Winners of 58th Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition
5/11/2007 - KIMBERLY KONG LAUREATE OF
58TH KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION
CHOPIN PIANO COMPETITION
Kimberly Kong, a 19 year-old sophomore at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, has won the 58th Chopin National Piano Competition, held by the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City April 13 and 14, 2007. Second Prize was shared by Zhenni Li, a 19 year-old freshman at The Juilliard School in New York; and by Lin Lo-An, an 18 year-old freshman at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The jury was chaired by David Dubal, noted musicologist, performer, author, and broadcaster; and included concert pianist Mirian Contil and pianist and author Jed Distler.
KIMBERLY KONG, who won the $5,000 top prize, made her debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of nine. Ms. Kong has appeared with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, and in recital at Weill/Carnegie Hall, and at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh. She is a student of Yong Hi Moon at the Peabody Institute.
ZHENNI LI, a native of China, began her studies there and gave her first recital at age 7. A winner of numerous regional and national competitions in China, she came to the United States in 2005, making her New York recital debut a year later. Her teacher is Seymour Lipkin.
LIN LO-AN, who won $2,000 as a shared Second Prize Winner, was born and began her studies in Taiwan, and continued at the Interlochen Arts Academy and at the San Francisco Conservatory, where she is currently studying with Yoshikazu Nagai. She won honorable mention at the Kosciuszko Foundation Competition in April 2005.
DAVID DUBAL's highly acclaimed books - The Art of the Piano, Evenings with Horowitz, Reflections from the Keyboard, and Conversations with Menuhin - have been translated into Chinese, Japanese, German, etc. The Essential Canon of Classical Music was recently published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His Emmy-winning video, "The Golden Age of the Piano" has been seen worldwide on Philips Classics VCR and DVD in four languages. In May 2006, Mr. Dubal received an honorary Doctor of Music from the 64 colleges of The State University of New York.
Recipient of the first ASCAP Deems Taylor award for broadcast journalism, Dubal's numerous other honors include the coveted George Foster Peabody award. He was music and program director of the NYC radio station WNCN for a number of years. Currently Mr. Dubal is heard every Wednesday night on WQXR in his program: "Reflections From The Keyboard: The Piano in Comparative Performance".
Mr. Dubal has been on the faculty of the Juilliard School since 1983 and the Manhattan School of Music since 1995. He has conducted master classes at Seoul National University, the Berne Conservatory in Switzerland, and in Brazil and Israel, and has judged many international competitions including a series of 6 lecture-recitals at the 1989, 1993, and 1997 Van Cliburn competitions.
An Argentine pianist based in New York City, MIRIAN CONTI has appeared as recitalist and with orchestras in Europe, Africa, South and Central America, Canada and the U.S., and has recorded for the Koch International, Toccata Classics, Island Record and Albany labels. A scholarship honoring Ms. Conti has been established at The Juilliard School by the Edwin Bachman Estate, and she was selected as one of the "100 Outstanding Alumni " to celebrate The Juilliard School's Centennial in 2005-6. Her teachers include Richard Fabre, Josef Raieff, Genny Blech, Freda Rosenblatt and Byron Janis.
Ms. Conti is an active adjudicator of important international piano competitions; this is her second year as a juror at the Kosciuszko Competition. As of January 2008, she will be teaching "The Spanish Piano", a new course created by Ms. Conti, at The Juilliard School's Evening Division.
Described as an "altogether extraordinary pianist" (Newark Star Ledger), JED DISTLER is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Composers Collaborative, one of the most innovative and dynamic forces in performance of new music in New York. He has received awards from ASCAP, Meet the Composer, American Composers Forum, and the Macdowell Colony.
Distler is a contributing editor for Piano and Keyboard magazine, and contributes regularly to Pulse, Piano Today, and Soundscapes, with regular columns in Gramophone, International Classical Record Collector, International Opera Collector, and International Piano Quarterly. A faculty member at Sarah Lawrence College, he also lectures on historic pianists.
The KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION CHOPIN PIANO COMPETITION was established in 1949, on the 100th anniversary of the death of Fryderyk Chopin; the opening celebration took place at the Kosciuszko Foundation House, with Witold Malcuzynski as guest artist, and Abram Chasins, composer and music director of the New York Times radio stations, presiding over the special centennial program. Held annually since then, the competition is proud to number many outstanding pianists among its winners, including Van Cliburn, Murray Perahia, and Ian Hobson.
The objective of the Chopin Piano Competition is to encourage highly talented young musicians of all backgrounds, and to promote study and performance of the works of Chopin, Szymanowski, and other Polish composers. The competition is open to citizens or permanent residents of the United States, and international full time students, between the ages of 16 and 22.
Contestants prepare a program of approximately 70 minutes. The required repertoire includes works of Chopin and Szymanowski; Bach; a Classic sonata; a major 19th century work; and a work by an American, Polish-American, or Polish composer written within the last 50 years. Contestants perform from memory.
The first, second, and third prize winners are awarded scholarships, and travel grants to New York if necessary. In addition to the financial scholarship, the first prize winner is offered additional concerts when possible.
The KOSCIUSZKO FOUNDATION is dedicated to promoting educational and cultural relations between the United States and Poland, and to increasing American understanding of Polish culture and history in the United States. Founded in 1925, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Tadeusz Kosciuszko's enlistment in the American revolutionary cause under Washington, the Foundation is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan and nonsectarian organization. Headquartered in New York City, the Kosciuszko Foundation has Chapters in Buffalo, Chicago, Denver, Houston, Southern New England (Springfield), Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia.
Photo: l. to r.: Kimberly Kong, Lin Lo-An, Zhenni Li
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