American Protege International Music Competitions at Carnegie Hall

International Piano and Strings Competition 2021

The American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition is open to school students and adults of all nationalities and countries.

All instruments, including piano, strings, voice and winds are welcome to participate in the Competition.

Participants are required to submit video/audio recording materials for the audition.  Multiple winners will be chosen in each age category.

We invite school students and adults to participate in the Competition. There is no age limit for the adult participants.

A large number of talented musicians applied for this year’s Piano and Strings Competition. They hailed from 15 countries, including different parts of the U.S., Australia, China, Costa Rica, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand and Vietnam.



Multiple winners will be chosen in each of the following age groups:

School Students:  Adults (18 and older):
  Young Musicians, 5 - 10Amateur without professional degree
 Junior, 11 - 14 College Students and Professional Musicians
 Intermediate, 15 - 18 

18 year old school students must enter in the Intermediate Category. 18 year old college students must apply under the College Students/Professionals Category.



Since the situation with COVID-19 Global Health Crisis is still uncertain, winners will be offered to perform at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on the dates to be announced, or to receive a Winner’s Package by mail.

Judges’ Distinction Award were granted based on the judges’ recommendations.



Four qualified judges will evaluate audition materials. All judges are independent; their students are not allowed to apply this season. Dr. Sophya Genis was invited as a Chairwoman of the Competition 2021. 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 Piano and Strings Competition 2021 Results

Judges Distinction Award (Plaque Trophies) Winners

International Music competitions at Carnegie Hall

Honor Frisco, 15, began and violin studies at the age of 6 and piano studies at the age of 5. From a young age, he received multiple awards from various competitions including state winner of the California Association of Professional Music Teachers Contemporary Music Festival, silver medalist at the Southern California Junior Bach Festival Complete Works, and multiple first prizes from the Southwestern Youth Music Festival. Honor has studied both piano and violin at the Colburn School of Music in Los Angeles and served as concertmaster of the Colburn String Ensemble and the Palos Verdes School District Advanced Ensemble. In 2020, Honor was selected as a winner of the Music Teachers Association of California (MTAC) prestigious Artist of the Future Competition for piano and received Third Place in the California State finals as violin duet winner of the MTAC VOCE competition. He was also chosen as a First Prize winner of the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music for violin and was selected for the American Protégé Summer Gala Concert.

Carnegie Hall in New York City

Matthew Gurning, 17 years old, is a senior at Rancho Cucamonga High School. He currently studies under Dr. Elvin Rodriguez. His achievements include: Southern California Junior Bach Festival Gold Medalist for 4 consecutive years, 2019 CAPMT Honors Audition and Contemporary Music 1st place State winner, SYMF 1st place winner, Lansum International Music Festival 1st place winner, CAPMT South Concerto Competition 2nd place winner, Steinway Society of Riverside Concerto Competition 1st place, a 5-time scholarship winner of the Steinway Society of Riverside Festival, Rotary Music Competition 2nd place winner, Inland Empire Festival Concerto and Solo 1st place winner. He performed the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3, 3rd mov. with the Coachella Valley Symphony. He had the opportunity to have a masterclass with Ory Shihor, Bernadene Blaha, Antoinette Perry, Stewart Gordon, Anna Fedorova, Giorgi Latso, Eric Le Van, Peter Takács, Craig Richey, Wojciech Kocyan, Eugene Alcalay, John Robilette, Rufus Choi, and many others.

Music Competitions

Leila Ditta Hargitai was born in 2003 in the Netherlands, lives and studies in Hungary.  She has studied music since she was 4 when she decided to go for a music career. Currently she is the student of Gábor Eckhardt who is a well-known piano professor at the Music Academy in Budapest, awarded with Liszt State Prize. Leila won 1 st prize in various piano competitions like the International Béla Bartók Piano Competition, the National Piano Competition, Music Bridge International Youth Instrumental Competition, was awarded for the best Chopin performance. As a multiple music-talent she won 1 st prize in the Zoltán Kodály Solfeggio and Singing Competition with special award in Singing. At the age of 15 she played Chopin’s four ballades at her own concert. She has performed at the Budapest Opera Theater and had concert with Budapest Strings Orchestra. She is the scholar of the National Talent Program Hungary.

International Music competitions

To 15-year-old pianist Adina Pak, music is the language of feeling and a uniting experience that must be shared with all. As a result of her love for music, the Los-Angeles native has won top accolades at various stages of local to international competitions. Her most recent prizes include State Winner of the MTAC State Concerto Competition, in addition to top accolades at the Los Angeles International Piano Competition, CAPMT Piano Competition, and Steinway International Academy Piano Competition. Additionally, she enjoys collaborating with fellow musicians as a member of a chamber group and three local orchestras, of which she serves as principal of Piano and Percussion. Despite the pandemic, she strives to continue sharing her unwavering love for music with her community, and mentors young musicians in building their craft. Adina looks forward to further sharing her passion and performing her music once it is safe to do so.

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

Amy Ono is Japanese-Thai.  She received her first violin lesson at the age of 5 years.  She has passion for violin and is a recipient of several awards.  In 2020, she received First Prize plus Exceptional Young Talent Special Prize from International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso.  In 2019, she won 2nd Prize from the 20th Osaka International Music Competition, and Gold Medal from the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented (AADGT) , and also First Prize from Concert Artists International Virtuoso Competition IV.  In 2018, she got First Absolute Prize from Golden Classical Music Awards International Music Competition. She is fluent in English, Japanese and Thai.  She also learns German.  She loves arts and crafts.  She also enjoys Go Kart, cycling, and games.

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

Shannon Chia is 12 years old. She was selected to join the Gifted Cellist Program at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts School of Young Talent in Singapore at the age of 7 and attained a Distinction grade for the Associate Board of the Royal School of Music Grade 8 Cello examination in 2020. She received Gold awards in the Singapore Raffles International Festival Chamber Music Competition in 2017 and 2019. She received second place in the Junior Category at the Vienna Virtuoso Music Festival 2018 and performed in the Winner’s concert in Vienna the same year. She has performed at the Singapore Raffles International Music Festival’s Gala Concerts as well as at various public performances including the Singapore National Gallery, Singapore Botanic Gardens and the Asian Civilizations Museum.  Shannon is a member of her school String Ensemble and also enjoys playing the piano.

Music Competition Online 2022

Henry Yao, fourteen, from Bay Area, California, began piano study at the age of six. He is a distinguished honor student and a dedicated musician. He is passionate about music, enjoys playing piano as a way to express himself. He has participated and performed in multiple regional, national, and international competitions, and has been active in performing at community events and local medical foundations to bring music to local community. Some of his achievements include first place winner at 2019 & 2020 American Protégé Piano and Strings Competition, 2019 & 2020 Competition of Romantic Music, multiple Outstanding Gold Medalist Awards with scholarships at US Open Music Competition from 2017 to 2020, first place award at 2019 & 2020 Elite International Music Competition, first place award at 2018 & 2019 American Fine Arts Festival, etc. Henry also excels at academics, with state and national awards in science, math, and creative writing.

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

The SoRi Trio is made up of three cellists, Caleb Suh (14 yrs), Mina kim (13 yrs), and Matthew Suh (12 yrs). Since 2018, under the instruction of Seo-Jin Yang, the trio performed a wide range of music genres at an early age. Each member of the trio won several music competitions around NY/NJ areas and performed at renowned venues, such as Weill Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall and Merkin Hall at Kaufman Music Center. In 2020, the SoRi trio is accepted at New York Youth Symphony Chamber Music Program and has been studying with Miho Weber. At the New York Concert Festival Competition 2020, the SoRi Trio won a Grand Prix and also is recognized as the best ensemble in the Junior category. Currently, the SoRi Trio has attended Music Mountain Workshop and Masterclasses with Khari Joyner and Wolfram Koessel.

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

Alyssa En Sy Teo started learning cello at four years old under the guidance of teacher Ms Natasha Liu. This tiny step marked the start of her journey through music. Her passion for music and dedication to her craft has seen her through various competitions and concerts. Most recently, she won first prize in the Greece “Muse 2020” International Music Competition. Alyssa enjoys making music especially with her friends and looks forward excitedly to each performance.

Concerts at Carnegie Hall

Avery Armstrong, age 7, is a student of Annamarie McCarthy at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She has performed in several recitals at the Conservatory, excelled in her yearly jury examination, and is enrolled in musicianship class. She loves to play and perform music of all styles, and especially enjoys music that is descriptive. When not practicing she is an enthusiastic reader and enjoys math challenges, coding, and swimming. She is currently in second grade and lives in Los Gatos, California.

Music Competitions at Carnegie Hall 2023

Calliope Smith has been playing the violin since she was three and currently studies with Natasha Makhijani. She attends Synapse School in California and is a member of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (“PACO”). Calliope was a winner of the 2019 PACO Concerto Competition and has also won first place in the Great Composers Competition Vivaldi and Music of the Seventeenth Century Competitions. She has been a prize winner in a number of other international competitions, including Enkor, Vivo, and Crescendo, as well as the Great Composers’ Artist of the Year and Art of Instrumental Performance series. 

Music Competitions at Carnegie Hall 2023

Felix Suo is 6 years old from Australia, holds an Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) Certificate of Performance CMus in piano. In Feb 2021 Felix Suo received First Prize Winner of American Protégé International Piano and String Competition, USA. In Feb 2021 he received Gold Prize Winner of the 5th Brilliant Talent Discovery Awards International Music Competition, Singapore. In Oct 2020 he received First Prize Winner, 1st place in Melbourne International Piano and Strings Competition, Australia. 

Winners by Age Category


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