Ten-year-old Sophia Jiang won the first place prize in the 2017 Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition proudly presented by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts. In addition to a cash prize of $1,000, Sophia will perform the first movement of her winning concerto, Mozart’s Concerto No. 12 in A major, Kőchel 414, with the MSO for a Youth Concert in the 2017-18 season.
Andy Liu, age fourteen, won the second place prize, and fourteen-year-old Geoffrey Xue took the third place prize. Jury members Jie Chen, Mark George, and Judit Jaimes selected the three finalists from a pool of ten semifinalists on Monday, June 19 at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. All three finalists performed with a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra quintet under the direction of MSO Assistant Conductor Yaniv Dinur.
Sophia, from Madison, Wisconsin, has studied piano since she was four. Her current teacher is Bill Lutes. A winner in many Wisconsin piano competitions, Sophia also plays the violin.
Andy attends Brookfield Academy. A winner of gold medals in Latin and French, he also represented the state of Wisconsin at the 2016 Mathcounts National Competition in Washington, D. C. He studies piano with Margarita Kontorovsky.
Geoffrey is in the 8th grade at Asa Clark Middle School in Pewaukee. A piano student with Margarita Kontorovsky for seven years, Geoffrey has participated in many piano competitions, Robotics and the Mathcounts Club. He also enjoys volunteering for events at the Milwaukee Chinese Community Center.