HPU Awards Prizes at Annual Piano Competition


The finalists of HPU’s Fourth Annual Piano Competition, from left, Greg Hartmann, Hilda Huang and Zhiye Lin, competed for cash prizes on Sept. 8 in the Hayworth Fine Arts Center.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 13, 2018 – High Point University awarded more than $10,000 in prizes at its Fourth Annual Piano Competition on Sept. 8 and named the winner of the N.C. Junior Piano Competition, held for the first time this year.

After performing a recital for a panel of guest judges, Zhiye Lin was announced the first-place winner of the $5,000 prize. Hilda Huang was awarded second place and $3,000; Greg Hartmann received third place and $2,000.

Pictured from left are Marcia Dills, HPU director of keyboard studies, Greg Hartmann, HPU Board of Visitors member Randall Johnson, Hilda Huang and Zhiye Lin.

“It was a pleasure to perform at such a beautiful university and concert hall,” says Lin of the Hayworth Fine Arts Center, where faculty, students and community members gathered to hear the finalists perform. “I am very grateful to my mentor, Ms. Paik, for her inspiring guidance and the support from my family and friends. Thank you so much to the wonderful judges and the organization for offering this great opportunity to me. I look forward to seeing this competition grow better and better in the future!”


The winners of HPU’s first N.C. Junior Piano Competition are Andrew Zhen, Christopher Saba, Camilla Fratta and first-place winner Kevin Xu.

Lin has studied at Cleveland Institute of Music under the guidance of Haesun Paik since 2015. Born in Shantou, Canton Province, China, in 1996, he started studying piano at age 7. In 2007, he entered the middle school affiliated with Shanghai Conservatory of Music and studied with Ting Zhou, the chairman of the piano department, where he won the excellent performance prize in the school’s concerto competition. 

In 2011, he won the first prize of V Category in the third piano competition of NIHON Piano Association. He won the second prize of the 2014 Spain Second Concurso Internacional de Piano “Villa de Xabia.” In 2016, he won the Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz Second Prize of One-Piano, Four Hands Ensemble in the eighth New York International Piano Competition. 

He has performed at the Kennedy Center, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, He Lvding Hall, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra Hall and Ningbo Concert Hall.

In the new junior competition for ages 14-18, Kevin Xu of Cary was selected from eight finalists as the winner of a cash prize and scholarship from the HPU Department of Music. He also performed along with the three finalists from the 15-25 competition during an afternoon recital and awards ceremony.

Held for the first time in 2015, the HPU Piano Competition is made possible by a $1.1 million gift from Randall T. Johnson, a native and resident of High Point and member of the HPU Board of Visitors. He is a retired executive in the food brokerage business in Florida and a patron of the arts across the Piedmont.

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