Edmonton, AB (May 21, 2022) – After two days of amazing and very high calibre competition, pianist Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (23 years old), from Salmon Arm, British Columbia, who is currently pursuing a Master’s of Music at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Corey Hamm, was awarded the $8,000 top prize in The Shean Piano Competition. Mr. Izik-Dzurko has also won the opportunity to play with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at a future date. Mr. Izik- Dzurko was one of 6 finalists chosen from the 10 submitted entries to compete in The 2022 Shean Piano Competition on May 20 and 21 in Edmonton, AB, Canada.
The complete results of the Competition are as follows (hometowns in parentheses):
- First Place and $8,000, plus the opportunity to play with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra – Jaeden Izik-Dzurko (Salmon Arm, BC)
- Second Place and $5,000 – Hamilton Lau (Coquitlam, BC)
- Third Place and $4,000 – Paul Williamson (Mission, BC)
- Fourth Place and $3,000 – Michelle Jia Yun Xu (Vancouver, BC)
- Fifth Place and $2,000 – Simiao (Helen) Pei (Richmond, BC)
Due to illness, Ms. Jessica Yuma (Edmonton, AB) had to withdraw from the Competition.
Hamilton Lau also won the $1,000 Paul J. Bourret Memorial Award for Best Performance of the Test Piece – Du und Du, waltz transcription for piano (after Johann Strauss II’s “Die Fledermaus”) by Ernst von Dohnányi.
The adjudicators for this year’s Shean Piano Competition were David Hoyt, Chair; Jane Coop, and Janet Scott-Hoyt.
The 2023 Shean Strings Competition (for violin, viola, and violoncello) takes place May 19 and 20, 2023 in Edmonton with an $8,000 Top Prize and the opportunity to perform with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. The $1,000 Paul J. Bourret Memorial Award for Best Performance of the Test Piece will also be awarded.
About The Shean Piano Competition
The Shean Competition for Strings and Piano, made possible by a generous grant to the Edmonton Community Foundation from Ranald and Vera Shean in 1996, is open to young amateur musicians between 15 and 28 years of age who are residents of Canada currently studying here or abroad, or to non-residents who have been studying in Canada for a minimum of two academic years. Six semi-finalists are chosen from the submitted discs. The winner of the 2022 Competition may be invited to perform with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at a later date. Strings and piano are featured in alternative years.
Ranald Shean excelled in both music and sports and was a “Master Music Teacher”. Vera Shean was an equally gifted violinist and pianist. They met in Vancouver where Ranald was an associate teacher with Gregori Garbovitsky’s and Vera was Garbovitsky’s piano student. Vera also completed advanced piano studies with Sir Arthur Benjamin. Ranald & Vera married and began a lifelong collaboration in music, predominantly in the Edmonton area.
In the 1940s, Ranald was concertmaster and conductor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. In addition to playing violin in the Symphony, Vera performed in recital and as an accompanist for the CBC, and Ranald also conducted the Edmonton Youth Orchestra. In 1966, they established the Edmonton Conservatory of Music which later merged with the Alberta College Conservatory of Music.
Their passion was teaching. During their lives, they both maintained a full teaching schedule (Vera – piano, Ranald – violin) working seven days a week. Sunday was “Open House” for their students. Any student who wanted to come and practice, work with an accompanist (Vera), have extra coaching, play in an ensemble, etc. was welcome. Both Ranald and Vera were inducted into the City of Edmonton’s Arts & Culture Hall of Fame.
Their dream for young musicians to experience the same passion they had for music lives on in The Shean Competition.
About The Shean Piano Competition Finalists
Jaeden Izik-Dzurko – Salmon Arm, BC
Born in Salmon Arm, British Columbia, 22-year-old Jaeden Izik-Dzurko is earning a reputation as a promising young artist. Mr. Izik-Dzurko has been recognized by audiences, conductors, and composers alike for the exceptional communicative power and thoughtfulness of his interpretations. He is a Grand Prize winner at the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals’ National Competition, and a winner of Juilliard’s prestigious Gina Bachauer Scholarship Competition.
Mr. Izik-Dzurko graduated from The Juilliard School in 2021, completing a Bachelor of Music with Prof. Veda Kaplinsky. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Music at the University of British Columbia with Dr. Corey Hamm. An experienced recitalist, Mr. Izik-Dzurko has organized and presented numerous solo recitals to benefit both community projects and international humanitarian organizations. He has collaborated with local and international instrumentalists, vocalists and chamber ensembles, and has performed with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, the Kamloops Symphony, and the Lions Gate Sinfonia. Mr. Izik-Dzurko’s recordings have been presented nationally on CBC Radio, and in September 2019, his performance in Juilliard’s Paul Hall was broadcast live on WQXR in New York.
Mr. Izik-Dzurko has earned a reputation as a passionate advocate for Canadian compositions, and has been recognized for his exciting and insightful interpretations. In 2017, in honour of Canada’s sesquicentennial, he presented a successful solo recital of works written solely by Canadian composers.
Hamilton Lau – Coquitlam, BC
Hamilton Lau was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. He began his piano studies at the age of four, and he currently studies with Corey Hamm at the University of British Columbia. He received the British Columbia Registered Music Teachers’ Association Excellence Award in 2015, and in 2016, he obtained the Associate Diploma of the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT), Piano Performance. From 2016 to 2020, he was enrolled in the Young Artist Collegiate Program at the Vancouver Academy of Music, where he studied piano, theory, history, and composition.
He achieved first place at the Canadian Music Competition in 2021 and in 2019, and at the Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival in 2018. He also won the Kay Meek Competition, Phyllis Salter Piano Competition, and the Bjorn & Lori Hareid Senior Secondary Competition. Besides competing, Mr. Lau has a wide range of experience in performing, both as a soloist and as a collaborative pianist. He played Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in a minor as a soloist at the Orpheum Theatre with the VAM Symphony Orchestra (VAMSO) in 2018. He has performed in many recitals and concerts, and his chamber music experiences comprise of performing at the Windermere Care Centre and the Roedde House Museum.
Simiao (Helen) Pei – Richmond, BC
An active performer and a dedicated musician, Vancouver pianist Helen Pei is a winner of numerous provincial and national competitions, including the renowned Canadian Music Competition in 2015, as well as being one of the semi-finalists for the prestigious Prix Orford Musique in 2019. Ms. Pei completed her Bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia (BMus, 2016) under the tutelage of Professor Mark Anderson. She has also recently received her Artist Diploma from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, studying with Professor André Laplante.
Ms. Pei’s performance career includes concert appearances across Canada, some of which includes her concerto début with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra under the baton of Kenneth Hsieh, when she played Saint-Saëns’ Concerto No.5 in F Major, op. 103, nicknamed “The Egyptian.”
Throughout her musical career and education, Ms. Pei has worked with many acclaimed and distinguished musicians, including Đặng Thái Sơn, Evelyne Brancart, Michelle Mares, Angela Cheng, Jean Saulnier, John Perry, Ádám György, Stephen Hough, and Jon Kimura Parker.
Paul Williamson – Mission, BC
Included in CBC Music’s 2017 edition of “30 under 30” classical musicians, Paul Williamson is a first prize winner of the piano category of the Canadian National Music Festival (2014), the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association national piano competition (2017), and a prizewinner of the Doris McLellan Competition (2020). As soloist, he has appeared with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the University of Manitoba Symphony Orchestra, and the Fraser Valley Symphony. Mr. Williamson has worked with such distinguished artists as Eliso Virsaladze, Robert McDonald, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Matti Raekallio, Yefim Bronfman, Paul Lewis, and others. He has performed alongside Alexander Micklethwate, Julian Pellicano, Aiyun Huang, Orli Shaham, and Jim Walker. His festival appearances include Morningside Music Bridge, Orford, Hornby, Aspen, Agassiz, Scotia, and Kneisel Hall.
Mr. Williamson obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Manitoba and a Master of Music degree from the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he continues to study with Fabio Bidini in the Artist Diploma program. His other musical influences include David Moroz and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Mr. Williamson is grateful for the support of the BC Arts Council.
Michelle Jia Yun Xu – Vancouver, BC
Pianist Michelle Jia Yun Xu (age 20) began private studies in her hometown of Vancouver, BC at age eight. By 11, she made her international début at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and has since performed in Poland, Malta, Italy, Switzerland, France, China, and the US.
Ms. Xu currently studies with Angela Cheng and Alvin Chow at the Oberlin Conservatory, and previously with Kenneth Broadway and Ralph Markham in Vancouver. Additionally, she has worked with André Watts, Marie Josèphe-Jude, Hortense Cartier-Bresson, Krzysztof Jabłoński, and more.
As a recent scholarship recipient, Ms. Xu is grateful to the BC Arts Council. She is a prizewinner of the Vancouver Women’s Musical Society Bursary Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, Bjorn & Lori Hareid Competition, and Pacific Youth Piano Competition.
In 2015, Ms. Xu performed her first solo recital in support of the BC Alzheimer’s Society and continues supporting her community through frequent retirement home recitals and benefit concerts. She has performed and studied at world- renowned summer festivals: International Summer Academy of Nice, MusicAlp, Domaine Forget, Morningside Music Bridge, and MusicFest Perugia. In 2014, she made her orchestral début with the West Coast Symphony Orchestra at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, and has since performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Alicante and the Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet.
Jessica Yuma – Edmonton, AB
Ms. Jessica Yuma completed both the ARCT and LRCM Performance Diplomas by the age of 11 and has won numerous prizes in competitions at the provincial, national, and international level. Recent accomplishments include: 1st prize at the Kosciuszko Foundation Chopin Competition in Washington; the CMC National Final; the Steinway Young Artists Competition; the CFMTA National Final; 3rd prize at the Orford Music Award as well as the Canadian Chopin Competition. She also participated at the 18th International Chopin Competition in 2021, in Warsaw. Ms. Yuma has worked with orchestras, such as the National Arts Center Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Civic Symphony Orchestra, and the Brunesis Virtuosi Orchestra in Italy. The venues in which she has appeared include: the Winspear Centre, Jack Singer Hall, Southam Hall, Steinway Hall, and Carnegie Hall. Ms. Yuma has participated in several music festivals including the Morningside Music Bridge, the Young Artists Program in Ottawa, and Coimbra World Piano Meeting in Portugal. In 2020, she was selected as one of the “30 Under 30” Canadian Classical Musicians by CBC, and had a live broadcast with CBC Edmonton. Ms. Yuma has received the generous support from the Anne Burrows Music Foundation and Edmonton Community Foundation. Her past teachers include Krzysztof Jabłoński and Wolfram Linnebach. In 2020, Ms. Yuma began her undergraduate studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, in the studio of Bruce Brubaker and Alessio Bax.
About The Shean Piano Competition Adjudicators
David Hoyt, Chair
David Hoyt graduated from the University of Alberta with a degree in musicology. While still a student, he joined the Edmonton Symphony (ESO) horn section becoming Principal Horn in 1975. He also played horn with the Canadian Opera Company, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Hamilton Philharmonic, and the Chuck Mangione Band. He played Principal Horn for the Toronto Symphony and performed in Carnegie Hall with l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.
David Hoyt began conducting professionally in 1982, becoming assistant conductor of the Edmonton Symphony in 1985 and of the Canadian Opera Company in 1991. He has been guest conductor for the Atlantic Symphony, Orchestra London, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Saskatoon Orchestra, the Regina Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Edmonton Opera Company, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Okanagan Symphony, the Vancouver Island Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony.
David Hoyt had a long-standing relationship with the Banff Centre working there yearly since 1972. He taught for ten years at the University of Alberta, and has taught across the country at Festival 500 (St. John’s), The Scotia Festival (Halifax), Domaine Forget (Québec), Les Concerts Bell (Montréal), International Music Camp (Toronto), Festival of the Sound (Parry Sound), MusiCamrose (Alberta), and Courtney Music Festival (British Columbia).
David Hoyt resigned from the ESO in 2004 and presently conducts two ensembles: The Mill Creek Colliery Band and Orchestra Borealis. For the last twenty years he has been artistic director of The Shean Strings & Piano Competition. He is married to pianist Janet Scott-Hoyt and they have two daughters, both musicians.
Elegant, experienced, and brilliant, are words to describe pianist Jane Coop who takes her art form to a higher stratum. Renowned for her appealing performance style, she is considered Canada’s premier Mozart interpreter by The Calgary Herald, and has consistently been praised for her capacity to graciously carry the sensitivity and spirit of the music she plays, right to her listeners.
Jane has worked with prominent conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis, John Eliot Gardiner, Rudolf Barshai and with orchestras around the world including the Royal Philharmonic, Seattle and Oregon Symphonies, Hong Kong Philharmonic, National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Orchestra and most orchestras in Canada. As a respected concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician, Ms. Coop has made appearances in eminent halls such as the Bolshoi Hall in St. Petersburg, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, Roy Thomson Hall, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, the Beijing Concert Hall and the Salle Gaveau in Paris. In her own country, she has given concerts in every province as well as Yukon.
Jane has recorded extensively and has garnered multiple JUNO nominations. This newest title, her 17th recording to her discography, Three Keyboard Masters: Bach, Beethoven, & Rachminoff, reflects the depth of her pianistic canon. She is also fortunate to have four concerto recordings, various chamber works recorded with the Satie String Quartet of Paris and the complete Beethoven Piano and Violin Sonatas with esteemed colleague Andrew Dawes in her list.
Ms. Coop’s major teachers were Anton Kuerti and Leon Fleisher. Rounding out her significant contribution to Canadian music, Jane served as Professor of Piano and Chamber Music at the University of British Columbia’s School of Music for more than three decades. In December 2012, for her years of artistic dedication to this country, Jane Coop was appointed to the Order of Canada.
Jane Coop is a Steinway Artist.
Alberta-born pianist Janet Scott-Hoyt is a performer and pedagogue with a wealth of experience on the concert stage and in the teaching studio. A professor at the University of Alberta from 1998-2014, she won the prestigious “Rutherford Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching” – a university-wide award which acknowledges outstanding commitment to undergraduate teaching. A highly sought-after collaborative pianist, Ms. Scott-Hoyt has performed across Canada, the United States, and in Europe (Paris, London, and Prague). She is known for her sensitive musicality and collaborative skills. These traits have allowed her to share the stage with internationally renowned artists. She holds a Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from the University of Alberta where she studied, supported by numerous scholarships and awards. Further studies were done in Europe with Cecile Genhart and at The Banff Centre with György Sebők and Menahem Pressler. Ms. Scott-Hoyt is committed to sharing her wealth of knowledge with the Canadian musical community. She is in great demand as an adjudicator, coach, and workshop clinician across Canada.