JeongMin Kim
age 18, Corona, New York

From a very young age, JeongMin Kim showed his love and talent for music and by age eleven he had been accepted to study at the prestigious Korea National Institute for Gifted Artists in Seoul. In 2010, JeongMin moved to the United States to study in the Pre-College Division at The Juilliard School. Currently a freshman at The Juilliard School, he credits his teachers for helping him learn to interpret the music of the great masters and for his passion in performing these works. JeongMin has participated in master classes with Sergei Babayan and Martin Canin. He studies piano with Yoheved Kaplinsky.

JeongMin has an extensive repertory. He enjoys performing solo recitals, playing with orchestras, participating in music festivals, and entering competitions. While a student in Korea, he was a winner in many competitions. Then after moving to the United States, he won the grand prize in the Han Eum Philharmonic Orchestra Competition, first place with the Atlantic Music Festival Piano Concerto Competition, and performed Frederic Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Atlantic Music Festival Orchestra. Solo and Ensemble Recital Programs

featured_semifinalists10Yuan Liu
age 19, Taiyuan City, China

When listing her favorite compositions outside the piano repertory, Yuan Liu’s top favorites are all of the music composed by Johann Sebastian Bach. She also lists music written centuries later – with drama, perhaps written for dance, such as the symphonic poem, Don Juan by Richard Strauss, or Petrouchka by Igor Stravinsky. Yuan began listening to great music and performing when she was only four and taking electronic piano lessons in Shanxi Province, China. Soon she was studying piano and, by age twelve, was studying at a conservatory of music in China and playing Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No 2 with an orchestra in St. Petersburg, Russia. Her many awards prepared her to receive a full scholarship to study at the Texas Christian University with John Owings. She is currently a TCU sophomore.

Yuan’s many opportunities in the United States include master classes with Yoheved Kaplinsky and Lang Lang. Most notable among her accomplishments is the performance, in February 2015, of all of Frédéric Chopin’s Twenty-four Études. In March 2016, she won the First Prize in the Collegiate Group of the First Kuleshov International Piano Competition, and was invited to give a concert in the University of Central Oklahoma. Solo and Ensemble Programs

featured_semifinalists4Evelyn Mo
age 17, Oak Hill, Virginia

As a pianist for thirteen years and a violinist for ten, Evelyn Mo has been a performing musician for almost her whole life. “I know my musical journey is a lifelong one…with art, there is no end.” For Evelyn, music grows and “every performance is a unique adventure” with a story that she enjoys sharing with others.

Evelyn, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, currently studies piano with John O’Conor. She has won many awards for her outstanding performances. Most recently, Evelyn was a semifinalist in the 2015 Cliburn Junior International Competition, a finalist in the 2015 Eastman International Competition, and a 2015 National YoungArts Winner. In 2014, she won top prizes in the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists and David D. Dubois Piano Competition, as well as several awards in earlier years. Orchestral performances as a piano soloist include the Camerata New York, Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. She has performed at Carnegie and Merkin Halls in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. A video performance of Evelyn’s appearance on National Public Radio’s show, From the Top, with host Christopher O’Riley, is available on the internet. Solo and Ensemble Programs

featured_semifinalists2Linda Ruan
age 18, Surrey, British Columbia

Recently named a 2016 RBC Stockey Young Artist for the 37th season at the great Canadian music festival, Festival of the Sound, Linda Ruan strives to create with her music connections between human beings, time, space, composers, and audiences. Music, she believes, is all about the common human experiences – those “magical moments when time becomes suspended”. Linda’s passion for performing music has taken her all over the world, from Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, to the Bella Concert Hall in Calgary, to the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver. During the 2014-2015 season, Linda had the wonderful opportunity in participate in a solo concert tour in China, which included an orchestra debut with the Xinghai Philharmonic Orchestra, performing Peter Tchaikovksy’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor.

An avid chamber musician, Linda performs with the Jupiter Piano Duo, the youngest winners of the 2016 Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition. She is also a proud co-founder of the award-winning Vancouver-based piano trio, “The Rosettes”. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Linda moved to Shanghai, China, where she began her piano studies at the age of seven. A year later, she immigrated to Canada. She is currently a full-tuition scholarship student at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in the studio of James Anagnoson. In her spare time, Linda loves to read and write – one can often find her curled up with a book and a cup of tea between rehearsals and classes. Solo and Ensemble Programs

featured_semifinalists5John Schindler
age 17, Hartland, Wisconsin

Even before his first piano lesson at age six, John Schindler was drawn to the transcendent logic and beauty of music “most perfectly captured by Mozart”. As he grew older, he began to value the “power” of Beethoven and the “poetry” of Frédéric Chopin. “I believe that my appreciation of music would be incomplete if I were not able to share [the music of these composers] with others through my playing.”

During the past several years, while studying with Margarita Kontorovsky, John won many prizes, attended national music festivals, and participated in classes presented by master pedagogues such as Yoheved Kaplinsky. He has played with five orchestras that include the Brevard Music Center Orchestra and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the latter as an award for winning the 2013 Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition for ages 10-16. He is currently a fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy where he studies piano with Alan Chow and is a member of the Akros Piano Trio. Among his awards is the first place prize in the Theodor Leschetizky Piano Competition. His most recent award was first place in a classical music competition presented by the Luminarts Cultural Foundation in Chicago. In his spare time, John likes to relax by reading, working on math problems, and spending time with his family. Solo and Ensemble Recital Programs

featured_semifinalists6Aristo Sham
age 20, Hong Kong 

The musical life of Aristo Sham began in Hong Kong at age three when he was introduced to the piano, followed up with entering the Academy of Performing Arts at age six. He subsequently attended Harrow School in the UK, and studied piano with Professor Colin Stone. While in the UK, Aristo had the opportunity, on several occasions, to perform for the Royal family, was awarded a Fellowship with Distinction in Piano Performance of the Royal School of Music, and was featured in the documentary, The World’s Greatest Musical Prodigies, broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK. During their visits to Hong Kong, Aristo performed also for the Queen of Belgium and President Hu of China.

Aristo’s most recent international performance was in Portugal. Other solo appearances and concerts with orchestras have been in Argentina, Slovenia, Morocco, Singapore, and several cities in the United States. The winner of several first place prizes in international competitions, Aristo’s most recent was in 2015, with the gold medal at the Wideman International Piano Competition. To pursue his interests in economics and other subjects, Aristo is a rising sophomore preparing for joint degrees from Harvard University and the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studies piano with Victor Rosenbaum. www.aristosham.net Solo and Ensemble Recital Programs

featured_semifinalists7Athena Tsianos
age 19, Glendora, California 

A proud Kovner Fellow and Vergottis Scholarship recipient at The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Robert McDonald, Athena Tsianos started playing piano by ear at the age of three. Her primary passion is piano, yet she strives to balance her life by pursuing interests in economics and the sciences. From a young age, she has been involved in theater and opera, appearing as a vocalist in many productions, including Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

Her many piano performance awards include two first place prizes in The Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition for both the Bach category and contemporary work, the International Liszt Competition, and the Young Musicians’ Foundation Debut Orchestra audition, which enabled her to play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No.1 in Los Angeles. After winning the Young Musicians’ Foundation Chamber Music Series, she had coaching sessions with Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta and then performed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Broad Stage in Santa Monica. Athena has participated in several festivals, including The Music Academy of the West, and has studied extensively with Bernadene Blaha. She was named a National AP Scholar, received the National Merit Scholarship Letter of Commendation, and enthusiastically volunteers for performances in retirement homes through the National Honor Society. Solo and Ensemble Programs


Harvey Wu
age 20, Beijing, China

A sophomore at Columbia University working toward a degree in applied physics, Harvey Wu studies piano with Martin Canin of the Juilliard School. Born in Beijing, where he spent most of the formative years of his life, Harvey began studying piano at age six and never stopped playing despite the fact that his family moved frequently —never staying in the same city for more than four years. During high school at Phillips Academy, he won the Milton Collier Prize for piano performance, and studied with Tatyana Dudochkin at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Harvey’s interests in music range from the late symphonies of Bruckner and Mahler to Hong Kong pop music from the 1990s. He is a champion of the music of Russian composer Nikolai Medtner, and will be performing one of his works in the competition. Other interests include James Joyce, solid state physics, and solar energy. Solo and Ensemble Programs

featured_semifinalists8Seho Young
age 18, Dedham, Massachusetts

Pianist, composer, and conductor Seho Young is a freshman at Princeton University where he studies piano with Francine Kay. Also, as a fellow in the prestigious partnership program of Oberlin Conservatory and the International Piano Academy Lake Como, Seho studies piano with founder William Naboré and performs in the organization’s master classes and recitals at its American home at Oberlin.

An equally passionate composer, Seho plays piano and writes music for Princeton University’s famous comedy musical theater troupe, Triangle Club. He also enjoys playing chamber music with Opus 21, Princeton’s premier chamber music ensemble, and in 2016, was appointed Associate Conductor of the Princeton Chamber Orchestra, a student-led ensemble that performs a wide range of music from smaller works to concerti.

Seho was brought to music at a young age by the conducting of his greatest musical inspiration, Seiji Ozawa. To pursue his musical interests, Seho studied piano, composition, and music theory at New England Conservatory Preparatory School and in the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School. Seho has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Japan, Russia, Poland, and Italy, and has played with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Brockton, Phillips Academy, and Toruń. Multi-faceted Seho is also studying computer science and pursuing a degree in engineering.
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featured_semifinalistsAngie Zhang
age 20, Princeton, New Jersey

While in the audience at a holiday concert in Princeton University’s Chapel, Angie Zhang’s thoughts about music had a big impact on her life. She was able to attend this particular concert, performed by her brother’s school orchestras and choir, because her own performance had been cancelled due to the presenter’s relative sudden but and peaceful passing, at the age 91, just before Christmas Day. Those two experiences bonded as “the powers of music at work” bringing together people “from every corner of the world.” As a freshman, Angie co-founded a group with her Juilliard colleagues plus established long-term relations with Food Bank for New York City. She gave Juilliard’s first student-initiated benefit concert that raised hundreds of dollars and canned/non-perishable items. She also went to soup kitchens in Harlem the week before her first college finals to give interactive performances.

Angie is currently a junior and Kovner Fellow at The Juilliard School studying with Yoheved Kaplinsky. She has won numerous awards, including first place in the 2016 Juilliard and 2014 Aspen Music Festival’s Piano Concerto Competitions. Angie has appeared as a soloist with ten orchestras, including five this past year alone: Juilliard Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, Missouri Symphony Orchestra, Olympia Symphony Orchestra, and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Maestro Huw Edwards, current Music Director of the Olympia Symphony, has re-engaged her five times since she was ten, and four orchestras have invited her back due to popular demand. She is Chair of Juilliard Student Council, a Student Ambassador, and Group Leader of Gluck Community Service Fellowship, among other activities. She also enjoys interdisciplinary research, reading Architectural Digest, and admiring the “power, beauty, and soul” of Aston Martins, which is what she strives to achieve for every note she plays, whether in a practice room or a concert hall. Solo and Ensemble Recital Programs