2009-2010 MTNA National Competition Winners

Article excerpt

COMPOSITION COMPETITIONS

Elementary Composition

Sponsored by Morty and Iris Manus

Winner: Harlan Tsui, Southwest Division, (California); Su-Shing Chiu, teacher

Harlan Tsui is 9 years old and a fourth-grade student at Bathgate Elementary school in Mission Viejo, California. As a Junior Special Advance Course graduate student with SuShing Chiu, he has been studying music at Irvine Yamaha Music Center since age 4. Through those years, he has won several awards including Musical Arts Club of Orange County, Cypress College Piano Competition, MTAC Contemporary Festival and the State Contest Winner of Composers Today, 2008. Besides playing piano, he also plays violin and electronic organ.

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Second Place: William Zhang, Northwest Division (Washington); Sharon Van Valin, teacher

Third Place: John Konopka, East Central Division (Ohio); Sean Schulze, teacher

Junior Composition

Sponsored by Morty and Iris Manus

Winner: Michael Bennett, Southern Division (North Carolina); Julie Harris, teacher

Michael Bennett has been studying violin, piano, guitar and drumming since age 3, followed by piano at age 5. He added composition and organ studies at age 10. Currently, Michael studies composition with Julie Harris, of Carrboro, North Carolina; piano performance with Karen Allred and organ with Peter Richard Conte. Michael is the son of Kelly and Bruce Bennett of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and is currently a fifth-grade home schooler.

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Second Place: Crystal Yan, Southwest Division (California); Suzanne Wong, teacher

Third Place: Gabriel Soileau, Northwest Division (Washington); Barbara Miller, teacher

Senior Composition

Sponsored by Hal Leonard Corp.

Winner: Benjamin Krumwiede, South Central Division (Oklahoma); William Price, teacher Benjamin Krumwiede, 17, is a junior in high school with a domicile education.

Benjamin has been studying the art of piano performance for five years and began his lifelong passion for composition at age 13. Krumwiede's discoveries made when composing the four little ones sparked an interest with what he calls "music of effect." Noting these interests, his teacher, William Roger Price, introduced him to the world of electroacoustic music.

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Second Place: Joshua Wood, East Central Division (Illinois); Carol Hoepe, teacher

Third Place: Emily Tu, Eastern Division (New Jersey); Felicia Ruffman, teacher

Young Artist Composition

Sponsored by the MTNA FOUNDATION FUND

Winner: Wenjing Wang, East Central Division (Indiana); Don Freund, teacher

Wenjing Wang was born in Shanghai, China, and was educated at Shanghai Music High School from 1999 to 2005. She entered the Royal Academy of Music in September 2006 and studied with Paul Patterson. In 2008-2009, she was an exchange student at Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Don Freund. In 2008, Wang won BMI Students Composers Scholarship for her orchestral piece The Peony Pavilion. She composed some works for different media. Wang is currently in her final year of the bachelor's program at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

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Second Place: Giselle Eastman, South Central Division (Louisiana); Dinos Constantinides, teacher

Third Place: Timothy J. Vallier, West Central Division (Nebraska); Ken Bales, teacher

MTNA JUNIOR PERFORMANCE COMPETITIONS

MTNA Junior Piano Competition

Sponsored by Kawai America Winner: Jeff Zhang, West Central Division (Minnesota); Alexander Braginsky, teacher

Jeff Zhang, a 14-year-old Minnesota native, began taking piano lessons at age 6. He currently studies with Alexander Braginsky. Jeff has an impressive array of contest wins, including first place at the 2009 Schubert Club competition and third place at the 2009 MTNA Junior Piano Competition. …