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Class of 2020-2022

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Introduction

We would like to introduce the 2020-2022 Young Scholars!

These eleven talented young pianists, represent some of the most extraordinary and promising talents of their generation.

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Ruochong “Steven”

Cui

Ruochong “Steven”

Cui

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Ruochong “Steven” Cui started studying piano at the age of four under teachers in his region and started showing potential in music.

After his family immigrated to the U.S. in 2015, he started studying piano with Ms. San-Qing Lu-Bennaman, a former soloist with the Shanghai Symphony and a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory.

While working with Ms. Lu-Bennaman, Steven won numerous regional competitions as well as the first prize in his age group at The 24th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition for Children and Youth in Szafarnia, Poland and The 3rd Catholic University of America Piano Competition in Washington, D.C. He also became a From The Top alumni during this time. After being admitted into the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School in the fall of 2017, he started studying with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and Dr. Yi-Heng Yang. Steven currently attends both Juilliard and the Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey. At school, he is actively discovering other interests outside of the performing arts. He is the premiere member of the Middle School Ethics Bowl team at his school which holds debates on ethical worldly issues and participates in the annual ethics bowl competition. He is also contributing to the arts at school as he is a member of the show choir which performs a diverse repertoire of musical works each year. During his free time, you can find him scrolling through Instagram, watching Netflix, or conducting prestigious orchestras on YouTube while brushing his teeth.

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Yidi

Ding

Yidi

Ding

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Yidi Ding was born in Shanghai, China in August, 2011. At the age of 5, he began his formal piano study.

After one year, he showed promising talent, and went on to win 15 first prizes in America, China and Europe. At six years old, he was invited to perform at NYC’s Carnegie Hall, and The Golden Hall in Vienna, Austria.

Now, Yidi Ding resides in the U.S. At seven years old in 2019 he was accepted to The Juilliard School Pre-College program, and became their youngest enrolled student. Later in the year, he performed at a Thanksgiving Piano Recital in Shanghai, and at the Trump National Golf Club.

In 2018, Yidi won First Prize of Preschooler Class and First Prize of Chinese Music Grading Test Class at the 8th Hong Kong International Piano Invitation Final Competition. He also was awarded First Prize of Children Class and the Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize at the Golden Classical Music Award International Competition, after which, he was invited to perform at The Golden Hall in Vienna Austria.

In March 2018, he released his first CD at the age of six, titled “A Collection of Piano Works”. In April, he was selected at the first prize winner of the Young Musicians, and received the Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition. He was then invited to perform at Carnegie Hall.

He gave his first public recital at six years old at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center, and was awarded first prize at the Franz Liszt International Youth Piano Final Competition.

In 2017, he made his debut at the Shanghai Oriental Art Center. Later that year, he was awarded first prize at the Zhu Jiang International Youth Piano Final Competition, and first prize of the Children’s Class at the Yangtze River Delta Music Final Competition.

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Yuk

Chiu Lai

Yuk

Chiu Lai

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

12 year-old Yuk-Chiu Lai first started learning the piano at the age of four and have loved it ever since.

He has been studying the piano under the tutelage of Kinwai Shum in the Junior Music Program in the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, where he also double major in the violin as a student of Nicholas Leung, Concert master of Hong Kong Strings Orchestra. Yuk–Chiu has achieved distinctions in violin (ATCL) and piano (ABRSM grade 8).

A student of St Joseph’s College and St Joseph’s Primary School (SJPS) in Hong Kong, he has been active in performances as both pianist and violinist.

In Nov 2018, he had the opportunity to grace the stage with Tsang-Hei Chiu, renowned music producer and composer, to perform piano four hands during the SJPS 50th Anniversary Gala Dinner.

He was nominated as SJPS music ambassador to the Austria Chinese Profound Arts Festival in July 2019, and has performed as the piano and violin soloist, piano accompanist to the school choir, as well as concert master for the school orchestra in Großer Saal in Salzburg in Austria.

An active participant in the Hong Kong School Music Festival, he has garnered prizes in each of the past seven years, most recently a first place in grade 8 piano solo. He has also achieved first prize in piano in the Junior Category of International Music Competition Salzburg “Grand Prize Virtuoso” in July 2019.

Yuk-Chiu has a wide range of interests. He was a cub scout with the First Hong Kong Scout Group and has received the Golden Bauhinia Award by the Hong Kong Scout Association. Playing soccer and table tennis are his favourite pastimes.

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Joshua

Mhoon

Joshua

Mhoon

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

After returning from Japan where he was featured on Japanese national TV, Joshua performed for the historical inauguration of Chicago’s first black female mayor at Wintrust Area this past Spring.

Last summer he performed at Carnegie Hall with The National Youth Orchestra and in Miami with The New World Symphony.

Spring of 2018, he did a 12-day tour in Germany where he performed to a sold-out audience in Berlin. He has appeared on ABC TV’s Windy City Live TV three times and on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight. In 2013, Joshua was invited to perform for the Vice Premier of China at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park.

Joshua has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in N.Y. He has opened for the Jackson’s, Ramsey Lewis and TV’s Nick Canon. He has played in England, France, Greece, Turkey, Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Joshua is 16 and in 11th grade at Whitney Young Magnet High School in Chicago.

 

Awards and Honors

  • Walgreens National Concerto Competition (2018, 1st Place Senior Division) – First time a Freshman won the Senior Division
  • Emilio del Rosario Young Artist International Piano Concerto Competition (2017, Junior Division winner)
  • DePaul Concerto Competition (2016, overall winner)
  • Walgreens National Concerto Competition (2015, overall winner)
  • SAVLER Competition (1st Place, Junior II Division)
  • CAMTA Sonata Festival (2015, Level C)
  • Granquist Music Competition (2011, overall winner)He also won honors at the National Junior Music Festival two years in a row.

In early April 2014, Joshua won first place in a Merit Music Conservatory competition.

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Raditya

Muljadi

Raditya

Muljadi

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Raditya Muljadi is 10 years old and he started learning piano from his mother when he was 4. He is currently studying piano with Jasmine Steadman in Aurora, Colorado.

Raditya has placed 1st in many piano competitions in Colorado: The Rising Star Festival by Colorado State Music Teacher Association in 2016, Schmitt Music Piano Competition in 2015 and 2018, Yamaha Competition in 2018 and 2019, and the Steinway Competition in 2019. He placed 2nd in 2017 Schmitt and 2018 Steinway Competitions.

In 2018 he was invited to perform Mozart Piano Concerto no 23, I in A Major with the National Repertory Orchestra in Breckenridge, Colorado. In 2019 he had an opportunity to play a recital in Jaya Suprana School of Performing Arts in Jakarta, Indonesia.

He sings and accompanies the children choir in church and enjoyed his experience being part of the Colorado Children Chorale. He also enjoys playing the Baritone in the Beginning Band class in his school.

Raditya is a student at Ascent Classical Academy in Lonetree, Colorado. He loves learning Latin, Mathematics, Literature, and History. He also participated in Parker Teen Court, where he learns about basic judicial system and its real application to local youth community.

In his spare time, Raditya enjoys Tae Kwon Do where he is working on achieving his second degree black belt, swimming, skiing, camping, chess, and reading detective/mystery books.

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Xinran

Shi

Xinran

Shi

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

10-year-old pianist Xinran Shi, born in Cambridge, UK, lives in San Jose, California. She is a 5th grader at Challenger School. She started her first piano class at age 4 ½ with Ms. Yijia Ho, then later with Ms. Lena Grozman, and she currently studies with American pianist & Steinway Artist Professor Hans Boepple.

She has received top prizes at numerous piano competitions, and has been praised for her artistry and musical sensitivity.

Xinran won first place at the 2019 China Grand Canal International Piano Art Festival and Lang Lang Piano Competition in Hang Zhou, China, and was honored to attend the master class with Lang Lang. She won Silver medal at the 2019 Seattle International Piano Competition and was awarded Teachers’ Favorite Prize in the winner concert held in Benaroya Hall, Seattle. In 2019, Xinran also won first place at the Pacific Musical Society & Foundation Competition and the Steinway Junior Piano Competition, first alternate at the MTAC solo competition, and she was invited to perform at the Junior Bach Music Festival Concert and its Honor Concert at the Rossmoor Retirement Community in Walnut Creek. For further music study, in 2019 summer, Xinran attended John Perry Academy International Piano Festival, where she took master classes and private lessons with John Perry, Mina Perry, Jean-David Coen, Sasha Starcevich, Chun-Chieh Yen, and shared her music with other young musicians in the one week festival. Previously, she also took master classes with Madam Ruth Slenczynska and Christopher O’Riley. Xinran appreciated the chances to learn with so many great teachers, musicians and pianists, and she gained invaluable insight into the music by their comments and compliments.

Xinran not only performs in concert hall, she also likes to perform in senior centers and her school. She likes to share her music with all ages and spread her happiness and joy by music. Her dream is to become an artist and pianist who has the ability to use the power of music to inspire others positively.

Besides playing piano, Xinran loves dancing. She had learned Chinese/Jazz dance for more than 6 years, and has been in a dance competition team for the past three years winning twice National Grand Champions and many national champions. Since Fall 2019, Xinran started her professional ballet training and got chances to perform in the San Jose Nutcracker with world famous ballet artists. Among her other interests are reading and swimming.

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Sophia

Suwiryo

Sophia

Suwiryo

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Sophia Suwiryo is a 10 year old scholarship student in the preparatory department at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and studies with Dr. Takako Hayase Frautschi. Sophia began her studies at 4 years old.

Since then she has received numerous awards and performance opportunities including a couple national TV broadcastings on ABC News and Steve Harvey TV Show. In both shows, she was featured as a 9-year-old child prodigy. Sophia has received many awards as a soloist. She received a first place in numbers of competitions such as Chopin International Piano Competition (Hartford, CT), Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition, American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music, and ENKOR International Music Competition. She is also a two-time winner at Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition. She is also known as the gold medalist of 2017 AADGT International Young Musicians Festival, a grand prize winner of 2017 Rising Talent Music Festival and a winner of the exceptionally young talent special prize of 2017 Golden Classical Music Awards International Competition. She also holds a gold medal for scoring the highest in State of Ohio and National Gold Medal for the 2016 Royal Conservatory Certificate Program.Her special talent as a soloist has also been recognized by orchestras.

Sophia has performed with Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, conducted by Maestro John Morris Russell who described Sophia as “amazing” and “brilliant”. Her concerto competition awards include first place in 2017 Jack & Lucille Wonnell Young Artist Concerto Competition of the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and 2019 American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition. All these prizes have led Sophia to perform at the CarnegieHall in New York for five times.Sophia’s musical career has also been extended to the international level. This past summer, Sophia made an international debut at the XXV International Chopin Festival at Busko Zdroj, Poland. During the festival, she attended in master classes given by Dr. Krystian Tkaczewski who is known as a “Polish Virtuoso.”In summer 2019, Sophia was invited to attend Cincinnati Young Artist Chamber Music Festival and it has opened the door to be an active chamber musician. She currently has a piano trio group.

Sophia musical gift as a pianist has been awarded in many competitions but also been appreciated by charities. She has performed to raise funds for Dragonfly Foundation, Diocesan Catholic Children Home Center, Gino DiMario Foundation, and California Biochar Association. Her hobbies include baking, drawing, and competing in chess tournaments.

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Keyi

Wang

Keyi

Wang

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Keyi Wang is a student at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. She started playing piano at age four and a half.

She was the winner of the 2015 Pearl-River Kayserburg Chinese Youth Piano Competition, as well as the winner and the only Special Prize recipient in the Non-Professional group at the 79th Steinway International Youth Piano Competition, China Area. She was also the winner of the 2018 America Princeton Steinway Youth Piano Competition and came second place in the 2018 Juilliard Concerto Competition (age thirteen and below). In addition, She has won the Juilliard Bachauer Piano Scholarship Competition in 2019. At eight years old, She had her first piano solo recital in Hainan, Haikou. In 2018, she joined the Shanghai Music School’s International Piano Festival and presented a solo recital at He Lutin Music Hall at the Music School of Shanghai. In the summer of 2019, she went to the Aspen Music Festival. She also performed a solo recital at Juilliard in 2018 and 2019. Lastly, She has performed in numerous other places, like Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Ningbo, among others.

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Hiu

Wah Wu (Ruby)

Hiu

Wah Wu (Ruby)

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

Wu, Hiu Wah Ruby was born in 2006 August, and started playing piano when she was 4 years old. In 2012, at the age of 6, she was admitted into the GMC Academy Young Pianist Program and has since studied with principal Ms. Rizzo Chung.

Ruby is the scholarship recipient of Robert Black Trust Fund. She won several prizes in piano competitions locally and internationally, including Silver Prize of the Elementary Category in The Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia held in Tokyo Japan 2017; First Prize of the Steinway & Sons International Youth Piano Competition (Hong Kong & Macau Region) 2017, and represented Hong Kong to participate the China Final in Beijing, where she won the First Prize as well as The Grand Prize and was invited to perform in Closing Ceremony. In 2017 September, Ruby has been selected to participate in the 2nd Zhuhai Mozart International Music Competition, and she was successfully advanced to the semi-final round. Ruby has also awarded the Encouragement Prize of the 4th Hanoi International Piano Competition in 2018 Summer.

In addition, she has won numerous First prizes at Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, including Junior Exhibitioner Award 2019 where she was invited to perform in the Winners Concert, held in Shatin Town Hall Auditorium.

Besides, Ruby also plays a duet with her sister, Jodie, forming Wu’s Duo. In 2017 summer, they won the Second prize of a duet competition in Hong Kong and represented Hong Kong in The 21st PIARA Final Concours, where they got the Second Prize as well as Steinway & Sons Achievement Award.

In April 2018, she was invited by IMC Music Company Japan to give her Concerto Debut concert in Tokyo Kyurian Hall with Filharmonia Śląska im Henryka Mikołaja Góreckiego Polish, conducted by Mirosław Blaszczyk, and performed Mozart Concerto K414 no.12 in A major. Ruby was also invited to perform and broadcast in RTHK 4 in Hong Kong to share her passion of music with audiences. She loves playing the piano and flute, and uses it to share all her musical ideas to audiences.

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Zihang “Adam”

Xu

Zihang “Adam”

Xu

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

In early 2008, I began to play the piano under the supervision of Associate Prof. Xiaojun Li, the Director of the Piano Department of the Affiliated Middle School of Shenyang Conservatory of Music.

In the meantime, I also received professional guidance from Prof. Danwen Wei, the Director of the Piano Department of the Central Conservatory of Music. During my stay at Hunnan No. 1 Primary School, I was recommended by the school headmaster Ning Feng to one of his students, the Piano Master Lang Lang, an international piano superstar. Supported by the school headmaster Ning Feng, I made up my mind to pursue professional study. In Lang Lang’s Music World, Lang Lang’s father- a piano educator, personally directed my piano training. The Master Lang Lang commented on my piano performance, “This child has genius! If he develops well, he will become a world-class pianist”. At the same time, the conductor and composer Prof. Shu Lin taught me solfeggio and composition.

Education Background
The Juilliard School – September 2018 till Present

Supervised by Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky, the Director of the Department of the Piano.

Honors and Awards

  • First Place in the Liaoning Division of the National Golden Bell – September 2014
  • Star of Tomorrow in the Italian Perugia Music Festival – 2016-2017
  • Best Popularity Award of the Piano in the Lang Lang Shenzhen Futian International Piano Competition- May 2017
  • First Place in the Amateur Group of the 2017 Shenzhen Piano Open Concerto – 2017

Extra curricular Activities:

  • Invited by the University of Oxford to go to the UK to successfully hold a solo recital, which was highly praised by music masters – 2013
  • Invited to participate in the performance of Shenyang TV Station – December 2013
  • Played a solo of the fourth movement of the Yellow River in the Children’s New Year Concert – 2014
  • Personal piano recital was held in Shenzhen – May 2014
  • Invited by Shenyang Zhendong Symphony Orchestra to cooperate with the conductor Chenghao Jin: Mendelssohn’s
  • First Piano Concerto – June 1, 2015
  • Invited by Lang Lang to participate in the recording of CCTV First Lesson of New Semester, played with Lang Lang using four hands – August 18th, 2017
  • Personal Thanksgiving piano concert was successfully held at the Shengjing Grand Theatre in Shenyang. Cooperated with the Shenyang Symphony Orchestra and was directed by Prof. Danwen Wei – December 2, 2018
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Harmony

Zhu

Harmony

Zhu

Young Scholars 2020 - 2022

“Musical prodigies can be insufferably tiresome, but pianist Harmony Zhu proved herself something much more than that – a deeply musical soul and nimble technician who happens to be 13 years old.”

– Chicago Tribune

A Young Steinway Artist since age 10, Harmony Zhu has been featured three times on NBC’s The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, and CBS, among many others, for her exceptional gifts in piano, composition, and chess.

Harmony has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmónica de Medellín, Orlando Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Big Spring Orchestra, Aspen Philharmonic, Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra, and New York Youth Symphony, among others, with some of the most venerated conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Arie Vardi, John Giordano, George Stelluto, Roberto González-Monjas, Michael Repper, and Pablo Rus Broseta.

Performing regularly at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide, Harmony recently had the great privilege of making her debut at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium. After her debut appearance as a soloist at the Ravinia Music Festival in the summer of 2018, she was invited back to Ravinia again in 2019 to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop. 2018 also marked her solo debut at the Aspen Music Festival’s Benedict Music Tent after winning the AMFS Concerto Competition. In the same year, Harmony toured with the Israel Philharmonic and appeared with the Detroit Symphony for three concerts. The year prior, she had the honor of opening The Philadelphia Orchestra’s 118th season at their Opening Night Gala Concert under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In May 2019, Harmony had the great privilege to be invited to perform at Lincoln Center’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Gala, sharing the stage with Joshua Bell, Harry Connick Jr., Brian Stokes Mitchell, Erin Morley, Jessie Mueller, Luke Frazier, Neil Patrick Harris, Chelsea Clinton, and Misty Copeland. She was also the only Pre-College piano student selected to perform at Juilliard Spring Gala and Juilliard Pre-College Centennial Gala.

In 2016, 10-year-old Harmony was invited by the Peoria Symphony Orchestra to be the Resident Artist of the Week, where she was featured extensively on TV, radio programs, and newspapers, performed a televised recital for Sound Bites Concert “A Prodigy’s Journey”, and guested at WTVP’s “Consider This” – “What makes a Virtuoso” with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky. Since she was first featured on the Emmy-award winning show From the Top, broadcast on NPR, at age 9, Harmony has been a frequent collaborator with the show, starring in two of their most popular music videos, one of which chosen as WQXR’s “19 of Our Favorite Internet Moments of 2018”. She was also named one of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” by CBC Music at age 8, the youngest ever. An avid chamber musician, Harmony has performed in a variety of ensembles including duets with renowned artists such as Emanuel Ax and Stéphane Denève, among others. Harmony has been a fellow of the Artemisia Akademie at Yale University since age 12 and has won numerous competitions from an early age. She started studying at Juilliard with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky at 8, becoming the youngest winner of the Juilliard Concerto Competition in the same year. Harmony also loves playing violin, composing, and improvising, and studies composition with Dr. Ira Taxin at Juilliard.

As a chess prodigy, Harmony started playing in open tournaments with adults when she was 6 and has won numerous trophies and medals in international and national chess tournaments. She was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master at the tender age of 7 and holds the title of World Champion of her age group after winning the World Youth Chess Championships.

In addition to her endeavors in music and chess, Harmony is a voracious learner and excels in all academic areas, holding particular interests in history, mathematics, and languages, especially Latin. In her free time, Harmony enjoys reading, writing, drawing, photography, dancing, singing, ping pong, and swimming. She is also a Spelling Bee Champion and has received national awards in Spanish and photography. Harmony’s phenomenal talent led her to create a sensation when she was featured in The Simms/Mann Think Tank 2017, an annual convening of leading neuroscientists from around the world on cutting-edge science related to the brain development of children.

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