Drs. Caroline Hong and Ryan Behan, co-directors of the Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition (FLIPFAC), are pleased to announce the names of the Laureates of the 2021 Virtual Edition of the FLIPFAC competition! Each winner will receive a free membership in The American Liszt Society for the 2022 calendar year. The FLIPFAC Directors' Team, in consultation with the 2021 FLIPFAC Jury, were unable to award a first prize this year, but the Team added two prizes for the Ohio Call Composition. 1st prize No First Prize Awarded 2nd prize Ji Hyang Gwak ($1500) A prizewinner of numerous competitions, pianist Ji-Hyang Gwak has garnered international praise for her versatility, energy, and technical mastery. Her most recent achievement was in the 2021 Lyon International Music Competition in France, where she won third prize and received concert engagement from the Association Frédéric Chopin à Lyon. Gwak was the frst prize winner of the Sicily International Piano Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, MFMC Rosamond P. Haeberle Memorial Piano Award, High Point University International Piano Competition, Michigan MTNA Young Artist Piano Competition, and Eastman Concerto Competition. She was also a semi-finalist at the Concours musical international de Montréal, and the Ricardo Viñes International Piano Competition. Gwak holds a BM in piano performance from Seoul National University and an MM in piano performance and literature from The Eastman School of Music. She is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance under the tutelage of Professor Christopher Harding. (www.jihyanggwak.com) 3rd prize PengCheng He ($750) PengCheng He has been hailed by Vladimir Krainev as an "extremely talented young pianist with unbelievable technique." During the Ravinia Music Festival, Menahem Pressler remarked, after hearing Pengcheng's Beethoven Op. 106 and "Archduke" Trio, that "...not only the "Hammerklavier," but everything he touched is beautiful." PengCheng He has appeared as both soloist and chamber musician throughout Asia, Europe and the United States. He was the first prize winner of the 9th Taipei International Chopin Competition, and a participant in the 16th edition of the Warsaw Chopin International Competition, where he advanced to the second round. He also won the first prize of American Protege. He holds a BM degree from The Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Marc Silverman and Solomon Mikosvsky, on with full scholarship, and was awarded the Helen-Cohn Award there for his outstanding work in chamber music. In 2015, he was admitted by Leon Fleisher with a full scholarship to the The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. In 2016, he was invited to play at the Ravinia music festival and performed a solo concert at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was broadcast by WFMT in Chicago. In 2017, he played the complete Beethoven 32 Piano Sonatas in a marathon recital at The Peabody Institute as one of five students of Leon Fleisher. Currently, PengCheng is pursuing his DMA degree at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music where he is a full scholarship awardee. He is under the guidance of James Tocco and Dror Biran. He will play all Beethoven 32 sonatas at CCM during the 2021-2022 season. Best Liszt Interpretation Award PengCheng He ($500) Ballade No. 2 Best Interpretation of the Winning Ohio Call Composition (Dolores White: "Sound Echoes") 1st prize Sonny Yoo ($500) 2nd prize PengCheng He ($250) 3rd prize Sunghwan Kim ($125.00) A day-by-day schedule of events in the October 2 - 3 Festival is available below. The FLIPFAC website is FLIPFAC.
The next Franz Liszt International Piano Festival and Competition will take place in 2023.