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Gurwitz Winners

Yungyung Guo, Tatiana Dorokhova and Young Sun Choi win medals at the 2024 Gurwitz International Piano Competition


The results of the 2024 Gurwitz International Piano Competition in San Antonio, Texas, USA, were announced on Sunday 4 February 2024.

The gold medalist and US$30,000 prize-winner, twenty-year-old Yungyung Guo from China, played Schumann's Piano Concerto in A minor, Op 54. Born in Hong Kong, she began her piano study at the age of four. She is currently studying with Moye Chen at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. She previously graduated from the Affiliated Middle School to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Jia Xie. She has been awarded the People's Scholarship, the Shanghai Scholarship and the Lily En-Teh New Scholarship.

Yungyung was awarded the Third Prize from the Sydney International Piano Competition, the Gold Medal with High Distinction from the Manhattan International Music Competition and first prizes from the World Piano Teachers Association International Piano Competition, Artciál International Piano Competition, G-Clef International Music Competition, Pacific Stars International Piano Competition and Orbetello International Piano Competition. She is also a laureate of the NextGen International Piano Competition, WPTA Spain International Piano Competition, WPTA Singapore International Piano Competition, the Sviatoslav Richter International Piano Competition and the 'Young Talents' Concerto Competition.

Her top prize at the Manhattan International Competition also led to a recording opportunity on the Orpheus label, with her album to be released soon.

2024 Gurwitz International Piano Competition medalists, from left to right: Young Sun Choi, Tatiania Dorokhova and Yungyung Guo. Photo © 2024 Robert Michaelson
2024 Gurwitz International Piano Competition medalists,
from left to right: Young Sun Choi, Tatiania Dorokhova and Yungyung Guo.
Photo © 2024 Robert Michaelson

The silver medalist and US$20,000 prize winner, Tatiana Dorokhova from Russia, performed Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No 1 in B flat minor, Op 23. Born into a family of musicians, Tatiana started piano aged six and attended the Children's Music School No 14 in Volgograd under Anna Cherfas. She then studied at the Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory with Alexander Mndoyants.

The bronze medalist and US$10,000 prize winner, thirty-two-year-old Young Sun Choi from South Korea, played Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 4 in G, Op 58. Learning piano from the age of six, Young Sun Choi studied at Seoul Arts School, Seoul National University and then at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she has been studying with Arnaldo Cohen and serving as an associate piano instructor.

The competition jury was composed of pianists and piano producers led by jury chair Scott Yoo, host and producer of the PBS program Now Hear This and chief conductor and artistic director of the Mexico City Orchestra. The jury members were: Tanja Dorn from Germany, pianist and founder of Dorn Music, LLC; Michael Fine from the Netherlands, a Grammy-winning classical producer; concert pianist Sergio Tiempo from Argentina/Venezuela; Mikhaïl Voskresensky from Russia, international concert pianist for more than sixty years and top prize winner of the first Van Cliburn competition; and pianist Lilya Zilberstein from Russia.

The 2024 competition encompassed four rounds held over five days in San Antonio at the University of the Incarnate Word, Carver Community Cultural Center, and finally at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts with the Mexico City Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by jury chair Scott Yoo. Some of what makes this competition unique occurred during the second and third rounds, with performances of works from each contestant's home country and a commissioned piece by local composer Aaron Prado including an improvised cadenza by the pianist.

In addition to the three primary medals, three other prizes were awarded during the competition.

The Junior Jury Award (US$2,500) was awarded to Yungyung Guo from China by a group of outstanding local piano students aged between thirteen and eighteen, who sat alongside the competition jury during all twelve contestant performances in the first round of the competition.

The Best Performance of a Work by a Latin or Spanish Composer (US$5,000), chosen by the Gurwitz jury at the end of the second round, went to Young Sun Choi from South Korea for her performance of a piece from Granados' piano suite Goyescas.

At the end of the third round, the live and broadcast audience experiencing this world music round chose Tatiana Dorokhova from Russia for the Audience Favorite Award (US$5,000).

Additional festival events occurred throughout the competition for the public, including a Grand Opening that featured many of the acclaimed judges performing, a concert with honorary chair Dionne Warwick, and a jazz concert with featured pianist Marta Sánchez. The competition also took contestants who did not advance to perform free outreach concerts at schools and senior communities.

The competition is presented by Musical Bridges Around the World (MBAW), a non-profit multicultural arts and social impact organization based in San Antonio. The competition began in 1983 as the San Antonio International Competition. Its board asked MBAW to take over the competition's management in 2016. In 2018 the renamed Gurwitz International Piano Competition was accepted as a member of the Geneva-based World Federation of International Music Competitions, an exclusive collection of classical music competitions.

The next Gurwitz competition is planned for January 2028. Further information:

Posted 10 February 2024 by Keith Bramich



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