One of the perks of winning the New York International Piano Competition is a recital at the Phillips Collection, and on Sunday afternoon, the prodigiously gifted Anna Han — who walked off with this year’s prize at the tender age of 16— put on a display of imagination, taste and pianistic firepower that was far beyond her years.
Generations of university music majors have cut their teeth on Walter Piston’s iconic “Harmony” text. It’s a great book but not the best way to get to know and understand Piston’s music. The program of his piano compositions that Igor Lovchinsky and Jonathan Coombs brought to the Phillips Collection on Sunday, however, did a pretty good job of this.
Melvin Stecher and Norman Horowitz have shared not just a stage but also a piano bench for more than 40 years. As the Stecher & Horowitz Duo they were one of the most successful piano duos of the past century. Over time, though, their ability to share has extended into the realm of education, which they fostered through publishing ventures and a music school in Cedarhurst, N.Y., that graduated some 15,000 pianists. It might seem odd, then, that their most recent venture is a competition. Then again, it’s an unusual one.
Anna Han Wins First Prize at Sixth New York International Piano Competition
The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation has announced sixteen-year-old Anna Han of Chandler, Arizona as the First Prize Winner of the Sixth New York International Piano Competition. Ms. Han has studied with Mr. Fei Xu at New Century Conservatory since she was five years old. She has won a number of national and international piano competitions, including the first prize at the 2011 New Orleans International Piano Competition for Young Artists, the first prize for the 2011 and 2008 IIYM (International Institute for Young Musicians) International Piano Competitions, second prize at the 2008 Missouri Southern International Piano Competition Junior Division, the bronze medal at the 2008 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, fifth place at the 2010 Cooper International Piano Competition, and she was the national first place winner of the 2007 Music Teachers National Association Junior Piano Competition.
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NURTURING THE FUTURE
The Promise of The Stecher and Horowitz Foundation
Music Teachers National Association
January 14, 2012
By James Litzelman