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by Daniel Hathaway

3-Finalists

Out of an initial field of 28 competitors in the Thomas and Evon Cooper Oberlin International Piano Competition, three young pianists, having survived semi-final, concerto final and recital final rounds at the Oberlin Conservatory earlier in the week, won the opportunity to appear on the stage of Severance Hall on Friday evening, July 25 to play concertos with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra.

The impressive audience that turned out to hear Sae Yoon Chon, Zitong Wang and Tony Yike Yang in concertos by Beethoven, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky was full of young people — largely made up of friends, relatives and colleagues of the Cooper participants, no doubt. Palpable energy was in the air, and each of the three finalists was greeted with whoops and cheers both before and after they played. Read the rest of this entry »

Tony-Yike-Yang-Oberlin-Cooper-Finals-(Mastroianni)

Tony Yike Yang with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra (Photo: Roger Mastroianni)

Cleveland – July 26. Following the final round of the Oberlin Cooper Piano Competition with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall on Friday evening, Dean Andrea Kalyn of the Oberlin Conservatory introduced the judges and thanked numerous individuals who had made the competition possible. Then, competition sponsors Thomas and Evon Cooper announced the decision of the judges and awarded the three top prizes.

First place and a cash prize of $10,000 went to Tony Yike Yang of Toronto, who appeared last on the program with Tchaikovsky’s first concerto. Zitong Wang of Inner Mongolia, China, won second place and $6,000 for her performance of Prokofiev’s third concerto. And Sae Yoon Chon of Seoul, South Korea, received the third place award of $3,000, having opened the evening with Beethoven’s fifth concerto.The finals were broadcast live by WCLV, 104.9 FM and via the internet on wclv.com.

By Daniel Hautzinger

L-R: Sae Yoon Chon, Zitong Wang, Tony Yike Yang

L-R: Sae Yoon Chon, Zitong Wang, Tony Yike Yang

On July 23 in Oberlin Conservatory’s Warner Concert Hall, six young pianists vied to win a chance to play a concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra and for cash prizes as part of the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition. The competitors were already assured a monetary reward, having survived three elimination rounds that culled an original field of 28 young musicians ranging in age from thirteen to eighteen.

The pianists were required to perform a 30 minute solo recital for this latest round, which was broadcast live on WCLV. At the end of the night, the judges advanced Sae Yoon Chon of Seoul, South Korea, Zitong Wang of Inner Mongolia China, and Tony Yike Yang of Toronto. Those three will perform with The Cleveland Orchestra on July 24 at Severance Hall for the final round of the competition, where the $10,000 first prize will be decided. Read the rest of this entry »

L-R: Sae Yoon Chon, Zitong Wang, Tony Yike Yang

L-R: Finalists Sae Yoon Chon, Zitong Wang and Tony Yike Yang

Oberlin – July 24. Late on Wednesday evening from the stage of Oberlin Conservatory’s Warner Concert Hall, WCLV’s Robert Conrad announced the judges’ choice of the top six prizes in the Oberlin Cooper Piano Competition. The decisions followed yesterday’s recital round.

Sixth prize winner is Min Jun Lee (15, Seoul, South Korea). Fifth place winner and audience prize winner is Evren Ozel (15, Minneapolis, Minnesota). Fourth place winner is Gyu Tae Ha (17, Uijeonbu, South Korea). Each contestant wins a cash prize of $1,000. Ozel takes home an additional $500.

The finalists, who will play concertos with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra in Severance Hall on Friday evening, July 25 at 8:00 pm are:

Sae Yoon Chon (18, Seoul, South Korea). Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73. Zitong Wang (15, Inner Mongolia, China). Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26. Tony Yike Yang (15, Toronto, Canada. Tchaikovsky’s Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23.

Friday evening’s concert will be broadcast live on WCLV, 104.9 FM and audio streamed on wclv.com. Following the performance, the winners of the first ($10,000), second ($6,000) and third ($3,000) prizes will be announced.

by Daniel Hathaway with Daniel Hautzinger & Mike Telin

Oberlin-Cooper-2014-LogoThe ten young pianists who advanced to the Concerto Round in the Oberlin Cooper Piano Competition on Tuesday ranged in age from 13-18 and hailed from five countries. The contestants played complete concertos in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory with a second pianist providing the orchestral accompaniment. The performances gave a taste of what the audience can expect on Friday evening at Severance Hall when three finalists perform with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra.

The repertory included concertos by Beethoven (Nos. 2 and 5), Rachmaninoff (Nos. 2 and 3), Chopin (Nos. 1 and 2), Prokofiev (No. 3) and Tchaikovsky (No. 2). The most popular work — and the only piece the judges and audience heard more than once — was Chopin’s first concerto, which received three performances. Read the rest of this entry »

Oberlin-Cooper-2014-LogoOberlin – July 23. Following the concerto round last evening, the judges announced the six finalists in the 2014 Cooper International Competition who will advance to the Recital Round on Wednesday evening, July 23 at 7:00 pm in Warner Concert Hall at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Following the program, the judges will announce the three contestants who will play concertos with Jahja Ling and The Cleveland Orchestra on Friday evening at Severance Hall. The performance will be carried live on WCLV, 104.9 FM and wclv.com, and a video stream will be available here.

Here is the Recital Finals program for Wednesday evening (performance order to be announced):

Read the rest of this entry »

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