American Protege International Music Competitions at Carnegie Hall

International Competition of Romantic Music 2011

American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music 2011 attracted applicants from across the United States, Canada, Italy, Poland, Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan and Costa Rica.




The Winners Recitals took place:

on November 12, 2011 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall,

on November 26, 2011 at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City,

on April 1, 2012 at the Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center in New York City.

Special prizes for best performances were awarded based on the judges’ recommendations.



Four qualified judges evaluated the audition materials. All judges are independent; their students are not allowed to apply this season.

Dr. Sophya Genis is invited as a Chairwoman of the Competition 2011. A graduate of the Moscow Gnessin Academy of Music, Mrs. Genis holds a Doctor of Music Arts Degree. She studied piano with such renowned professors as Alexander Yoheles, Yakov Milstein and Yakov Zak.

International Competition of Romantic Music 2011 Results:

Best Performance of Liszt Award Winners

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall 20196

Jingzi Linda Ruan, 13, lives in Surrey, BC, Canada. Born in Tokyo, Linda Ruan began learning the piano at the age of seven with Xie Jia in Shanghai, China after returning to the country. A year later, she immigrated to Canada with her family and continued her musical studies under the thoughtful directions of Professor Li Xiao. Linda has participated in many festivals and competitions which include the Kiwanis Festival, Fraser Valley International Kiwanis Festival, and the British Columbia Conservatory of Music Festival, just to name a few. Ms. Ruan has won numerous medals, scholarships and awards within these events. Beyond piano, Linda participates in various math contests and art competitions; she partakes in the school debate team. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, reading and running.

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall 20188

Bryan Ho, 15, from Potomac, MD, began music study with Ms. DiWei Wu at age 7 and has been a student of Dr. Marjorie Lee since 2007. Bryan received 1st prize at many competitions that include the 32nd Ithaca College Piano Competition held in 2011, the 5th Gustavo Romero Competition, the Asian American Piano Competition, the 23rd International Young Artist Competition, 2010 MTNA Competition State level, and numerous local/regional competitions. A three time grand prize winner at the Old Dominion University Classical Piano Competition, Bryan was again awarded the 1st prize by Mr. Leon Fleisher in 2011. Bryan performs extensively in the Washington area, including appearances at the Kennedy Center, the Alden Theatre, the Hungarian Embassy, the Catholic University of America, and George Mason University.

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall

Sitan Chen, 16 from Suwanee, Georgia, started playing piano at age 6, began studying under Janice Wong, and currently, under Dr. William Ransom at the Emory University School of Music. As a winner of 1st and 2nd prizes of prestigious competitions, Sitan has been invited on five separate occasions to perform at Carnegie Hall. Recently, he was chosen to perform as a soloist with the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra in Russia and to take masterclasses at Moscow Conservatory, and earlier this year, as a result of winning the Georgia Music Educators Association Piano Concerto Competition, he performed as a soloist with the Georgia All-State Orchestra. Sitan, as a winner of the Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition, has also performed as a soloist with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra. He has won multiple first prizes at the Georgia Music Teachers Association and the Georgia Music Educators Association state solo competitions. He has had masterclasses with Boris Slutsky, Young Ah-Tak, Eduard Zilberkant, and Maxim Mogilevsky, studied with Vladimir Feltsman, Alexander Korsantia, Robert Roux, and Susan Starr, and studied with Boaz Sharon and Clara Jung-Yang Shin.

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall 20187

American Protégé Scholarship Award Winner, Carolina Ramirez Morales was born in Heredia, Costa Rica, in 1993. She began her piano lessons at her age of 8 at National University, and currently has an experience in recitals at the country and international levels. Carolina currently studies piano at the National University of Costa Rica. She has been presented in various events such as the Season Piano, organized in Costa Rica each year, and in a lot of theater in her country such as National Theater, Melico Salazar Theater, Mozart Theater, 1887 Theater, Eugene O. Neil Theater. And international levels, she performed at the Carnegie Hall, as invited guest by the Pinault School of Music Society, gala event organized by the Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica and Theater at Half-Day, organized by the National Theater in her country. Last year, she won the first prize in American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music. Carolina has been receiving lessons Ana Mar¡a Trenchi Bottazi, Bruno Bottazi, Victoria Mushkatkol and Clara Moniousko.

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall 20182

Gerard Aimontche was born in Moscow in 1991. Gerard studies music from the age of 6. At nine years old, he entered the best Russian special school for gifted children, the Moscow Gnessin School of Music, where he was a student of Tatiana Sklioutovskaia. He also studied drums and percussion instruments under Andrey Gorbacev. Gerard is a prize winner of various International Piano competitions: 1st Prize at 7th Konzerteum International Piano Competition, Greece, 1st Prize (2001), 1st Prize at 7th Nikolai Rubinstein International Competition of Young, France (2004), 2nd Prize at 8th Maria Yudina International Competition of Young Pianists, Piano Duets and Chambers Ensembles, Saint-Petersburg, Russia (2005), Guzik Foundation Award, San Francisco (2009, USA), semi-finalist of Motreux Jazz Piano Competition (2010, Switzerland). He gave a series of solo recitals in Italy and numerous concerts in prestigious venues in Russia, Europe (Austria, Spain, Switzerland, France and Greece). Gerard has attended masterclasses of Nikolai Petrov and Pavel Nersessian. Now he is a student of Moscow P. I. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the class of Prof. Sergey Dorensky.

Scholarship Award Winner

classical music competition at Carnegie Hall 20193

Nicolas Giacalone, 15, from New York, he has been studying piano for over nine years at The Bottazzi School of Music, under the direction of Dr. Ana Maria Trenchi Bottazzi and Dr. Bruno Bottazzi. In 2009 – 2011 Nicolas was awarded several highest prizes at the prestigious competitions. He has participated in numerous concerts including eleven performances at The Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Nicolas has performed three times in Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood, in Lenox, Massachusetts. He has also participated in Master Classes with pianists Carol Montparker and Jeffery Biegel. Nicolas has performed four solo recitals and was invited to perform one at Steinway Hall in 2008. Nicolas is also studying the trumpet and drums at the Manhasset High School. He is a member of the School Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Drum Line and State Champion Marching Band. He is currently a junior teacher of piano with The Bottazzi School of Music. 

Best Performance Award Winner

William Wong, 11, from New York, started to study piano at age 5 with Mr. Wei Chiu who completed the Masters degree at the Juilliard School. William has won 5 competitions this year and played 4 times at Carnegie Hall in 2011, including: New York 2011 Music Competition winners’ concert at Carnegie Hall, Nation Young Musician 2011 Competition winners’ concert, International Music Festival 2011 winners’ concert, and others.

Winners by Age Category

Young Musicians Category (age 5 to 9)
First Place Winners
Richard Gao, piano8Markham, ON, Canada
Student of Louise Luo  
Varvara Soyfer, piano9Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Claire Qing-Yi Liu, piano9Arcadia, CA
Student of Lily Chu Chen  
Second Place Winners
Sunny Kim, piano7Santa Rosa, CA
Student of Roxanne Michaelian  
Serin Isabelle Park, violin7Fort Lee, NJ
Student of Solim Shin  
Natalia Liviani Tandiono, piano8Surabaya, Indonesia
Student of Hendrata Prasetia  
Gloria Cai, piano8Ellicott City, MD
Student of Yu-Hua Gu  
Stephanie Ding Draughon, piano8Ashburn, VA
Student of Dr. Jun Yang  
Third Place Winners
Rio Mangini, piano8Sherman Oaks, CA
Student of Gayane Sahakyan and Prof. Grace Han  
Hilary Zen, piano9New York, NY
Student of Wei Chiu  
Junior Category (age 10 to 13)
First Place Winners
Stella Sanchez Shih, piano10San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Tamara Sklioutovskaia  
William Wong, piano11Flushing, NY
Student of Wei Chiu  
Szuyu Su, piano13Tainan City, Taiwan
Student of Gwhyneth Chen  
Kaylah Paquette, voice13Aurora, ON, Canada
Student of Veronika Pressman  
Harrison Li, piano13South Huntington, NY
Student of Phillip Kawin  
Second Place Winners
James Sinigalliano, piano10New York, NY
Student of Dr. Ana Maria Trenchi Bottazzi  
Mykhaylo Pokras, piano11Kiev, Ukraine
Student of Svitlana Sukhomlinova  
Sarah R. Liu, piano11Arcadia, CA
Student of Lily Chu Chen  
Lorenzo Adamo, piano11Milano, Italy
Student of Katya Genghini  
Elise Zhao, piano13Hauppauge, NY
Student of Joanne Polk  
Jingzi Linda Ruan, piano13Surrey, BC, Canada
Student of Xiao Li  
Third Place Winners
Sebastian Barrientos Espeleta, piano11San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Mariana Saenz, piano12San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Pamela Beine, piano13San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Honorable Mention
Sophie Saremsky, piano10Chappaqua, NY
Student of Chi-Wen Lee  
Bao-Anh Nguyen, piano10Boca Raton, FL
Student of Dr. Irena Kofman  
Sebastian Piedra Rodriguez, piano13Cartago, Costa Rica
Student of Tamara Sklioutovsky  
Matthew Kim, piano13Leesburg, VA
Student of Dr. Marjorie Lee  
Intermediate Category (age 14 to 17)
First Place Winners
Spencer Kim, cello15Piedmont, CA
Student of Jonathan Koh  
Clark Pang, cello15Orinda, CA
Student of Jonathan Koh  
Bryan Ho, piano15Potomac, MD
Student of Dr. Marjorie Lee  
Sitan Chen, piano16Suwanee, GA
Student of Dr. William Ransom  
Ryo Kono, piano16Mamaroneck, NY
Student of Martin Canin  
Roksana Kwasnikowska , violin17Koszalin, Poland
Student of Prof. Jan Stanienda  
Second Place Winners
Nicolas Giacalone, piano15Manhasset, NY
Student of Dr. Ana Maria Trenchi Bottazzi  
Alan Yang, piano15Dresher, PA
Student of Susan Lou  
Lita Liviani Tandiono, piano15Surabaya, Indonesia
Student of Hendrata Prasetia  
Casey Costello, piano15Dedham, MA
Student of Margarita Kotlyarova  
Third Place Winners
Hyeri Bae, piano14Suwanee, GA
Student of Frances Yao  
Nagima Karimova-Chaulet, piano14Paso Robles, CA
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Patrick Brandl Suarez, piano15Heredia, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Honorable Mention
Emmeline Yoo, piano16Wyckoff, NJ
Student of Theresa Kim  
Advanced Category (age 18 and older)
First Place Winners
Stephanie Popovits, violin18Harzelia, Israel
Student of Haim Taub  
Shotaro Matsumoto, piano18Montebello, CA
Student of Joel Clifft and Ms. Nobuyo Nshizaka
Carolina Ramirez, piano18Heredia, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Michael Hansang Lee, Violin18Seoul, Korea
Student of Jungmi Kim  
Giuseppe Gil Cano, piano19Turrialba, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Hector Estuardo Hernandez Villatoro, piano19Guatemala
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Gerard Aimontche, piano20Moscow, Russia
Student of Sergey Porensky  
Mauricio Fernández Picado, piano24San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Ludmilla Meltzer and Luis Monge  
Jane Kim, violin28New York, NY
Student of Todd Phillips  
Hye-ri Jang, cello29New York, NY
Student of Janos Starker  
Ar Ran Cho, piano36Daegu, Korea
Student of William Heiles  
Hue Jeong Jang, piano37Urbana, IK
Student of Ian Hobson  
Takeaki Miyamae, flute45Pittsburgh, PA
Second Place Winners
Valeria Delgado Camacho, piano24Heredia, Costa Rica
Student of Dr. Alexandr Sklioutovski  
Kristie Janczyk, piano28Dallas, TX
Student of Alfred Mouledous  
Marissa M. Rebadulla-Ramos, piano36Seattle, WA
Student of Peter Mack  

Other applicants received Diploma of Participation


Upcoming Competitions:


Competition of Romantic Music 2024

Deadline: October 10, 2024


Woodwinds and Brass Competition 2024

Deadline: October 25, 2024


Music Talent Competition Fall 2024

Deadline: November 3, 2024


Piano and Strings Competition 2025

Deadline: January 20, 2025


Concerto Competition 2025

Deadline: February 20, 2025