hilton-head-pianoThe 2012 Hilton Head International Piano Competition held March 5 through 12 in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, has selected this year’s Competition Winners.

Jin Uk Kim, 28, of Korea is First Prize Winner. He made his public debut at the age of ten with the New Seoul Philharmonic and has been performing as an orchestra soloist, solo pianist, and chamber musician. He has participated in number of piano and chamber music concert series presented by the New England Conservatory at Jordan Hall in Boston. He is on full scholarship at the New England Conservatory, received his graduate diploma in 2010, and is presently studying for his Doctor of Musical Arts.

Wai Yin Wong, 19, of Hong Kong is the Second Prize Winner. She started her piano studies at the Junior School of The Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts in 1998. In 2010 she won the Guiomar Novaes Award in the 2nd BNDES International Piano Competition in Brazil. In 2007 she was the youngest Gold Medal winner ever in the 7th International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz. She has appeared in festivals and given soloist concerts throughout the world. In 2011 Ms. Wong was awarded The Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarship and a Certificate of Commendation given by the Hong Kong government for her outstanding achievements in the promotion or arts and culture in Hong Kong.

Steven Lin, 22, of the USA is the Third Prize Winner. He is studying at The Juilliard School of Music in New York. He was the winner of the Munz Scholarship Competition at the Juilliard School in 2008, and the same year was awarded the Gold Medal in the first Chinese Piano Competition in New York. In October 2011, he made his debut at the Louvre Auditorium in Paris, and was a Semi-Finalists in the International Seoul Piano Competition. He is currently a Masters candidate at The Juilliard School.

The Hilton Head International Piano Competition is one of the leading piano competitions in the United States. Held annually since 1996, the HHIPC has attracted applicants from over 40 countries. The Competitors range in age from 18 – 30 who compete for $35,000 in prizes, plus additional performance opportunities.

Winner of the First Prize will received $15,000, a performance at Carnegie’s Weill Hall and a return engagement with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra on Monday, January 28, 2013. The Second Prize Winner receives $10,000, Third Prize Winner $5,000, three Medalists will receive $1,000 each, and four special prizes of $500 will be awarded.

Seven distinguished Judges selected the First, Second and Third Prize Winners. They narrowed the field from twenty Competitors to six Semifinalists, again to three Finalists, and then chose the First, Second and Third Prize Winners.

Internationally renowned pianist, Arie Vardi, chaired this year’s Competition Jury. He began his musical career at the age of 15 and went on to receive international acclaim as one of the country’s foremost pianists. The other jurors were: Miriam Conti, an Argentine/American pianist known for her technical brilliance and striking originality; Tamás Ungár, who has earned worldwide fame for his powerful performances; Enrique Graf, a winner of all the national titles in his native Uruguay before coming to the United States; Hiroko Nakamura; a child prodigy from Japan who has given over 3700 performances worldwide; Daejin Kim; a concert artist and international juror and teacher; and John Perry, who enjoys an international reputation as both a teacher, presenting master classes throughout the world.

The three Competition Finalists vied for the top prize Monday night before a sold-out audience. They performed their concertos to standing ovations with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Principal Guest Conductor John Morris Russell.

The Hilton Head International Piano Competition is presented by the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra. For additional information, contact the HHIPC office at (843) 842-5880 or log onto www.hhipc.org.


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