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Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Piano Competition

2022 Contestants

Jan Antoni Gzella

Poland, 24
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Jan Antoni Gzella born on June 13th 1997 in Poznan, Poland. He began learning piano at the age of 5 years old. Since he was 7 years old he took part in many piano competitions in Poland and abroad. At the age of 15 he performed the first movement of F. Chopin Piano Concerto in e minor op. 11 with the Bydgoszcz Philharmonic Orchestra. Two years later he was invited by Professor Ligija Triakina for the first time to come to Moscow (Russia) to perform series of recitals during Polish-Russian art festival “Youth Academy of Art”. Since then he was invited to perform at this festival three more times. In 2015 Jan was awarded a scholarship from Polish Prime Minister for exceptionally music accomplishments. In September 2018 thanks to the Richard F. Matthews bursary he came to Calgary to take part in Advanced Performance Program at Mount Royal University Conservatory where he studies with Professor Krzysztof Jabłoński. During his first year at the program he won the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Yun Chih Hsu

Taiwan, 24
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Yun Chih Hsu, praised as an artist of as “One of the most potential young pianists” as well as “The mature performance and stage charm is beyond her age, and she has an excellent sensitivity and a clever idea to music. “ (Dimitry Bashkirov) Hsu performed with numerous orchestras including the Forth Worth Symphony, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Capella Bydgostiensis, and the Juilliard Orchestra. Solo appearances include a recital in the National Concert Hall, National Public Radio’s program “From the Top”. Venues include Taiwan National Concert Hall, Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall, and Barcelona Palau de la Música Catalana, Filharmonia Pomorska. First Prize Winner of the 12th Taipei International Chopin Piano Competition, the semi-finalist of the 11th International Paderewski Piano Competition in Bydgoszcz, Poland. In 2017, Hsu was awarded to be the winner of the New Music Star Concert series in the New Taipei City, Taiwan; moreover, became the ambassador of the 2020 Music Rising Star.

Fantee Jones

United States, 28
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Taiwanese-American pianist, Fantee Jones of Roseville, California gave her first solo recital at the age of seven and made her concerto debut performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A Major, K. 488 at age ten. She has continued her noteworthy accomplishments winning many awards in various international competitions. She was a semi-finalist at the 2020 National Chopin Piano Competition, winner of the 2019 Eastman School Concerto Competition, finalist at the 2018 Serge and Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Awards, prizewinner at the 2018 Los Angeles International Piano Competition, and a winner of the PianoTexas International Young Artists Concerto Competition, among others. As a result, she performed the Prokofiev 3rd Piano Concerto with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Lio Kuokman.  Miss Jones made her first Carnegie Weill Hall appearance in May 2005 and has also performed at Benaroya Hall and Lied Center of Kansas in the United States, National Recital Hall in Taiwan, Sendai City Cultural Center in Japan, Seoul Arts Center in South Korea, Temppeliaukion Kirkko “Rock Church” in Finland and Verbrugghen Hall in Australia, as well as on Cunard and Princess Cruise Lines. In addition to the piano, she also plays violin and flute. Miss Jones was a member of the Sacramento Youth Symphony (SYS) Premier Orchestra first violin section for five seasons. She went on the European tour with the SYS in 2007, performing on both piano and violin. Miss Jones has also served as one of the Evening Division piano accompanists at the Juilliard School, playing piano concerti and violin sonatas with various pianists. Miss Jones began piano training with her mother, Tiffany Jones, at the age of three. Her past teachers include Tien Hsieh, John McCarthy, and Dr. Marc Silverman. She received her Bachelor of Music as the recipient of the distinguished Roy M. Rubinstein prize at the Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School in 2016. She was a recipient of the Elizabeth Parisot prize and graduated with a Master of Musical Arts degree from the Yale School of Music in 2018, studying under the tutelage of Hung-Kuan Chen. Most recently, she was the recipient of the Excellence in Accompanying Awards at the Eastman School of Music, where she is continuing her studies with Alexander Kobrin, pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Piano Performance and Literature and a minor in Piano Pedagogy. 

Timothy Jones

United States, 24
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Award-winning American pianist Timothy Jones has established himself as a versatile talent who possesses an abundance of creative and artistic energy. Timothy has performed in venues worldwide, including Lincoln Center, the DiMenna Center, the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Academy of Music in Krakow, and Harris Hall, amongst others. During the summers he has been invited to study and perform at many prestigious international music festivals: Aspen Music Festival and School, Chautauqua Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and Virtuoso e Belcanto Festival. He has benefited greatly in masterclasses and lessons for Richard Goode, Leon Fleisher, Boris Berman, Boris Slutsky, and the Dover Quartet (chamber music). Timothy was recently a semifinalist at the 2020 National Chopin Competition and has won first prizes as the youngest competitor in both the 2017 MTNA National Young Artists Competition and the Russell C. Wonderlic Competition. After graduating with a B.M. from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University under Marian Hahn, Timothy pursued a M.M degree at the University of Texas at Austin studying with Anton Nel. Currently Timothy is continuing his education at the University of Texas with Anton Nel by pursuing a DMA degree. He is the recipient of the Joe and Teresa R. Long Piano Scholarship from the University of Texas and the Lilian Gutman Memorial Prize from the Peabody Institute.

Jiana Peng

China, 25
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Born in Sichuan, China, Jiana Peng is the winner of the 2020 International Chopin Piano Competition (Corpus Christi). She will be performing her debut solo recital in Carnegie Hall and releasing her all-Chopin debut album in 2022. She is also a winner of the finalist award in the New York International Piano Competition, Tuesday Musical Scholarship, Nice Coté d’Azur International Piano Competition, the Cleveland Pops Orchestra Music Scholarship Competition, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition. Jiana made her orchestral debut with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra in Severance Hall at the age of 16. She has since performed with the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra, Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, and Philharmonic Orchestra of University of Alicante (Spain) under the batons of Raphael Jimenez, Carl Topilow, Kimbo Ishii-Eto, and Uri Segal. Her recent performing highlights include her artistic collaboration with the world-renowned Portuguese pianist Maria João Pires in summer 2019. They launched and performed together the first edition of the itinerary festival “Days of Wisdom” in Cervia de Ter, Spain. She was also invited to share concerts with Pires in Belgais, Portugal. Jiana performed in numerous festivals, including Music Fest Perugia, PianoTexas International Festival, Dubrovnik Summer Music Festival, Duszniki Piano Master Course, Katowice International Piano Masterclass, and Radziejowice Piano Master Course. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music studying with Antonio Pompa-Baldi and Haesun Paik, as well as her Artist Diploma from the Oberlin Conservatory studying with Stanislav Ioudenitch. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music under the guidance of Kevin Kenner.

Talon Smith

United States, 19
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Talon is under the mentorship of Garrick Ohlsson and is a private student to Kevin Kenner, having previously studied with Eduardus Halim. Talon has participated in numerous masterclasses given by such pianists as Dang Thai Son, Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, Ewa Pobłocka, Sergei Babayan, Jerome Lowenthal, and Oxana Yablonskaya. He has performed in Europe and the USA as a solo artist and a guest artist with various orchestras. He has garnered first prize in over 40 piano competitions, including the Gold Medal at the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, and was a top prize winner at the 2020 US National Chopin Piano Competition.

Breno Alves de Souza

Brazil, 19
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Bren Alves de Souza graduated at the technical course of piano at the Professional Education Center Escola de Música de Brasília, in Brasília - Federal District, Brazil. Currently, he is a student at the Universidade de Brasília – UnB, Brasília, Distrito Federal, Brazil. Breno has participated in piano competitions held in Brazil and abroad including 3rd place at the XI International Piano Competition Professor Edna Basseti Habith, in Curitiba - Paraná, Brazil; 2nd place in the XXVII Souza Lima National Piano Competition, in São Paulo - São Paulo, Brazil; in 1st place at the XVI National Piano Competition Cora Pavan Capparelli, in Uberlândia - Minas Gerais, Brazil; 3rd in the 2nd WPTA FINLAND, online edition, Finland; 3rd place at the 2nd WPTA SINGAPORE, online edition, Singapore; 1rd place at the VII Festival - Competition Pianissimo 2020, Colombia; among others. Breno has participated in festivals, masterclass with renowned pianists and performed as a soloist with the Brasília Symphony Orchestra.

Daniel Szefer

United States/Poland, 23
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Daniel Szefer had his first piano lesson at the age of seven and was introduced to the public in Miami, Florida by the Chopin Foundation of the United States in 2010. Szefer was one of eight international students invited to study at the Sergei Babayan Academy at the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2012. The same year, he gave a solo concert at the Chicago Symphony Center. He had his orchestral debut at 13 with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra led by Mina Zikri and concertized with this orchestra for the next three years. Szefer is an active chamber musician and a member of the Walden Trio. With Walden, he has performed throughout Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Norway. The group has competed at the Fischoff Nation Chamber Music Competition and has attended Orford Musique, Festival del Lago, and the Trondheim International Chamber Academy. At Trondheim, they had the opportunity to collaborate with Asbjørn Nørgaard, violist from the Danish String Quartet, and worked under musicians from the group, Stockholm Syndrome, as well as Joseph Kalichstein. Daniel spent three years in Calgary Pro Musica’s Young Artist Development Program. As a member of the program, he has gone to elementary schools throughout the city, giving music education workshops and assemblies, with a focus on literacy and appreciation. He has had masterclasses under artists such as Yoheved Kaplinsky, Robert McDonald, Garrick Ohlsson, Dang Thai Son, Boris Slutsky, among others. He was a top prize winner at the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, a finalist and prize-winner at the Prix Orford Musique, and in March 2018 was the winner of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition. Szefer recently completed his Bachelors at the University of Calgary under Dr. Krzysztof Jablonski and is currently pursuing his Masters at Northwestern University with Dr. James Giles.

Kevin Tu

United States, 19
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Kevin Tu was born in Denver, USA in November 2002. At the age of 6, he began to play piano and learn martial arts. At age 9, he and his family settled in Shanghai due to his parent’s work, and received formal systematic music studies under Catherine Su, Dr. of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. During his studies, he received recognition from the master classes of Viardo, Pisarev, Bashkirov, etc. In 2018, he was admitted to the Central Music School of the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory and the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music at the same time. He studied in the Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music under the famous master, Vladimir P. Ovchinnikov, winner of the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Leeds International Piano Competition and professor of The Moscow Conservatory. During his studies, he gave concerts and recitals in Moscow, St. Petersburg, USA, Shanghai and Taiwan. In 2018, he was invited to cooperate with The Philharmonic Orchestra of The Alexander Theater in St. Petersburg, Russia, and won excellent praise. In November 2019, he was recommended to perform in the Chopin International Art Festival held by the Chopin Music Society in Moscow as the Guest performer of Chopin’s Concerto. In 2021, he was admitted to the Piano Department of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Music with honors and is now studying there, in the class of Vladimir P. Ovchinnikov.

Biguo Xing

China, 22
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As the winner of the Aspen Piano Concerto Competition, Biguo appeared as the soloist with Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra at Benedict Music Tent under the baton of Maestro Patrick Summers. Biguo has won numerous prizes at the 1st Beijing International Fryderyk Chopin Competition For Young Pianists, Hilton Head International Piano Competition, and the Xinghai Cup Piano Competition. In addition, she has won the The Central Conservatory of Music Middle School’s first prize scholarship and third prize scholarship several times. Biguo is also the winner of the BNP Paribas “Rising Stars” Piano Festival Award. Biguo has appeared at Aspen Music Festival, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Beijing Concert Hall, Meany Hall of Performing Arts at University of Washington, Piano aux Jacobins Festival in China, Mengminwei Concert Hall of Tsinghua University, and on China Central Television (CCTV). She is also a two time laureate of the MacKenzie Awards, given by the International Keyboard Institute & Festival. Biguo was a recipient of the New Horizons Fellowship at Aspen Music Festival and School and she was awarded the Yamaha Music Scholarship in 2014. She is currently enrolled in the Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s Degree at The Juilliard School under the guidance of Hung-Kuan Chen, she also studied chamber music with Emanuel Ax and Jerome Lowenthal. As a Columbia-Juilliard Exchange student she studies philosophy at Columbia University.

Min Joo Yi

South Korea, 27
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From Bellevue, Washington, Min Joo Yi is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Musical Arts with Professor Yong-Hi Moon at Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University, with a graduate assistantship in accompanying. She also received her Master of Music (MM) and Graduate Performance Diploma degrees (GPD) at Peabody. She received her bachelors degree (AB) in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, along with a music performance certificate, at Princeton University. Her former teachers include Francine Kay, Duane Hulbert, and Michi North. Min Joo has been named a two-time recipient of the 2020-2021 and 2019-2020 Caswell and Constance Caplan Peabody Career Development Grant, 2018-2019 Leo B. Swinderman Prize, 2017 & 2018 Clara Ascherfeld Award, three-time 2016-2018 Loraine Bernstein Memorial Fund, 2014- 2016 Princeton University Scheide Scholarship, 2013 CBC Spouses Heineken USA Performing Arts Scholarship, 2012 National YoungArts Foundation Merit Scholarship, 2010 Evelyn Lindblad Folland Endowment Fund Award, and 2010 Donna & Edwin Kornfeld Piano Scholarship. She received full fellowships to the Art of the Piano Festival, Kaplan Fellowship Program at the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and PianoTexas International Festival and Academy. She has also been recognized in the 2020 Miami Chopin National Piano Competition (semifinalist), 2019 Yale Gordon Piano Competition (third prize), 2019 American International Piano Competition (semifinalist), 2019 Concours International Piano Campus (bronze medal), 2017 Young Artists Concert Series of Sarasota National Competition (fourth prize), 2013 Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition (second prize), the 2011 Schimmel USASU International Piano Competition (bronze medal), 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition (semifinalist), 2010 New York International Piano Competition (finalist), and 2010 Music Teachers National Association Piano Competition (second place in senior division national finals). Beyond music, her biology research has been published in the journals Frontiers in Microbiology and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), and has also been reviewed in PNAS "Front Matter." In her spare time, she enjoys drawing, and learning to play the organ and harpsichord.

Xu Zi

China, 27
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Born on 24 December 1994. In 2018 he completed his studies with Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, Piotr Kępiński and Paweł Wakarecy at the Feliks Nowowiejski Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz, having previously attended the class for special talents at Bydgoszcz School of Music. He has won numerous prizes, including the grand prix and a special prize in the Scholarship Pianists’ Tournament in Ostrow Wielkopolski, first prize in the ‘Youngsters Interpret Chopin’ Festival in Konin, second prize in the Asia–Pacific International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition 2018, 3rd prize in the 70th Wideman international piano competition 2021. He is currently studying at the University of Miami.

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