CLEVELAND INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION
2007 CONTESTANT PROFILES
The 36 contestants invited to participate in the 2007 Cleveland International Piano Competition represent 17 countries. There are 25 men and 11 women. Collectively, they have been finalists in international piano competitions (“IPCs”) 80 times. Some have been finalists five or more times; some once or twice; some never. All of the contestants have performed with orchestras, anywhere from 3 to 4 times up to 20 or more. All have extensive experience as soloists.
Following is a break down of the contestants by geographical region.
GROUP 1 – CHINA
The largest group, six, including one each from Taiwan and Hong Kong. The large number of Chinese contestants reflects the major increase in activity in China in all fields of classical music, which has taken place in the past few years.
The two Z’s – one is Z- o - u and one is Z –u – o
Mr. Xiang Z – o - u is 27 years old, the first prize winner of the well-known Honens International Piano Competition in Calgary Alberta. He has performed all over Canada and China and was a contestant in Cleveland in 2005.
Ms. Zhang Z – u – o is only 18 years old and lived in China until 2006 when she came to America to begin studies at Eastman. She performed her first solo recital in China at age 10, and has since performed all over China in both recitals and with orchestras.
Mr. Wenyu Shen, another of the younger contestants at age 20, lives in China and has studied in China and also in Germany. He won second prize at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Competition in Belgium in 2003.
Mr. Diyi (Dee-ee) Tang has lived in New York since 2002 attending the Mannes College of Music. He gave his first piano recital at age 7 in Shanghai, and was the second-prize winner at the Hilton Head Competition in South Carolina.
Ms. Colleen Lee, age 26, originally from Hong Kong, now attends the Hochschule fur Musik in Hannover, as do many talented pianists. She has won prizes in the Chopin Competition in Poland and the Gina Bachauer Competition in Utah.
Ms. Ching-Yun Hu, age 25, from Taiwan, is a candidate for an Artist Diploma at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Prior to coming to Cleveland, she studied at The Juilliard School. She made her New York debut at Lincoln Center in March of this year.
GROUP TWO -- OCEANIA
A group of four from Oceania, three from Australia and one from New Zealand, is an unusually large representation from that area. All are very young.
From Australia, Roger Longjie Cui, 18, one of two 18-year-olds, and Jayson Gillham,
age 20, have both concertized all over Australia – in Queensland, and New South Wales.
Mr. Cui (who was born in China but is an Australian citizen) studies at Trinity College of London and Mr. Gillham studies at the Queensland Conservatory.
Mr. Hoang Pham, 22, was born in Vietnam, and now is a citizen of Australia. He has studied at the Manhattan School of Music since 2005. He has performed with the Melbourne Symphony and the Queensland Orchestra.
Mr. John Chen, age 21, was born in Malaysia, is now a citizen of New Zealand, and studies at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He won first prize at the Sydney International Piano Competition in 2004.
GROUP THREE -- RUSSIA
There are four contestants from Russia – one living in Russia, one living in Germany, and
two living in the U.S.
Ms. Svetlana Kudina, 23, born in Kazakhstan, now studying in Germany, has won competitions in Italy and Russia.
Mr. Alexander Ghindin, 30, born, trained, and currently living in Russia – his was the
first application received in January. He has performed with many orchestras in Europe and also in Japan.
Ms. Daria Rabotkina, 26, a Russian citizen, now lives in Philadelphia. She has performed with the San Francisco Symphony and the New World Symphony among others. When a snowstorm in Philadelphia prevented her from flying to Akron for her audition, she got in her car and drove for 6 hours, making it on time for her audition.
Mr. Alexadre Moutouzkine (moh-too-skin), 27, living in New York and studying at Manhattan School of Music, has won major prizes at the Tivoli International Piano Competition in Denmark, the Andorra IPA, and the Jose Iturbi IPC in Spain
GROUP FOUR – UNITED STATES
There are five Americans - one born in Cuba, one born in Taiwan, and three who were born in the U.S.
Ms. Jun Asai, age 24, and Ms. Esther Keel, age 22, were both born in the U.S. and both
study at Juilliard. Ms. Keel has played with the Korean American Symphony in California and given recitals in New York and California.
Mr. Nino Cocchiarella, born in the U.S., age 24, studies at Indiana University and has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He won third prize at the Corpus Christi IPC in 2005.
Mr. Wei-Jen Yuan, age 24, born in Taiwan, is now a US citizen. He has a B. A. in Economics from Harvard along with music degrees from Juilliard and Yale.
Mr. Erikson Rojas, age 24, originally from Cuba, has a Bachelor’s degree from Philadelphia Biblical University with double majors in Bible and Music, and now studies at Peabody Institute of Music
GROUP FIVE -- ITALY
There are three Italians, all three are men and all three live in Italy Mr. Angelo Arciglione (ar-chee-lee-OH-nay), age 25
Mr. Alessandro Taverna, age 23
Mr. Marco Vergini, age 29
Mr. Taverna and Mr. Vergini have studied at the Imola Academy in Italy, while Mr. Arciglione attended academies in Fiosole and Siena. All three of these men have been prize winners in many competitions in Italy, but Mr. Arciglione was a semi-finalist in the e-competition in Minnesota, and Mr. Taverna was a contestant at the 2005 Cleveland IPC.
GROUP SIX - ISRAEL
Three candidates are citizens of Israel – two men and one woman. All three are attending
or have attended the Tel Aviv Academy.
Mr. Ran Dank, age 25, born in Israel, now in NY at The Juilliard School. Mr. Dank has performed with orchestras in Belgium and New York.
Ms. Berenika Glixman, age 22, born in Russia, now in Israel, has won prizes in Serbia-Montenegro, Italy, and Israel.
Mr. Yaron Kohlberg, age 24, born and living in Israel, has won prizes in Mexico, Norway, and Andorra.
GROUP SIX – EASTERN EUROPE
There are two contestants from Eastern Europe, one from Hungary and one from Lithuania.
Mr. Istvan Lajko, age 25, lives in Hungary and studied at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. He won a prize in the Budapest competition in memory of Liszt. He has performed extensively in Hungary.
Mr. Andrius Zlabys, age 30, from Lithuania, has participated in the Cleveland th prize in 2003. The 2007 Competition marks his third Competition twice, winning 4
appearance. A graduate of Curtiss and CIM, he now lives in New Haven and studies at Yale.
GROUP SEVEN -- CANADA
Two contestants are from Canada, although neither born there.
Mr. Sheng Cai, age 19, born in China, is a student at the New England Conservatory, and has won prizes in Canada and at the Hilton Head Competition
Mr. Dmitri Levkovich, age 28, born in the Ukraine, is an MM candidate at CIM. He has won prizes in New Orleans, Hilton Head, and Arizona.
GROUP EIGHT -- ASIA
There are two contestants from Japan and one from Korea
Ms. Mayumi Sakamoto, age 24, studies at the Hochschule in Hannover, and has performed extensively in both Japan and Germany.
Ms. Yukiko Sekino, age 30, now studying for her DMA at SUNY Stony Brook, has performed at many venues in New York, Massachusetts, and California.
From Korea: Ms. Sangyoung Kim, age 23, studies at the New England Conservatory, and has performed at many locations in Massachusetts
GROUP NINE -- EUROPE
Three contestants are from Europe: ne man from Ireland, a man and a woman from France, and a man from Germany.
Mr. Cathal Breslin, age 29, is a DMA candidate at the University of Michigan. Previously he studied and performed a locations in Ireland and the UK. He is from Northern Ireland.
A winner of competitions in Monaco, Poland, and Germany, Mr. Nicolas Bringuier, age
27, studied in France and now studies in Berlin. (France)
Ms. Helene Tysman, age 24, has studied in France and Germany, and has concretized extensively throughout Europe. (France)
Mr. Benjamin Moser, a native German, studies in Berlin. In 2007, he won the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. (Germany)