“My experiences as a young scholar at the Lang Lang Foundation enriched me in every way possible! I gained confidence, I realized my value and strength, and now I understand my responsibility as a young music ambassador. The foundation magically opened the door of opportunity and possibility. I will help to push more doors open for others as an alumni of the Foundation. I have Lang Lang as a role model. I came into the program as a piano student, and come out as a young artist! I have transformed! And, last but not the least, I got an extended family: Lang Lang, the other Scholars, and the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.”
Clayton Stephenson is a 10th-Grade scholarship student at The Juilliard Pre-College Division and was admitted into the program at the age of ten. He currently studies with Dr. Choong Mo Kang.
Clayton made his first orchestra debut performing at Lincoln Center in 2012 as the first prize winner of the Juilliard Pre-College Piano Concerto Competition, playing Mendelssohn’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor with the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony. He was also given the honor to perform a solo recital each year at the Juilliard Paul Recital Hall, after being selected by a jury panel.
Clayton won first place at the Thousand Islands International Piano Competition (2013), LISMA International Piano Competition (2013), and The Third American Youth Talent & Art Contest (2013). Most recently, Clayton won 2nd Place at the 2014 Concerto Competition of Morningside Music Bridge, a full scholarship, highly selective international music festival in Calgary, Canada. Clayton also is a 2014 scholarship recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the United States.
Clayton’s artistic maturity accelerated after participating in the Inaugural Lang Lang Junior Music Camp in Munich, Germany and becoming a Lang Lang Young Scholar. He gained invaluable experience by receiving opportunities to perform in numerous festivals and events, including the Midwest Young Arts Summer Music Summit, the Ravinia Festival, the New York Harman Flagship Store, WQXR LIVE interview at the Greene Space, the 2014 AICGS Global Leadership Award Dinner on Wall Street, and The 69th UN Day “Lang Lang and Friend” concert in the Headquarter of the United Nationals General Assembly Hall.
Clayton has participated in master classes with John Perry, Julian Martin, Krzusztof Jablonski, André Laplante, Mark Durand, Lee Kum-Sing, and Frank Levy, among others. Clayton has benefited from many instructors and is devoted to share his knowledge and good fortune with underprivileged children in East Harlem.
Clayton enjoys a busy life immersed in music. He plays the piano as an accompanist in many of his high school’s community events. He also studies Jazz at the Boys’ Club of New York. As a well-rounded young musician, Clayton attends the prestigious Dalton School and highly selective Columbia University’s Science Honors Program. He is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese.