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NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR

The Celia Méndez young pianists beethoven competition

April 4-5, 2020 | San José, California

 

 

FEATURING A CONCERT BY MASTER TEACHER

JULIAN JACOBSON

 
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OUR PHILOSOPHY

The Young Pianist's Beethoven competition was founded in 1987 by Celia Méndez, a San José private piano teacher, with the purpose of creating an artistic learning experience and a pedagogical tool for California High School students that would inspire and support them in their study of Beethoven's piano sonatas. Consistent with this purpose, the "prize" of the competition is participation in a master class given to the three finalists by an internationally renowned artist. Added awards are performing opportunities such as the one offered in the past by the "Grand Piano" television program and presently by the Steinway Society The Bay Area--and a monetary prize, this last one having only an ancillary character.

In order to emphasize the artistic-pedagogical tenets of this competition, the focus has been diverted from the order of placement (first, second and third place) to the recognition of overall artistic merit by selecting three award winners to participate in the master class without assigning them first, second or third places.

The process of selection starts with a preliminary evaluation of the taped performances submitted by the contestants. From these taped performances a panel of judges selects six finalists to participate in the final competition held at San José State University's School of Music and Dance.

The elements that determine the selection of the students are: individuality of interpretation, communication on an emotional level, general musicality, and stylistic understanding. Great performances are always individual, thoughtful, and touch the spirit. Although technical mastery is a "must," it should be reiterated that the true aim of this competition is to encourage performances of Beethoven's sonatas which reflect unique personal expression and which are original within the context of broad stylistic performance traditions. It should always be kept in mind that as confirmed by recent scholarship Beethoven's playing "was oriented toward the goal of emotional expression."

2018 Competition; Ronald Brautigam, Master Teacher

In order to expand the participation of professional musicians in the activities of this event we request the cooperation of members of the California professional music associations as members of the committee or as adjudicators. An effort is also made to include in the final competition a judge who resides in Southern California.

It should be noted that the professional ethic and the standing in the musical community of the judges that have served in the YPB competitions have precluded any consideration in reaching their final decisions, other than their artistic convictions and the goals of the competition (judges do not have access to the programs distributed to the public during the finals). Great effort is made to control the factors that can guarantee the fairness of the procedures, such as assuring the anonymity of the contestant's teachers.

As expressed by Dr. Thomas Wendel, former president of the American Beethoven Society, "In an age in which young people are far less exposed to classical music than in past times, we believe that the YPB competition has ever greater relevance. Perhaps of all composers, it is Beethoven who can best help shape youthful ideals of truth, beauty, and intellectual integrity, qualities that particularly define the thirty-two piano sonatas."

ELIGIBILITY

  • Open to all California residents attending high school (grades 9-12) in the 2019-2020 school year.

  • Past winners are not eligible to participate.

REPERTORY

  • J.S. Bach. Any prelude and fugue from the Well Tempered Clavier, books 1 or 2.

  • Beethoven. Any complete piano sonata from Opus 2, no. 1, to and including Opus 90, but excluding 49, nos. 1 and 2.

AWARDS

Three winners will be selected from the six finalists. Each winner will perform in the masterclass with Julian Jacobson and receive a monetary prize of $250. The three other finalists will each receive a $100 prize. Upon request, finalists residing outside the San Francisco Bay area will be provided with accommodations. In addition, finalists from Southern California will be provided with airfare ($200 maximum).

PRELIMINARY AUDITION

A screening panel of judges will select six finalists and one alternate to participate in the final competition. The six finalists and alternate will be contacted by telephone on Monday, March 9, 2020. The names of the six winners and one alternate will be posted on the American Beethoven Society’s website (americanbeethovensociety.org) on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Comments from the preliminary judges will be mailed to all contestants on Wednesday, March 11, 2020.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The three winners will be chosen on the criteria of emotional expressiveness, individuality of interpretation, and stylistic understanding of how to perform Baroque works and Beethoven’s music, which contains both Classical and Romantic styles. Emotional expressiveness will be valued higher than technical proficiency. Contestants are encouraged to study and/or perform from a critical edition.

HOW TO APPLY

Application must include:

  • A completed official entry form.

  • Four (4) copies of a high quality compact disc of the works chosen from the required repertory played by the applicant. Please do not write on the CDs because they evaluated anonymously. CDs that are edited will be eliminated from the competition. DVDs are not allowed. Students are requested to make a separate track for the prelude and fugue and for each movement of the sonata.

  • A non-refundable registration fee of $50, payable to the American Beethoven Society.

In order to continue to maintain the educational purposes of this competition and because the number of entries has doubled in recent years, teachers may enter no more than three (3) students from their studios each year.

 
 
 

ANNOUNCING MASTER TEACHER:
JULIAN JACOBSON

One of Britain’s most creative and distinctive pianists, Julian Jacobson is an alumnus of the Royal College of Music, Oxford University and the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. He performs regularly at the major London venues including Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room and has toured in more than 40 countries world wide. He has partnered many leading instrumentalists including Zara Nelsova, Ivry Gitlis, Nigel Kennedy and Steven Isserlis. Chairman of the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe, he gave his first “marathon” performance of all 32 sonatas from memory in a single day in 2003, repeated in 2004 and 2013. He is currently recording the cycle.

“A disarming technique coupled with an undoubted intellectual mastery made Julian Jacobson’s recital an awe-inspiring experience...” – Daily Telegraph

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2020 COMPETITION COMITTEE

  • Celia Mendez (founder & honorary member)

  • Ellen Tryba Chen (chairperson)

  • Erica Buurman (Beethoven Center director)

  • Ted Lorraine

  • Marilyn Sefchovich

2020 FINAL COMPETITION JUDGES

  • Daniel Glover (Notre Dame de Namur University)

  • Nicholas Mathew (UC Berkeley)

  • Teresa McCullough (Santa Clara University)

2020 PRELIMINARY JUDGES

  • Natalya Lundtvedt

  • Donna Stoering

  • Karin Swanson

SPECIAL THANKS

This competition is made possible through the generous contributions of The Horace Dodge Endowment Fund, Silicon Valley Creates, Office of Cultural Affairs of the City of San José, Music Village, Ellen Tryba Chen, Celia Mendez, and Jack H. Silveria.


2020 final competition SCHEDULE

TICKETS (AVAILABLE SOON)

Competition & Masterclass
FREE ADMISSION

Concert
$30 General Admission
$80 Reserved Seats & Private Reception w Artist
FREE to students

SATURDAY, APRIL 4, 2020

COMPETITION

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION

MASTERCLASS

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
FREE ADMISSION

SUNDAY, APRIL 5, 2020

CONCERT

2:00 p.m.

ALL-BEETHOVEN PROGRAM
Polonaise op. 89
Bagatelles op. 119, nos. 7-11 Piano Sonata op. 31, no. 2 (“Tempest”)
Piano Sonata op. 106 (“Hammerklavier”)

 
 
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Past Master Teachers

1st (1987): Jörg Demus

2nd (1988): Alfred Kanwischer

3rd (1989): Richard Goode

4th (1990): Malcolm Bilson

5th (1991): Claude Frank

6th (1992): Garrick Ohlsson

7th (1993): Yefim Bronfman

8th (1994): Christopher O'Riley

9th (1995): Grant Johanessen

10th (1996): Steve Lubinn

11th (1997): Daniel Pollack

12th (1998): John O'Conor

13th (1999): Seymour Lipkin

14th (2000): Robert Taub

15th (2001): Malcolm Bilson

16th (2002): Russell Sherman

17th (2003): Ian Hobson

18th (2004): Anton Kuerti

19th (2005): Charles Rosen

20th (2006): Menahem Pressler

21st (2007): John Perry

22nd (2008): Craig Sheppard

23rd (2009): Angela Hewitt

24th (2010): Christopher O'Riley

25th (2011): Kirill Gerstein

26th (2012): Ronald Brautigam

27th (2013): Stephan Moeller

28th (2014): Angela Hewitt

29th (2015): Mari Kodama

30th (2016): Jonathan Biss

31st (2017): Ronald Brautigam

32nd (2018): Jon Nakamatsu

33rd (2019): Paul Lewis

 
 

Past FINALISTS

in alphabetical order by last name;
* indicates winners who participated in the master class

2019

MASTER TEACHER: Paul Lewis

FINALISTS

Eugene Han (La Habra, CA), 12th grade at Orange County School of Arts. Sonata No. 7 in D Major, op. 10, no. 3

Jonathan Hou (Cupertino, CA), 11th grade at Menlo School. Sonata No. 12 in A-flat Major, op. 26

Catherine Huang (San Jose, CA), 11th grade at Lynbrook High School. Sonata No. 26 in E-flat Major, op. 81a

Parker Van Ostrand (Sacramento, CA), 10th grade at C.K. McClatchy High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57

Richard Qiu (Newberry Park, CA), 12th grade at Newbury Park High School. Sonata No. 21 in C Major, op. 53

Justin Wahby (Elk Grove, CA), 10th grade at Franklin High School. Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, op. 31, no. 2

ALTERNATES

First alternate: Grace Chen (Cupertino, CA), 10th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57

Second alternate: Joshua Kushner (San Jose, CA), 11th grade at Leland High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57

HONORABLE MENTION

Josephine Chou (Saratoga, CA), 10th grade at Saratoga High School. Sonata No. 15 in D Major, op. 28


2018

MASTER TEACHER: Jon Nakamatsu

FINALISTS

*Ethan Andrew Chi (Cupertino, CA), 12th grade at Redwood Grove Academy. Sonata No. 21 in C Major, op. 53

*Jessica Li (Santa Clara, CA), 9th grade at Cupertino High School. Sonata No. 24 in F-sharp Major, op. 78

Dominic Pang (San Jose, CA), 10th/11th grade (homeschooled). Sonata No. 16 in G Major, op. 31, no. 1

Zhuoran Tao (Palo Alto, CA), 12th grade at Gunn High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57

Sally Yapto (Los Angeles, CA), 10th grade at American University Preparatory School. Sonata No. 2 in A Major, op. 2, no. 2

*Ethan Yuen (Palo Alto, CA), 10th grade at Gunn High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57

ALTERNATE

Anna F. Yakura (Santa Monica, CA), 10th grade at Santa Monica High School. Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, op. 31, no. 2

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Grace Chen (Cupertino, CA), 9th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata No. 17 in D Minor, op. 31, no. 2

Hannah Lin (San Jose, CA), 11th grade at Los Gatos High School. Sonata no. 4 in E-flat Major, op. 7

Ankur Mukhopadhyay (Lake Elsinore, CA), 10th grade at Elsinore High School. Sonata No. 21 in C Major, op. 53

Roger Xia (Davis, CA), 10th grade at Davis Senior High School. Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, op. 57


2017

MASTER TEACHER: Roland Brautigam

FINALISTS

*Cameron Akioka, Palo Alto. 11th grade at Palo Alto High School. Sonata no. 4 in E-flat Major, Opus 7

*Caroline Ho, Santa Monica. 12th grade at Santa Monica High School. Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57

Ophir Horovitz, Los Altos. 11th grade at Stardust Learning Studio. Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a

Catherine Huang, San Jose. 9th grade at Lynbrook High School. Sonata no. 3 in C Major, Opus 2, no. 3

Erica Mineo, Cupertino. 12th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata no. 17 in D Minor, Opus 31, no. 2

*Yoko Nagafuchi, Irvine. 12th grade at Woodbridge High School. Sonata no. 4 in E-flat Major, Opus 7

ALTERNATE

Charlotte Wong, San Mateo. 9th grade at Aragon high School. Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2


2016

MASTER TEACHER: Jonathan Biss

FINALISTS

*Anna Boonyanit, Redwood City. 11th grade at Menlo School. Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a

*Heather Hsun Chang, Palo Alto. 11th grade at Gunn High School. Sonata no. 7 in D Major, Opus 10, no. 3

*Kyle Fang, Walnut Creek. 10th grade at Valley View Charter Prep. Sonata no. 13 in E-flat Major, Opus 27, no. 1

Erica Mineo, Cupertino. 11th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata no. 27 in E Minor, Opus 90

Yoko Nagafuchi, Irvine. 11th grade at Woodbridge High School. Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57

Jessica Yeung, Davis. 11th grade at Da Vinci Charter Academy. Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a

ALTERNATE

Andrew Lin, San Jose. 10th grade at Lynbrook High School. Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2


2015

MASTER TEACHER: Mari Kodama

FINALISTS

Wei-hsi Elaine Lin, Fremont. 11th grade at Mission San Jose High School. Sonata no. 18 in E-flat Major, Opus 31, no. 3

* Vincent Liu, San Ramon. 10th grade at Dougherty Valley High School. Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57

Erica Mineo, Cupertino. 10th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata no. 15 in D Major, Opus 28

Yoko Nagafuchi, Irvine. 10th grade at Woodbridge High School. Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2

* Han B. (Diana) Shin, Buena Park. 12th grade at Orange County School of the Arts. Sonata no. 3 in C Major, Opus 2, no. 3

* Jady Wei, Cupertino. 12th grade at Monta Vista High School. Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Jolie Huang, Granite Bay. 11th grade at Granite Bay High School. Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57

Michael Ko, San Jose. 11th grade at Leland High School. Sonata no. 3 in C Major, Opus 2, no. 3


2014

MASTER TEACHER: Angela Hewitt

FINALISTS

*Tyler Hayford, Santa Cruz. 11th grade at Pacific Collegiate School. Sonata no. 15 in D Major, Opus 28

*Shota Homma, Los Gatos. 10th grade at Los Gatos High School. Sonata no. 12 in A-flat Major, Opus 26

Vincent Liu, San Ramon. 9th grade at Dougherty Valley High School. Sonata no. 21 in C Major, Opus 53

Eun Young Park, Santa Clara. 12th grade at Cupertino High School. Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2.

*Hanson Tam, Hillsborough. 11th grade at Menlo School. Sonata no. 27 in E Minor, Opus 90

Carol Yao, Pleasanton. 12th grade at Foothill High School. Sonata no. 11 in B-fat Major, Opus 22

ALTERNATE

Yoko Nagafuchi, Irvine. 9th grade at Woodbridge High School. Sonata no. 21 in C Major, Opus 53

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Shiyi Andy Sheng, San Jose. 10th grade at Evergreen Valley High School. Sonata no. 7 in D Major, Opus 10, no. 3

Vivian Sung, Dublin. 12th grade at Dublin High School. Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a

Amy Zeng, Pleasanton. 11th grade at Foothill High School. Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a


2013

MASTER TEACHER: Stephan Moeller

FINALISTS

Madeline Anderson, 12th grade at Ocean Grove Charter School, Monterey. Sonata in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2. Teacher: Hans Boepple

*Alex Chein, 9th grade at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose. Sonata in E-flat Major, Opus 81a. Teacher: Kai Chi Zhu

Connie Chen, 12th grade at Amador Valley High School, in Pleasanton. Sonata in D Major, Opus 10, no. 3. Teacher: Dr. William Wellborn

*Robert Pearce, 12th grade at Branson High School in Corte Madera. Sonata in E-flat Major, Opus 31, no. 3. Teacher: Dr. William Wellborn

*Cynthia Sun, 11th grade at St. Francis High School in Sunnyvale. Sonata in F Minor, Opus 57. Teacher: Thomas Schultz

Weian Wang, 12th grade at Lynbrook High School in Saratoga. Sonata in C Major, Opus 53. Teacher: Dr. William Wellborn

ALTERNATE

Jason Kim, an 11th grade at Westview High in San Diego. Sonata in E Minor, Opus 90. Teacher: Bernadene Blaha

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Andrew Chan, 11th grade at Gunn High School in Palo Alto.

Anyan Cheng, 11th grade at Lowell High School in San Francisco.

Zachary Isaac, 11th grade at Las Lomas High School Walnut Creek.

Agata Sorotokin, 10th grade at the Harker School in San Jose.

Elias Wu, 11th grade at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose.


2012

MASTER TEACHER: Ronald Brautigam

FINALISTS

Shanice Aaron (Sherman Oaks), Sonata in B-flat Major, Opus 22 Teacher: Anli Lin Tong

Tyler Chen Hayford (Santa Cruz), Sonata in C Major, Opus 53, Waldstein Teacher: Vlada Moran

* Sam Kinsey (Northridge), Sonata in D Major, Opus 10, no. 3 Teacher: Antoinette Perry

* Kai Ono (Irvine), Sonata in E Minor, Opus 90 Teacher: Chi Asada

* Stephanie Tang (Upland), Sonata in F Minor, Opus 57, Appassionata Teacher: Ory Shihor

Rebecca Wuu (Fremont), Sonata in E-flat Major, Opus 81a, Les Adieux Teacher: Hans Boepple

ALTERNATE

Magdalene Peng (Palo Alto), Sonata in F-sharp Major, Opus 78 Teacher: Karen Lin Peng

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Renny Ko (San Jose), Teacher: Erna Gulabyan

Brandon Shih (Cupertino), Teacher: Jinye Wang


2011

MASTER TEACHER: Kirill Gerstein

FINALISTS

Amber Hou (Cupertino, CA): Opus 53

Joanne Kim (Carmichael, CA): Opus 78

Mai Mizuno (Campbell, CA): Opus 28

* Ben-Han Sung (Lake View Terrace, CA): Opus 78

* Wesley Tiu (Chatsworth, CA): Opus 57

* Ray Hua Wu (Fremont, CA): Opus 90

ALTERNATE

Christina Wu (Saratoga, CA): Opus 7

HONORABLE MENTION

Crystal Liu (Palo Alto, CA): Opus 90


2010

MASTER TEACHER: Christopher O'Riley

FINALISTS

Mai Mizuno (Campbell): Opus 13

*Hugo Kitano (San Francisco): Opus 27, no. 1

Crystal Liu (Palo Alto): Opus 31, no. 2

Jade Huang (Granite Bay): Opus 53

* Theodora Martin (San Jose): Opus 57

*Alex Y. Wang (Fremontl): Opus 90

Allison Hwang (Fremont) was unable to participate in the finals due to injury.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Taras Dreszer (Santa Cruz)

Vien Xuan Nguyen (Redwood City)

Clara Yunjoo Lee(Santa Barbara)

Jessie Li Wang (Irvine)

Stephanie Wang (Cupertino)

Amy Wann (Piedmont)

Amanda Zerbe (Woodside)


2009

MASTER TEACHER: Angela Hewitt

FINALISTS

Jeannie Chen (Northridge): Op. 13

*Fantee Jones (Roseville), Op. 53

Yoojung Kim (San Jose), Op. 31/3

*Alison Lee (Fremont): Op. 27/1

Clara Lee (Santa Barbara): Op. 22

*Amanda Wang (Palo Alto:, Op. 90

ALTERNATE

Chrystal Liu (Palo Alto):, Op. 2/2

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Theodora Martin (San Jose): Op. 31/2

Ben-han Sung (Lakeview Terrace):, Op. 31/2

Eike Hoffman (Irvine): Op. 14/1


2008

MASTER TEACHER: Craig Sheppard

FINALISTS

*Michael Delfin (Madera, CA): Sonata no. 21 in C Major, Opus 53 ("Waldstein")

*Angela Hwang (Saratoga, CA): Sonata no. 3 in C Major, Opus 2, no. 3

Joy Kim (Irvine, CA): Sonata no. 27 in E Minor, Opus 90

*Victoria Kwong (San José, CA): Sonata no. 7 in D Major, Opus 10, no. 2

Alison Lee (Fremont, CA): Sonata no. 15 in D Major, Opus 28 ("Pastorale")

Amanda Wang (Palo Alto, CA): Sonata no. 17 in D Minor, Opus 31, no. 2 ("Tempest")

ALTERNATE

Andrew Hsu (Fremont, CA): Sonata no. 3 in C Major, Opus 2, no. 3

HONORABLE MENTION

Emma Podlesnik (Palo Alto, CA): Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57 ("Appassionata")


2007

MASTER TEACHER: John Perry

FINALISTS

*Ashley Hsu (Fremont, CA): Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a ("Les Adieux")

Connie Kim-Shen (La Crescenta, CA): Sonata ino. 21 n C Major, Opus 53 ("Waldstein")

*David Y. Ko (Millbrae, CA); Sonata no. 27 in E Minor, Opus 90

Calvin Lee (Sunnyvale, CA): Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57 ("Appassionata")

Monica Qiu (Newbury Park, CA): Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a ("Les Adieux")

*Tiffany Yu (San Jose, CA): Sonata no. 15 in D Major, Opus 28 ("Pastoral")

ALTERNATE

Mayumi Tsuchida (Mill Valley, CA); Sonata no. 21 in C Major, Opus 53 ("Waldstein")


2006

MASTER TEACHER: Menahem Pressler

FINALISTS

Alison Lee, a 9th grader at Mission San José High School, played Sonata no. 18 in E-flat Major, Opus 31, no. 3

Angela Lee, a senior at Upland High School, played Sonata no. 26 in E-flat Major, Opus 81a (Les Adieux)

*Christina Lee, a 9th grader at Saint Francis High School, played Sonata no. 2 in A Major, Opus 2, no. 2

*Yi-Ju Lai, a senior at Idyllwild Arts Academy, played Sonata no. 7 in D Major, Opus 10, no. 3

Juliann Ma, a junior at Albany High School, played Sonata no. 23 in F Minor, Opus 57 (Appassionata)

*Vijay Venkatesh, a 9th grader at Dana Hills High School, played Sonata no. 8 in C Minor, Opus 13 (Pathétique)