I am a very proud teacher today, as two of my students received 1st prize at the 5th Temecula Young Artist Piano Competition. Congratulations to Maggie Liu, who won the 4th-6th grade division, and Andrew Tang, who won the 7th & 8th grade division. These competitions are always so fierce, and I am proud that both students took home 1st prize!
Maggie is only 9 years old. She performed Chopin’s Fantaisie Impromptu – she learned this piece just over a month ago! This was Maggie’s second time participating in this competition. Last year she performed Chopin’s Waltz in C# minor. Maggie is a very talented student. Despite her tender age, she has participated in numerous recitals/festivals/auditions. Last year she auditioned for National Piano Guild and performed an International program of 15 pieces at the Intermediate B level. This year she will be performing an International program of 20 pieces at the Intermediate F level. The next category is High School Freshman, so Maggie is way ahead! In November 2011 Maggie auditioned for CAPMT Solo and Ensemble Festival and was awarded Superior rating – she was invited to perform at the State Festival. Locally, Maggie has performed in many recitals, and has participated twice in the Temecula Spring Music Festival, both times receiving perfect score – Gold Medal. Maggie also tested in the California Certificate of Merit in March this year. She tested in Level Five Theory, Performance, Technique, Ear Training, and Sight Reading, and was awarded Branch Honors. Level Five Theory is no easy task, and Maggie scored 96%. She was also invited to perform for Temecula City Council Meeting. Maggie was the youngest student to participate in this year’s Steinway Festival Competition.
Andrew is a 7th grader. His winning piece was the first movement of Kabalevsky’s Sonata No. 3 (last year Andrew received 2nd prize, performing Mozart Sonata K. 330 first movement). Andrew’s progress in piano has been absolutely outstanding. Last year was his first time auditioning for National Piano Guild – he performed an International program of 20 pieces at the Intermediate F level, receiving 45 Commendations from the judge. Since then, Andrew has been active in many piano festivals and competitions. Locally, he has received Gold Medal at the Temecula Spring Music Festival and Superior rating at CAPMT Solo and Ensemble Festival (he and Maggie performed a duet) and MTAC Sonata Festival. More significantly, Andrew has been successful in many events outside of Temecula Valley, competing with students from all over Southern California. His many achievements include:
- 3rd place – Los Angeles Piano Competition – highly competitive event attracting the best students from LA county. Andrew did great as a first time participant.
- Honorable Mention – American Protege International Piano Competition – highly competitive event attracting the best students from all over the world. Andrew was invited to perform in New York city, but was unable to go this time.
- Southern California Junior Bach Festival – Andrew competed in the Riverside Branch festival and was selected as a winner. He then went on to compete in the Regional Festival and was once again selected as a Regional winner. He will go on to compete in the state final Complete Works Audition later this year.
- Winner – Steinway Festival Competition – This event attracts the best students from the Inland Empire. Students perform in two Master Classes and one public recital – three different repertoire. Andrew was one of five winners in the Junior Category and received $500 study scholarship.
- Honorable Mention – Glendale Piano Competition – this is one of the most competitive events in Southern California, attracting the top students from LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Diego counties. Only one 1st prize winner is awarded (no 2nd prize or 3rd prize), so Andrew did great receiving Honorable Mention as a first time participant.
Both Maggie and Andrew receive one hour weekly lessons. They both work extremely hard, and are so deserving of today’s win! Due to my regular teaching schedule on Saturday morning, I was not able to go and listen to Maggie perform, but I was able to go to the afternoon session and listen to Andrew play. I am excited to say that next year, I would like to enter more students in this local competition – I think it will be a great opportunity for many of the students in my studio, and certainly is a good place to start before embarking on other competitions outside of Temecula. It is always so hard to reestablish oneself after moving to a new place; when I first moved to Murrieta in 2009 all I had was beginner students! I am so glad that many of these beginners are advancing in their studies.
If anyone is interested to find out more about competitions, please do not hesitate to contact me.