Shanghai piano students to compete at La Sierra
July 29, 2010
By Darla Martin Tucker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – (www.lasierra.edu) For the third year, a music conservatory in China is holding its annual piano competition at La Sierra University, affording its young students a chance to study here, win prizes and tour the United States.
The musicians, about 20 junior high and high school students, are arriving from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in Shanghai, China and surrounding areas this week to participate in the 2010 Across the Pacific Piano Camp and Competition. Opening ceremonies will take place at 6:30 p.m., July 31, at La Sierra’s Dining Commons, with competitive rounds held on Aug. 2 and 3. Three award-winning piano students from the conservatory will hold public recitals on Aug. 1 and 2, at 7:15 p.m. each day, in Hole Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free.
The students will take part in lessons and undergo coaching prior to competing.
The conservatory first selected La Sierra as its competition and performance venue in 2007. “The competition came to LSU due to our interest in Steinway pianos and our contacts who were familiar with our program of study here,” said Dr. Elvin Rodriguez, La Sierra’s director of keyboard studies and music technology. He heard of the possibility while attending a Steinway Society of Riverside and Coachella Valley board meeting four years ago. “As a vice president of programs at the time, I worked with Derry Fajid of Prosser Pianos [Steinway piano dealership in Rancho Mirage] to see if we could bring the venue to LSU,” Rodriguez said. He is currently a board director with the Steinway Society.
Rodriguez, together with international concert pianists Thomas Schumacher and Robert Estrin, will serve as competition judges. Schumacher is a professor emeritus of piano at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. who has lectured and performed around the world. Estrin is a concert pianist and presenter of historic piano concerts through “Living Pianos,” a program featured on PBS.
Pianists Byron Zhou, Angela Xu and Yinqi Zhu will give recitals on Aug. 1 and 2.
Zhou is a student at the Music Middle School, an affiliate of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. His music awards and performances include an invitation to play in the Piano Festival of the Arthur Rubenstein International Music Society in 2007 and a first prize win in the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition that year. In September 2008 he made his New York City debut at The Times Center. He has been an invited member of the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation Roster of Artists since 2007.
Last year, pianist Xu claimed second place in the Chinese section of the 2009 Steinway International Juvenile’s Piano Competition. In 2008 she won the first prize in the Across the Pacific Piano Camp and Competition and performed at the Steinway Hall in New York. Her accomplishments in 2007 included an invitation to membership with the Clarisse B. Kampel Foundation Roster of Artists.
Zhu entered the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in 2008. This year she participated in the second Takamatsu International Piano Competition. Her roster of awards includes first place in the 2007 Pacific Piano Camp competition, first place in the national junior Mozart competition as an accompanist in 2006 and third place in the national Beethoven Festival in Germany in 2005.
The competition and performance schedule is as follows:
Opening ceremony: LSU Dining Commons, July 31, 6:30 p.m.
- Preliminary round: Aug. 2 - 1:30 -5:30 p.m.
- Final round: Aug. 3 - 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Awards & Recitals, Hole Memorial Auditorium:
- Award Ceremony: Aug. 3 - 1:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 3 - 7 – 8:30 p.m.
- Recitals: Aug.1 - 7:15 p.m., Byron Zhou
Aug. 2 - 7:15 p.m., Angela Xu, Yinqi Zhu
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University