Tähe-Lee Liiv, age 15 at the time of the competition, studied piano first with Maigi Pakri at Tallinn Music Highschool, and afterwards with Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann at the same school. In 2017-18 she participated in Konstantin Bogino’s masterclasses in Bergamo. Since fall of 2018 she has studied in Finland in the Sibelius Academy’s Young Musicians International Class with Hui-Ying Tawaststjerna.
After her performance at Merkin, Tähe-Lee returned to Estonia and the next day performed her Leschetizky solo, “Consolation,” at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater in a gala concert, where it was very well received. She followed up her success at our competition with a second prize at the New York Gershwin competition and a first prize (as youngest participant) in the Estonian national competition for pianists, held every five years.
Previously Tähe-Lee was a prize winner in many competitions in Estonia, Italy, Czech Republic, and Sweden. She has performed as soloist with the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Pärnu Town Orchestra, Chioggia Chamber Orchestra, Alion Baltic Festival Orchestra, and Viumaa Chamber Orchestra. She has participated in master classes with Arbo Valdmaa, Hande Dalkilic, Natalia Sucharevich, Irina Zahharenkova, Vladimir Ovchinnikov, Dmitri Bashkirov, Vladimir Ogarkov, Jura Margulis, Carlos Juris, Michael Bulycher-Okser, Mati Mikalai, Aga Juurikas, and Ivar Ilja.
Her exquisite performance of Chopin’s Second Concerto at Merkin Hall with Camerata New York may be heard on YouTube:
Second place winner William Lauricella is a 14-year old pianist, percussionist, and composer. He began piano lessons at age 5 and percussion lessons at age 9, and started composing at age 11. He is currently a piano student of Jon Klibonoff and studies percussion with Richard Albagli and Genoveffa Vitale. His previous piano teachers include Joseph Fennimore, Gordon Hibberd, and Doug Esmond. In the summer of 2019 William studied piano with Taisiya Pushkar at the Luzerne Music Center, as well as percussion with Andrew Funcheon and composition with Jacob Walsh.
William recently won the 2020 ESYO Lois Lyman Concerto Competition, and in July of 2019 the Luzerne Music Center Concerto Competition. He placed second in the 2019 CDCYM Chopin Competition, and in 2018 won first place in the Schenectady Symphony Louise DeFeo Parillo Concerto Competition and the Tchaikovsky Music Competition at the New Russia Cultural Center.
William serves as pianist and percussionist with the Empire State Youth Orchestra (ESYO) under the musical direction of Carlos Agreda. He is also a member of the ESYO’s Youth Percussion Ensemble. The orchestra plans a tour in 2020 of Argentina and Uruguay, when William will perform Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
William was featured as the WMHT Classical Student of the Month in June 2019. You can hear him playing his original piano composition, Extra Terrestrial’s Waltz, as well as Tchaikovsky’s The Seasons, on WMHT.org. In addition to being a musician, William enjoys being on his school’s golf teach and is an honors student.