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, Larissa Dedova, Chiu-Ling Lin, Alberto Reyes who selected the winners. Members, teachers and parents were in the enthusiastic audience.
Over the last fourteen 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.
The Scholarship Winners
- Serenity Fung, age 9, tied for third place in Group I. A resident of Somerset, she has studied piano for four years with Gloria Chu. The judges praised her musical and serious playing. This year she also received Honorable Mention in the piano solo category at the New Jersey Music Educators Association Young Artists Competition.
- Kevin Jang, age 7, tied for first place in Group I. He is a resident of Edison and studies with Yelena Ivanov. Kevin also plays the violin and has been a prize winner in both piano and violin competitions. The judges praised his musical, solid and artistic performance.
- Casey Jao, age 12, tied for third place in Group II. He started piano studies at the age of four and is currently a student of Julia Lam. The judges cited his solid technic and powerful sound. He has won numerous prizes in various competitions and has received his five-year trophy for the NJMTA recital audition.
- Natsumi Kataoka, age 10, received first place in Group II. She started her piano studies at the age of five while still living in Japan. Now a resident of Haworth, NJ, she studies with Yuan Sheng and Solomon Mikowsky. The judges praised her breathtaking performance, outstanding talent and excellent technique.
- Justine Korkor, age 16, tied for Second Place in Group IV. The judges praised the innate sense of drama in her performance and her intense rhythmic drive. A resident of Cherry Hill, Justine is a student of Veda Zuponcic. She plans to pursue classical music studies in college.
- Christopher Law, age 8, was awarded second place in Group I. Currently a student of Ryugin Mikuriya, Christopher has been studying piano since the age of five. The judges praised his wonderful tone and excellent melodic projection.
- Kimberly Li, age 11, tied for third place in Group II. A resident of Plainsboro, she studies with Marion Zarzeczna. She has participated in and won many competitions and enjoys playing the piano. The judges praised her good rhythm, good technic and great poise.
- Michelle Livengood, age 11, was awarded second place in Group II. She is a student of Victoria Mushkatkol in the Pre-College division of the Juilliard School. She began piano study at age five, and has received numerous awards during the past several years. The judges praised her outstanding great talent and her superb technical control and accuracy.
- George Lykogiannis, age 15, was awarded Second Place in Group 3. The judges praised his musicality, emotional freedom, and strong artistic temperament. A resident of Warren, George is a student of Yelena Ivanov. He has performed in solo competitions both at home and abroad, with outstanding results. He also studies the French Horn and has performed as principal horn with many bands and orchestras.
- Daniel Suo, age 13, was awarded First Place in Group 3. The judges praised his ‘impressive’ performance, calling it satistying in every aspect, both technically and musically. Daniel has been studying piano for seven years and is a student of Ingrid Clarfield, who says that he plays like a real artist with great flare and sensativity. Daniel has received honors also in other competitions in both New Jersey and New York.
- Michael Suo, age 9, tied for third place in Group I. A student of Ingrid Clarfield, Michael has won in the past three NJMTA competitions also. He is a resident of Princeton. The judges thanked him for a beautiful performance of the Chopin Nocturne in C minor.
- Brian Tran, age 13, was awarded Third Place in Group 3. The judges cited his good playing of a very difficult program. A student of Veda Zuponcic, Brian also has received honors in the NJMTA Young Artists Competition. A serious student, he has a gift for mathematics and he enjoys learning new repertoire.
- Katelyn Tran, age 7, tied for first place in Group I. She began studying piano at the age of four with her teacher Veda Zuponcic. A resident of Jackson, she has already won many prizes including a 1st place in the NJMTA Young Artists competition in 2000 and 2002. The judges cited her great talent and excellent potential.
- Theresa Yang, age 16, received First Place in Group IV. The judges called hers a professional performance, musically sophisticated and well prepared. A resident of West Windsor, she is a student of Ingrid Clarfield. She has participated also in other recent New Jersey auditions, receiving high honors. She is an active performer in recitals and in chamber music ensembles.
- Jeffrey Weng, age 16, tied for Second Place in Group IV. The judges cited his attention to details and the musicality of his performance. Jeffrey now studies with Sandra Carlock who says that he has a natural facility at the piano and has done wonderful work. He has a particular love of music of the Baroque and Classical periods.