Boston International Piano Competition 2017
Competitors A-G H-P R-Z

Janet Jordan Halling

Janet Jordan Halling’s love of music has been a constant in her life. Her first job was organist for a church in La Crescenta, California when she was thirteen years old. She studied organ at University of the Pacific’s Conservatory of Music and performed two recitals before transferring to the liberal arts college. Since then, Janet traveled extensively, formed her company, Keynote Communications, and raised a family with her husband, Steve. A few years ago, Janet bought a Steinway grand and began studying piano with Roxana Bajdechi in Boston. She believes her rediscovered passion for playing is unrivaled by just about anyone.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach (arr. Halling) - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor  
Brahms - Intermezzo in A Major, Op. 118, No. 2

Final Round
Mozart - Sonata in A Major, K. 331, 1st m.
Albeniz - Asturias (Leyenda), from Suite Española, Op. 47 

Wen-yee Ho

Wen-yee Ho, while growing up in Hong Kong, took piano lessons with Harry Ore, a graduate of St. Petersburg Conservatory. She and her teacher gave dual piano concerts on Radio Hong Kong and participated in a fund-raising concert for the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In later years, she took lessons from Leo Smit, Jeannette Giguere, and Frederic Aguessy. Since 2011, she has taken lessons from Max Levinson from time to time. Recipient of three degrees in French, Wen-yee was educated in the United States and France. She spent most of her adult life teaching French, first at Harvard University, then at Tufts University. Since her retirement from Tufts in 2011, she has participated in international piano competitions for amateurs. In 2013, she won second prize in the PianoBridges International Piano Competition in St. Petersburg.

Preliminary Round
Chopin - Andante Spianato et Grande Polonaise Brillante, Op. 22

Semi Final Round
Chopin - Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1  
                Mazurka in C Major, Op. 24, No. 2  
Schubert - Impromptu in G-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 3 

Final Round 
Chopin - Nocturne in D-flat Major, Op. 27, No. 2
               Nocturne in E-flat Major, Op. 55, No. 2  
                Waltz in C-sharp Minor, Op. 62, No. 2  
                Berceuse in D-flat Major, Op. 57  
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5  
               Etude-Tableau in C Major, Op. 33, No. 2  
Schumann/Liszt - Widmung

Christine Hsu

Christine Hsu was born and raised in Taiwan, but was a late starter in her music journey. After starting piano lessons at age 10, she continued them until dental school. To her surprise, Christine found many commonalities between music and dentistry. A few years later, she resumed piano studies while doing her dental residency at the University of Alabama Birmingham as the pupil of Tatiana Kasman, renewing her passion for the piano. Residing in Maryland with her husband and three furry babies, Christine is an assistant professor at University of Maryland Baltimore and takes lessons with Dr. Bok Hwa Kim in her casual time.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach - Prelude & Fugue in G Minor, WTC Bk I
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in E-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 6
Sibelius - Romance Op. 24, No. 9

Final Round
Haydn – Sonata in F Major, Hob.XVI:23
                1. Allegro 
                2. Adagio 
                3. Finale. Presto

Hiromi Inomata

Hiromi Inomata was born in Tokyo, Japan. She studied piano between the ages of 6 and 12, and took up the oboe in high school. She joined an amateur orchestra, which traveled to Korea and Croatia and also played with members of The Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin Deutsche Opera Orchestra and Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2008, Hiromi moved to Boston and resumed her study of piano as a Continuing Study Student at Longy School of Music, where she received the Martha Sosman Awards. She was a Second Prize Winner in the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. She also participated in the music festival MusicA Braine l'Alleud in Belgium, and performed in a masterclass for Daniel Blumenthal.

Preliminary Round
Schubert - Sonata in A Major, D.959, 2nd m.
Mendelssohn - Fantasy in F-sharp Minor, Op. 28, 1st m.

Semi Final Round 
Schubert - Sonata in A Major, D.959, 4th m.

Final Round
Schubert - Sonata in A Major, D.959, 1st m.
J.S. Bach - Partita No. 4 in D Major, BWV828

Jit-Seng Khoo

Jit-Seng Khoo came to the US from Indonesia in 1963 to attend Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, then studied medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine, and the University of Minnesota. Further medical appointments were at Brown University in general surgery and Plastic Surgery, then as Chief of Plastic Surgery at Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Sacramento, CA and Assistant Clinical Prof of Plastic Surgery, University of CA, Davis, and then went into private practice. Jit-Seng studied piano as an undergrad but then stopped for 17 years before returning to studies with Thomas Gentry and Prof Richard Cionco in California. He has participated in the Cliburn amateur competition and the Chopin amateur competition in Warsaw, Poland.

Preliminary Round
Mozart – Adagio in B Minor, K. 540
Rachmaninoff – Prelude in G Major, Op. 32, No. 5
Rachmaninoff – Prelude in B-flat Major, Op. 23, No. 2

Semi Final Round
J.S. Bach/Petri - Sheep May Safely Graze
Chopin - Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat Minor, Op. 31

Final Round
Chopin - Nocturne in B Major, Op. 9, No. 3 
Polonaise in C-sharp Minor, Op. 26, No. 1
Mazurka in B Minor, Op. 33, No. 4 
Mazurka in D-flat Major, Op. 30, No. 3 
Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38 

Lynn Killingsworth

Lynn Killingsworth’s engagement in the world of classical ballet necessitated a long deferment of her formal studies at the piano. She later enjoyed the privilege of studying with pianists of high caliber. With their guidance and encouragement she was able to make up for lost time building repertoire and technique. During a brief period in which office work later became Lynn's means of financial support, the piano became even more important to her, giving her a very necessary outlet for artistic expression. Lynn was privileged to perform Rachmaninoff's Prelude in G Sharp Minor in the master class of Russian pianist, Zlata Chochieva, during her recent concert tour in San Diego. Lynn is presently finding the care of her elderly mother a fulfilling commitment.

Preliminary Round
Chopin - Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 17, No. 4
Rachmaninoff - Prelude in G-sharp Minor, Op. 32, No. 12 
Tchaikovsky - Grande Pas de Deux, from "The Nutcracker" 

Semi Final Round
Brahms - Intermezzo in B-flat Minor, Op. 117, No. 2 
Grieg - Wedding Day at Troldhaugen, from Lyric Pieces, Op. 65 
De Falla - Ritual Fire Dance, from "El Amor Brujo"

Final Round
Rachmaninoff/Wild - Vocalise
Kabalevsky - Sonata No. 3 in F Major, Op. 46 
                1.Allegro con moto 
                2.Andante cantabile 
                3.Allegro giocoso

Judith Knott
United Kingdom

Judith Knott has been playing the piano since 1968 but took a 35-year break while pursuing her career as an academic and civil servant, and bringing up her daughter. She resumed playing in 2012 under Sebastian Stanley in Hertfordshire, UK. Her most exciting piano moment so far was playing Janacek on a recent BBC Radio 3 program featuring amateur pianists. Judith visited the US several times on business when she was the UK’s Director of Corporate and International Tax. Since leaving the civil service last year she divides her time between writing, music and being a university governor.

Preliminary Round
Janacek – from "In the Mists"
Poulenc – Improvisations, Nos. 2, 7, 8

Semi Final Round
Shostakovich – Preludes, Op. 34 
                No. 1 in C Major
                No. 14 in E-flat Minor
                No. 15 in D-flat Major
                No. 19 in E-flat Major 
                No. 20 in C Minor 
Poulenc - Mélancolie

Final Round
Scarlatti – Sonata in F Minor, K. 466
                  Sonata in A Minor, K. 532
Liszt - Liebesträume, Notturno No.2 in E Major
Schumann - Romanze in F-sharp Major, Op. 28, No. 2 
Mozart - Fantasia in C Minor, K. 475 

Chris Kokkinos

Chris Kokkinos was born in Nicosia, Cyprus, where he began taking piano lessons at the age of 10. At age 17 he earned piano certificates from the Orpheon Conservatory (Athens, Greece) and The Royal Schools of Music (London, England) and the following year the piano diploma by the Orpheon Conservatory with distinction. Chris pursued Electrical Engineering and Music degrees at Cornell University. For his music studies his piano instructor was Malcolm Bilson. He is currently studying piano with Boston area faculty and attending Ya-Fei Chuang's Piano Interpretation & Performance Seminar at NEC. Chris lives in Acton, MA with his wife and three sons. He is employed by Location, Inc in Worcester, MA as the VP of Product Development.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach/Liszt - Prelude & Fugue in A Minor 
Chopin - Nocturne in C Minor, Op. 48, No. 1

Semi Final Round
Liszt - Ballade No. 2 in B minor, S. 171

Final Round
Beethoven - Sonata in E Major, Op. 109 
                1.Vivace ma non troppo — Adagio espressivo
                3.Gesangvoll, mit innigster Empfindung. Andante molto cantabile ed                                     espressivo
Liszt - Rigoletto Paraphrase de Concert, S. 434 

David Leehey

David Leehey is President of the Symphony of Oak Park & River Forest in Illinois. He performed the Brahms D minor Concerto in October 2001, Beethoven Choral Fantasy in April 2011, and Dvorak’s Piano Concerto in May 2015 with the Symphony. He also serves as its orchestral pianist and rehearsal accompanist. He was a semifinalist in the 2001 and 2003 Boston amateur competitions and the 2009 and 2011 Washington competitions. He was a founding board member of Pianoforte Foundation in Chicago, serving as chair of the competition committee for the first Chicago competition held in June 2010. When not engaged in musical pursuits, he works as an academic physician in the Chicago area.

Preliminary Round
Schubert - Impromptu in E-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 2, D. 899
Scriabin - Etude in B-flat Minor, Op. 8, No. 11
Chopin - Valse brillante in A-flat Major, Op. 34, No. 1

Final Round
Beethoven - Sonata in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1
1.Allegro molto e con brio
2.Adagio molto
3.Finale: Prestissimo

Andy Liao

Andy Liao has been playing piano since he was seven. He has previously studied with Howard Aibel, Daniel Shapiro, Sergey Schepkin, and Uriel Tsachor. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.M. in piano performance and B.S. in Actuarial Science. After college, he moved to Boston for work, but continued to play piano extensively. He has taken various classes and chamber music coachings throughout the Boston area, including private studies with Randall Hodgkinson and attending the Piano Interpretation & Performance Seminar with Ya-Fei Chuang at NEC. He was the third prize winner at the 2015 Washington International Piano Arts Council (WIPAC) Amateur Piano Competition and awarded Best Performance of a Modern/Contemporary Work at the 2016 San Diego Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs. His other interests besides piano are running, tennis, and watching the NBA.

Preliminary Round
Haydn - Sonata in B Minor, Hob XVI:32 
                1. Allegro moderato 
                2. Minuet - Trio 
                3. Finale. Presto
Ravel - Jeux d'eau

Semi Final Round
Debussy – Pagodes, from Estampes 
Liszt - Hungarian Rhapsody No. 12 

Final Round
Faure - Nocturne No. 1 in E-flat Minor, Op.33, No. 1 
Rachmaninoff - Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42 

Serge Mallet

Serge Mallet is currently purchasing manager at BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany. He started piano at the age of 6, then studied at the conservatory of the thirteenth arrondissement of Paris, France, then at the conservatory of Reims, France, parallel to management studies at Reims High business school , where he earned an MBA in 1989. Serge’s other activities include theater, swimming, and jogging. According to his father, Camille Saint-Saens was related to his Norman great grandfather’s family.

Preliminary Round
Saint-Saens - Danse Macabre, Op. 40, arr. H. Cramer 
J.S. Bach - Prelude & Fugue in G-sharp Minor, WTC Bk I

Final Round
Schubert – Impromptu in E-flat Major, Opus 90, No. 2
Prokofiev - Peter and the Wolf, Suite for piano arr. Nikolayeva

Philip Mandel

Philip Mandel started taking piano lessons at the age of five and continued through high school, studying with the late concert pianist, Adam Kapuscinski, near their home in Great Neck, New York. Terribly shy for the most of his life, Philip says he is finally out of his shell and no longer fears performing. In fact, he loves it! After playing a public recital in 2014 at Portland, Oregon to a packed house that gave him not one, but two standing ovations, he decided to hire a recording engineering and produced his “Pathetique” CD. He competed last year in the San Diego amateur competition. He works as a real estate agent in Oregon.

Preliminary Round
Schubert - Impromptu in G-flat major, Op. 90, No. 3, D. 899
Joaquin Malats - Serenata Española
Ernesto Nazareth - Odéon (Tango Brasileiro)
Ravel - Prelude in A-minor

Final Round
Ravel - Sonatine

Art Manwelyan

Art Manwelyan is a mathematician by training, a computer programmer by profession, and, by passion, an active member of the three Boston area piano societies. An avid piano competitor, Art has participated in several piano amateur competitions in Boston,
Chicago, Fort Worth and Paris. He often performs at piano soirees and solo recitals, and also regularly plays piano at the Boston Symphony Cafe. Art is very grateful to his mother, Olga, thanks to whom he studied piano from the early age of six. He is also extremely grateful to his wife Julia, his three children and their spouses, his two adorable
grandsons, Abraham and Pedro and his adorable mutt Bella, all of whom both support his passion for the music and tolerate hours of piano practice.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach - Toccata in D Major, BWV 912 
Schubert - Impromptu in E-flat Major, Op. 90, No. 2, D. 899

Semi Final Round
Scarlatti - Fugue in G Minor, K. 30
Beethoven – Sonata in F Major, Op. 2, No. 1, 2nd m.
Mendelssohn - Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 14 

Final Round
Beethoven - Sonata in C Major, Op. 53, "Waldstein"
                1. Allegro con brio
                2. Introduzione. Adagio molto
                3. Rondo. Allegretto moderato – Prestissimo

Neil McKelvie
New York

Neil McKelvie was born in England in 1930. After obtaining an MA from Cambridge University and a PhD from Columbia University in Organic Chemistry, he became a Chemistry Professor at the City College of New York and the CUNY Graduate School for 45 years. He has no academic musical education, but his piano teachers have included Manuell Frankell in London until 1954; and (nearly 50 years later) Seymour Bernstein in NY, and lately Mara Waldman. He has played in amateur competitions since 2005 in Boston, Chicago, Berlin, and Washington DC, winning a total of six special prizes for
e.g. Best Performance of Romantic Music or Best Program. He is also a chess master with a top rating over 2400. 

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach/Busoni - Choral Prelude "Ich Ruf' Zu Dir"
Chopin - Mazurka in A Minor, Op. 59, No. 1
Bortkiewicz - Lyrica Nova, Op. 59, No. 1
Friedman – Mazurka, Op. 27, No. 3

Semi Final Round
Bortkiewicz - Lyrica Nova, Op. 59, No. 3
Ernesto Halffter - Habanera
Schubert – Sonata in C Minor, D. 958, 2nd m.

Final Round
Friedman – Mazurka, Op. 15, No. 1
                   Mazurka, Op. 49, No. 1
Chopin - Prelude in A-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 17
Beethoven - Sonata in A-flat Major, Op. 110
                1. Moderato cantabile molto espressivo
                2. Allegro molto
                3. Adagio ma non troppo - Allegro ma non troppo 

Alexandra Nica

Alexandra Nica was born in Brasov, located in the Transylvania region of Romania, just a 15-minute drive from Dracula’s castle. Her mother and aunt were the first Romanian folkloric duet in the country, and her father is a folkloric dancer and choreographer. Her family’s 30 years in the “Poienita” Folkloric Ensemble brought them many prestigious awards from national and international festivals. Alexandra started piano at age 6 and studied for eight years with Professor Dorina Popescu at the Tudor Ciortea Music School in Brasov. She received a B.A. in International Trade from the University of Transylvania in Romania, followed by an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Iowa, and then joined the Economics department faculty at the University of Iowa in 2014. After a long hiatus from public piano performances, she recently participated in the San Diego and Chicago amateur competitions. She is also one of the Chairs of the University Club Piano Interest Groups that holds monthly themed piano performances.

Preliminary Round
Chopin - Etude in A-flat Major, Op. 25 No. 1, "Aeolian Harp"
Enescu – Prelude, from Piano Suite No. 1, Op. 3, "Dans le style ancien"
Debussy - Dr. Gradus ad Parnassum, from Children’s Corner 
Paul Constantinescu - Toccata "Joc Dobrogean" 

Semi Final Round
Chopin - Polonaise in A Major, Op. 40, No. 1, “Military”
Philip Wesley – Lamentations of the Heart, from “Dark Night of the Soul”
Tudor Ciortea - Joc Tiganesc (Gypsy Dance) 

Final Round
Mozart - Piano Sonata in A Major, K. 331, 3rd m.
Chopin – Waltz in A-flat Major, Op. 69, No. 1
Beethoven - Sonata in C-sharp Minor, Op. 27, No. 2, "Quasi una fantasia"
                1. Adagio sostenuto
                2. Allegretto
                3. Presto agitato

Reiko Osawa

Reiko Osawa received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Composition from the Osaka College of Music in Osaka, Japan. She has been composing contemporary music of various instrumental and vocal combinations since graduate school. While living in San Jose, California, from 2001 to 2009, she took piano performance class at De Anza College, and she played in masterclasses at the Piano Texas International Academy and Festival on several occasions. She has participated in various amateur piano competitions in Texas, Colorado, Boston and Japan. Now Reiko lives in Hyogo, Japan, where she plays piano duets with friends and enjoys swimming every day.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach - Chromatic Fantasie and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903

Semi Final Round
Chopin - Ballade No. 2 in F Major, Op. 38 
Prokofiev - Sarcasms, Op. 17, Nos. 1, 4, 5 

Final Round
Kabalevsky - Sonata No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op.45 
                1.Allegro moderato Festivamente 
                2.Andante sostenuto 
                3.Presto assai

Chuifun Poon
Hong Kong

Chuifun Poon began her piano lessons at age 5. She furthered her piano studies at the Royal College of Music, London, where she took up several accompanist jobs to support herself, including working as a ballet accompanist at the Royal Academy of Dancing. Upon her graduation Chuifun returned to Hong Kong to take up a position at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts as the coordinator of the Junior Music School as well as starting her own family. Chuifun works as administrative assistant and graphic designer for PianoTexas International Academy & Festival, a position she has held for 20 years. She has participated in the Cliburn, Berlin and Warsaw amateur competitions. Chuifun is also a passionate chamber music lover and has for several years participated in the Amateur Chamber Music Week in Verbier, Switzerland.

Preliminary Round
J.S. Bach - Italian Concerto, BWV 971
                1. Allegro
                2. Andante
                3. Presto

Semi Final Round
J.S. Bach/Petri - Sheep May Safely Graze
Chopin - Ballade No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 52

Final Round
Schubert - Impromptus, Op. 90, D. 899
                No. 1 in C Minor
                No. 2 in E-flat Major
                No. 3 in G-flat Major
                No. 4 in A-flat Major