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KU School of Music student earns top prize at the Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition 2013

Friday, March 22, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS —Congcong Chai was awarded first prize at the Dallas Chamber Symphony International Piano Competition held March 14-16, 2013 held at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

Chai, DMA student of Jack Winerock, KU professor of piano, who performed Rachmaninov’s “Piano Concerto No.1 in F-sharp Minor,” will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and a concert engagement to perform the concerto with the Dallas Chamber Symphony on April 30th, 2013 at Dallas City Performance Hall in Dallas, Texas.

"I am thrilled at Congcong receiving first prize in this important international competition. The field of competitors was extremely high and included some of the best young pianists from all over the world. Congcong is an exceptionally talented musician and has worked very hard to accomplish this goal. All of us in the School of Music are very pleased," Winerock said.

As a prize winner of the 53rd Sorantin International Competition, Chai has participated in piano master classes and private lessons conducted by Leslie Howard, Paul Badura-Skoda, Malcolm Bilson, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio and Vladimir Krainev, among others. He has performed in Lawrence, Fort Worth, Grand Junction, Vienna, Hong Kong, Macau, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Zhu Hai. His performances have included varied repertoire for solo piano, two pianos and piano concertos. He enjoys an association with conductors Robert Ward, Benjamin Cline and Yondani Butt, collaborating in performances of the Beethoven Fourth Piano Concerto, Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto, the Yellow River Piano Concerto and Grieg’s Piano Concerto. In 2012 he attended the PianoTexas International Academy & Festival and Concerto Fest Vienna.

As a recipient of numerous scholarships, Chai has been awarded the Lee Shuk-chee Memorial Scholarship, The Society of APA Non-Local Scholarship, Tom Lee Music Scholarship, CE Scholarship, Baring Private Equity Asia Scholarship, HKAPA Piano Alumni Scholarship, Capps Rogers Scholarship and David and Gunda Hiebert Piano Scholarship.

Born in Xian, China, Chai Congcong started studying piano with his mother at a young age. He studied at the DongFang XingZhi Piano School with Zheng Shu Xing, and at ShenZhen Art School with Dan Zhao Yi and Miao Xiao Yan. After graduating from high school, he was admitted to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts to study with professor Eleanor Wong for his Diploma, Bachelor and Masters degrees. As a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Kansas, he is currently in his second year of the DMA program with Jack Winerock.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. music.ku.edu.

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