John Schindler began piano studies at age 6 in Wisconsin, where he studied with Margarita Kontorovsky. Besides winning our competition, he has been winner of the Jan and Beattie Wood Concerto Competition of the Brevard Music Center, Luminarts Piano Competition, Wisconsin Philharmonic Chapman Memorial Piano Competition, and junior and senior divisions of the Chopin Youth Piano Competition in Milwaukee. In 2013, he won the state and regional MTNA junior piano competitions to place 3rd in the national finals. John is a two-year scholarship recipient of the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. and has been the runner-up in the New Music National Young Artist Competition and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition. Most recently, John won the third prize, the Best Performance of a Duo prize, and the Wisconsin Contestant prize at the 2016 PianoArts North American Competition, where he was the youngest semifinalist.
Some of the highlights of John’s performing experiences have been playing concerti with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in Uihlein Hall, the Brevard Music Center Orchestra, Camerata New York Orchestra in Merkin Hall (as our winner), the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and the WIsconsin Chamber Orchestra. Besides his activities as a soloist, John enjoys playing chamber music as a member of Trio Maestoso at the Milwaukee Young Symphony Orchestra.
John is currently a Merit Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, where he studies with Alan Chow.
William Chen began playing the piano at age five. He gave his debut performance with Le Petit Orchestre at age seven and his first full length solo recital at age eight. At ten, he performed Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 with the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra as a young scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. William has been invited to many festivals including Oxford Philomusica Piano Festival, where he received high praise from the UK Telegraph, Aspen Music Festival and School,
the Festival International Alfredo de Saint Malo in Panama, the Festival “Martisor-2015” in Moldova, Northern Lights Music Festival, International Keyboard Institute Festival, and the Southampton Arts Festival.
Chen has won many prizes including First Prize in the 1000 Islands International Piano Competition, Grand Prize in the New York Music Competition for Young Artists, FIrst Prize and Klavierhaus Award for the Best Performance of Romantic Piece in the Kaufman International Piano Competition, and First Prizes in the Ensemble 212 Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Sound Symphony Concerto Competition, the Manhattan School of Music’s Precollege Division Concerto Competition, and the New Jersey Music Teachers Association Competition. William has given numerous performances in many major venues including Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully hall, and Merking Concert Hall in New York City, Organ Hall in Moldova, Holywell Music Hall in Oxford, Rockport Music’s Shalin Liu Performance Center in Cape Ann, and Harris Cocert Hall in Aspen.
Chen is an 8th grader in NYC. His other passions include hiking, gardening, weather science, scuba diving, and private piloting.
Tianxu An, of Baoding City, Hebei Province, China, began learning piano at age 5. As a youngster he studied at the Music School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music. At age 9 he won third prize in the Twelfth Xianghai Cup National Piano Competition, and at ten he won second place in the Internationaler Klavierwettbewerb Wiesbaden. In 2010 he participated in the Shanghai International Youth Piano Competition, winning not only two first prizes in the teens group but also the highest special gold medal of the teens and younger group. Also in 2010 he was awarded a scholarship from the Partners Education Foundation of Hongkong.
In 2011, he participated in the China Central Television Piano and Violin Competition, winning second place in the piano division, and at the Zhou Guangren Young Pianists competition he won fifth prize. In 2012 he won second prize at the Beijing International Piano Festival Young Artists Concerto Competition.
He has been invited to perform at many venues in China, including the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing and the Qintai Concert Hall of Wuhan City. In 2011 China Hailun Piano Company Limited sponsored his solo recital in Diangutang of Baoding City.
In 2013 Tianxu began studying with Meng-chieh Liu in the U.S., and he will begin studies at Curtis Institute of Music in 2015.