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Junior 1 Division Semi-Finalists - 2019 Kaufman Music Center International Youth Piano Competition

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Cobie Buckmire


Cobie Buckmire, 10 years old, started studying piano at age four and a half with Dr. Jing Yang. Cobie won first place Rondo International Music Competition in 2016 and performed in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. In April 2017, Cobie started piano studies at Kaufman Music Center's Special Music School with Ms. Irina Morozova. In March 2018, he participated in NYC Queens International Music Competition, was awarded the first prize and performed in Carnegie Hall. In December 2018, Cobie competed in the Vivo International Music Competition. He was nominated as a first prizewinner and awarded the Bronze Medal during the winner’s concert at Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center. Cobie was awarded first prize in Chopin International Piano Completion in Hartford CT in March 2019. He loves listening to music, playing with his dog, swimming and playing basketball.


Matthew Chang


Matthew Chang, 10 years old, has been studying piano with Dr. Kuei-I Wu for five years. He’s been boasting an impressive array of awards and prizes with International Piano Competitions. First Prizes in Chopin competition at Hartford, CT, William Knabe International Piano competition, and Washington Steinway Piano competition. Especially, Matthew received The Kern Foundation "Aspiration" Award on ROSALYN TURECK INTERNATIONAL BACH COMPETITION. Matthew played with Washington Conservatory Orchestra and also made his European debut in the Metallener Saal Muskkverein in Austrian and performed in the Carnegie Hall for six times. He also performed in The Poland and German Embassies respectively in Washington, D.C. as one of the winners of KOSCIUSZKO Foundation Chopin Competition. Comments by the NY Concert Review: "he projected the life of each distinct phrase with a joyful and intense involvement. His rhythm was not merely solid, but also full of dance-like energy."


Eddison Chen


Eddison Chen, nine years old, has been studying the piano under Jung Spooner since the age of five-and-a-half years old. He is the First Prize Winner at the 2018 Steinway Junior Piano Competition, Second Prize and Winner of the Etude prize at the 2018 Chicago International Piano Competition, Prize Winner of 2016 Los Angeles International Young Pianist Competition, and Winner of his division at the Kansas Music Teachers Association for the past four years. Eddison loves to perform and often plays for his classmates and teachers at school. Aside from piano, Eddison enjoys studying math and playing chess. He is nationally ranked top players in the US Chess Foundation in his age division. Eddison loves traveling throughout the country participating at national chess tournaments and piano competitions.


Giulianna Chen


A student of Cindy Liu and Dr. Sun Sung Kong of KL Piano Studio in Vancouver, Giulianna began to study piano at 6. She has won awards in competitions including: first place of both Intermediate Concert Group and Romantic Composers, along with scholarships for most outstanding performance in intermediate piano in 2019 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals; first place in piano 8-year-old category and grand prize in 7-10 years old category in 2018 CMC National Finals; first place of Division 1 in 2018 Steinway Piano Competition in Vancouver; first place of Junior Piano Concert Group and Romantic Composers in 2017 Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festivals. She performed while taking master classes in Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Italy, Katowice Academy of Music in Poland, and summer school of Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Russia, as well as in 2018 Steinway Piano Competition Honour Concert.


Samuel Dazhill


Samuel Dazhill currently resides in Pontianak, West Borneo, Indonesia. He is a fifth grader at Pelita Cemerlang school, and is studying piano at Yamaha Music Pontianak, with Daud Rony Widjaya. He started his musical lessons around the age of five at Yamaha music course, where he discovered that piano music is so beautiful and was very eager to explore more. He is lucky that he and his piano teacher have the same desire and passion for piano music. During the last three year of competing, he has won numerous awards, like 1st prize at Essex Piano Competition, first place in Yamaha Piano Competition National Level, first place in Steinway Indonesia Youth Piano Competition National Level and first place at Lapianista Singapore piano competition. Beside hoping to be a great pianist who can deliver beautiful music and bring joy, he also loves soccer and swimming.


Abigail Goddard


Abigail Goddard (age 10) began piano studies at age four and became a serious piano student in 2017 when she switched teachers to Mr. Valery Goldes and Dr. Andrew Park, who have truly inspired her. Abigail is the st Prize winner for the 2019 Kathryn Gawartin Chopin Competition. She recently won the Southern California Bach Youth Festival regional competition and has been selected as the semi-finalist for the 2019 William Knabe International Piano Competition. She has been invited to perform at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall twice after winning 2nd Place at the American Protégé Romantic Music Piano Competition in 2018 and 1st Prize of the Golden Classical Music Awards in 2019. Abigail was also First Absolute Prize Winner for the Brussels Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in 2018. Besides piano Abigail also studies ballet and is an award-winning literature writer and Spelling Bee Champion.


Norman Lu


Norman Lu, age 10, began studying piano at age of 4 and a student of Dorothy Shi since age 8. Norman participated in regional piano festivals and competitions and won numerous rewards, including First Place at Crescendo International Music Competition, First Place at Massachusetts Musical Teacher Association Piano Annual Competition, First Place at American Fine Arts festival Piano competition, Second Place at Hartford Chopin Piano Competition, and honorable mention at Boston Steinway Piano Competition. Norman has given public performances at venues like Boston Symphony Hall and New York Carnegie Hall. Being a fifth grader at Memorial Spaulding School in Newton, Massachusetts, Norman also enjoys playing chess, basketball and video games in his spare time when he is not practicing piano.


Kaitlyn Ouyang


Kaitlyn Ouyang is a 4th grader at The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. Kaitlyn began playing the piano at age 4 with her mother, Melody Ouyang. She continued her training under Dr. Cathy Lysinger. Kaitlyn has been a prize winner in numerous competitions in the local, national, and international levels. She has been awarded First Place in Dallas Piano Solo, Piano Competition at Texas A&M, Steinway Junior Piano Competition 2019, Carmel International Piano Competition, and Ensemble75 Concerto Competition, Texas Chopin Society’s Piano Competition, among others. At age 5, she placed first in the American Protégé International Competition, and was invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. She was interviewed by the Dallas Morning News and was featured on the cover. She was selected to be part of the Van Cliburn's Education Program and was part of the performances at the Bass Performance Hall to over five thousand students in the Fort Worth area. Besides playing the piano, Kaitlyn enjoys reading and traveling the world with her family.


Avery Pun


Avery Pun started formal piano lessons at the age of 6 with Dr. Regina Yeh and has been a student of Ni Liu in Seattle, Washington since the age of 8. Avery was awarded 1st place in both the 2018 Russian Piano Festival and the 2019 Simon Fiset Competition. She also performed in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall as a selected artist in the Winter Nights Concert. In addition to studying the piano, she plays cello and trumpet. She enjoys playing strategy games with her family, reading, fiction writing, swimming, and “vigorous debates” with her twin brother Zachery.


Emily Qi


Emily Qi started her lessons with Alexandra Tsirkel when she turned 5 years old. At the age of 6 she entered the class of Ekaterina Melkamini. Her unmatched love for piano won her many awards such as Gold medal in the Steinway Junior Piano Competition, Gold Medals in the Chopin Piano Competition, Bronze Medal in the San Jose International Piano Competition, Gold Medal in the Young Artists Piano Competition in Kansas City. Having J.S. Bach as one of her favorite composers, her recent recital featured 12 little preludes by J.S. Bach. Emily's talent and mature interpretations were recognized by Pr. Stanislav Ioudenitch and world-famous pianist Behzod Abduraimov. In addition to being a gifted musician, Emily has a passion for reading. She also studies the Chinese language and Art in her spare time.


Anthony Vu


10-year-old Anthony Vu was born in Laval, Quebec. He started his piano lesson two years ago at the age of seven-and-a-half. After one year of piano study, Anthony passed the audition and got accepted to the Phil and Eli Taylor Academy. His teacher is Dr. Michael Berkovsky. During the last two years, Anthony had participated at many local and provincial music festivals and competitions and had always been placed in the top ranking of his categories. Anthony is the 3rd out of 4 brothers to play the piano in his family. He is very much inspired by his brothers’ musicality and the passions that they have for the piano. Besides piano and school, Anthony loves to play video game with his brothers very much! So much that he wants to become a video game programmer when he grows up.


Pasit Wattanalekhawong


Pasit Wattanalekhawong (Guy) started piano lesson at the age of 4.5. He has been under the guidance of Dr. Pornphan Banternghansa since he was 6 years old and recently has also been under the guidance of Dr. Christopher Janwong Mckiggan at Piano Academy of Bangkok. He has won numerous prizes in national and international competitions including First Prize at Sicily International Piano Festival and Competition 2019 (Aspiring Scholar), Junior World Champion Instrumentalist Prize at WOCPA 2018, First Prize and “Best Etude” award at USCI University International Piano Festival and Competition 2018, First Prize at Kawai Music Competition 2016, 1st Prize at AADGT Passion of Music, 2nd Prize at the 16th Osaka International Music Competition, and 1st Prize at YTMF 2017. Guy is a year 5 student at Shrewsbury International School and is also excellent in sports, as he usually participates in sport activities, and in academic performance. He enjoys singing, playing viola and saxophone, and takes part in intermediate orchestra as well.


Zhonghua Wei


Having started his piano studies at the age of five at Xinghai Conservatory, Zhonghua Wei has avidly explored significant portions of piano repertoire by age 9, including Book One of Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier and Mozart’s complete piano sonatas. He is the first Prize at the Qingdao Irmler National Piano Competition as well as First Prize at the Xiamen Sterinborgh National Piano Competition. Zhonghua continues his professional studies with Prof. Jay Sun as well as Prof. Dr. Vivian Li at the Xinghai Conservatory in China.