First Prize Winner: SOYEON LEE
Second Prizes to: RAN DANK and ALEXANDRE MOUTOUZKINE
Honorable mention to: CHRISTOPHER GUZMAN
Forty-two Pianists competed in the competition Final Round took place on Wednesday, June 23 in New York City June 24, 2010, New York City – On Wednesday, June 24, 2010, the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation held the final round of the 2010 Naumburg Piano Competition. Three finalists, out of a pool of 42 pianists from around the world, were chosen to compete in the final round.
The first prize was awarded to Soyeon Lee, a native of South Korea, who has been hailed by The New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.” She is the second pianist from South Korea to be awarded the Naumburg Piano Award following in the foot steps of Kun-Woo Paik who was the first prize winner in 1971. Her prize includes two fully subsidized concerts in New York City, one of which will be given on March 29, 2011 in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; concert engagements with orchestra and in recital throughout the United States; and a cash award of $10,000.
Two second prizes were awarded to Israeli pianist Ran Dank, and Alexandre Moutouzkine, a native of Russia. Mr. Dank and Mr. Moutouzkine each received a cash award of $4,000. Honorable mention was awarded to Christopher Guzman, a D.M.A. candidate at The University of Texas at Austin where he studies with Anton Nel. Mr. Guzman received a cash award of $1,000.
The preliminary round of the 2010 Naumburg Piano Competition took place June 17 – 19 in Manhattan School of Music’s Miller Recital Hall. Twelve pianists were selected to compete in the semi-final round that was held on Monday, June 21 in Merkin Concert Hall. The final round was held on Wednesday, June 23 in Manhattan School of Music’s John C. Borden Auditorium. The competition was open to pianists of every nationality, not under the age of 17 or more than 32 years of age.
The jury for the 2010 Naumburg Piano Competition consisted of Anton Nel, Ursula Oppens, André-Michel Schub, Ann Schein, Jeffrey Swann, Robert Mann, Seth Knopp, Robert Levin and Menahem Pressler. Among past winners of the Naumburg Piano Award are Abby Simon (1941), William Kappell (1941), Constance Keene (1943), André-Michel Schub (1974), Stephen Hough (1983), Anton Nel (1987), Awadagin Pratt (1992), and Gilles Vonsattel (2002).
SOYEON LEE has performed as guest soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, symphony orchestras of Columbus, Napa Valley, San Diego, Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), and others, under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jajha Ling and Otto-Werner Mueller. Recital appearances include New York City programs in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall; Washington’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid – part of a 13-city tour of Spain and Baek-Am Art Hall in Seoul. An avid chamber musician, she has collaborated with the Parker String Quartet, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Edgeffect Ensemble with Mark O’Connor. A recent collaborative project included performances in Seoul with he pop-star sister, Lee So Eun.
Ms. Lee is passionate about expanding environmental consciousness through music and gave to critical acclaim the first ever eco-awareness concert, “Re!invented” at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in February 2008. For this event, she wore a commissioned concert gown, made of more than 6000 used juice pouches, by eco-fashion designer Nina Valenti. She has been featured on the cover of Symphony magazine’s annual “Emerging Artists” issue, Musical America’s “More Thrills of Discovery”, heard on broadcasts on WQXR’s “McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase,” WNYC’s “Soundcheck,” and throughout the United States on National Public Radio. Her debut CD featuring Scarlatti sonatas was released on the Naxos label. In 2004, she was named a winner of the Concert Artists Guild International Competition, as well as awarded the Second and Mozart prizes at the Cleveland International Competition, and the Bronze Medal at the Palma O’Shea Santander International Piano Competition.
Soyeon Lee is a native of South Korea and began her piano studies at age five. At age nine, she moved to the United States and attended the Interlochen Arts Academy. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald. While at Juilliard, she earned the Artist Diploma, won the Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition, two consecutive Gina Bachauer Scholarship Competitions, and was awarded the Susan Rose Career Grant as well as the William Petschek Piano Debut Award.
Ran Dank’s performance highlights this season includes making his debut in Washington Performing Arts Society’s prestigious Hayes Piano Series at the Kennedy Center, appearances in recital at Omaha’s Strauss Performing Arts Center, the Morgan Library and the University of Florida; is soloist with the symphonies of Pensacola and Phoenix; and appears at Lincoln Center with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and conductor Pinchas Zukerman. He returns to the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, performs in Young Concert Artists Musical Marathon at Symphony Space, and at the 6th Young Concert Artists Festival in Tokyo, as well as this October, appears with Fourtissimo, a piano quartet featuring pianists Vassilis Varvaresos, Soyeon Lee and Roman Rabinovich at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall. In his native Israel, Mr. Dank has performed with the symphony orchestras of Jerusalem, Rishon Lezion and Raanan and at the Israel Festival. He has been heard at the Chopin Festival in Warsaw and at Finland’s Mäntta Festival for Virtuoso Pianists. Mr. Dank was winner of the Sander Buchman Memorial First Prize in the 2008-09 Young Artists International Auditions. Among his other prizes have been prizewinner in Australia’s Sydney International Piano Competition, and the Cleveland Piano Competition. As a result of that competition, he performed with the Cleveland Orchestra.
Ran Dank, born in 1982, began his piano studies at the age of seven. He received his Bachelor’s degree from the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University and is a recipient of grants from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. Mr. Dank earned his Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School where he studied with Emanuel Ax and Joseph Kalichstein, as well as the Artist Diploma in 2009, working with Robert McDonald. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Ursula Oppens and Richard Goode at New York City’s University Graduate Center.
Second Prize Winner Alexandre Moutouzkine burst onto the U.S. concert scene at the age of 19, when he received the Special Award for Artistic Potential at the XI Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Mr. Moutouzkine is also a winner of the St. Petersburg International Piano Competition and is a laureate of numerous international competitions including the Cleveland, Denmark’s Tivoli International, the Ignacio Cervantes (Havana), and Montreal International, to name a few. He has toured throughout Germany, France, Spain, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Italy, and in countries in North and South America. Among orchestras that he has appeared as a soloist include the Tivoli Symphony Orchestra, the Radio Television Orchestra of Spain, the Cleveland Orchestra, Valencia Philharmonic, the National Symphonic Orchestra of Cuba, among others. Recent performances included a tour across the US, and concerts throughout Europe. His performance at London’s Wigmore Hall was reviewed in International Piano as “grandly organic, with many personal and pertinent insights, offering a thoughtful balance between rhetoric and fantasy … technically dazzling.”
His upcoming engagements include a performance of Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Berlin Symphony. Alexandre Moutouzkine holds a Master’s degree and the Artist Diploma from Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Solomon Mikowsky, and a Bachelor of Music degree from both the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hannover and Russia’s Nizhny Novogorod Music School. He is on the roster of Astral Artists.
The Walter W. Naumburg Foundation was founded in 1926 by Walter W. Naumburg and continues today in the pursuit of ideals set out by Mr. Naumburg. His desire to assist gifted young musicians in America has made possible a longstanding program of competitions and awards in solo and chamber music performance, composer recordings, and conducting. It was Mr. Naumburg’s firm belief that such competitions not only benefit the new stars, but would also be for these talented young musicians who would become the prime movers in the development of the highest musical standards of excellence throughout America. Robert Mann has been president of the Naumburg Foundation since 1971.