Lee University International Piano Festival winners announced

Posted 6/9/21

Lee University International Piano Festival winners announced


Nhi Luong and Hans Chan were named the winners of the 16th Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, coming in first and second place, respectively. Their prizes were among six monetary awards distributed to Festival winners, concluding the virtual competition held May 27 through 31.

 “The standard of the competition was extremely high and the adjudicators had a difficult time selecting the winners at the end,” said Dr. Jonathan Jung, Festival director and music professor at Lee. “We are tremendously grateful to see so many talented young pianists joining the Piano Festival this year and look forward to hosting our future events in person.”

Luong was awarded $3,000 for first prize and Chan received $2,000 for second place. Carey Byron and Adrian King tied for third and each received $700. Yian Wang won $400 for fifth place, and sixth prize of $200 went to Angelina Ning.

Winners were chosen from a field of 20 young pianists, all of whom participated in the week-long festival. The Festival participants enjoyed performances by world-renowned guest artists Christopher Harding and Thomas Lanners, along with virtual instruction from Lee University School of Music faculty members Jung, ChoEun Lee, and Phillip Thomas.

Born and raised in a musical family, Vietnamese pianist Luong started playing piano at the age of 4. In 2017, she won first at the Yong Siew Toh Concerto Competition and performed with the Conservatory Orchestra. She has been the recipient of the Steven Baxter Memorial Scholarship, Lyra Foundation Grant, and the Yong Siew Toh Artistic Development Grant.

Chan, from St. Louis, Missouri, is a senior at Eastman School of Music, currently studying with Professor Alan Chow. Chan has won numerous awards and been a scholarship student at festivals such as Pianofest in the Hamptons and PianoSummer at New Paltz. He has also performed as soloist with the Alicante Symphony Orchestra in Perugia, Italy, as well as given solo performances in cities including Gijon (Spain), New York City, Seattle, Rochester, and St. Louis.

Byron, 16, began her piano studies at the age of 4. She has won numerous awards including the 2021 YoungArts’ National Arts Competition as a finalist and first prizes at the MostArts Festival Young Pianist Competition, Los Angeles Young Musician International Competition, and Franz Liszt International Competition. She is a Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and a finalist in From the Top.

King is a high school senior from Silverdale, Washington. He has been a prize winner at many international competitions in both piano solo, concerto, and duet categories. He was the winner of the 2019 Seattle International Piano Competition, received first prize at the 2018 Aloha International Piano Competition, and was a National YoungArts winner in 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Wang began studying piano performance at the age of 5 and graduated from Sichuan, China. In 2012, she held her first solo recital, which included 12 Chopin Etudes. She has won the bronze prize at the 15th Chopin International Piano Competition in Asia, third prize at the Fifth Kawai Asia Piano Competition, and bronze prize at the Changjiang Piano National Competition.

Ning’s past awards include top prizes at the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, East Carolina University Young Artists Competition, Dubois Piano Competition, and the Steinway Piano Competition in Miami. In 2019, she was featured on NPR’s From the Top and most recently received first prizes in the Ocala Young Artist Competition and the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition.

For information on the annual Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, contact Lee’s School of Music at (423) 614-8264 or visit the Piano Festival’s website at


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