Concerto Competition Winners
Nicole Vodang Ho
Dalton Yu is currently a 12th grade student at Troy High School in Fullerton, CA. He has been playing piano for 10 years. Over the last three years, he has been studying piano under Dr. Doris Chiang. He has won top prizes at several competitions, including the MTAC State Concerto Competition and State Solo Competition, the MTNA State Competition, the Audrey Thayer Piano Competition, the Renée B. Fisher Piano Competition, and the International Young Artist Piano Competition in Washington D.C. In 2014, Dalton was selected to give the world premiere of Garrett Schumann’s “For Piano”, a contemporary composition piece for solo piano. In addition, he was selected as an MTAC state piano panel finalist in 2016. Dalton has been invited to perform at several notable venues, such as Steinway Hall in NYC and Lincoln Center. He has also collaborated with other young artists on piano in various ensemble groups. In 2012, he was invited to perform the Schubert Trout Quintet with members of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, and in 2013, he performed in the Leon Tec Showcase as part of a piano trio playing the Brahms Horn Trio. In the future, Dalton plans to continue studying piano as a piano major in college.
Hong-An Hoang, born in 2002, is a freshman at Bolsa Grande High School in Garden Grove, California.
She began her piano studies at the age of six at the Saigon Conservatory of Music and is currently studying with Molly Nguyen at Little Chopin Piano School. She has won numerous awards national and international level. In April, she won 1st place in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International London Competition and was invited to perform in London's Royal Albert Hall. She has also won second place in the American Protege Concerto Competition and will be heading to New York City this December for her performance at Carnegie Hall. In January, An and her partner won second place in the United States International Duo Piano Competition and performed in one of the biggest hotels in the United States- Broadmoor Five Stars Hotel. An has an amazing opportunity to work with world renowned violinist Drew Tretick and they will be performing together at Richard Nixon's Library in October, 2017.
An has also participated and won in many local and state competitions including the Sonata-Sonatina Competition, CAPMT district VIII Concerto Competition, 2016 MTAC Concerto Competition, Diamond Bar Performing Arts Challenge, the United States Open Music Competition, Musical Arts of Orange County Piano Competition and various open categories at the Southwestern Youth Music Festival.
Aside from playing the piano, she enjoys singing in her school's choir. An loves to play badminton, swim and help out at her piano school.
Mi-Hyun Suh, age 13, is going to be a freshman at Diamond Bar High School. She developed her love for music at a very young age. As a toddler she enjoyed experimenting on the piano keyboard and singing. She began her serious music studies by receiving voice training and then piano lessons at age 5. She is currently studying piano with Dr. Kookhee Hong. She has won many awards with piano. Last year, she was announced as one of the Grand Prize winners of the MTAC OC Branch Theme Festival. Mi-Hyun also has been awarded in a variety of advanced categories in SYMF. As of chamber music, she is in the Meisll Trio. She plays the flute as well and will be a member of the Diamond Bar High School Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. Last orchestra season, she was given the title as Principal Flutist and the winner of the concerto competition in the Claremont Young Musicians Orchestra. Outside of music, Mi-Hyun enjoys drawing, reading, and running. She wishes to pursue music as a career and dreams of becoming a music professor and a fine musician.
Andrew Edwards, pianist, is a student of Sofia Zukerman. Andrew has been a recipient of many awards and honors since he began lessons at the age of 8. He presented his first full-length solo recital at the age of 13. An avid composer, Andrew composed his first two-piano work that same year, which he performed at the MTAC Convention for the Composers Today Winners Concert. Andrew received first place in the Glendale Piano Competition, the Musical Arts Competition of Orange County, the MTAC Orange Branch Theme Festival and the Open Solo and Concerto Divisions of the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. He has been a winner in the Southern California Junior Bach Festival and a silver medalist in the SCJBF Complete Works Auditions. Andrew has also garnered top awards in the CAPMT Honors Auditions, the CAPMT State Concerto Competition as well as first place in the MTAC Orange Branch Concerto Competition in 2016. He has been concerto soloist with the Southern California Philharmonic and presented solo recitals for the Nixon Library Concert Series for two consecutive seasons. In addition, Andrew received the National Piano Guild High School Diploma, as well as the prestigious Young Musicians Foundation Scholarship Award. Most recently, he was selected as a National YoungArts Foundation Merit Winner.
Andrew has performed in masterclasses for Lidia Boguslavsky, Carol Leone, Eduardo Delgado, Stewart Gordon, Antoinette Perry, Dmitry Rachmanov and Sergey Schepkin. He enjoys improvisation as well as creating compositions for piano and other instruments. One of his favorite hobbies is orchestrating and arranging piano music and orchestral repertoire. In the Fall, Andrew plans to major in music with an emphasis in Piano Performance at the University of Southern California, where he will study with Jeffrey Kahane.
Pianist Nicole Ho, born in 2004 and a native of Southern California, is going on to attend eighth grade in the Arcadia School District. At the age of two, she was inspired by her mother who was a piano teacher at the time. Ever since then, she was drawn to the grandeur and sound of the piano.
Throughout her years of playing piano, Nicole has been very fortunate to have trained under the instruction of pianists Nghiêm Phú Phi, Bao Minh, and Molly Nguyen (Little Chopin Piano School Principal). Molly Nguyen, who is her current teacher at the moment, has helped Nicole flourish in her skill and performance on the piano. She remembers when she first started lessons with Mrs. Molly and jokingly reminisces about being terrified because she was not only the principal, but also had a scary reputation for yelling. She says that before Mrs. Molly came into her life, she thought of piano as something she liked to do but felt that she would never be successful in. Practicing was usually no more than one hour and performing was never her thing because she was afraid of the crowd and the stage alike. She describes her first lessons with Molly as devastating because of how high expectations were and how much was assigned. However, because of these high standards, Nicole has been able to find her passion for the piano. “Piano is like my stress-reliever from school and after school tutoring. I don’t mind performing in front of an audience or practicing for three or more hours. I don’t notice the crowd around me anymore. I just think about the music, and play with my heart.”
Nicole has won a variety of awards including 1st place in the United States Open Music Competition for Classical Category in 2016 as well as 3rd in the United States Open Senior Division for Treasury of Romantic Composers and 2nd at the SYMF in the Open Chopin category. Recently, Nicole won 1st place in the Sonata Sonatina competition held in June and additionally won 1st MTAC Concerto Competition Grand Prize held in 2017.
Besides her passion for piano, she also plays golf and has been successful in competitive tournaments such as those held by the Junior PGA Tour. Furthermore, she extends her love for music with the violin, which she has been playing for five years. During her leisurely time, she enjoys fashion and photography.
Nicole says that she is delighted and excited to have been chosen as the Grand Prize winner in the MTAC Concerto Competition and is looking forward to performing with the Orange County Symphony Orchestra.
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