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February 2, 2023

The 10th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition took place from January 3 to 8 at Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance and Drama, with Rachel Breen, Roman Fediurko and Seokyoung Hong taking first place in their respective categories.

The competition attracted a total of 295 pianists from 24 different countries, with 43 selected to perform in the semi-finals and finals. Prizes included over $50,000 in cash prizes and recital and recording opportunities for top winners.
Winners of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition lined up next to each other, smiling at the camera and carrying their medals.
Baruch Meir (far left), competition director, with Bösendorfer competition winners (from left to right) Sun Young Choi, second silver medalist, Sarah Breen, first gold medalist, and Dohyun Lee, third bronze medalist . Photo courtesy of ASU School of Music, Dance and Theater
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“Our competition has become one of the leading piano competitions in the world today,” said Barouk Meir, who is the competition’s founder, president, and artistic director in addition to a Bösendorfer concert artist and associate professor of piano at ASU. “Many of our competition winners have gone on to develop great musical careers. We are proud to help these young pianists achieve their dreams while focusing the attention of the musical world on Arizona. Our selected competitors come from some of the world’s leading music institutions, including Juilliard, Yale, Seoul National University, Royal College of Music, as well as Arizona State University.

The competition is divided into three individual competitions – the Bösendorfer Competition for pianists aged 19-32, the Yamaha Senior Competition for pianists aged 16-18, and the Yamaha Junior Competition for pianists aged 13-15.

The first prize in the Bösendorfer competition was awarded to 26-year-old Rachel Breen from the United States. Breen received the David Katzin Prize of $15,000 and the gold medal. She will professionally record with Yamaha Artist Services in New York and perform as a guest recitalist for the Oracle Piano Society in Arizona.

Breen said that up until the age of 11, she learned to play the piano by watching online YouTube videos of her idol, famed pianist Martha Argerich. At 16, she entered the Juilliard School of Music and continued her studies to obtain her master’s degree at Yale University. She is currently studying at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media in Germany, where she previously studied with pianist Lars Vogt.

Young Sun Choi, 29, from the Republic of Korea, won second place and received the Phyllis Chiat Prize of $10,000 and the silver medal. She also received the $1,500 Mary Jane Trunzo Public Favorite Award, selected by the public in the semi-final through the contest app. Choi started playing the piano at age 6 and is currently studying with Arnaldo Cohen at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she is an associate professor.

Third prize was awarded to 21-year-old pianist Dohyun Lee from the Republic of Korea. He was awarded the $5,000 Amar Master Prize and the Bronze Medal. The Amar Master Award is offered in Master’s memory by his wife, Betty Master, an alumnus of the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theatre. Dohyun is pursuing his Bachelor of Music degree at the Manhattan School of Music with Marc Silverman.

In the senior Yamaha competition, 18-year-old Roman Fediurko of Ukraine received the Burns-Addona Prize of $5,000 and the gold medal. Fediurko moved to Austria in 2022 and is currently studying with Professor Milana Chernyavska at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.

The second prize was awarded to Seungmin Shin, 18, from the Republic of Korea, who received $2,000 and the silver medal. She is currently a piano student at Seoul National University and studies with Aviram Reichert.

The $1,000 prize and bronze medal went to 16-year-old Haruki Takeuchi of the United States. It also won the $250 Yehuda Meir Memorial Prize for the most artistic interpretation of a Chopin study and the $250 prize for the best interpretation of a one-piece piece. BIPOCBlack, Indigenous, People of Color or composer in the Yamaha Junior and Senior division. Takeuchi is a student of David Northington.

In the Junior Yamaha competition, 15-year-old Seokyoung Hong of the Republic of Korea won the $4,000 Addona-Burns Prize and the gold medal. Hong is a student at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where he studies with Professor HaeSun Paik.

Andrew Sijie Li, 15, of Canada/Hong Kong, won the $2,000 prize and the silver medal. He began studying piano at the age of 4 and is currently under the tutelage of teachers Wha Kyung Byun and Dang Thai Son at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

Xinran Shi, 13, of the United States, received the bronze medal and the Linda and Sherman Saperstein Prize of $1,000. Shi started his musical journey at the age of 4 and is currently studying with Hans Boepple. She is a 2020-2022 Lang Lang International Music Foundation Youth Fellow.

In addition to the medals, the winners of the competition’s special prizes were also announced.

A $1,000 prize for the best interpretation of a work by a French composer and the Yehuda Meir Memorial Prize of $250 for the most artistic interpretation of a Chopin etude were awarded to Jiyoung Kim, from the Republic of Korea, as part of the Bösendorfer competition. Kim studied at the University of Music, Theater and Media in Hannover with Antti Siirala.

The $500 Sarra and Emmanuil Senderov Prize for Outstanding Performance of a Composition by a Russian Composer was awarded to Rachel Breen of the United States at the Bösendorfer Competition and Roman Fediurko of Ukraine at the Yamaha competition.

Dohyun Lee from the Republic of Korea won the $1,000 Sangyoung Kim Award for Outstanding Performance of a Virtuoso Work at the Bösendorfer Competition.

Shiyu Liu of the People’s Republic of China received a $1,000 award for Arizona’s Most Outstanding Pianist, sponsored by the National Society of Arts and Letters Arizona Chapter. Liu is a doctoral student of Meir at Arizona State University.

This year’s jury included Aviram Reichert, Cliburn International Piano Competition bronze medalist and professor of piano at Seoul National University; Inna Faliks, Yamaha Artist and piano teacher at the University of California, Los Angeles; Roberta Rust, an internationally acclaimed recording artist and pianist from Lynn University in Florida; and Robert Hamilton and Baruch Meir of ASU’s School of Music, Dance and Theater.

The biennial competition is organized by the ASU School of Music, Dance and Theater in conjunction with the Arizona Young Artist Committee.

“Our school is proud to host this biannual forum for the exchange of creative ideas between leading pianists, young artists and keyboard enthusiasts in our state-of-the-art concert hall in Katzin,” said Heather Landesdirector of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

“Collectively, these musicians represent nearly 10 million hours of practice and performance, which means we’re home to some of the best musicians in the world,” said steven tapper, Dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. “It’s an honor to watch them perform as they bring to life rich and complex compositions that have inspired music lovers across time and space.”

The competition concluded with a recital and awards ceremony on January 8 at ASU’s Katzin Hall. All contest winners and special prize recipients performed and received their prizes. Winners received handcrafted and individually designed medals from contest sponsor OT Jewelers of Mesa, Arizona.

For complete information on this year’s contest, visit contact the competition office by email at or by phone at 480-965-8740.

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