Press Release

PianoArts 2014 Competition Opens With 2012 Winner Recital June 6

Nineteen Year old pianist Sahun Hong will present a program of Chopin, Schumann and Kirchner

By - Jun 3rd, 2014 07:54 pm
Sahun Hong

Sahun Hong

MILWAUKEE, WI…The PianoArts 2014 North American Biennial Competition and Music Festival will opens on Friday, June 6, 2014 at 7:30 PM with a Prelude Recital given by the 2012 first place winner, Sahun Hong at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, 1584 N. Prospect Avenue, Milwaukee.

PianoArts presents this challenging international piano competition that has an equal emphasis on musical performance and articulate presentation. It addresses the belief that the coming generations of musicians need to work at making a connection with their audiences by both speaking about and playing their music convincingly in order to deepen the audience experience and, ultimately, build audiences for classical music.

A Young Steinway Artist since 2010, pianist Sahun Hong has been featured as a guest soloist with the Milwaukee, Racine, Camerata New York, Fort Worth, Richardson, Waco, Galveston, and Brazos Valley symphony orchestras. Reviewing his performance with Camerata New York in Merkin Hall, Howard Aibel wrote in the New York Concert Review that Sahun “was at home at the keyboard, performing this great Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 with lots of clarity, confidence and wisdom.”

Sahun is a first prize winner of the PianoArts North American, New York International, Leschetizky International, Lennox International Young Artist, Fort Worth Symphony Young Artist, Snowy Range, and Juanita Miller competitions. At the age of sixteen, Sahun graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance, studying with John Owings. He also studied with Martin Canin and Yoheved Kaplinsky of The Juilliard School. Currently, Sahun is a student of Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Committed to music education, Sahun has performed in over 75 schools throughout the country, including Milwaukee, Racine, and the Fort Worth area, where he gave 47 presentations through the Van Cliburn Foundation’s Musical Awakenings program. He has also been featured on the nationally broadcast radio show From the Top. In 2011 he became a United States citizen.

Competition Week will include six days at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, June 5-10, and the June 11 Finals and Awards Concert with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Uihlein Hall of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. The world-renowned panel of judges includes Lydia Artymiw, University of Minnesota; Yoheved Kaplinsky, The Juilliard School, and André-Michel Schub, Manhattan School of Music and the 1981 grand prize winner of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

Events open to the public at the Conservatory include a recital by Sahun Hong, returning 2012 first place winner; solo competition recitals; collaborative competition recitals; master classes and a recital given by Lydia Artymiw, with Susan Babini, MSO principal cellist; and Robert Hanford, concertmaster of the Chicago Lyric Opera (and former MSO violinist). Events at the Marcus Center include Piano Promenades, a recital by the semifinalists that did not advance to the finals, “Inside the Music,” a pre-concert session with former MSO associate concertmaster Samantha George, and the Finals and Awards Concert.

It takes a village to run a competition! Volunteers help with staffing the event, putting together hospitality, driving contestants around, and each semifinalist, a junior jury of young pianists and the 2012 winner will be housed by a Milwaukee area family, where many lasting bounds have been created.


About PianoArts:

Based in Milwaukee, PianoArts’ mission is to foster appreciation and performance of classical music by identifying and mentoring a new generation of pianists with exceptional musical and verbal communication skills and by presenting them to diverse audiences. The highest profile event that fulfills this mission is the presentation of the biennial North American Piano Competition and Music Festival. It is a challenging international piano competition for pianists, ages 16 through 20, that has an equal emphasis on offering support to young musicians as they build their musical careers; performing side-by-side with professional musicians, and acquiring skills in audience development. Prizes and scholarships are substantial, judges are internationally renowned, and three finalists have the opportunity to perform a full concerto with the acclaimed Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Additional opportunities to the finalists are fellowships to return to Milwaukee to perform and lead PianoArts music education programs in the schools as well as for adults.

PianoArts presents school programs in the Milwaukee Public Schools, through a grant from the Milwaukee Arts Board, and, in the Waukesha School District through a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board. PianoArts also collaborates with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to present the Wisconsin Youth Piano Competition, for pianists ages 11-15. The next Wisconsin Competition will be held in 2015.

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