ROCHESTER, NY — After a week of fierce competition in three rounds of judged performances, first prize in the Eastman School of Music’s Eighth Annual Young Artists International Piano Competition was awarded to 17-year old Song-Yuan Tang from Shenyang, China.
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle music critic John Pitcher called Tang a “firebrand” who consistently “stole the show” during earlier competition rounds featuring works by Beethoven, Chopin, Ravel, and Liszt. In the final concerto round, Mr. Tang performed a movement of Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3. In addition to his first place cash prize of $3000 and an annual renewable scholarship to the Eastman School (upon satisfying all admission requirements), Tang also received — by an overwhelming majority — the competition’s first-ever audience prize of $500. Mr. Tang already is planning to attend Eastman upon finishing his secondary studies: “Winning this competition means that I can study piano at the best music conservatory in the United States,” he said. Through judge Deirdre Doyle of Ireland, he also was offered an invitation to perform a full recital in Dublin in 2006, sponsored by the Dublin Master Classes.
Second prize was awarded to 18-year-old Jing Yang from Beijing, China. She received a $2,000 cash prize and a $15,000 annual Eastman scholarship. Third prize went to the 14-year-old youngster, Sejoon Park, originally from Korea and now residing in Falls Church, Virginia. He received a $1,000 cash prize and a $10,000 annual Eastman scholarship. The three prize-winners were featured in concert on August 5, 2005 in Eastman Theatre. In addition, 18 year-old Hwi-Min An from Korea and Germany received a prize for Best Performance in a Master Class.
This year’s competition brought together 22 pre-screened 14-18 year olds from 11 different countries, including China, Korea, Singapore, Germany, Venezuela, Canada, and Turkey. The jury was chaired by Paul Pollei, founder and artistic director of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition. Joining him were Eastman Piano Professor and Competition Director Douglas Humpherys, Deirdre Doyle of Ireland, Steven Laitz of Eastman, Min Kim of Korea and the United States, and Yafen Zhu of China.
Note to editors : Photographs are available.