Eight young pianists from Taiwan who participated in the 15th International Young Musicians Competition in the southern Italian city of Barletta have won top prizes with their outstanding musical abilities and graceful stage performances.
Five of them received the special first prizes in various age categories and three garnered first prizes. The organizers also presented Outstanding Young Asian Musician awards to five of the prize-winning pianists -- Chen Yun-ho (陳芸禾), Chiang Pei-tsun (蔣沛淳), Chung Yung-hsien (鍾詠先) , Liao Chen-yen (廖晨硯) and Chen Jou-an (陳柔安), in recognition of their musical talent and devoted efforts at mastering their art. The five pianists also performed in a special concert held after the award presentation ceremony.
Organizers were impressed by Taiwan's musical education achievements, particularly the Council for Cultural Affairs' support for musical talent cultivation.
Some 100 young musicians from Russia, South Korea, Italy, Hungary and many other countries took part in the contest. In the A category contest for those between the age of nine and 10, both Chiang Pei-tsun and Chung Yung-hsien won a full score of 100 points to tie for the special first prize, marking the first time in the contest's history that two pianists have tied for the top award.
In the B category, both Liao Chen-yen and Chen Jou-an captured the special first prize with near-perfect performances. Later, Chen Yun-ho, a third-year student at Changhua Junior High School in central Taiwan, received the special first prize in the D category. The 14-year-old also won the special first prize in the B category. Wu Shang-hsueh (吳尚學), a student at Nanmeng Junior High School in Taipei, won first prize in the D category, while Lee Wen-cheng (李薇丞), a student at the Kuting Elementary School and Chu Chih-hsiang (朱志祥), a student at Hsinshih Elementary School in Taoyuan, won the first prizes in the C category. Chu Chih-hsiang has studied piano with two noted pianists -- Wolfgang Wagenhauser and Francesco Monopoli.
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