Winners of First e-Piano Junior Competition Revealed

Mon Jul 14, 2008 5:02pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

--  Pianists Nansong Huang, 14, and Frank Duepree, 16, Split First
        prize; Gala Winners Concert Kicks Off the Minnesota Orchestra
        Sommerfest
MINNEAPOLIS--(Business Wire)--
The Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition is pleased to
announce the winners of the first-ever e-Piano Junior Competition
2008. Nansong Huang, 14, of China and Frank Duepree, 16, of Germany,
shared first prize on a split decision. Russia's Osip Nikiforov, 14,
and Canada's Jan Lisiecki, 13, split the third prize; Vladimir
Levitsky, 16, of Russia was awarded the fifth prize. No second or
fourth prizes were awarded due to the divided decisions.

   The winners were announced at an awards ceremony on July 11, 2008
at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The ceremony, featuring a Yamaha
Disklavier performance reproducing piano, video projector and screen
set up on stage, gave the audience an opportunity to experience the
same breathtaking video-sync technology used in the virtual audition
phase of the competition. At the moment each prize was announced, the
winner's performances from earlier in the week were played by the
Disklavier, along with synchronized video of the performance. Later
that day, the two first place winners performed their winning piano
concerto movements with the Minnesota Orchestra. The Gala Concert was
a part of the annual Macy's Day of Music and served as a kickoff for
Minnesota Orchestra's 29th annual Sommerfest.

   Mr. Huang and Mr. Duepree shared a cash prize of $8,000, made
possible by the Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition, Yamaha
Corporation of America and other corporate sponsors; third place
winners Osip Nikiforov and Jan Lisiecki split a $3,000 cash prize,
while the fifth place prize of $1,000 went to Vladimir Levitsky.
Additionally, all of the winners will be invited to perform at the
Yamaha Artist Services Piano Salon in New York City.

   Nansong Huang was born in Hei Longjiang, China in 1993. He began
to study piano at age four and has been under the instruction of
Professor Jin Zhang, dean of the Preparatory Music School of the
Central Conservatory of Music, since 2002. In 2005, Nansong took third
prize for the 12 and under division of the Franz Liszt Children &
Youth International Piano Competition in Weimar, and won first prize
for the 12 and under category for the fifth International Competition
for Young Pianists "A Step To Mastery," held in St. Petersburg. The
following year, Nansong won second prize in the tenth Ettlingen
International Piano Competition for Young Pianists.

   Born in Rastatt in 1991, Frank Duepree began studying piano
performance at the age of five, and has studied under the direction of
Sontraud Speidel at the University of Music in Karlsruhe since 1998.
His accolades include several first prizes at "Jugend Musiziert,"
first prize at the 2006 International Piano Competition in Rome, first
prize at the sixth International Piano Competition for Young Pianists
"A Step to Mastery" in St. Petersburg, and first prize at the twelfth
International Piano and Composition Competition "Carl Filtsch" in
Romania.

   Using the latest in music technology, the e-Piano Junior
Competition, sponsored by Yamaha Corporation of America, enables young
pianists from around the world to record and transmit their audition
performances over the Internet through the use of a Yamaha Disklavier
performance reproducing piano. This unique, nine-foot Concert Grand
piano, in addition to being a concert-quality acoustic instrument,
features a built-in system to record live performances as MIDI data.
These performances are then recreated on other Disklavier pianos with
each note and nuance delivered, precisely as the pianist originally
recorded them.

   At invitation-only screened auditions held in New York City,
Vancouver, Moscow, Shanghai, Paris, Toronto and Los Angeles,
applicants entered their digitally videotaped and recorded MIDI
performances on Yamaha Disklavier pianos. These performances were then
judged by a six-member screening panel at Yamaha Artist Services, Inc.
in New York City.

   For more information, visit www.piano-e-competition.com. For a
multimedia presentation on the competition and how it works, visit
http://www.piano-e-competition.com/ecompetition/howitworks.asp.

   Audition recitals and final round performances are also available
for the general public to download as MIDI files on their own
computers or on their own Disklavier pianos from the e-competition
home page.

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

   About Yamaha

   Yamaha Corporation of America is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha
Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of musical instruments and
audio/visual products to the U.S. market. Products include: acoustic
and digital pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and
electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion
products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio
products, and innovative technology products targeted to the hobbyist,
education, worship, professional music, and installation markets.

Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition
Dr. Stella Sick, 763-416-3256
piano@ecompetition.org
or
Giles Communications
Lisa Cesarano, 914-798-7134
lcesarano@giles.com

Copyright Business Wire 2008
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