applications for the 2022 contests are being accepted at least through the covid-extended deadline of September 9, 2021. (theamericanprize.org)


The composer writes: ““36 Blocks” was commissioned by the Bixby High School Wind ensemble in Bixby, Oklahoma, to be premiered at the 2019 Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention.   The piece's influence include ragtime, gospel, 1920's jazz and the spiritual "Hold on Just a Little While Longer". The last chord remains unresolved in hopes that a new ending can be written someday when resolution and reconciliation is achieved in Tulsa.” Performed at the Oklahoma Music Educator's Association 77th Winter Conference, January 18, 2019, at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, Tulsa, OK, conducted by Jeremy Parker.


Heather Ellis Koehn (b. 1979) is an Oklahoma-based composer, arranger, and educator. Heather's original compositions have been performed by groups throughout the southern United States, and she was recently named a winner of the 2018 Dallas Winds Fanfare Competition. Heather received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. In addition to writing concert works and marching band arrangements, Heather is a National Board Certified Teacher and directs junior high band at Coweta Public Schools and is the creative director of the award-winning Coweta Tiger Pride Marching Band. Heather's compositions and arrangements provide a "meaningful experience to performer and listener alike", and she believes that music can be a most powerful force for social change.    www.heatherelliskoehn.com

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Finalists: COMPOSERS (choral music—major choral works and student division), 2021

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David Volosin Katz, founder and chief judge, is pleased to announce FINALIST composers of choral music for 2021. 

Today, MAJOR choral works (professional) and STUDENT choral works. SHORTER choral works finalists will be announced tomorrow at 4pm. Congratulations!

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

"Why so many finalists?" Different from some other contests, The American Prize is first and foremost about encouraging artists, not about eliminating contestants. Are each of the works below equal in terms of quality or interest? Of course not. But 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 the performing art everywhere, we welcome these works and hope the recognition conveyed by finalist status will prove valuable, both personally and professionally. Thanks to all these individuals for their creativity. —DK

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.

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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: theamericanprize@gmail.com 

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.


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—MAJOR Choral Works (professional division), 2021 (SHORTER choral work finalists will be announced tomorrow at 4pm.)

Paul A. Aitken     

Boise     ID 

And None Shall Be Afraid 


Brian Bloye

Chicago   IL 

Lully, Lullay: A Nativity Cantata     


Marc-Andre Bougie     

Texarkana AR 

Requiem 


Michael Bussewitz-Quarm  

Sound Beach     NY 

The Unarmed Child       


Ed Frazier Davis

Kansas City     MO 

Through the Wildernesses of Worlds     

  

Daniel B. Elder

Nashville TN 

Absalom 


Collin Heade

Portland  OR 

An Abandoned Lighthouse   


Michael D. McClish    

Los Angeles     CA 

Magnificat      


John Muehleisen 

Mukilteo  WA 

Eternity Passing Over—An Arctic Requiem   


Dave Ragland

Nashville TN

Black Sonnet: Suite for Chamber Chorus and String Quartet 

 

Jasper Randall    

Van Nuys  CA 

Requiem 


Scott Rieker     

Cumberland MD 

Ted Kooser Suite      

 

Paul John Rudoi

Saint Paul MN 

SONG OF SKY AND SEA: A Song of Realization 


Carlyle Sharpe    

Springfield     MO 

Of These Years I Sing


Benedict Sheehan    

Waymart   PA 

Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom  


Stephen Yarbrough  

Vermillion SD 

Everlasting is His Love 

 


NATIONAL FINALISTS: The American Prize in Composition—Choral (student division), 2021

Jacob Beranek    

Oconomowoc WI 

Abendgebet; Trisagion


Anuj Bhutani    

Houston   TX 

The "Moments" Cycle: Moments; Yar Little Voice; Oaks and Roses


Jack Herscowitz 

Cabin JohnMD 

Voz del Pueblo, Voz del Cielo     


Carol Koffinke   

Pembroke  MA 

Journey to God  


Evgeniya (Jane) Kozhevnikova     

Kalamazoo MI 

Remember  


Joogwang Lim  

Brighton  MA 

Musika    


Mikeila McQueston  

Peachtree City  GA 

Descent   


Mitchell Piantanida 

Mission Viejo   CA 

Beyond the Wandering Moon   


Khoa Kim Sands

Oakland   CA 

The Life of Love


Kristian Schembri   

Newark    DE 

Regina Coeli    


Sarah Shapiro    

Wilmette  IL 

Lux Aeterna; The Years


Ethan Soledad    

Miramar   FL 

Music and Poetry


Nicholas Emanuel Wheeler    

Stone Mountain  GA 

Star Spangled Banner  

 

Adrian Wong 

Hong Kong 

War of the Red Cliff    

 


*** 

We encourage 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. 

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: www.theamericanprize.org or follow the news on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-American-Prize-celebrating-American-excellence-in-the-arts/214320622728 or Twitter: https://twitter.com/americanprize "

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

Congratulations to all finalists.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Winners: The American Prize in Piano Performance (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 honored to announce the winners, runners-up, citation recipients and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2021, in professional, college/university, community and high school divisions. Congratulations!

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

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

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.


The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2021, (professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Liana Paniyeva    
Quincy MA  

Liana Paniyeva    
Liana Paniyeva has won prizes in numerous competitions internationally and has performed at festivals in Norway, Hungary, Austria, Canada, England, Italy, South Africa, and Israel. Her recitals have taken her to Carnegie Hall, legendary Worcester's Mechanics Hall, the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, to note highlights. Ms. Paniyeva has been a prizewinner in numerous international competitions including: "Iowa International Piano Competition” in 2015, "George Gershwin International Competition” in 2019, Grand Prize at the "Metropolitan International Piano Competition", "in Memory of E. Gilels", “Music World” in Italy, the Cargill Foundation Prize in the 2014 Scottish International Piano Competition in Glasgow, prize in memory of Bracha Eden for a most impressive performance during the competition "The Voice of Music" Jerusalem, "Golden Era of Romantic Music.” Hailed by the New York Concert Review as "Ms. Paniyeva impresses this listener right away as a sensitive player.” Her solo recital in 2016 at the Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago was broadcast live on WFMT Radio. A graduate of the Donetsk Music Academy in Ukraine, she earned her Professional Studies Diploma from the Manhattan School of Music and an Artist Diploma from The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Ms. Paniyeva is a founder and artistic director of the Young Stars International Piano Competition. 


2nd Place:
Chi-Chen Wu    
Laramie WY  

Chi-Chen Wu    
Praised by Fanfare Magazine for her “astonishing” and “poetic piano playing” and “symphonic, expansive texture of breathless virtuosity” (Historical Keyboard Society), pianist Chi-Chen Wu has appeared as recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and the Aspen Music Festival, among others. Musicians and conductors with whom she has concertized include Karl-Heinz Steffens, Gil Rose, Jonathan McPhee, Zuill Bailey, and members of the Juilliard String Quartet. American Record Guide chooses her recording of Schumann duo sonatas as one of the top recordings, and recommends its reader to “Stick with Kremer and Argerich (Nov/Dec 1987) or DiEugenio and Wu (Sept/Oct 2015) for more enthusiastic performances.” This recording received two gold medals from the Global Music Awards. It was also named in the Top 10 "Best Classical Recordings of 2015" by The Big City, New York. Chi-Chen’s newest album of Schumann Fantasie and Carnaval has won a silver medal and Best Classical Album from the same competition.  Website: http://www.ccwPiano.com 


3rd Place:
Leah Kang    
Urbana IL  

Leah Kang    
Leah Kang is a musician of diverse interests who studied biology at UCLA prior to pursuing professional music studies. She has performed in Germany, Austria, Canada, Czech Republic, and across the United States. Her performance as a winner of the Siegfried Weishaupt International Piano Competition was broadcast on SWR of Germany. She has been featured with the Antelope Valley Symphony Orchestra, Tehachapi Symphony Orchestra, and the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic Orchestra. Leah has held faculty positions at Antelope Valley College and Citrus College, served as Associate Instructor of Music Theory at Indiana University and as a teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Leah earned her MM and Diploma from IU, studying with Arnaldo Cohen, and her DMA from UW Madison with Christopher Taylor. As a two time recipient of the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst fellowship, Leah conducted research as a visiting scholar at the Beethoven-Haus and has presented at various international conferences commemorating Beethoven's 250th anniversary.   www.leahkang.com


Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Championing the Music of Marc Chan"
Ann DuHamel    
Morris MN

Ann DuHamel    
Pianist Ann DuHamel’s performances have been described as poetic and “… a delight for the ears and the soul” (Encuentro Universitario Internacional de Saxofón, Mexico City). She’s performed in 16 countries on 4 continents, including concerts at Sala Verdi in Milan, Italy; Trinity College in Oxford, England; and Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York. She has served as Head of Keyboard Studies at the University of Minnesota Morris for over a decade. In demand as a collaborative pianist, Ann has performed chamber music with members of both the Grammy Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as with Martha Councell-Vargas, flute; Preston Duncan, saxophone; and Clara Presser, mezzo-soprano.  Her latest project, “Prayers for a Feverish Planet,” expands and revolutionizes the modern piano recital. Featuring new works about the climate crisis, this music asks urgent questions of the listener: How can our actions create positive change for the environment? How can we live more mindfully and conscientiously as global citizens? More at: annduhamel.com.


Finalist—Special Judges' Citation: "Championing the Music of Curt & Charles Cacioppo"
Bruce Leto jr.    
North Hampton NH 

Bruce Leto jr.    
As a prize-winner in scholastic (Dora Khyatt), collegiate (Bi-Co Concerto Competition), national (West Chester National Piano Competition), and international (Quebec International Music Competition) piano adjudications, Bruce Leto’s music tenure has allowed him to perform in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, New York, and Italy. During his collegiate years, Leto’s piano study under Linda de Pasquale and Curtis Cacioppo led to his acceptance at the Chautauqua Music Festival and the Orfeo International Music Festival where he studied in 2011 under Vladimir Koklov’s supervision.


Finalist Honorable Mention
Elina Christova    
Norwalk CT

Elina Christova    
A versatile pianist with an affinity for modern and contemporary music, Elina Christova has been lauded by critics for her “deeply considered interpretations,” “facile pianism,” and “sure musical instincts.” In 2019 she recorded Scriabin’s ten piano sonatas at Oktaven Audio in NY. The double album is scheduled for release in Fall 2020.  Elina most recently performed at Carnegie Hall, Ignacio Cervantes Hall in Havana, Union College Memorial Chapel in Schenectady, and The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria. She has studied with Hans Graf at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, Jenny Zaharieva at the National Music Academy in Sofia, and Herman Ulhorn at the University of the Arts in Utrecht. In 1996 she moved to New York as a Fulbright Scholar and holds a Master’s and Doctoral Degree from Manhattan School of Music where she graduated from the studio of Dr. Solomon Mikowsky.  www.elinachristova.com


Finalist Honorable Mention
Yoon-Wha Roh    
Pullman WA 

Yoon-Wha Roh    
(Website: www.yoonwharoh.com) Pianist Yoon-Wha Roh has been appearing as a celebrated soloist with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Saint Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, New Jersey Garden State Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, and New York Classical Symphony Orchestra. She has also been featured in Korean monthly music magazines, and , for her orchestra performances and interviews. She has won awards and special prizes from Manhattan International Music Competition, National Artists Competition, Piano Texas Concerto Competition, and Hakata Fukuoka International Piano Competition among others.   Other notable performances have been presented at the Carnegie Weil Recital Hall, Lincoln Center Bruno Walter Auditorium, Seoul Arts Center IBK and Recital Hall, New York Steinway Hall, Jordan Hall, and Barnes Hall in Cornell University. Roh holds Doctor of Music in Piano Performance and Literature from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. She recently joined Washington State University as Faculty Artist Teacher of Piano.


Finalist Honorable Mention
Heidi Louise Williams  
Tallahassee FL  

Heidi Louise Williams  
Praised by New York critic Harris Goldsmith for her ‘impeccable soloistic authority’ and ‘dazzling performances,’ American pianist Heidi Louise Williams has appeared in solo and collaborative performances across North America and internationally, having won numerous awards. An ardent promoter of new music, Williams has worked with many distinguished American composers, including Carlisle Floyd, Ned Rorem, John Harbison, Augusta Read Thomas, Chen Yi, James Primosch, Daniel Crozier, Ladislav Kubík, and Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. Her Albany Records solo album Drive American was named among the top 10 classical albums of 2011 in the Philadelphia City Paper, featured in Fanfare’s 2012 Critics’ Want Lists, and described as ‘veritably operatic,’ ‘bold yet thoughtful,’ ‘provocative and stimulating’ (Fanfare), possessing ‘the muscularity and poetic power to bring this demanding repertory to life’ (American Record Guide). Her 2018 release on Albany Records with soprano Mary Mackenzie, entitled Vocalisms, features American songs and cycles by Crozier, Harbison, Primosch, and Rorem. Her playing has been published in the Modern Classical American Songbook, Volume 1, and is also featured on the Naxos and Neos labels. Williams joined the College of Music piano faculty at Florida State University in 2007. She completed her BM, MM, and DMA degrees at the Peabody Institute, where she studied with Ann Schein and coached chamber music with Earl Carlyss, Samuel Sanders, Stephen Kates, and Robert McDonald. For more information, visit www.heidilouisewilliams.com 
 

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

The American Prize winner:
Jen-Hao Yeh    
New York NY   

Jen-Hao Yeh    
Jen-Hao Yeh, born in 1998 in Taipei, Taiwan (R. O. C.), is a pianist who had graduated from two of the top music gifted classes in Taiwan at the Jr. High Division of Affiliated Senior High School of National Taiwan Normal University and Sr. High School of Zhong-zheng Senior High School. He is currently studying with Prof. Alexandre Moutouzkine at Manhattan School of Music. He recently has won several international competitions such as the First Prize of Glissando International Youth Piano Competition, the Third Prize of XI Chopin International Piano Competition in Hartford, CT, the Second Prize of Quebec Music Competition (International Online) and the Second Prize of World Piano E-Competition “Napolinova.”


2nd Place:
Yera Kim     
State College PA

Yera Kim     
Yera Kim is a DMA student in piano performance from the studio of Prof. Guzman at Penn State University. She got her bachelor’s degree from Chung-Ang University with the highest honors and master’s degree from Baylor University, Texas. She received the top prizes in competitions including Texas Semper Pro Musica Competition, Texas Young Artist Competition, and Chung-Ang University Concerto Competition. She also received the Roger L. Keys Award for Outstanding Graduate Student in Piano and full master’s scholarships at Baylor University. She has nominated Excellence in Academic Record Award at Chung-Ang University. She has studied or been coached with Christopher Guzman and Krassimira Jordan. Her most recent performances included recitals at Carnegie Weil Recital Hall, NY, and Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC. Her performance was nominated by the Korean Culture and Arts Council. She has been also invited to present her recital in the National Performing Arts Center in Korea. She has been chosen as a second-place winner of the American Protege International Piano Competition 2020 and will have the winners recital at Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in December 2020.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Bogyeong Lee  
Iowa City IA
Bogyeong Lee  

Bogyeong Lee is native Korean, started playing piano at the age of six. Her musical talent soon blossomed when she was admitted to the Incheon Korean Educational Center for Gifted Children. Later on, she pursued studying piano at the Incheon Arts High School and the College of Music of Dankook University. Miss Lee was proud to be admitted, and graduate, as a top fellowship student - receiving magna cum laude from both institutions. She also earned a Master of Music Degree, studying with professor Emile Naoumoff, at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University with Graduate Tuition Award and Artistic Excellence Fellowship. Currently, she is pursuing her DMA degree under Dr. Nosikova Ksenia at the University of Iowa School of Music, while holding the position of Teaching Assistant of piano as well. 


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Junwen Liang 
State College PA
Junwen Liang 

Junwen Liang, a native of China, earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance at Ithaca College and a Masters of Music degree at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Junwen has performed in major cities in China, Canada and the United States. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, as well as in public broadcast as soloist to perform Prokofiev Third Piano Concerto with Ithaca College Orchestra on WSKG radio in New York. Junwen has participated in the Philadelphia Young Pianists’ Academy, Orford Musique, Art of the Piano at CCM and Aspen Music Festival, and has won major prizes in the New York International Piano Competition, Naftzger Young Artist Award Competition and Crescendo International Music Competition. Junwen is currently pursuing his Doctoral of Musical Arts degree at Penn State, where he serves as Graduate Assistant in Piano and studies with Christopher Guzman. 


Finalist Honorable Mention
Changhee Lee
Montreal QC
Changhee Lee

Changhee Lee is currently pursuing a doctorate of music in piano performance at the Université de Montréal under the tutelage of Jean Saulnier. He earned his MM and BM degrees also in piano performance from the Eastman School of Music as a student of Douglas Humpherys. He is passionate about keyboard improvisation and has taught musicianship courses at the Université de Montréal, McGill University, and Eastman. For more information, please visit changheemusic.com.


Finalist Honorable Mention
Haoyue Liang
Denton TX
Haoyue Liang

Haoyue Liang graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music,where she studied with Keng Zhou, then continued working for his Master’s degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Jon Nakamatsu, and for his Doctor Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas with Vladimir Viardo. As a concert pianist, he has performed both in China and the United States. Additionally, he has won the following prizes in National and International: the silver medalist in the second Deutscher Irmler-Klavierwettbewerb, and Second Prize in the Third Asia Kawai Piano Competition in Shanghai division.


The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2021, (community division)

The American Prize winner:
Michael Shui   
Tempe AZ

Michael Shui   

Michael started playing piano at eight, and had found it it fascinating throughout his learning process. He has given performances in Asia, Europe and the North America. He was also invited to play at piano masterclasses by the world’s renowned pianists like Menahem Pressler, Sofya Gulyak and Tomislav Baynov. He wishes classical music would receive more attention in the world and more people would appreciate the greatness of the composers. Michael now resides in Arizona, USA.


2nd Place:
Luisa Kay Reyes 
Tuscaloosa AL

Luisa Kay Reyes 

Luisa Kay Reyes enjoys delving in all aspects of the arts.  She was a soloist ballerina in college.  And she loves to play the piano.  She started off as a double-major in piano and mathematics in undergrad and was described as a warm lyrical pianist, but much to her chagrin she opted to just major in mathematics.  She also sings opera with some of her favorite arias being those written by Puccini.  And she has been published extensively in various literary magazines and anthologies. 


3rd Place:
Karen Salicath Jamali
Winter Park FL

Karen Salicath Jamali

Karen Salicath Jamali is a multi award-winning composer, pianist, and American artist, painter, sculptor and photographer for the last 30 years, living and working in NYC & Florida / BMI member. But it wasn’t until an accident that caused a head injury and a near-death experience that Karen started to play music. Previously unable to play the piano, the head injury amazingly opened up a new world for Karen, and she began to play beautiful and meditative music. The music will put the listener into a relaxed state of consciousness. The accident that occurred in 2012 and after a long recovery in 2015, she began to hear music in her dreams and decided to record & play what she was experiencing. After 5 years of playing the result are 7 beautiful Albums & 2000+ music compositions and more than a million listeners. She just released  her new album "Sound of Angels" in collaboration with Orpheus Classical. She have also preformed solo 7 times in Carnegie Hall. For more info please vist www.KJAMALImusic.com


The American Prize in Piano Performance (solo), 2021, (high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Jeslyn Zhu Cai    
Spokane WA

Jeslyn Zhu Cai    
Jeslyn Zhu Cai is both an accomplished pianist and a violinist.  As a pianist, she was the 3rd place winner of the Berlin Rising Star Grand Prix International Competition in Germany, and the 2nd place winner of the National MTNA Performance Competition.  As a violinist, she was a finalist of the HPS Carnegie Orchestra Competition both in New York and at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  She is also a winner of the Vivaldi violin concerto competition.  Her piano teachers are Karlyn Brett and Dr. Peter Mack.  She studies the violin with Jan Coleman.


2nd Place:
Natalie Chow
Livingston NJ
Natalie Chow

Natalie Chow, age 15, began studying piano at age 5 and currently studies with concert pianist Beatrice Long.   Natalie established herself early as a young artist through a myriad of competitions. She was selected by audition to perform in the JCC Sylvia and Jacob Handler Master Class given by New York Philharmonic pianist Jonathan Feldman at 6 and made her Carnegie Hall debut at 7.  Her recent accomplishments include 2019-2020 National YoungArts winner in Classical Music, first-prize finishes in the Music Educators Association of NJ Concerto Competition, the VIVO International Music Competition, the Princeton Steinway Society Classical Competition, the NJ Federation of Music Clubs Piano Competition, as well as second prize in the  Camerata Artists International Music Competition and the Music Teacher National Association (MTNA) NJ senior piano competition. In addition, she is a scholarship award recipients in the NFMC Claire Ulrich Whitehurst and the Suburban Music Study Club Grace Gimbel Competition. 


3rd Place:
Amy Liu
Setauket NY
Amy Liu

Amy Liu, 16, is a junior at Ward Melville High School on Long Island, New York. She began her piano studies at the age of five. She currently studies with Nina Svetlanova at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. She is a three-time All-State pianist. Amy has attended numerous summer festivals and programs over the years. In 2015, Amy participated in the Stony Brook International Piano Festival, while in 2016 and 2017 she was a student at the Indiana University Piano Academy at the Jacobs School of Music. Most recently, in 2018 and 2019, Amy attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Piano Program. In her spare time, Amy giving back to her community through music. She has performed in community outreach recitals at hospitals, assisted living centers, libraries, art galleries, and churches. Amy also organizes free music lessons for young students in her community.


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Congratulations!