15-Year-Old Hong Kong Native Aristo Sham Wins 2011 E-Piano Junior Competition

7/18/2011 [Pianos & Keyboards]

e-Piano Junior Competition Winner Artisto Sham, with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Video sync playback of Sham's winning performance, made possible by Yamaha Disklavier technology.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.— Aristo Sham, a 15-year-old from Hong Kong, was named First Prize winner of the 2011 Minnesota e-Piano Junior Competition in Minneapolis on July 8, 2011. As winner, Sham will receive a cash prize of $8,000. Sham also received two special prizes, for the performance of the obligatory Schubert piece in the Second Round and Variations in the Semi-Finals.

Second prize winner Tristan Teo, 14, from Canada; third prize winner Su Yeon Kim, 17, of South Korea; and fourth prize winners Annie Zhou, 13 of Canada and Misora Ozaki 15, from Japan, were the four other finalists who emerged from the competition’s earlier rounds. No fifth prize was awarded. Seventy-two participants, ages 12-17, from 10 different countries participated in this year’s competition.

In addition to the first prize of $8,000, other cash prizes awarded were $5,000 (second prize), $3,000 (third prize) and $2,000 (fourth prize). The five finalists performed in concerto rounds with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall on July 8, after which the winner was announced.

“We congratulate Aristo on his impressive win and acknowledge the entire field of competitors on their poise and artistry,” says Yamaha Artist Services Director Bonnie Barrett. “We’re pleased that their participation also afforded them the unique opportunity to experience the exquisite Yamaha DCFX Disklavier.”

“I would have to say,” notes Alexander Braginsky, “that even by today’s high standards, to which we are getting quickly accustomed, the 2011 e-Piano Junior stood out not only by the number of young pianists performing the most difficult pieces with amazing ease, but demonstrating lively and individual approach to music.”

Earlier this year, Yamaha introduced the DCFX Disklavier Mark IV PRO™ concert grand piano. The handcrafted instrument incorporates the unsurpassed functionality of the Yamaha Disklavier PRO™ performance-reproducing piano into the acclaimed CFX concert grand

Introduced in January 2010 in the United States, the 9’ CFX concert grand is Yamaha’s flagship concert grand model. Incorporating the sum total of Yamaha’s piano manufacturing expertise and technology, the new model replaces the acclaimed CFIIIS concert grand piano. In addition to drawing on its 108-year heritage of manufacturing the world’s finest pianos, the instrument represents 19 years of research and development conducted by Yamaha craftsmen, designers and engineers, to create this extraordinary handcrafted piano. The process culminated with a series of top-secret, in-depth evaluation sessions conducted in New York, Paris and Tokyo with top artists and Yamaha artist services over the last few years.

The distinguished jury for the 2011 Recital and Final Rounds in Minneapolis - St. Paul was chaired by Alexander Braginsky of the United States and included Akiko Ebi, Stanislaw Pochekin, Jerome Rose, Sontraud Speidel, Blanca Uribe, Arie Vardi and Oxana Yablonskaya. Visit the International Jury web page to read their bios.

Audition recitals and final round performances are available for the general public to download as MIDI files onto their own computers, or onto their own Disklavier pianos, from the Piano-e-Competition home page. To learn more, visit http://www.piano-e-competition.com.

For a multimedia presentation on the competition and how it works, click here.

About the e-Piano Junior International Competition

At invitation-only screened auditions held in Vancouver, Los Angeles, Moscow, Tokyo, Toronto, Paris and New York City, 72 young pianists - chosen from an unprecedented number of applicants from around the world - entered their digitally videotaped and recorded MIDI performances on Yamaha Disklavier Pro concert pianos.

In early February, a three-member screening panel judged the contestants' performances using another Disklavier Concert Grand piano and a large projection video screen at Yamaha Artist Services in New York. In late June, 25 finalists traveled to Minneapolis for the four live rounds, which included a required short work by Schubert and a set of Variations by Beethoven or Mendelssohn, as well as a performance of a concerto movement with the Minnesota Orchestra.

For more information, write Yamaha Corporation of America, P.O. Box 6600, Buena Park, CA 90622; telephone (714) 522-9011; e-mail infostation@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/press.

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