International Music Talent Competition Fall 2017

The American Protégé International Music Talent Competition is opened to all instrumentalists (piano, winds, strings, brass, traditional, etc.), vocalists and traditional folk and jazz groups of all nationalities and countries. Participants are required to submit video recording materials for the audition. American Protégé is looking for genuinely talented people, who have creativity and stage charisma.

We invite talented performers of any age and genre to participate in the Competition.

All applicants who are signed with the manager or producer must submit via email a General Representation and Release Form signed by the Manager/Producer to be eligible for the Competition.


Winners will perform at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City on:

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sunday, December 23, 2017 (Christmas weekend)

Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Sunday, March 25, 2018 at 1:00 PM

Sunday, April 1, 2018 (Easter).

Star Performer Award, Judges’ Favorite Award Trophy, Judges’ Distinction Award Trophy and other Special Awards may be granted based on the judges recommendations.


Three qualified judges evaluate audition materials. All judges are independent, their students are not allowed to apply this season.

American Protégé
 Music Talent Competition Fall 2017 Results:
Judges’ Distinction (Plaque Trophy) Award and First Place Winners
Joie Bianco made her cabaret debut in 2015 at the MetroStar competition at NY’s Metropolitan Room at the age of 14 where she placed in the top 7 and won the “Audience Favorite” award.  Since then she’s appeared in numerous Cabaret Cares/Equity Fights Aids benefits and debuted her first solo show in 2017 at the Metropolitan Room. Joie has attended the prestigious Michael Feinstein’s Songbook Academy, Carmel Indiana in 2016 where she was awarded the “Most Talented Young Artist” by Sylvia McNair and finished in the top 10 in 2017. Joie has performed at the New York Cabaret Convention at Lincoln Center in 2016 and 2017.  In November she won the prestigious “Julie Wilson” award and scholarship at the convention, where she was both the youngest performer and youngest to ever win the award. Joie is a student of the marvelous Marilyn Maye.
Piano Duo/Four Hands:

Hannah Zhao, 12 years old, from Irvine California, started her music journey when she was five. She loves playing piano and violin, especially playing piano with her younger sister. Hannah has participated in numerous local and regional competitions. Most recently she won 1st place in the SYMF Piano Duet Open competition, 2nd place in NYDYMC ensemble competition, Gold medal winner in SWV Festival competition, 2nd place in MTAC String and Voice competition. Hannah was also invited to perform in CMEOC Young Talents on Stage Concert 2017. Hannah had been a member in Pacific Symphony Santiago Strings Orchestra. Currently she is part of the Junior Chamber Music as a violinist. Some of Hannah’s favorite composers are Vivaldi, Bach, Chopin, and Tchaikovsky.

Helaine Zhao, 11 years old, is a talented young girl from Irvine, California. She started piano lessons when she was four and composition at the age of eight. Helaine’s most recent piano accomplishments include: 1st place winner in the SYMF Young Pianist Concerto competition which awarded her the opportunity to perform with the Festival Orchestra, 1st place in the SYMF Piano Duet Open competition. She also won 2nd place in MTAC State Final Concerto competition, 2nd place in NYDYMC ensemble competition, 2nd place in the CAPMT Sonata competition, 3rd place in the CAPMT & JCM Young Musicians Concerto Competition. In addition, she also won multiple composition awards in MTAC Composers Today State Contest. In 2017, Helaine was selected into the IUSD Honor Chorus, and had the opportunity to be the piano accompanist performing at Segerstrom Concert Hall. Helaine loves sharing music with many performances at a senior center.




Piano Duo/Four Hands:

Sarah Ning started playing piano at the age of 6 and has been studying under Dr. Olga Chichova for almost 10 years. She has received numerous awards which include two Age Achievement Trophies at the North York Music Festival in 2014 and 2015. Sarah was the 2nd place winner in the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic in 2016. She also placed 2nd at the il Pozzolino International Piano Competition in Italy 2014. As a first prize winner of the Young Artist Competition in Burlington, she performed Mozart Concerto No. 24 with the Burlington Symphony Orchestra in 2016. Sarah is focusing on playing duets with her partner Oliver Zhou and they have won 2nd place at the Canadian Music Competition 2017. She and Oliver also performed at the Musikverein Golden Hall in Vienna, Austria in 2016. Sarah is currently a grade 10 student at Cawthra Park Secondary School in Mississauga.

Oliver Zhou is a grade 11 student at St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, Ontario.  He was first introduced to the piano and its euphonic potential at the age of 8, and is currently under the guidance of Dr. Olga Chichova, his teacher. Since 2010, Oliver has been participating in numerous music festivals such as the Kiwanis Music Festival, CCC (Chinese Cultural Centre) Piano Competition, Peel Music Festival, North York Music Festival and Rotary Burlington Music Festival, from which he has received numerous scholarships and awards. In the years 2013, and 2014, he was a finalist in the Canadian Music Competition; he and his duet partner Sarah also won second prize at this year’s finals. Oliver has been invited to, and has performed in the Rotary Burlington Music Festival Gala concert in 2010 where he received the prize of Junior Piano Star. He has also played 3 consecutive times in the CCC Rising Stars Concert.

Piano Duo/Four Hands:

Hye Jung Kang obtained her Doctor of Musical Arts from Sookmyung Women’s University, Masters of Music from Manhattan School of Music and Bachelor of Music from Sookmyung Women’s University. She performed in many different Festivals, Concerts and Recitals, including Daejeon Music Festival (Concert of Ensemble “WITH”), Busan Cultural Center (“The 2nd Manhattan piano Ensemble Concert”), Gumho Art Hall, Seodaemun Cultural Center and other venues in South Korea, and Los Angeles Korean Festival, Manhattan School of Music Recitals, IBLA Competition (Italy), to list just a few. Currently, Ms. Kang works as an instructor at Deokwon Arts High School (Seoul, Korea).

Jin Ah Choi graduated from Yonsei University (B.M.) and Boston New England Conservatory of Music (M.M.). Among her awards are the first prizes of Korea Times Competition, Chungnam National University Competition and Boston Arlington Philharmonic Young Artist Competition; and the third prize of Osaka International Competition for Chamber Ensemble part. Ms. Choi performed with Daejeon festival Orchestra and was invited for chamber ensemble recitals at Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, solo performance for the festival of Messiaen pieces at Jordan Hall in NEC and solo recitals at Aspen Music Festival. She performed in S. Korea and many other countries. Currently Ms. Choi works as an instructor at Mok-Won University, Pai-Chai University, Daejeon Arts High school and Koyang Arts High School. She is a leader of Chamber Ensemble WITH.




Name Age Country/State
First Place Winners
Ka Bao Hayden Chong, piano 8 Tawau , Malaysia
Student of Linda Koh Fui Tze    
Reika Liang , flute  8 Singapore 
Student of Larisa Tupitsyna    
Ceicilia Limargana, piano 9 Riverton, Australia
Student of Prof. Yoon Sen Lee
Grace Li, piano 9 Newport Beach, CA
Student of Prof. Ana Maria Eckstein    
Arya Babu, piano 10 Solon, Oh
Student of Cynthia Crotty    
Christian Gerald Esteban, piano 10 Darien, IL
Student of Sueanne Metz    
Nantacha Sethanandha, voice 10 Bangkok, Thailand
Student of Warunee Boonrang    
Jason Dong, piano 11 Diamond Bar, CA
Student of Jenny Shin    
Sophie Elliott, flute 12 Singapore 
Student of Larisa Tupitsyna    
Ivan Wang, cello 13 Trabuco Canyon, CA
Student of Sarah Koo    
Tonya Hu, piano 13 Sugar Land, TX
Student of Qi Ding    
Joanna Wang, Piano 14 Scarsdale, NY
Student of Dr. Adam Kent    
Maggie Liu, Vocal 14 Temecula, CA
Student of Milena Kitic    
Neeharika Panda, Voice 14 Bengaluru, India
Sara Maxman, violin  14 San Diego, CA
Student of George Maxman     
Allison Chang, flute 15 Fremont, CA
Student of Kris Palmer and Isabelle Chapuis    
Ashley Kim, piano 15 Demarest, NJ
Student of Kay Rhee    
Joseph Dong, cello 15 Diamond Bar, CA
Student of Vahe Hayrikyan    
Aileen Park, voice 16 Syosset, NY
Student of Seongsook Choi    
Annie Lu, piano 16 San Diego, CA
Student of Rinna Livshin    
Brawner Quan, cello 16 New York, NY
Student of Alex Croxton
Christina Lam, guzheng 16 Fremont, CA
Student of Chiffon Fu    
Danielle Lee, cello 16 Tustin, CA
Student of Sarah Koo    
Erica Hong, Piano 16 Duluth, GA
Student of Elena Cholakova    
Eton Shon, voice 16 Portola Valley, CA
Student of Jimmy Kansau    
Joey Zhu, piano 16 San Ramon, CA
Student of Jed Galant    
Kevin Yiyang Li, voice 16 Vancouver, Canada
Student of Alex Lim    
Mona Suzuki, violin 16 Andover, MA
Student of Michael Rosenbloom    
Tiffany Zhao, piano 16 Saratoga, CA
Student of Nataly Gingis    
Warren Lee, piano 16 Anaheim Hills, CA
Student of Ana Maria Eckstein    
Daniel Yadegar, Voice, Broadway/Musical Theatre 17 Encino, CA
Student of Dr. Joel Ewing    
Gloria Lam, viola 17 Jericho, NY
Jiaxin Lin, violin 17 Shanghai, China
Student of Qing Zheng    
Katryn Basso, piano 17 Stonington, CT
Student of Nonetta Shatakhtsian    
Shijie Ma, cello 17 Shanghai, China
Student of Dahai Liu    
Yang Wang, piano 17 Shanghai, China
Student of Jin Tang    
Yongyuan Huang, piano 17 Rumford, RI 
Student of Nonetta Shatakhsian     
Celyna Peck, voice, Musical Theatre 18 Singapore 
Student of Grace Ng Ee Wern    
Tingting Wang, violin 25 San Diego, CA
Student of Xuefeng Wang    
Laura Pillman, flute 27 Denton , TX
Piano Duo/Four Hands:
Ceicilia Limargana 9 Riverton, Australia
Sidney Eric  11 Perth, Australia
Students of Prof. Yoon Sen Lee
Cello Duo:    
Sunny Fan 13 San Diego, CA
Josephine Kim 15 San Diego, CA
Students of Lu-Yan Guo    
Jiaxin  Lin, violin 17 Shanghai, China
Yang Wang, piano 17 Shanghai, China
Shijie Ma, cello 17 Shanghai, China
Students of Wenxuan Shao    
The York Street Duo:    
Alejandro Olson, classical guitar 24 Denver, CO
Mary Margaret Neel, violin 24 Denver, CO
Second Place Winners
Chloe Ng, piano 4 Rockville, MD
Student of Vivian Kwok    
Karis  Lau, piano 7 Flushing, NY
Student of Vivian Fang Liu     
Derek Li, piano 8 Newport Beach, CA
Student of Prof. Ana Maria Eckstein    
Lorenz Ludwig Lentschig, violin 8 Munich, Germany
Student of Kirill Troussov    
Maggie Deng, piano 8 Potomac, MD
Student of Vivian Kwok    
Valentina Canas, piano 8 San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Valentina Tumanova    
Elizabeth Liu, piano 9 Plano, TX
Student of Vita Zharkova    
Ka Foo Ashton Chong, piano 10 Tawau , Malaysia
Student of Linda Koh Fui Tze    
Elizabeth Levine, violin 11 Great Neck, NY
Student of Roslyn Huang and David Gale    
Isabel Xu, piano 12 East Setauket, NY
Student of Rowena Arrieta    
Juan Manrique, viola 12 Lenox, MA
Student of Olga Romoff    
Michelle Skylar, voice 12 London, United Kingdom
Student of Marika Rauscher    
Siddharth Easwaran, piano 12 Fair Lawn, NJ
Student of Stacie Yao    
John Lin, piano 13 Cerritos, CA
Student of Aleksei Takenouchi    
Loana El Achtar, piano 13 San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Valentina Tumanova    
Trisha Ganesh, piano 13 Beaverton, OR
Student of Bella Sheykman    
Yana Ebbing, voice 13 West Bloomfield, MI
Student of Gracie Calvaneso    
Alexander Hom, violin 14 Syosset, NY
Student of Roslyn Huang    
Esther Kim, violin 14 Yorktown, VA
Student of Ara Gregorian    
Junah Kim, violin 14 Fullerton, CA
Student of Chul Mi Oh    
Stephanie Yu, piano 14 Dover, MA
Student of Margarita Kotlyarova    
Hyunji Shim, voice 15 Johns Creek, GA
Student of Sookhyun Hong    
Greta Luo, clarinet 16 Penn Valley, PA
Student of Joseph Dvorak    
Teah Snively, piano 16 Stafford, VA
Student of Susan Flinn    
Daniel Yadegar, Voice, Classical 17 Encino, CA
Student of Dr. Joel Ewing    
Ariel Noel, Voice, Classical 19 Rutherford, NJ
Student of Therese Noel
Jullianne Alonzo, voice 19 Chicago
Student of Natalie Chami    
Third Place Winners
Emma Lee, cello 6 San Diego, CA
Student of Lu-Yan Guo    
Luciana Monge, piano 8 San Jose, Costa Rica
Student of Valentina Tumanova    
Jackie Cao, cello 9 North Potomac, MD
Student of Ning Wang    
Keya Annam, piano 9 Astoria , NY
Student of Lianhua Chi
Venice Lauren Barbiran, voice 10 San Jose, CA
Student of Pamela Serrano    
Claire Yao, Piano 12 Millwood, NY
Student of Chiwen Lee    
Fiona Sechrist, piano 13 Sacramento, CA
Student of Shigemi Nishite    
Joshua Lee, piano 13 Weston, MA
Student of Margarita Kotlyarova
Austin Dick, piano 14 Newport Beach, CA
Student of Ana Maria Eckstein    
Elise Marra, voice/piano 14 Commerce Twp, MI
Student of Danielle Wright
Timothy Chu, cello 14 San Diego, CA
Student of  Lu-yan Guo    
Justin Wang, piano 15 Trabuco Canyon, CA
Student of Miranda Wu
John  Dick III, piano 16 Newport Beach, CA
Student of Ana Maria Eckstein    
Patrick Akarapimand, piano 16 Hacienda Heights, CA
Student of Aleksei Takenouchi    
Raven Angelique Barbiran, voice 16 San Jose, CA
Student of Pamela Serrano    

Honorable Mention Winners will be notified of their standing via email.


 Winners Recital Information

1. Each Winner will perform at one Recital. Recital date and time will be offered to the Winner based on the Competition results.

2. Only ONE piece from the audition repertoire within a time limit will be performed at the Winners Recital.

3. Extra performance time of up to 1 minute can be accepted for the Winners Recital with an additional fee of $100.

4. Only piano accompaniment can be used at the Winners Recital. No acoustic system will be provided.

5. Participants must bring their own piano accompanist. American Protege does not provide piano accompanist, but can recommend one after enrollment into the program.

6. Photo or video recording during the recital is strictly prohibited per the Carnegie Hall policy. A professional photographer will be taking pictures of the performers.

7. The total Recital and Photo Fee for Solo Participants is $400:

   – $300 Recital Fee, includes admission for participant and piano accompanist (if needed), Recital booklets with all Recital performers’ biographies and photos (for the booklet sample please click here), Certificate, Teacher’s Diploma, four guests’ tickets.

   – $100 Photo Fee, includes set of digital photos taken by professional photographer during participant’s performance on the stage. Average set is 20-30 digital photos.

8. Recital Fee for Ensemble Members is $230 per Member plus $100 Photo Fee per group. Recital Fee includes admission for Ensemble Member, Recital booklets with all Recital performers’ biographies and photos (for the booklet sample please click here), Certificate, Teacher’s Diploma, four guests’ tickets per Member.

9. Recital and Photo Fees are not refundable.

10. All participants are responsible for their own expenses (travel, housing accommodations, etc.).

11. Detailed Winners Recital Guidelines will be emailed to the participants.

American Protégé Organizational Committee reserves the rights to make any changes into the rules, dates, schedules and other information related to the Competitions or published on this site.

Complete policies, rules and disclaimers could be found on American Protégé Policy page