Planet Princeton

Princeton Festival Piano Competition Winners

Johns Hopkins University student Constance Kaita, who is interning with the  Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra this summer, was named most outstanding performer at the 8th annual Princeton Festival Piano Competition last weekend.
Johns Hopkins University student Constance Kaita, who is interning with the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra in West Windsor this summer, was named most outstanding performer at the 8th annual Princeton Festival Piano Competition last weekend.

 

Six winners emerged from the finals of The Princeton Festival’s eighth annual piano competition for young musicians on June 14 in the Clark Music Center at the Lawrenceville School.

One hundred seven young artists between the ages of  six and 25 competed in the preliminary rounds on June 6 and 7. Adjudicators Mikhail Yanovitsky, a concert pianist and teacher at Temple University, and J.Y. Song, a faculty at Mannes College and Juilliard,  chose three pianists in each category to compete in the final round.

The winners in each category:

● Elementary Artists (ages 6-9) – Petrina Steimel. Petrina, a third grader at Maryvale  French Immersion Program in Rockvile, Maryland, began studying piano at age four.  She now studies with Robert Durso. She has won awards in numerous piano  competitions in the Washington area.

● Intermediate Artists (ages 10-12) – Kasey Shao, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Kasey began studying piano at six, and was soon winning prizes. She has performed three times at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall. She is a cellist and violinist, as well as a basketball player.

● Junior Artists (ages 13-15) – James Yang is a student at Montgomery Upper Middle  School, and has been the winner in many competitions in the New Jersey and Tri  State area, including the Princeton Festival Competition in 2014. James has  performed in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum of  Art. He also plays alto saxophone, and is an avid fan of ultimate frisbee.

● Senior Artists (ages 16-18) – Vivian Tsai is a senior at Holmdel High School. She  studies with Phyllis Lehrer, professor at Westminster Choir College. Vivian has  been a winner at MTNA’s Senior Piano Performance Competition, NJMTA’s  Young Musicians Competition, and Music Fest’s Rising Talents Festival. At school, Vivian is a percussionist, choral member, accompanist, and tennis player.

● Four-hands (under 25) – Petrina Steimel and her brother, Preston Steimel. Preston is  a fifth grader at Maryvale French Immersion Program. Preston also studies with  Robert Durso and has won numerous awards in piano competitions in the  Washington area, including first place in the Bartok Competition (WMTA)  and Ensemble Competition (NVMTA) in 2014.

●Open Class (under 25) – Constance Kaita. Twenty year old Constance Kaita is a  college junior dually enrolled in John Hopkins University and Peabody Institute, studying piano under Yong Hi Moon. Constance has played in Alice Tully Hall in  Lincoln Center and Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall, and notably has also performed in Beijing, Shanghai, Taipei and the United Nations headquarters in events recognizing U.S.-China diplomatic relations.

●Richard Tang Yuk Award (Most Outstanding Performer) – Constance Kaita.

The piano competition is made possible by Jacobs Music.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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