Headlines: Winners Crowned at Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition

Mike Lawson • Features • March 9, 2015

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eft to right: Bonnie Barrett, Director of Yamaha Artist Services Inc., New York, with Sung Chang (first prize), EunAe Lee (second prize), and Simon Oss, Yamaha Pianos Marketing Manager.Sung Chang, Vanessa Meiling Haynes, and Haozhou Wang captured first place in their respective categories in the 7th Biennial Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition, taking the top prizes in the prestigious competition. Sung Chang earned top honors in the Bösendorfer competition, earning the $15,000 David Katzin Award and an opportunity to be a featured soloist with the Phoenix Symphony.

Chang, of the Republic of Korea studies at the University of Music, Drama and Media Hanover, one of Germany’s largest music-academies, performed Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 in the Bösendorfer finals at the renowned Phoenix Symphony Hall, culminating a week of festivities and performances in the competition. The Bösendorfer competition features top pianists from around the world ranging in age from 19 to 32.

The top three winners in the Yamaha Junior Competition, for pianists 13 through 15, were Haozhou Wang, who took home the $3,000 Addona-Burns Award and gold medal; Elliot Wuu, who captured the silver medal and a $2,000 prize; and tied for third prize were Charlie Liu and Allison To who earned the $1,000 Linda and Sherman Saperstein Award and the bronze medal. The panel of judges featured Brazilian conductor and pianist Ricardo Castro, Vadim Monastyrski of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel, Zhe Tang from the Shanghai Conservatory in the People’s Republic of China, Aleksandar Serdar of the Belgrade Music Academy in Serbia along with ASU School of Music faculty members Robert Hamilton and Baruch Meir, the founder, president, and artistic director of the competition. Four Arizona students; three from Arizona State University and one from University of Arizona, were accepted to participate in this year’s competition. Andrew Boyle, Nino Bakradze, Dani Shraibman, and Xiaoyu Zhang competed for the National Society of Arts and Letters Arizona Chapter Special Award for the best Arizona pianist. Nino Bakradze won that honor.

The Bösendorfer Competition culminated in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the finalists. Each played a final concerto on Bösendorfer’s flagship concert grand, the Imperial 290, at Symphony Hall, accompanied by The Phoenix Symphony under the baton of conductor James Feddeck. Piano Gallery, Arizona’s largest Yamaha piano dealer, was instrumental in providing the practice pianos used throughout the competition as well as arranging for the concert grands used in the finals.


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