Lee News

Lu and Liu Take First Place in Piano Competition


Lu and Liu take First Place
(back row, l to r) Dr. Phillip Thomas Thomas, Shen Lu, Cahill Smith, Mack McCray, Enrico Elisi and Ning An; (front row, l to r) Yun Lu, Eriko Darcy, Jonathan Reichenberger and Vincent Liu.

Yun Lu and Vincent Liu took first place in the 12th annual Lee University piano competitions for the collegiate and pre-collegiate divisions, respectively. The award ceremony concluded the International Piano Festival and Competition held June 12-18.

For the pre-collegiate division, second place was awarded to Jonathan Reichenberger, with third place going to Eriko Darcy and an honorable mention for Ailun Zheng.

Finalists were chosen from a field of 13 outstanding young pianists, all of whom also participated in the week-long festival. The festival’s 19 participants enjoyed master classes and performances by world renowned pianists Enrico Elisi, Shen Lu, and Mack McCray, as well as faculty artists Ning An and Cahill Smith.

“We were delighted at the high levels of musicianship and work ethic these young pianists brought to this year's Festival,” said Dr. Phillip Thomas, festival chair. “Each of them - and their teachers - are to be congratulated for their fine work!”

Lu, 19, is originally from Taiwan and began studying piano at age four. She has won the first prize at the 2015 PianoTexas Young Artists Concerto Competition and the second prize at the 2015 Music Teachers National Association Competition (Senior Division). Lu made her orchestral debut at age 14 with the Taiwan Youth Orchestra. She has played recitals in Taiwan, France, and United States. Lu participated at the Walnut Hill Music Festival, Academie Internationale d'Ete de Nice, Formosa Chamber Music Festival, Music@Menlo, and PianoTexas Festival. She has played in masterclasses for Arie Vardi, Veda Kaplinsky, Dang Thai Son, Piotr Paleczny, and Eugen Indijic. She currently studies with Ning An at Lee University.

Liu, 17, is a junior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, California, and studies piano with Hans Boepple. He has won first prizes in the California Association of Professional Music Teachers Honors Competition, the Ross McKee Piano Competition, and the San Jose International Piano Competition, among others. Lu has also won prizes and awards at the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition and the Los Angeles Liszt International Piano Competition. A former participant in the Colburn School Young Artists Summer Academy, he will attend the John Perry Summer Academy and the Tanglewood Institute’s Young Pianist Program this year.

Reichenberger is 15 years old and has received numerous local, state, and regional awards in the Florida Federation of Music Clubs and Florida State Music Teachers Association. He was the first place winner for six consecutive years in the Pompano Beach Piano Competition and was also a winner of the International Young Musicians Festival and performed at Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Reichenberger won the first place in the Louisiana International Piano Junior Competition, and he and his brother were awarded Alternate in the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Southern Division Senior Duet Piano Competition in 2015. Last summer, Reichenberger received second place in the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition.

Eriko Darcy, 14, will begin high school this fall at the Latin School of Chicago, and currently studies piano with Brenda Huang. She is the winner of the Chicago Area Steinway Young Artist Competition, the 2010 Seattle International Piano Competition Youth Division, and the 2015 DePaul University Concerto Competition. Darcy has performed twice at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall as first prize winner of the 2011 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition and the 2010 American Fine Arts Festival. Earlier this year, she performed a solo program on WFMT Chicago’s “Introductions” and with the Round Rock Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the Texas State Young Artist Concerto Competition.

Zheng is 17 years old and is a junior at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she is a student of Thomas Lymenstull. Zheng won first prize at the Fourth Chinese Music International Competition in Japan and in the 71st Steinway International Youth Piano Competition, East China Division. At Interlochen, she won the 2015 Concerto Competition and was the MTNA Senior Piano Competition winner for Michigan in 2014. Zheng participated in the Shanghai International Piano Festival & Institute, the Perugia Music Festival, and has studied with Boris Slutsky and Yong Hi Moon at the Bowdoin Music Festival.

For more information on the annual Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, contact Lee’s School of Music at 423-614-8240.

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