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Young pianists travel to Loyola to compete in international piano competition

July 17, 2009

Next week, Loyola University New Orleans will host the New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists featuring 12 young pianists competing for prestige and prizes totaling more than $20,000. Sponsored by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans, the week-long competition will take place July 19-26 in Roussel Performance Hall on Loyola’s main campus.

While Loyola has hosted the adult version of the competition for many years, this is the first year that the New Orleans International Piano Competition will feature young contestants. The adult competition, previously held each year at Loyola, will now take place every two years.

“MASNO owes much of the success of its annual New Orleans International Piano Competition and Keyboard Festival/Piano Institute to the excellent facilities so generously made available to us by Loyola,” said Dr. Daniel Weilbaecher, executive director of MASNO. “The quality and scope of MASNO’s premiere event would not be the same without this valuable partnership.”

Twelve semifinalists, all between 14 and 18 years of age, were chosen to compete from a field of more than 40 applicants from five countries. They are Ashley Hsu, USA; Connie Kim-Sheng, USA; Ivan Moshchuk, USA; Aleksandra Swigut, Poland; Andrew Tung, USA; Sean Yeh, USA; Jung-Yeon Yim, Korea; Christine Yoon, USA; Joon Yoon, Korea; Allen Yuan, USA; Fifi Zhang, USA; and Elaine Zhong, USA.

Each competitor will perform a 25-minute program during the first semifinal round of the competition, which takes place July 20 – 22 at 7 p.m. During the second semifinal round, held July 24 and 25 at 7 p.m., all competitors will convene again to perform a 15-minute program.

Following the last semifinal round performance on Friday, competition jurors will select five contestants to advance to the final round, which takes place on Sunday, July 26, at 2 p.m. This round will feature each of the finalists in a 25-minute performance. The jury will announce the winner at the conclusion of the final round.

The piano competition is open to the public. During the first semifinal round, tickets cost $20 for adults and $15 for students and senior citizens. For the second semifinal round, tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets cost $30 for adults and $25 for students and seniors for the final round of the competition.

To view a complete schedule of events, order tickets or for more information, visit MASNO’s Web site at www.masno.org or call 504-899-4826.

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