HPU Awards Prizes at Annual Piano Competition

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 12, 2019 – High Point University awarded more than $20,000 in prizes at its fifth annual Piano Competition on Sept. 7 and named the winner of the second annual N.C. Junior Piano Competition.

HPU’s Fifth Annual Piano Competition

After performing a recital for a panel of guest judges, Ji-Hyang Gwak was announced the first-place winner of the $10,000 prize. Simon Karakulidi was awarded second place and $6,000; Alan Woo received third place and $4,000.

“I am thrilled to have won first place in the HPU Piano Competition this year,” says Gwak. “This is such a beautiful campus, and I hope I can return again soon.”

Ji-Hyang Gwak is a performing solo artist, chamber musician and pedagogue, with appearances across the United States, Czech Republic, England, Germany, Spain, Japan and Korea. Gwak is the first prize winner of the Seattle International Piano Competition and the Michigan MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition. She also received prizes in numerous competitions such as 39th Joongang Music Concours, Korea-Germany Brahms Associations Concours and was a semi-finalist at the Ricard Vines International Piano Competition in Spain and the Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition in New York City.

She has performed in numerous masterclasses and had lessons with world-renowned artists including Philippe Bianconi, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Vadim Monastyrski, Yoshikazu Nagai, Elisabeth Pridonoff, Gustavo Romero, Jacques Rouvier, Pascal Rose, Robert Roux, Peter Serkin, Sasha Starcevich and Asaf Zohar. Gwak holds a Bachelor of Music in piano performance, summa cum laude, from Seoul National University and a Master of Music in piano performance and literature from Eastman School of Music. Her teacher includes Kyungrok Park, Professor Hie-Yon Choi and Professor Natalya Antonova. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in piano performance at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Professor Christopher Harding.

HPU’s Junior Piano Competition

In the junior competition for ages 14-18, Christopher Saba of Charlotte, North Carolina, was selected as the winner of a $400 cash prize and scholarship from the HPU Department of Music. He performed, along with the other finalists from the 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.

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.

Share Button

Related Posts