For nearly 30 years, the Young Artists Showcase has opened each broadcast season with a concert by the new winners of the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition, held every October in Juilliard’s Paul Hall. This year’s winners, who are awarded full scholarships to The Juilliard School, are Fei-Fei Dong and Yunqing Zhou. The concert was hosted on stage by Bob Sherman and also featured appearances by McGraw-Hill Financial Chairman Terry McGraw and Juilliard President Joseph Polisi.
In addition to winning one of last year’s Bachauer prizes, Chinese pianist Fei-Fei Dong was a top finalist in the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The first of her three seasons as a Van Cliburn winner will include debuts with the Corpus Christi and Big Spring Symphony Orchestras and recital appearances across the United States. Born in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, Fei-Fei started playing the piano at age 5. She moved to New York to study at The Juilliard School with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
The other featured winner is Yunqing Zhou, a native of Shenyang, also the birthplace of Lang Lang. Yunqing has been soloist with the China National Symphony Philharmonic and the Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, among others. A short list of his other competition awards would include the Gulangyu, Oberlin, China and Cleveland International Piano Competitions, as well as the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, and the Feruccio Busoni Competition in Bolzano.
He first studied attended Curtis to study under Gary Graffman and is now at Juilliard studying with Robert McDonald.
And as an encore, we’ll hear a little more Schumann from a recent Young Artists Showcase studio session with pianist Tanya Gabrielian.
Schumann: Novelette, Op.21, No. 8 (12’)
Volodos: Concert Paraphrase on Mozart’s Turkish March (3’)
— Fei-Fei Dong, piano.
Liszt: Benediction de dieu dans la solitude (17’48”)
Horowitz: Variations on a Theme from Carmen (3’35”)
— Yunqing Zhou, piano.
Recorded at Juilliard’s Paul Hall on Oct 16, 2013.
Schumann: excerpts from Geistervariationen (Ghost Variations)
— Tanya Gabrielian, piano.
Recorded in the Young Artists Showcase studio.