The New York Grand Prix is an international piano competition that was held in New York City in May of 2008. The competition was open to young pianists between the ages of 9-21 of all nationalities and was adjudicated by an international panel of acclaimed musicians. Finalists were offered a chance to perform at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall where they competed for several cash prizes. Our first NYGP was huge success, with participants from across the United States, as well as around the globe, including Canada, India, China, and Germany. The following is a list of 2008 Winners, as well as a complete list of Finalists.

 

2008 NYGP Winners

Category A (9-15)
Grand Prize – Jun Luke Foster (USA) and Chen Haoguo (China)
Jun Luke Foster performing at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie HallChen Haoguo  performing at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

Special Prize – Sarina Zhang (Canada)
Sarina Zhang  performing at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

 

Category B (16-21)
Grand Prize – Not awarded, based on judges recommendation.

First Prize – Han Jing (Germany)
Han Jing  performing at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall

 


Category A Finalists (ages 9-15)

  • Zhao Yan Cao– Beijing, Hebey, People’s Republic of China

    Zhao Yan Cao– Beijing, Hebey, People’s Republic of China

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Ballade in G minor, Op. 23, No. 1 - Chopin
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    Etude Op. 10, No. 5 - Chopin

    Zhao Yan Cao was born on November 5, 1996 in Qingdao, a beautiful coastal city in Northeast China. Growing up in a city full of music, she showed great interest and talent for music at a young age. She began to study piano at age 5, and at the age of 8 was awarded 3rd place in the children’s group in the “Sanders Cup” piano competition in China. Since January 2007, she has studied with Ms. Zhou Ying. Zhao Yan Cao continues to make great progress in pianism and music representation.

  • Shoo Zhem Chen – Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

    Shoo Zhem Chen – Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C sharp minor – Liszt
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    ” La Campanella” Etude No. 3 – Paganini – Liszt

    Shoo Zhem Chen was born on January 12, 1993 in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, a province of Southcentral China, where he currently attends Middle School #11. Shoo Zhem Chen frequently participates in piano competitions in Hunan and is the recipient of numerous awards and medals. Since 2007, he has studied with Zhou Ying of the Central Conservatory of Music. He has been playing the piano for over nine years.

  • Jun Luke Foster - Merrick, NY, USA

    Jun Luke Foster - Merrick, NY, USA

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire Repertoire
    “Auf dem Wasser zu singen” Schubert – Liszt
    Moment Musicaux in E minor, Op. 16, No. 4 – Rachmaninoff
    “Basso Ostinato” – R. Shchedrin
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    Ballade No. 2 in F major, Op. 38 – Chopin

    Jun Luke Foster, age 15, was born on June 19, 1992 in New York City, and is presently a 10th grade honors student at Sanford H. Calhoun High School in Merrick, Long Island. He began studying piano at age 5 with Svetlana Gorokhovich, originally at the Music Institute of Long Island and subsequently at the Music Conservatory of Westchester. In 2002, he won first prize in the Fifth New York Music Competition, and in March 2008 he won first prize in the Long Island Philharmonic Young Artist Concerto Competition. Last summer, he attended the Summit Music Festival where he received instruction from Vladimir Viardo, Phillip Kawin and Pavel Nersessian, and was a recipient of the Chamber Music Award for Outstanding Performance.

  • Chen Haoguo - Beijing, Hebei, People's Republic of China

    Chen Haoguo - Beijing, Hebei, People's Republic of China

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Sonata in E flat major, Hob. XVI:52 – Haydn
    Sonata in A major, Op. 82, No. 6, 4 mvt. – Prokofiev
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    “Danzas Argentinas” – Ginastera

    Chen Haoguo was born on October 31, 1996 in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in China. He studied at Beijing Primary School and Central Conservatory of Music. He began playing the piano under Zhong Hui and is currently studying with Su Mai. Chen Haoguo participated in numerous competitions, including the 71st Steinway International Children and Youth Piano Competition and the 3rd China Regional Competition. He is the recipient of several awards, among them the Third Prize in the 2nd “Cadenza” Cup China National Piano Competition held by the Central Conservatory of Music.

  • Kimberly Hou - Arlington, VA, USA

    Kimberly Hou - Arlington, VA, USA

    Kimberly Hou, recently turned 14, is a home-schooled eighth grader and a student of Marjorie Lee. She was a National Finalist in both the 2007 & 2008 MTNA Junior High Piano Competitions, a featured soloist in the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage Concerts, Concerts at the Alden, and Young Artist Musicales at George Mason University, Virginia.She won numerous awards throughout the years. Recent awards include in 2007 First Prize $1000 in Gustavo Romero Piano Competition, First Prize in AAMS Piano Competition, First Prize in Gottlieb Piano Competition, First Prize in NVMTA District Audition, First Prize in VMTA State Audition, and in 2008 First Prize in Hartman Performance Awards as well as First Prize in NVMTA Achievement Awards. Kimberly has been selected as a Finalist in the International Young Artists Piano Competition in Washington, D.C. June 2008, will perform a full length piano recital in Fairfax City Historic Old Town Hall, Virginia June 2008, and in Alden Theatre, McLean, Virginia as a featured soloist January 2009. She also has been selected as a Finalist in the Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition being held in Salt Lake City June 2008. Kimberly’s piano trio with violin and cello has won numerous awards as well. Besides music, she enjoys science, poetry, writing, computer programming, and participating in speech and debate tournaments.

  • Steven Ionov – New York, NY, USA

    Steven Ionov – New York, NY, USA

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Etude in C sharp minor, Op. 42, No. 5 - Scriabin
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    Etude - Tableaux in E flat minor, Op. 39, No. 5 - Rachmaninoff

    Steven Ionov was born in New York on November 1, 1995 to a family of Russian immigrants. Steven began playing piano at age 5 and has been taking private lessons with Dr. Sofia Genis since then. Steven participated in a number of competitions and is recipient of multiple awards, including top honors at the Piano Teachers Congress of NY (2004 & 2007), NYS Music Teachers Association (2004 & 2007), and Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (2008). Steven is a 6th grade student at the Dalton School. He loves math, arts and sciences. Steven also practices Tae Kwon Do and has a black belt candidate rank. He loves reading and fishing.

  • Kevin Jang – Edison, NJ, USA

    Kevin Jang – Edison, NJ, USA

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Sonata in F major, No. 12, K.332, 1, 2, 3, mvts - Mozart
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    Sonata in A major, Op. 2, No. 2, 1 mvt. - Beethoven

    Kevin Jang, a 14-year-old youngster from New Jersey, is widely praised for his technical mastery and musical sensitivity in piano. He has won numerous top awards at competitions, including Connecticut International Young Artist Piano Competition (2006), International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington D.C. (2004), and the Rovere d’Oro International Young Talents Piano Competition in Italy (2004), among others. Born in 1994, Kevin began piano lessons at the age of four. Since age five, he has been performing publicly in concerts and televised broadcasts. He made his orchestral debut in 2003 at age nine. Since then he has appeared as piano soloist with various orchestras such as the Edison Symphony, Giavane Sinfonietta Clodiense (Italy), Orchestra Sinfonica di Chioggia (Italy), Plainfield Symphony, and Warminster Symphony in Pennsylvania. Kevin currently studies piano with Victoria Mushkatkol at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division with scholarships from the Hecksher Foundation and Gordon Roberts. He is also the grant recipient from Children’s Foundation for the Arts. In November 2006 during his first year at Juilliard, Kevin won its Pre-College Division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of the Mozart’s Concerto in F major with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. He is also the grant recipient from Children’s Foundation for the Arts.

  • Austin Kim – Wyckoff, NJ, USA

    Austin Kim – Wyckoff, NJ, USA

    Austin Kim was born on April 25, 1995 in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He currently attends the 7th grade at Eisenhower Middle School in Wyckoff, NJ. Austin Kim began playing piano at a young age and has studied with Ms. Jean Yoon and Prof. Lydia Boguslavsky. He is recipient of several awards and has participated in many festivals and competitions, including the Leschetizky Association Young Pianists’ Concerto Competition and Bradshaw and Bruno International Piano Competition.

  • Yang Peng – Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

    Yang Peng – Changsha, Hunan, People’s Republic of China

    Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
    Etude in G minor, Op. 72, No. 2 - Moszkowski
    Rondo Capriccioso in E minor, Op. 14 - Mendelssohn
    Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
    Sonata in F minor, Op. 2, No. 1, 4 mvt. - Beethoven

    Yang Pen was born on December 28, 1996 in Yong Zhou, Hunan province of China. He learned to play piano at age 5, first under the tutelage of his parents and later with Yang Shanshan, a piano teacher attached to the Central Music College. He is currently studying under Zhou Qin and is about to start working with Professor Zhang Jin of the Central Music College. Yang Pen has participated in many competitions in Hunan and is the recipient of several awards. He is a hard worker and is devoted to the piano and his daily practice sessions often last between six and eight hours.

  • Sarina Zhang – Richmond, BC, Canada

    Sarina Zhang – Richmond, BC, Canada

    At a tender age of 12, Sarina Zhang has already captured top prizes in many of the piano and cello competitions. Most recently, she was awarded the alternate (2nd place) in Juilliard Pre-College Romberg Cello competition. In 2007, among other awards, she won the first prize in MTAC California Piano Solo Competition, and the 1st place in 2007 LA Violoncello Society Scholarship Competition. In 2007, Sarina was invited to give a cello and piano recital in Athenaeum Music and Arts Library’s Mini-Concert at Lyceum Theatre in San Diego. In 2006, Sarina won first prize in the San Diego MTAC concerto competition, the ASTA State (CA) Solo Competition, as well as San Diego Symphony’s Young Artists Competition. Sarina has collaborated with the San Diego Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the New City Sinfonia and the Northridge Symphony. From 2004 to 2007, Sarina was the youngest member and assistant principal cellist in the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra Symphony. Sarina’s performances have been broadcast throughout the USA on NPR. She was featured on the PBS television show “From the Top, Live from Carnegie Hall”. Sarina began her piano studies with her mother at 4, and later with Mrs. Tatiana Stignev. She started cello studies with Mr. Lu-Yan Guo when she was 7. Sarina is currently enrolled in the pre-college division at Juilliard School, studying cello with Darrett Adkins. Since September 2007, Sarina has been learning piano with Zitta Zohar.

Category B Finalists (ages 16-21)

Photo of Anirudh ArunAnirudh Arun – Karur Thamilnadu, India
Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
Intermezzo in B flat major, Op. 76, No. 4 – Brahms
Intermezzo in memory of Brahms in B flat minor – S. Slonimsky
Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
Sonata in A minor, Op. 42, D. 845, 1 mvt. – Schubert

Anirudh Arun was born on October 7, 1991 in Karur, Tamil Nadu, India and has been studying piano for almost 10 years. He has participated in many festivals and competitions in Massachusetts and across the United States, including the Massachusetts Music Teachers’ Association Bay State Piano Contest, the Ithaca College School of Music Piano Competition, Rivers School Conservatory Piano Competition and New England Piano Festival. He regularly performs at the annual NEPTA (New England PianoForte Teachers’ Association) Solo and Ensemble recitals. Anirudh Arun has been accompanying Medfield Middle and High Schools’ concert and jazz choir groups for the past 6 years and was awarded best accompanist twice (2004 & 2005) as the pianist of the school chorus team. Between 2003 and 2005, he studied with Eda Shlyam at Longy School of Music and since 2005 has studied with Margarita Gurevich. Anirudh Arun is currently a student at Medfield High School in Medfield, MA.
Photo of Hugo Houg–Jer ChangHugo Houg–Jer Chang – Irvine, CA, USA
Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
Prelude and Fugue in E flat minor, BWV 855, WTC I – Bach
Sonata in G minor, Op. 22, No. 2, 1 mvt. – Schumann
Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
Firebird – Danse Infernale (arrange. Guido Agossi) – Stravinsky

Hugo Chang, a senior of Orange County High School of the Arts, who will be graduating in the summer of 2008, is a pianist and also a violinist. He was born on 14th of December 1989, in Yuan- Lin, Taiwan. The Chang family officially moved to California in 2001. Hugo has received high recognition in his piano and violin performances, including prizes such as Southwestern Youth Music Festival Open Violin (Second Place), Southern California Junior Bach Festival (Second Place), CPAMT Solo Competition (Second Place), International Institute for Young Musician Piano Competition (semi-finalist), Lee International Piano Competition (semi-finalist), TBAC Piano Competition (First Place), and the MTAC State Concerto Competition (Second Place). For his undergraduate, Hugo will be attending University of California, San Diego as Human Biology major as well as Molecular Biology major. Hugo will be doing his senior recital debut in the summer of 2008. The debut will consist of one main concert in Yuan Lin, Taiwan, and two commission concerts in Tai- Nan and Tai- Pei, Taiwan. Beside piano, he loves ocean and loves to surf. In other words, surfing and music really reflects who he is as a person and an artist.
Photo of Solomon EichnerSolomon Eichner – Baltimore, MD, USA
Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
“la Campanella”, Etude No. 3 – Paganini – Liszt
“La Puerta del Vino”, Prelude (Book II) – Debussy
Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
Hungarian Rhapsody in E flat major, No. 4

Solomon Eichner is a 19-year old sophomore at Towson University majoring in Piano Performance.  He has been playing the piano since age five. His private teacher is Mrs. Irene Kreymer. He studied with Professors Rachel Franklin at UMBC and Professor Reynaldo Reyes at Towson University. He will be transferring to the Manhattan School of Music next year and studying with Professor Arkady Aronov. He is involved in ensembles with other musicians. His competition awards include 1st place in Elizabeth R. Davis, May 2007;  top honors at the Maryland State Music Teachers Association (MSMTA); 2nd place Miriam Gottleib Memorial – May 2005; Maryland Distinguished Scholar in Arts – Honorable Mention – May 2006. Master classes with Shai Wosner, Avery Fisher Music Resident and Professor Noel Lester, Hood College. He has accompanied in musical performances at university and high school.
Photo of Han JingHan Jing – Weimar, Thuringia, Germany
Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
d’Obermann – Liszt
Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
“Danzas Argentinas” – Ginastera

Han Jing was born on December 26, 1989 in the beautiful seaside city called Qingdao, in China. She began her piano lessons in 1995 with Mrs.Sui Wenju. From 2001 through 2006, she studied at Beijing Central Conservatory of Music. In 2006, she was accepted by the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, Germany. In 2001, Han Jing won first prize in the 1st Toyama Asian youth Music competition. The following year she placed first in the 9th Xinghai National Youth Piano Competition, China. 2003 marked her solo recital at the Beijing Library and Zhongshan Odeum. In 2004, she was awarded the gold medal in Beethovenfest in Bonn, Germany, and in 2005, was invited to join the Angles’ Voice Concert in Taipei Central Odeum in Taiwan. The same year she participated in the Franz Liszt Youth Piano Competition in Germany, where she received a special performance award. In 2007, Han Jing gave a solo recital in Germany and performed with Kurt Masur at his personal concert later that year.
Photo of Zachary WeinerZachary Weiner – Westport, CT, USA
Final Round, Stage 1 Repertoire
Sonata in A minor, Op. 42, D 845, 1 mvt. – Schubert
Rhapsody in E flat major, Op. 119, No. 4 – Brahms
Final Round, Stage 2 Repertoire
Sonata in B flat major, Op. 83, No. 7, 1 mvt. – Prokofiev

Zachary Weiner was born in Hayward, California in 1990. He currently attends Staples High School in Westport, Connecticut and has been studying piano with Natalie Ryshna Maynard since 1996. He has won every category of the regional Schubert Club awards including the prestigious Koffler Memorial Scholarship and has received seven gold cups from the Young Musician’s Festival. He has also won second place at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, the Connecticut MTNA Competition, and at the Renee B. Fisher Piano Competition. Zachary has been featured as a soloist with the Staples Symphonic Orchestra and the Greenwich Symphony Orchestra and has performed solo and chamber music throughout Connecticut and New York. This summer, he will attend the Aspen Music Festival and School; in the fall, Zachary will be enrolling at Stanford University.