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Class of 2022-2024

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Introduction

We would like to introduce the 2022-2024 Young Scholars!

These twelve talented young pianists represent some of the most extraordinary and promising talents of their generation around the globe.

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Yufei Cathy

Chen

Yufei Cathy

Chen

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Yufei Cathy Chen, 14 years old, started to study piano with her mother at the age of 4.

She studied with Ms. Zhang Guixia and later studied with Professor Qin Chuan. In 2018 she was admitted to the Juilliard School in the United States, where she studied with Professor Matti Raekallio. She is now studying with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky and Dr. Yiheng Yang.

She has performed multiply times at Lincoln Center, Paul Haul, Morse Haul, Qingdao Grand Theatre, and National Centre for the Performing Arts. She has already performed many successful concerts in Qingdao, Beijing, and New York. Moreover, she participated in four different chamber groups within three years and performed at Paul Haul and Morse Haul several times. During the pandemic, she was invited to play three movements of Petrushka at Alice Haul Lobby, also as an outstanding student, she performed “Meditation” with her brother at her middle school graduation ceremony

She has won the gold medal in the Dandelion National Final, first place in Golden Sunflower Piano Competition, the first place in North China Steinway & Sons Piano Competition, the second place in Shandong Caesarsburg Piano Competition, the third place in Shanghai Spring International Piano Competition, and the second prize in Steinberg International Piano Competition.

She is also interested in figure skating, swimming, badminton, and many other sports. She is also proficient in Go and has received a fifteen-grade Go certificate. She is active involvement in school including robotics, medical, and badminton club.

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Lujunrui

Cheng

Lujunrui

Cheng

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Cheng Lujunrui, began to learn piano at the age of three and The first person who inspired him in music is his mom. He has studied the piano for ten years and participated in many competitions.

In 2017, he participated in Chopin International Youth Piano Open and won the gold medal in the national final competition. Then he was invited to work as the “promotion ambassador of Chopin International Youth Piano Open ” to promote piano learning to the public, popularizing piano playing as a wonderful interest and attracting more Chinese children to learn music and play the piano.

In 2018, he had won the Second Place in the Chengdu division final competition (children group) in the “Yundi LI–Chopin National Piano Tour” and was invited to play Mozart’s works with the internationally-famous pianist Yundi Li.

In 2019, he took part in the Second Mozart International Piano Competition and became the only winner of the Special Prize in Chengdu. In 2019, he took part in the 2019 Pearl River Kayserburg International Youth Piano Competition and won the First Prize in the junior group in Sichuan and won the Third Prize in the international final competition.

In 2020, he won the championship in the competition named “Playing the Piano with Lang Lang: the Music From Heaven Sounds Extraordinary”, and won the opportunity of attending the master’s class tutored by the internationally-famous pianist Mr. Lang Lang. Moreover, Lujunrui Cheng performed a four-hands piece playing alongside Lang Lang at his concert, which helped him accumulate very rare performing experiences on the stage.

In 2021, he participated in The 12th Chopin Youth International Piano Competition and won the special prize of the China finals of youth group B (the prize is a Yangtze River Grand Piano). In the same year he also participated in the global audition of the 11th Tchaikovsky International Youth Music Competition. And fortunately, he had successfully become one of the 60 young pianists in the world who have advanced to the final. (The competition will be held simultaneously in Chengdu and Moscow from April 30 to May 12, 2022)

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Andrew

Gu

Andrew

Gu

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Andrew Gu has been tremendously passionate about classical music from a very young age and started studying piano at the age of 4.

Hailing from Basking Ridge, New Jersey, he is currently a student at the Juilliard School Pre-College and has been studying under the tutelage of Hung-Kuan Chen and Tema Blackstone since 2019. Andrew truly loves to share music with others and through intensive studies, he has not only excelled in competitions, but also been an active volunteer in his community. As president of the Basking Ridge Branch of the Alliance of Youth Leaders in the United States (AYLUS), Andrew and his fellow members organize monthly music performances at local senior centers and raise funds for national humanitarian crises.

Professionally, Andrew has won first place in a number of competitions including the Hartford Connecticut Chopin Piano Competition and the International Young Artist Piano Competition in DC. He has also given performances at many renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and Juilliard’s Paul Hall. Andrew is also a scholarship recipient of the Chopin Foundation, National YoungArts Foundation and NPR’s From The Top as well as a fellow of the Artemisia Foundation.

Mr. Gu, a junior in high school, has a very curious mind and is actively involved in a variety of extracurriculars ranging from debating at Model United Nations conferences to reading classical literature in Latin Club. In his free time, Andrew is an avid skier, tackling challenging slopes all across the nation.

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Kwan Kei

Hung

Kwan Kei

Hung

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Born in 2007, Kwan Kei first started learning the piano at the age of four, and has fallen in love with it ever since. He is currently studying under the tutelage of a local pianist in Hong Kong, Mr. Chi Woo Chung.

Meanwhile, in order to widen his views and broaden his horizons, he has participated in masterclasses with such renowned pianists as – Maria João Pires, Jerome Lowenthal, Oxana Yablonskaya, Leslie Howard, Blanc Wan, Andrey Pisarev, Pablo Galdo, Pascal Rogé as well as Sergio Tiempo.

Kwan Kei is now a student of La Salle College in Hong Kong. Other than playing as a soloist in concerts and competitions, he used to perform as the accompanist of Treble Choir, the organist of Mass Choir and the Alto-Sang player of the Chinese Orchestra at school. In addition, Kwan Kei is also a player of the school’s Handball Team, providing him with a heart aflame with faith and zeal.

During the past few years, Kwan Kei has won top prizes at numerous international piano competitions. Among which, “Young Artist Award” , the grand prize of the Asia Music Competition for Young Artist Busan 2018 Final Round held in Busan, South Korea; Champion of the 24th Japan Hamamatsu PIARA Piano Competition( Hong Kong Region). He has also gained the Second Prize of Piano Concerto Age 13 or under (also known as the Betty Drown Memorial Prize) at the 73rd Hong Kong School Music Festival. Last but not least, Kwan Kei has received a Special Prize for the best performance of a Baroque piece from the 14th International Volodymyr Krainev Competition for Young Pianists and has advanced to the Semi-final Round of the 2nd Vladimir Krainev Moscow International Piano Competition successfully.

On top of these, he has garnered the Outstanding Student Award in the Kowloon City District Outstanding Student Selection, the Brother Henry Pang Memorial Award as well as the Rev. Bro. Henry Award in 2019, credit to his outstanding performances in the field of academics, music and sports.

Apart from playing the piano, Kwan Kei has an immense range of interests. Take literature as an example, not only is he passionate in watching plays, but also enthusiastic in reading poems and novels.

Another field he is deeply intense at is philosophy, he always loses in thought and comes up with some brand new ideas. The great Greek thinker, Plato, had a great influence on his way of thinking, which eventually affected his music. Quoting from Plato, “the first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile”, Kwan Kei has always kept his words in heart so as to warn himself when facing great inertia.

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Alexander

Jansen

Alexander

Jansen

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Alexander Jansen was born in the spring of 2005 in the beautiful city of Utrecht and has been enchanted by music since he was 3 years old. He was barely 3 years old when he first started “conducting a concert” he saw on TV. According to his own words, music is the most beautiful thing in the world!

From the age of 7 Alexander received piano lessons from his mother, piano teacher E. Jansen. From the age of 8 Alexander continued his musical development at the Choir School in Utrecht, where he learned solfège and started singing in the choir.

From the age of 10 Alexander performed more and more for an audience. Concerts in France, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands with as a top moment a performance in the main hall of the Concertgebouw with a group of the choir and in the same year won the 1st prize at the Young Bohemia Festival in Prague.

Since the end of 2015 Alexander is a student of M. Benoist and from September 2017 Alexander is part of the Academie Muzikaal Talent study for young talent at Conservatorium Utrecht.

The year 2018 was very successful musically. Alexander then won the final spot in the Concertgebouw Concours 2018 in Amsterdam, for which he was the only pianist chosen.

In October 2018, Alexander was specially invited to play for the Lunch Concert in the Concertgebouw. This performance was also very successful and Alexander enjoyed playing there.

In September 2018, Alexander got to perform with orchestra in Den Bosch in “Le Carnaval des Animaux”. In November 2018, Alexander participated in the NBE Composition Competition. At this competition he won 2 important prizes, namely the Audience Prize and the Junior Royal Conservatory Composition Prize.

In February 2019 Alexander participated in the YPF Competition where he won the 3rd prize and also the Henri Moerel Prize, which earned him a Masterclass with Professor Dominique Merlet in France.
In the summer of 2019 Alexander was specially invited to participate in the International Piano Festival in Switzerland. He was allowed to perform there with his program of Rachmaninoff and Bach.
Also in June 2019, Alexander won a final spot in the 2019 Concertgebouw Competition for the 2nd year in a row.

In September 2019, Alexander again invited to perform at the Concertgebouw at the Lunch Concert.

In October 2019, Alexander got to play with an orchestra for the 3rd time. This time with the musicians of the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra from Hilversum.

The year 2020, despite the corona situation, was a very successful year for Alexander. He won 3 important prizes and was able to give beautiful concerts.

1st prize won at the 2020 Music Competition.

2 prizes won at the BENELUX: Princess Christina competition 2020.

  • 1stprizeNationalofPrincesChristinaConcoursand
  • 2nd prize at the grand International Finals of the Princess Christina Concours.

In October 2020 Alexander was invited for the 5th time to do a solo performance at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, this time in the Spiegelzaal for the NPO 4 radio program Spiegelzaal.

In November 2020 Alexander gave a very successful recital, together with 3 other winners of the Prinses Christina competition, on 1 of the most beautiful grand pianos in the Netherlands in De Concertzaal of Schiedam.

Since 2021 Alexander is also a student at the Academy Young Musical Talent of the talented Dutch concert pianist Thomas Beijer.

In June 2021 Alexander won the Spotlight Concours which earned him a concert together with Concertgebouw Kamerorkest. In September he played the beautiful Piano Concerto No. 14 “Andantino” by W.A. Mozart together with this orchestra at “Music on the Amstel Field”.

On October 3, 2021, Alexander enjoyed playing at the 3rd concert of the YPF Young Virtuosi concert.

On October 31, 2021, Alexander enjoyed performing on live TV in the well-known classical TV program “Podium Witteman” on NPO 2.

Since a short time Alexander takes master classes in the talent-class of the great Ukrainian / American piano professor S. Edelmann at the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp (Belgium).

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Saehyun

Kim

Saehyun

Kim

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Saehyun Kim, a 14-year-old pianist from Seoul, South Korea, moved to Weston, MA in August 2021. He started his piano studies at the age of 4, and six years later, he had his first solo recital at Seoul’s Kumho Art Hall as a participant of the Kumho Prodigy Concert Series.

He has performed at major concert venues in his country over the past seven years, such as the Seoul Arts Center Recital Hall, Mozart Art Hall, Youngsan Art Hall, TLI Art Center, Samick Art Hall, and Cosmos Art Hall. Recently, he performed twice at Jordan Hall of the New England Conservatory, as part of the prestigious “First Monday at Jordan Hall” and “NEC Composers: Piano Music by NEC Alumni and Faculty” concert series. He had his orchestra debut with the Lyum Chamber Orchestra in February 2019.

In 2019, Saehyun won the second prize at the 1st International Tchaikovsky Online Piano Competition for Young Musicians. The youngest participant in the final round, he performed with the Korean Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Chi-Yong Chung. Additionally, he won first prizes at the 2021 New York International Classical Music Competition and the 2018 Ewha & Kyunghyang Music Competition, the most prestigious young artist music competition in Korea. Saehyun has participated in internationally recognized festivals and camps such as Morningside Music Bridge (2021), Ishikawa Music Academy (2018), and Eumyeon International Music Festival (2017).

Beyond these achievements, Saehyun has won further accolades at international and national levels. He took top honors at the Music Chunchu Competition and the Music Education News Competition. He gained attention as the youngest medalist of his divisions at the Korea Steinway Competition, Dong-A Junior Music Competition, Korea Chopin Competition, Korea Liszt Competition, Kalaidos Piano Competition, and the Kyungju International Music Competition. Moreover, he won the Encouragement Award at the Ishikawa Music Academy in Japan.

In 2018, Saehyun was interviewed for JTBC Classic Today, a music program that features leading musicians of South Korea. Furthermore, KBS (Korea’s national channel) invited him to its Classic FM Radio Station. Over the live broadcast, Saehyun had an interview and played three pieces by Tchaikovsky, Chopin, and Schumann. In the past five years, Saehyun received masterclasses from Kevin Kenner, Piotr Paleczny, Enrico Pace, John O’Conor, Krzysztof Jablonski, Lev Natochenny, Aviram Reichert, Choong-Mo Kang, Jinsang Lee, and Fumiko Eguchi. Back in Korea, Saehyun attended Yewon School and studied with Soojung Shin, Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University. Currently, he is a sophomore at Walnut Hill School for the Arts and studies with HaeSun Paik, Professor at New England Conservatory. This coming June, he is competing in the 8th Sendai International Music Competition as the youngest participant.

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Pui Yin

Lam

Pui Yin

Lam

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Displaying an immense interest for music at an early age, Lam Pui Yin started learning the piano at age 5 and subsequently picked up the violin and viola, passing LTCL examinations for all three instruments at 10.

Currently under the tutelage of Prof Gabriel Kwok at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Pui Yin has also studied the piano with Ms Poon Tak. He has obtained exceptional results in the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival, receiving the first prize in the Piano Solo Gold Medal Award in 2021 and the third prize in the Junior Exhibitioner Award in 2017. He was invited to perform at the ABRSM Diploma Awards Ceremony for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019 for acquiring high distinctions in the DipABRSM and LRSM examinations in piano. Pui Yin has received multiple music scholarships over the years, including the Grantham Music Awards from the Grantham Scholarship Fund Committee, and the Young Talents’ Scholarship from his school, St. Paul’s Co-educational College.
At school, Pui Yin actively participates in music-making activities. He has previously been the principal of the viola section in the School Symphony Orchestra, as well as a member of the Programme for the Musically Gifted. At the 2019 Summer Concert, he was selected to play the piano solo in the Asian premiere of a work for choir, orchestra and piano. His feels that his experience in ensemble playing has helped him become a more complete musician.

Pui Yin’s enthusiasm in music is not limited to performance; he is passionate about all kinds of musical pursuits. Pui Yin enjoys music analysis, and is especially intrigued by the inner workings of twelve-tone serialism. He has written a paper analysing the different types of developing variation in Alban Berg’s Piano Sonata. He also reads extensively about music history. In his spare time, Pui Yin likes to explore avant-garde music on the internet, improvise in the style of different composers on the piano and compose themes for string quartet.

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Olivia

Larco

Olivia

Larco

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Twelve year old pianist Olivia Larco studies piano at the Colburn School with Fabio Bidini, and is currently a seventh grader at Westridge School for Girls in Pasadena, California.

In March, 2020, at the age of ten, she performed on NPR’s From the Top, a live concert showcasing young musicians under 18, recorded at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, CA, then broadcast nationwide. Following her performance, she was immediately engaged by the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce as a guest artist for their annual gala, Innovate Beverly Hills, featuring some of the nations’s brightest thought-leaders and innovators in fields of science, medicine, business, and arts, to perform at The Wallis the following week. Olivia was accepted that same year to Juilliard Pre College.

In May of 2019, Olivia made her national television debut on the ABC’s hit sitcom “Modern Family” on their grand finale episode “ A Year of Birthdays” as a piano prodigy, and was cast as Nannerl Mozart in a very short film, to have been featured at the Cannes Festival in 2020, which was canceled due to the Covid pandemic.

Olivia has studied for two summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School, in 2018 and 2019, at age eight and nine, respectively, with Veda Kaplinsky. During her studies there, she was selected to to perform in the Spotlight Recital at Harris Hall, as well as two other venues. She will be returning to Aspen this summer as a student of Veda Kaplinsky and Fabio Bidini.

Among Olivia’s interests are writing, reading, and history. She has written three novels – “The Girl with a Bionic Leg”, “Sweet Salt”, and a historical novel yet to be titled, as well as many short stories and poems.

During her free time, Olivia loves to read, take photos of nature, bake, watch anime, spend time with her friends, and play with her dog, Lulu.

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Ryan

Lu

Ryan

Lu

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Ryan Lu, 12 years old, is a 7th grade student at Dwight-Englewood School in NJ. He started playing piano at age 5 and has been a student of Stella Xu since he was 7. Ryan has received many top prizes in numerous competitions.

His most recent accomplishments include National Finalist of the 2022 MTNA Junior Piano Performance Competition after winning the First in the Eastern Division; First place winner in New Jersey Teachers Association Young Musicians Competition for five consecutive years (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021); First place of 2020 Tristate (NY, NJ, CT) Steinway Piano Competition and 2019 Steinway Junior Competition; Gold-prize winner in the 2020 VIVO International Music Competition and Judge’s favorite award of 2022 VIVO International Music Competition; three times First place winner of New Jersey Music Educators Piano Solo Competition (2018, 2019, 2021).

Ryan has also won the Second prize in the  2021 Chicago International Music Competition (professional category) and Enkor International Music Competition.
Ryan’s powerful fingers and imposing techniques along with the natural musical imaginations allows him to play the most demanding works with ease and flair. His performances not only impress judges in many competitions and electrify audiences in many recitals.

His major performances at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and New Jersey Performing Arts Center are all well received. Besides his strong passion for playing piano, Ryan is also a member of New Jersey Symphony Youth Orchestra as a cellist.

Moreover, he loves sports and enjoys playing hockey with NJ Falcons which is a NJYHL Ice Hockey Club. At school, Ryan is regularly involved in many academic activities such as robotics, science bowl and math club.

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Peter

Parra

Peter

Parra

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Eleven-year-old Peter Parra is a six-grader from Mountain View, California. He is a piano major student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) Pre-College and he studies with Professor Erna Gulabyan.

Peter started his piano journey at the age of four and loved the world of music and performance ever since. He is a cheerful, energetic, and inquisitive boy who really enjoys expressing his passion for life in his piano performance. Peter was humbled to win many top prizes at state, national, and international piano competitions and festivals since 2017, including LA International Liszt Competition, ENKOR International Music Competition, Rome International Music Competition, Houston International Music Competition, Glory International Piano Competition, American Protégé Piano and String Competition, Marilyn Mindell Piano Competition, Great Composers Competitions, US Open Music Competition (USOMC), USIMC, CAPMT Honors Competition, MTAC Piano Solo Competition, and Junior Bach Festival. Peter has been recognized for his artistry, music sensitivity, and unique energy in his piano performance.

At the SFCM Pre-College, Peter studies composition and attends the chamber music program. He enjoys writing original pieces and working with other young musicians. Peter is the pianist of the youngest piano-violin-cello trio group at the SF Conservatory.

Growing up in a very musical and multi-cultural family, Peter loves Mariachi music which connects him with his Hispanic root and Mexican heritage. He also has a keen interest in traditional Chinese instruments influenced by his mother’s Chinese family and culture.

Besides piano and music, Peter loves Dance Sport and Math Olympiads. He is a competitive Preteen Latin Ballroom dancer and athlete with US National Championship finalist title. Peter and his dance partner won many national and international ballroom dance competitions. Peter is an active member of his middle school’s Math Olympiad team. In 2021, he was the California State Champion and National Top 10 in MathLeague Contest and received honors in AMC8. In his free time, Peter enjoys swimming, coding and gaming, and traveling with his family.

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Sebastian

Picht

Sebastian

Picht

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Sebastian Picht is a piano student of Amy Yang. Sebastian began his piano training with his grandmother, Asya Kalendar. He has also taken lessons with Susan Nowicki, Charles Abramovic, Polina Fedotova, and Matti Raekallio.

Sebastian is a winner of the 2021 Irving Ludwig Lansdowne Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Sebastian was awarded Honorable Mention in the the 2021 PYPA Livestream Piano Competition. He gave a solo performance at Weill Recital Hall as the winner of the Dr. Andor Kiszely Competition. He was a first prize recipient of the Little Mozarts Competition that same year. Sebastian performed solo and chamber music repertoire at the 2020 and 2021 Bowdoin International Music Festival and at the 2019 Curtis Summerfest Young Artists Program.

He has played in master classes for Gary Graffman, Marina Lomazov, Kathryn Brown, Alexander Shtarkman and others. Sebastian is currently enrolled in the chamber music program at the Center for Gifted Young Musicians at Temple Music Prep.

In addition to his passion for the piano, Sebastian is a serious 76ers fan, a competent cook, and adept in Russian and Spanish. Sebastian has a keen interest in politics and issues related to social justice. Sebastian is a junior at Central High School in Philadelphia, PA.

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Jing Xing

Wang

Jing Xing

Wang

Young Scholars 2022-2024

Wang JingXing , born in ShangHai China in 2009, started his piano learning after his father WANG Qing, who is a professor of piano in Shanghai Conservatory Music (SCM).

He furthered his musical education in the ShangHai Music School (attached to SCM) after XIE Jia and YU Yin Jia. In 2021 ,he was recruited as the pianist in SMC Trio and been awarded People’s Scholarship and Niu Ende Scholarship during his study in the schools. Won himself prizes in tremendous piano competitions, the mains such as both Golden Prize and Special Prize in Concerto AB Category of The 21st International Chopin Piano Competition in ASIA(2020, Japan), both First Prize in Junior Category and Grand Prize in Professional Category of 2021 Aegio International Piano Competition(2021, Canada), and both first prize of Category C and “Nevena Popovic” Special Prize in the 8th International Piano Competition “Città di San Donà di Piave” (2021, Italy).

His Performance started to show in significant events and on main stages in Shanghai, such as leading pianist of 100 piano performance event, and performance on International Seminar of Artists on the stage of Shanghai Music Concert Hall (Dec 2019), and the pianist of the World premiere of award-winning composition Animal’s Friends at the 2nd Piano Pedagogy Academic Week. His Concert of Solo and Chamber Piano Music was recruited to the “Musician Hatching” Program of SCM, and he was selected to the e Lang Lang International Music Foundation Young Scholar Program of 2022-2024.

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