Following an outstanding performance of the Allegro ma non tanto movement from Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 in D Minor with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Allen Yuan, 17, of Farmington Hills, Mich., was awarded the Gold Medal in the 2010 Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition Saturday, Aug. 7. As the first-place winner of the event for talented 15-to-18-year-old pianists, held at the Eastman School of Music, Yuan also received a cash prize of $5,000.
The second-place winner of the Silver Medal and a $2,500 cash award was Yen-Yu Chen, 16, of Taiwan. Chang-Yong Shin, 16, of Korea, was awarded third prize, a Bronze Medal and $1,500. Each of the top three winners also receives a full-tuition scholarship to the Eastman School (upon satisfying all admission requirements). The remaining two finalists, Rieko Tsuchida, 15, of Japan, and Joseph Mohan, 17, of Akron, N.Y. each received a $500 cash award.
Yuan and Shin each received awards for Best Performances in a Master Class. Yuan also was awarded the Audience Prize, while Shin received the award for Best Performance of a Work from the Romantic Period, and Tsuchida received the award for Best Performance of a Classical Sonata. Each award carries a cash prize of $500.
Yuan won first place in the 2010 Michigan Music Teachers Association Concerto competition. Among his other prizes, in 2009 he won the 2009 Dearborn Symphony Young Artists Piano Competition and Rochester (Mich.) Symphony Young Artists Competition, and was a semifinalist in the New Orleans International Young Artists Piano Competition. He was awarded the Grand Prize in the 2006 World Piano Competition for Young Artists.
This year, 22 competitors from China, the United States, Taiwan, Canada, Korea, and Japan took part in the Eastman Young Artists International Piano Competition. Each presented two solo programs of recital repertoire and participated in a master class led by an Eastman School of Music faculty member. All performances were judged and the five finalists were announced after the completion of the preliminary rounds on Thursday night, Aug. 5. This year, for the first time in the history of the competition, the finalists played the final round (concerto) with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, which was conducted by Neil Varon of the Eastman School.