Canadian Semifinalist Avan Yu was born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver. He grew up surrounded by the sounds of traditional Chinese instruments – his mother playing pipa and his father the sheng. He now lives in Berlin where he studies with Klaus Hellwig at the Universität der Künste. Yu has performed with some of Canada’s leading orchestras, including the Vancouver Symphony and National Arts Centre Orchestras and Victoria Symphony and Symphony Nova Scotia. He has performed overseas with the Dresden Philharmonic, Slovak Radio Symphony, Xiamen Philharmonic and Morocco Philharmonic Orchestras. In 2012, Yu won First Prize in the Sydney International Piano Competition.
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Australian Semifinalist David Fung is described as “stylish and articulate” by The New York Times. He is a champion of contemporary music as evidenced by his performances with the internationally-acclaimed eighth blackbird ensemble, and last year was appointed Artistic Director of the Bari International Music Festival in Italy. He has performed with orchestras across Australia including the Canberra and Melbourne Symphonies, the Queensland Orchestra and Sydney Symphony Orchestra, in the United States with the San Diego Symphony and Los Angeles Chamber Orchestras, and with Israel’s Philharmonic and Camerata Orchestras.
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American Finalist Eric Zuber holds degrees from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School where he studied with Boris Slutsky, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank and Robert McDonald. He was two-time recipient of the Gina Bachauer Prize and was also awarded the Arthur Rubinstein Prize while at The Juilliard School. Zuber has won major prizes at several international piano competitions including the Cleveland, Dublin and Sydney competitions.
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At age 11, Korean Finalist Jong-Hai Park entered his country’s Yewon Music School. He went on to study at the Seoul Arts High School and in the preparatory section of the Korea National University of Arts with Choong Mo Kang. He is laureate of several Korean competitions, Second Prize winner at the Hong Kong International Piano and Nagoya International Music Competitions in 2008, and at the 2009 Dublin International Piano Competition. He was a Finalist at Belgium’s prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in 2010.
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Russian Semifinalist Konstantin Shamray was the first pianist in the history of the Sydney International Piano Competition to win not only its top prize, but also six special awards along with two recording contracts in 2008. This allowed him to tour Australia and New Zealand in recital and as a collaborator with the Australian String Quartet. He has also performed extensively through Europe, including appearances at the Klavier-Festival Ruhr and Bochum Festival in Germany and with the Moscow Philharmonic and Prague Symphony Orchestras.