2014 Young Artist Series - Piano Program
Eighteen-year-old pianist Mikowai Ashwill was born in California. He began his musical studies at age nine and currently studies at the Music Institute of Chicago under Ralph Neiweem and Claire Aebersold. He is a scholarship recipient of the National Chopin Foundation Scholarship 2012, and a Musichorale Scholarship competition winner in 2014. Along with these awards, he has also been a prize winner in the 2012 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, 2013 Hope College Young Artists Piano Competition, and 2013 DePauw Young Artists Piano Competition among others. Mikowai has performed at many major venues including; Millenium Park, Preston Bradley Hall, and Chicago’s classical radio station 98.7 WFMT.
Mikowai has participated in multiple music festivals including the Chicago Duo Piano Festival, and the 2013 Colburn Young Artists Piano Festival. He has taken masterclasses or studied under; Awadagin Pratt, James Giles, Robert Shannon, Paul Barnes, Scott McBride-Smith, Ory Shihor, and Meng-Chieh Liu.
This summer, Mikowai has been invited to participate in the Amalfi Coast International Music Festival in Italy as a part of the Young Artists Concert Series, and the prestigious Orford Arts Centre Academy in Quebec where he will study under Marc Durand. In addition, he will be featured on WFMT’s Introductions. Mikowai will be attending Northwestern University this fall.
Mikowai will be performing in Young Artist Series #1 on Thursday, July 17 at 5 pm in Sorrento.
Dan Cao earned his Master of Music degree at Northwestern University School of Music as a student of James Giles, having completed undergraduate studies as a scholarship student of Alan Chow at Northwestern. He has pursued additional work with Sylvia Wang and Elizabeth Buccheri in collaborative projects and appeared in a masterclass with Ory Shihor.
Dan was a prizewinner at the Thaviu-Isaak Endowed Piano Scholarship Competition and a finalist at the Carmel Music Society Piano Competition and the Northwestern Concerto and Aria Competition. He is currently on the piano faculty at New Music School in Chicago, IL and collaborates with singers and instrumentalists in the greater Chicago area. Dan also holds a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern in biological sciences with a concentration in neurobiology. He is currently studying privately with James Giles.
Dan will be performing in Young Artist Series #1 on Thursday, July 17 at 5 pm in Sorrento.
Hyoung Lok Choi
Pianist Hyoung Lok Choi was born in 1993 in the Republic of Korea. He graduated from Seoul Arts High School, and is now he is enrolled in Seoul National University, studying instrumental music.
When he was a student at Seoul Arts High School, Hyoung Lok won the first prize in the Suri Music Competition. Through
the winners concert, he played with Prime Philharmonic Orchestra in 2009. He was also a prizewinner in the Hankook Ilbo Competition, Korea Herald Music Competition, and others.
In 2013, Hyoung Lok won the first prize in the 39th Joongang Music Concours, gaining recognition as an emerging young pianist of the next generation. In May 2013, he played with Gangnam Symphony Orchestra at the Seoul Arts Center Concert Hall.
Hyoung Lok currently studies under professor Hee Sung Joo at Seoul National University.
Hyoung Lok will be performing in Young Artist Series #3 on Friday, July 25 at 12:30 pm in Naples.
Elizabeth Crecca is currently studying at the University of Michigan, where she is double majoring in piano performance and music theory. She is originally from Laramie, Wyoming. Elizabeth is the recipient of the Dorothy K. Roosevelt Piano Award, and has won top prizes in competitions such as the MTNA State and Regional Divisions, and the Lansing Matinee Musicale. Her principal teachers have included Logan Skelton, Theresa Bogard, Alla Latchininsky, and Silvana Santinelli. Elizabeth has studied and performed at the Montecito Summer Music Festival, Indiana University Piano Academy, and Northwestern High School Music Institute, where she has worked with artists such as Peter Takács, Christopher Harding, and Daniel Schene. Elizabeth has played in master classes for Jeremy Denk, Norman Krieger, Read Gainsford, and Louis Nagel. In addition to her solo work, Elizabeth currently plays in the University of Michigan Symphony Band, under the direction of Professor Michael Haithcock.
Elizabeth will be performing in Young Artist Series #2 on Sunday, July 20 at 9 pm in Maiori.
Charlotte Crosmer discovered a love for the violin growing up playing in a string quartet with her siblings. Since then, she has earned a BM in Violin Performance from the University of Central Arkansas where she served as concertmaster in the university orchestra and won the University’s concerto competition in 2008. As a soloist she has been heard with the Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, the Conway Symphony Orchestra, and the Missouri Symphony Orchestra. An enthusiastic fiddler as well, Charlotte first made a name for herself in the bluegrass world by winning the Arkansas State Fiddling Championship in 2002 and subsequently she performing as a guest soloist on NPR on Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion in 2003. Currently, she plays in the folk/bluegrass band Wych Elm which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Charlotte recently graduated from the University of Michigan with degrees in both Chamber Music and Violin Performance where she studied with Aaron Berofsky and this fall she will begin studies with Peter Otto at Cleveland State University.
Charlotte will be performing in Young Artist Series #2 on Sunday, July 20 at 9 pm in Maiori.
Evelyn Lee, age 22, was a winner at numerous competitions, including 1st place in the Young Artists category at the California Music Teachers’ National Association Competition, 1st in the Young Artists category at Southwestern Youth Music Festival, and a winner of the Music Teachers’ Association of California Artists of the Future Competition, among others. She performed as a soloist with Beach Cities Symphony and Southwestern Youth Music Festival Orchestra, and also performed at various venues throughout Southern California.
She is currently pursuing a B.M. at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Yoshikazu Nagai. She has also studied chamber music with Mack McCray last fall.
Evelyn will be performing in Young Artist Series #3 on Friday, July 25 at 12:30 pm in Naples.
Pianist Boyoung Kim is a senior at Seoul National University in South Korea. She previously graduated from the Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School. Boyoung won both the Open Class and Liszt Class 1st Prizes at the 18th Hong Kong-Asia Open Piano Competition, 1st Prize from the Estonian Academy of Music, and 1st Prize from the Theatre Music Concour.
She has given many recitals in Seoul, South Korea, including at Kumho Art Hall, Ewon Art Hall, Youngsan Grace Hall, and Youngsan Art Hall. She has also appeared in concert twice with the Bundang Junior Philharmonic Orchestra, twice with the Guri Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the USP Orchestra and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
Boyoung will be performing in Young Artist Series #1 on Thursday, July 17 at 5 pm in Sorrento.
Gregory started studying piano at age six. For the next 12 years, he studied piano performance and music theory with the late Nan Hillman and, on occasion, her husband Eric Hillman. He then enrolled at the University of Maryland as a Physics major and Piano Performance minor under the guidance of Dr. Cleveland Page, but quickly found that he wanted to pursue a Bachelor of Music degree as his major instead of a minor. So Gregory made the switch a year later and has been enjoying the decision for over a year now.
Gregory will be performing in Young Artist Series #2 on Sunday, July 20 at 9 pm in Maiori.
Zhongzhi Sun was born in 2000, started learning to play the electronic organ at the age of 5, and at the age of 9 he started his piano lessons. In 2013, he was admitted to the Central Conservatory of Music Middle School, he has studied under Professor Jin Zhang since then.
In October 2012, he won the 2nd prize in the 14th Xinghai Cup Piano Competition (Amateur group 4). In May 2013, he got the first place and special award of Beijing area in the 2nd Imola Competition (Youth group B). In October 2013, in the music festival organized by the American Association of Meihua International Music Foundation, he was awarded the 3rd Prize in the fifth Hailun Cup Piano Competition (Professional Group, middle school). Also in October 2013, Zhongzhi got the 1st place and special award in the 5th Kadanza Cup Piano Competition (Amateur, Youth Group A), the 1st place of Beijing Area in the 6th Steinway National Piano Competition (Professional Group A). Finally, in November 2013, Zhongzhi got the second place in the "Pearl River, Fort Caesar" National Youth Piano Competition (Amateur group 4).
Zhongzhi will be performing in Young Artist Series #1 on Thursday, July 17 at 5 pm in Sorrento.
Stela began her musical studies at the Stircea School of the Arts in Eastern Europe at the age of seven. She was a prize winner of numerous piano competitions and a participant in piano festivals across the United States and Europe including: the Carl Filtsch Piano Competition in Romania and Germany, the Franz Schubert Piano Competition in Bulgaria, the Long Beach Piano Competition in California, the Buckeye Piano Competition in Ohio, and the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. Currently, Stela is pursuing her Bachelor of Music Degree specializing in Classical Piano Performance under the guidance of Professor Larissa Dedova at the University of Maryland, College Park. She plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Film Scoring as well as Piano Performance.
Stela will be performing in Young Artist Series #1 on Thursday, July 17 at 5 pm in Sorrento.
Phoebe Wu, age 19, is a piano performance major studying with Dr. Logan Skelton in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance at the University of Michigan. She grew up in Los Gatos, California and previously studied with John McCarthy in San Francisco. She received first prize at the Eastern Music Festival Piano Competition in 2012 and subsequently performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In February 2014 Phoebe received second prize in the Young Artist Competition held by the Ann Arbor Society for Musical Arts at the University of Michigan. She has performed in masterclasses for Dr. Douglas Humpherys and William Wolfram.
Phoebe has a particular interest in new music and enjoys working with living composers. She also does performance art and writes poetry and short stories.
Phoebe will be performing in Young Artist Series #2 on Sunday, July 20 at 9 pm in Maiori.
Tony Siqi Yun
Tony Siqi Yun was born in 2001 in Toronto. At the age of four he began his piano studies. He is currently studying with professor Jin Zhang at the middle school affiliated to Central Conservatory of Music.
He took part in music festivals and concerts. He performed as a soloist in a series of concerts for the 60th Anniversary of the Wuhan Conservatory. He also played concertos with orchestras. In 2014 he went to Sichuang Conservatory International Piano Festival, where he studied with John O’Conor, Ian Hobson, Boaz Sharon,and was selected to perform in the final concert.
Tony is a laureate of the following youth piano competitions:
Second Prize and Silver Medal in the X International Competition for Young Pianists in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz in Ukraine (2013)
Encouragement Award in the 13th Ettlingen(Germany) International Competition for Young Pianists, Category A (2012)
First Prize in “Peal River﹒Kayserburg” National Youth Piano competition (2011)
Second Prize in “Cadenza” Chinese Works National Young Pianist Competition (2011)
Second Prize in “XingHai” National Youth Piano Competition (2010)
Tony will be performing in Young Artist Series #3 on Friday, July 25 at 12:30 pm in Naples.
Chuhan Zhang began her musical education at the age of 5. She entered the middle school of Shanghai Conservatory of Music at the age of 10, studying with Prof. Zhijue Chao and later with Prof. Yun Sun until 18 years old. In 2013, she was accepted by seven top music schools in US including Yale and Juilliard and is now studying at Yale School of Music with Deputy Dean Prof. Melvin Chen. Chuhan is accepted by Yale College Class of 2018 this year. She will continue to study at both Yale College for Bachelor’s degree and Yale School of Music for Master’s degree at the same time in the future four years.
At the age of six, Chuhan was awarded the Guinness World Record for her extraordinary ability to play 32 pieces consecutively all from memory. She played her first solo recital at the age of nine in her hometown. In 2006, when she was 12, she performed Mendelssohn Concerto No.1 with Qingdao Orchestra and Tianjin Orchestra. Chuhan Zhang is a winner of many competitions, including First Prize of Schumann International Junior Piano Competition, First prize of Gotrian- Steinweg International Junior Piano competition in Germany, Zhou Guangren ‘Young Pianist Award’ and Yamaha Piano Competition Conservatoire. She was also one of the youngest competitors of the 2012 Leeds Competition in UK.
Chuhan attended many music festivals and master classes during her study in Shanghai, including Hotchkiss Summer Portals (Chamber Music Program), Beijing International Music Festival and Shanghai Summer Institute. Masters including Gary Grafman, Arie Vardi, Karl-Heinz Kammerling, Pascal Roge, Fou Ts’ong, Robert McDonald and Bao Huiqiao all made great comments about Chuhan Zhang’s performance at their master classes.
Chuhan will be performing in Young Artist Series #3 on Friday, July 25 at 12:30 pm in Naples.