Our heartiest congratulations to ten pianists, ages 10-16, advanced to the semifinals in the Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition: Mara Bajic, Corona Chen, Sakurako Eriksen, Maylynn Hu, Sophia Jiang, Andy Liu, Sophia Neumann, Abigail Petersen, Victor Spaeth, and Geoffrey Xue. Selected through an anonymous preliminary audio audition, the semifinalists will perform publicly on June 18 at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Each will play the first movement of a selected concerto by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, or Mendelssohn with a second pianist performing the orchestral reduction. Three semifinalists will be advanced to the finals on June 19 when they will perform the concertos with a quintet from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and a conductor.
All contestants in the preliminary round receive comments on their performances by members of the jury–Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Assistant Director Yaniv Dinur; Jessica Johnson, professor of piano and piano pedagogy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and MSO pianist, Wilanna Kalkhof, Melitta S. Pick Endowed Chair.
Distinguished semifinal and final round jury members are Jie Chen, Internationally acclaimed concert pianist, Mark George, president of the Music Institute of Chicago, and Judit Jaimes, concert pianist and retired piano chair at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Peck School of the Arts.
The Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition, a biennial event presented by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and PianoArts, features many of the innovative educational components included in the acclaimed PianoArts North American Competition. During the competition weekend, contestants participate in baton classes, perform in master classes, and have group sessions on staging directions and speaking about music.
A detailed schedule of events during the Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition will be posted on June 1.