Each year, about 25-30 finalists are selected from among the many scholarship applicants by a panel of accomplished teachers who listen, anonymously to their audiotapes. At the recent auditions these finalists, ages 7-18, played two contrasting pieces from memory before three prominent adjudicators, Eteri Andjaparidze, Marvin Blickenstaff, and Sylvie Webb who selected the winners. Members, teachers and parents were in the enthusiastic audience.
Over the last ten years, more than 70 students have received Steinway Society scholarships. Many of the past winners have gone on to win other state and national prizes and study music in college. Each year $3,000 to $4,000 is granted. In the two previous years, Julia Lam of Bridgewater and Marion Zarzeczna of Trenton were honored for their students’ achievements. This year, the plaque will be presented to Ingrid Clarfield of Princeton, teacher of four of the scholarship winners.
The main purpose for the Steinway Society is to encourage young people to develop their musical talents. This past year the Society also established a developmental scholarship for beginning students in need of financial assistance in addition to their competitive scholarships. The first developmental scholarship was given to a student who attends the Trenton Community Music School. Next year the amount of money for developmental scholarships will double.
The Scholarship Winners
- Michelle Livengood, age 9, winner of the Freda Sanders Award for first place in Group 1 will receive the first place Sanders Award. A resident of Holmdel, she has studied piano for 4 _ years, most recently with Dr. Julia Lam. The judges praised her for her “mature, artistic performance.” Michelle has won numerous awards for her performances, including first place at the 1999 New Jersey Music Teachers’ Association Young Artists Competition, the Battleground Concerto Competition, and the Music Educators Association Young Pianist Competition. Michelle’s goal is to become both a teacher and a performer.
- Emiko Edwards, age 8, winner of the Louis Sanders Award for second place in Group 1, will receive the second place Sanders Award. A resident of West Windsor, she has studied piano for 2 _ years, more recently with Ingrid Clarfield. The judges praised her “graceful performance” and “wonderful technique.”
- Daniel Suo, age 11, a winner in Group 2, will receive the first place John and Diana Carter Award. A resident of Princeton, Daniel has been studying piano for 5 years, most recently with Ingrid Clarfield. In the judges’ view, Daniel gave a “wonderful performance” with “great artistry.” Among Daniel’s list of accomplishments are his participation in the Regional Bach Festival of Southern California, first place prize in the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Competition, a finalist in the NJMTA Young Artists Competition and a first place Steinway Society scholarship winner.
- Josephine Li, age 10, tied for second place in Group 2. A resident of Plainsboro, she has studied piano for 6 years with Marion Zarzeczna. Her accomplishments include awards in the NJMTA Competition, the Leschetizky Competition, the MEA Young Pianists Competition, and two previous Steinway Society scholarships. The judges praised her “wide range of dynamics and color.”
- Hannah Epstein, age 10, tied for second place winner in Group 2. A resident of Pennington, she has studied piano for 4 years at Westminster Conservatory with Dr. Ivo Kalchev. In 1998, she was the youngest winner of the Westminster Conservatory Scholarship Competition, and most recently, she performed in the Steinway Society Master Class with Jose Ramos-Santana. The judges praised her for a “poignantly beautiful” performance.
- Jeanette Fang, age 15, tied for the first place Jacobs Music Award in Group 3. A resident of Bridgewater, she has studied piano with her mother, Dr. Julia Lam, since the age of four. Currently, she studies with Robert McDonald at the Manhattan School of Music Preparatory Division. She was invited to play in the prestigious Gilmore International Keyboard Festival 2000 and was a featured soloist on the From the Top program, broadcast nationally from the Disney Institute in Florida. Her most recent awards include first place in the MTNA Eastern Division competition, third in the national round, first place in the Concerto Competition in the Preparatory Division at the Manhattan School of Music, a finalist in the Oberlin International Piano Competition, and a Steinway Scholarship winner in 1995 and 1997. She has been a featured soloist with the Manhattan School of Music Symphony Orchestra, the New Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey, and the Battleground Symphony Orchestra. As a first place winner in the Piano Teachers Society of America Competition, she made two appearances at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. Jeannette is interested in studying chamber music, and plans to attend the Yellow Barn Intensive Chamber Music Program this summer and the Juilliard Preparatory Division in the fall with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
- William Huang, age 13, tied for the first place Jacobs Music Award in Group 3. A resident of West Windsor, he is a student of Ingrid Clarfield, and has studied piano for 7 years. Among his many musical accomplishments, he has won top honors in the NJMTA Young Artists Competitions, the NJMTA annual Piano Auditions, and the New Jersey Young Pianist Competition. He has performed at the New York Steinway Hall Young Artist Series, and at the Cecilian Music Club competition at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. William also plays the violin in the West Windsor-Plainsboro Middle School orchestra, and is interested in studying jazz as well as classical music.
- Paul Kolb, age 13, a resident of Bridgewater, tied for the second place scholarship in Group 3. Paul is a student of Dr. Ferdinand Gajewski, and has studied piano for 7 years. This summer, Paul plans to study in Prague with Dr. Robert Roax, hoping to expand his piano repertoire and attend more live performances. The judges praised him for an “impressive performance…lovely tone and good balance.” As a winner of the Piano Teachers Society of America Competition, Paul has also performed in Weill Recital Hall.
- Andrew Nguyen, age 13, a resident of Mt. Laurel, tied for the second place scholarship in Group 3. Andrew has studied piano for 8 years, and is currently a student of Veda Zuponcic. The judges praised his “beautiful singing tone . . . gorgeous tone colors . . .breathtaking fluency.” Last Fall, Andrew also won first place in the NJMTA Young Artists competition and won two Steinway Society scholarships.
- Emily Huang, age 16, tied for the first place Don Friedman Memorial Award in Group 4. A resident of West Windsor, she has studied piano for 10 years, and is now a student of Ingrid Clarfield. Emily has many outstanding achievements in piano performance. This year, Emily was the winner of the Greater Princeton Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. In 1999, she was the second place Steinway Society Scholarship winner in the advanced group. For the past several years, Emily has won top honors in the NJMTA Young Artists Competition, the New Jersey Young Pianist Competition, the NJMTA Annual Auditions, and the Cecilian Music Club Competition. She has performed in New York at Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, at CAMI Hall, and at Steinway Hall.
- Jaime Madell, age 16, tied for the first place Don Friedman Memorial Award for in Group 4. A resident of Fort Lee, he has been studying piano for 10 years, most recently with Evelyn Golz Ulrich at the Manhattan School of Music, Preparatory Division. The judges were impressed with his artistry and “fabulous fluency.” Jaime was also a recent finalist in the concerto competition at the Manhattan School of Music. An avid jazz enthusiast, he will play several jazz compositions during the reception in addition to his award-winning classical piece during the Awards Musicale.
- Yurika Moribe, age 17, tied for second place in Group 4. An exchange student from Japan, Yurika lives in West Windsor and has studied piano for 12 years. She is currently a student of Maria Zolotareff. The judges praised her “beautiful expressive performance . . . great singing line and balanced tone.”
- Arnold Park, age 16, tied for second place in Group 4. A Lawrenceville resident, Arnold has studied piano for 11 years and is currently a student of Marion Zarzeczna. Arnold also plays the cello, and participates in the Chamber Music Club at the Lawrenceville School. Arnold twice won Steinway Society Scholarships, and was a first place winner in the Russell Lanning Competition. He won top honors in the MEA Young Pianists Competition, and a gold medal in the Young Pianists Concerto Competition. Other awards include a seven-year trophy for high honors in the NJMTA Competitions, five scholarships from the Westminster Conservatory competitions, three-time winner of the Westminster Concerto Competition, winner of the Battleground Arts Center Concerto Competition, and the Louis Kotlus Memorial Award.