October 19-24, 2015

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Piano Competition


Vivian Choi - Artist Level Juror

Vivian Choi is internationally regarded as one of the most gifted pianists of her generation, lauded for her extraordinary artistry, musical intelligence and expressive intensity. Hailed by Fanfare as “an exemplar of the modern global pianist,” she is in demand for the depth of her musical insight of a wide-ranging repertoire, from classical to contemporary works.

Antonio Di Cristofano - Artist Level Juror

Antonio Di Cristofano completed his piano studies in 1986 at the Conservatory  “L.Cherubini” in Florence, under the supervision of Maestro Bacchelli and Maestro  Damerini.

Andreas Klein - Artist Level Juror

German Pianist Andreas Klein has distinguished himself as a dynamic and compelling performer with his command of a wide range of tonal colors and imaginative interpretations. The New York Times declared him "A fascinating artist with all the indispensable qualities: temperament, taste, touch, tone, the four T's of pianism" and "A pianist who makes silences sound like music".

Artur Pizarro - Artist Level Juror (Opening and Semifinal Rounds Only)

Born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1968, Artur Pizarro gave his first public performance at the age of three and made his television début on Portuguese television at the age of four. He had been introduced to the instrument by his maternal grandmother, pianist Berta da Nóbrega, and her piano-duo partner, Campos Coelho who was a student of Vianna da Motta, Ricardo Viñes and Isidor Philipp. From 1974 to 1990 Artur studied with Sequeira Costa who had also been a student of Vianna da Motta and of Mark Hamburg, Edwin Fischer, Marguerite Long and Jacques Février. This distinguished lineage immersed Artur in the tradition of the ‘Golden Age’ of pianism and gave him a broad education in both the German and French piano schools and repertoire.

Nancy Weems - Artist Level Juror

Nancy Weems has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Asia, Mexico, Central America, and the former Soviet Union to wide critical acclaim. A graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Texas, her solo appearances include concerts in fourteen foreign countries, in addition to the U.S. After a recital in Reykjavik, Iceland, one critic called her "a rare treasure... Nancy Weems is an extraordinary pianist, grand in scope, and powerful in her interpretation, possessing fantastic technique." In Mexico City, a reviewer stated that "Nancy Weems is gradually beginning to occupy the place of one of the top international pianists in Mexico." A Houston Post article reported, "The young performer put an amazing display of energy and keyboard technique into a recital that went from strength to strength."

Preliminary Jury

Lina Morita - Preliminary Juror

Pianist Lina Morita a native of São Paulo, Brazil, has performed in various solo and chamber music performances across the US and abroad. Recently, she has performed solo recitals at the University of North Dakota, Sam Houston State University, Louisiana State University, University of Southern Mississippi, Tulane University, Church of the Epiphany (DC). Ms. Morita has appeared in chamber music performances at the Music Center at Strathmore (MD), Atlas Performing Arts Center (DC), St. Mary’s College, National City Christian Church (DC), Hochstein School Performance Hall (NY), Sala Xochipilli, UNAM (Mexico).

Recently, Ms. Morita performed the Chopin Fm Concerto with the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra with conductor Charles Latshaw. Other concerto appearances include the Beethoven Concerto No. 4 with the Lake Charles Symphony and the Washington Sinfonietta with conductor Joel Lazar.

Francis Yang - Preliminary Juror

Dr. Francis Yang is Assistant Professor of Piano at Northwestern State
University of Louisiana. Prior to his appointment at Northwestern, Dr.
Yang served for four years as professor and director of piano studies at
the Universidad de Cuenca, in Cuenca, Ecuador. Yang also taught at the
Université de Montréal, the University of Ottawa, and the University of
Alberta as adjunct professor and teaching assistant.

Yang has concertized in many cities such as London, Paris, Montreal,
Vancouver, Buenos Aires, Quito, and Montevideo. Performances include
the 37th International Festival Encuentros in Buenos Aires, a lecturerecital
at London's Royal Academy of Music, and VIII Bienal of
Contemporary Music in Cuenca, Ecuador. He has participated and played
in numerous music festivals including the Mozarteum Sommerakademie,
(Salzburg, Austria), the Orford Music Festival, (Magog, Quebec), the
Gulbenkian International Music Festival, (Lisbon, Portugal), and the March
International Music Days Festival, (Ruse, Bulgaria).

Yang received his doctorate from the Université de Montréal, his Master's

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