Canadian Tony Yun makes semi-finals of first China International Music Competition

Singing Valentines / Valentins chantants

4-21 May 2019, Beijing

First China International Music Competition announces Semi-finalist

Jury choose the 12 international pianists who will progress to the next round 

Audiences around the world can follow the progress of competitors and performances of the very highest standard via live-streaming on and

Full details of events and competitors available at

Watch announcement of Semi-Finalists here

The first China International Music Competition – newly created by the China Conservatory of Music and Global Music Education League with 20 pianists between the ages of 17 and 28 from all over the world competing for unprecedented prize money – today [9 May 2019] announces the details of the 12 pianists who will progress to the Semi-final rounds of the Competition. They are competing for the chance to win unprecedented cash prizes, international management and the chance to perform in the Final concert with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra (20 May).

Among the pianists going through are three from Russia, two from South Korea, two from USA, and one each from Canada, China, Georgia, Italy and Kazakhstan. The two youngest competitors in the Competition have been selected.

The Semi-Finalists are (in alphabetical order):

Alim Beisembayev                          Kazakhstan         Age 21

Leonardo Colafelice                       Italy                       Age 23

Anna Hann                                          USA                       Age 23

Honggi Kim                                         South Korea       Age 27

Alexander Malofeev                      Russia                   Age 17

MacKenzie Melemed                     USA                       Age 24

Sandro Nebieridze                          Georgia                Age 18

Linzi Pan                                              China                     Age 24

Hans H Suh                                         South Korea       Age 28

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev       Russia                   Age 25

Anastasia Vorotnaya                       Russia                   Age 23

Tony Yun                                             Canada                 Age 17

Each will now perform another recital and collaborate in a vocal recital for a chance to be among the six pianists chosen to progress to the first phase of the Final Round where they will perform a Classical concerto with the China Academia Orchestra. Three finalists will then be chosen to play a Final Round concert at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts with The Philadelphia Orchestra,conducted by its music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin. All performances apart from the Final Round concert will take place in the concert hall of the China Conservatory.

Music lovers in China and around the world can follow the progress of competitors and enjoy performances of the very highest standard from every round thanks to filming and live-streaming on, China’s leading TV and online platform for classical music and the arts, and, China’s leading video hosting service.

The pianists taking part were selected by the world’s foremost international music authorities and came from a total of ten countries – Australia, Belarus, Canada, China, Georgia, Italy, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States. Several competitors currently attend the world’s leading conservatories, and many have already won prizes at major international piano competitions.

The Competition will award a first prize of US$150,000 and a gold medal, a second prize of US$75,000 and a silver medal, and a third prize of US$30,000 and a crystal award to its top three winners. In addition to this unprecedented purse, the gold medallist will gain representation by two major international artist management companies: Opus 3 Artists in the United States and Armstrong Music and Arts in China which, combined, will coordinate three years of international concert tours.

The Competition is led by Richard Rodzinski, who is also president emeritus of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and former general director of the International Tchaikovsky Competition.

The distinguished international jury of the inaugural Competition includes: Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, chairman of the Global Music Education League, and president of the China Conservatory of Music; Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury and artistic director of the Competition; Dmitri Alexeev; Jan Jiracek von Arnim; Lydia Artymiw; Boris Berman; Michel Béroff; Ronan O’Hora; Warren Jones; Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń; and Arie Vardi.

None of the competitors currently study or have ever studied with any member of the jury.

About China Conservatory of Music

Long regarded as the “Cradle of Chinese Musicians,” the China Conservatory of Music has been devoted to the training of professionals in theory, creation, and performance of traditional Chinese and Western music since its founding in 1964. The Conservatory confers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in music and dance as well as MFA degrees in music and dance. It is China’s only school offering a doctorate in musical performance research, and also maintains the Music and Dance Postdoctoral Research Center.

The Conservatory has formed an integrated multilevel teaching system centered on the theory, creation, and performing of Chinese music, and includes eleven departments: Music, Composition, Voice and Opera, Chinese Instruments, Music Education, Piano, Art Management, Conducting, Orchestral Instruments, Music Technology, and Social Science. The Conservatory also houses the Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Chinese National School of Music, a graduate school, a continuing education college, and a middle school.

With numerous renowned teachers, the China Conservatory of Music is a national leader in all its disciplines. It has attracted countless influential musicians and talent over five decades and has added nearly ten thousand outstanding alumni to the global music industry in various disciplines. The Conservatory has established The Global Music Education League—a strategic, cooperative relationship with sixty-four universities around the world—while also promoting cross-cultural exchanges.

First China International Music Competition Jury

Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, president of the China Conservatory of Music, and chairman of the Global Music Education League

Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury of the First China International Music Competition, chairperson of the piano department and artistic director of the Pre-College Division, The Juilliard School

Dmitri Alexeev, piano professor at the Royal College of Music

Jan Jiracek von Arnim, artistic director and chairman of the jury of the International Beethoven Piano Competition

Lydia Artymiw, professor of piano at the University of Minnesota

Boris Berman, head of the piano department, Yale School of Music

Michel Beroff, pianist and conductor

Ronan O’Hora, Head of piano studies, Guildhall School of Music

Warren Jones, pianist, conductor, and renowned operatic vocal coach

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, jury chairman of the International Chopin Piano Competition

Arie Vardi, artistic advisor and chairman of the jury of the Arthur Rubinstein International Master Competition

The Philadelphia Orchestra

The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world, renowned for its distinctive sound, desired for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences and admired for a legacy of innovation in music-making. The Orchestra is inspiring the future and transforming its rich tradition of achievement, sustaining the highest level of artistic quality, but also challenging—and exceeding—that level by creating powerful musical experiences for audiences at home and around the world.

Since 1973, when President Nixon asked The Philadelphia Orchestra to be the first US orchestra to perform in China, we have enjoyed a unique and special relationship with China and its people. Through concerts and residency activities, the Orchestra’s work in China has been a bridge for people-to-people cultural, educational, and diplomatic exchange.

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin triumphantly opened his inaugural season of The Philadelphia Orchestra in the fall of 2012. His highly-collaborative style, deeply rooted musical curiosity, and boundless enthusiasm, paired with a fresh approach to orchestral programming, have been heralded by critics and audiences alike. The New York Times has called him “phenomenal,” adding that under his baton, “the ensemble…has never sounded better.”


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