2016 3-round Competitors

Round 1 – all the 3-round competitors will play for approximately 12 minutes

Round 2 – 12 pianists will be chosen to compete and play for approximately 15 minutes.

Round 3 – 6 finalists will compete (play for approximately 30 minutes) for 1st, 2nd and 3rd prize


Tim Adrianson, Madison, WI

Tim is a retired Food Chemist from Kraft Foods.  He has piano “roots” both in Classical and American Popular piano repertoire.  More recently, he has participated in Amateur Piano Competitions in Boston, Washington, D.C., Colorado Springs and Chicago, with an emphasis on presenting rarely-heard pieces, predominantly from the Early 20th century to the present day.  He competed in the Van Cliburn Amateur Competition in 2007.


Round-1 – 11.5 min

Margaret Bonds, Troubled Water (1967) – 5 1/4 min

Leo Sowerby, Sonata for Piano, Mov. 3 (1948/63) – 6 1/4 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Rudolph Ganz, Capriccio for the Right Hand Alone (1912) – 3 1/2 min

Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Toccata (1953) – 2 1/4 min

Ruth Crawford Seeger, Prelude #6 (1928) – 2 3/4 min

John Alden Carpenter, Catnip Dances, from Krazy Kat (1922/38) – 6 1/2

Round-3 – 25 min

Ned Rorem, Barcarolle  No. 3 (1949) – 5 min

Gail Kubik, Sonatina for Piano (1941) – 7 1/2 min

Joseph Schwantner, Veiled Autumn (1987) – 3 1/2 min

Robert Muczynski, Desperate Measures (1996) – 9 min

HassanMuftiBWPhotoHassan Al-Mufti, Buffalo, NY

Hassan Al-Mufti is a performer, composer and educator from Baghdad, Iraq, who, as a refugee, resettled in the U.S. in 2001. He found a new beginning in Buffalo, NY where he began to further his education and teach at Community Music School of Buffalo. Hassan studied piano at the Music and Ballet School of Baghdad and earned his BA in Music at the College of Fine Arts at Baghdad University. He also taught and performed in Amman, Jordan. Hassan lives in Buffalo with his wife, Jennifer.

Round 1 – 10 minutes

Liszt, Les jeux d’eau a la Villa d’Este – 7.5 min

Bartok, Allegro Barbaro – 2.5 min

Round 2 – 14 minutes

Chopin, Revolutionary Etude – 2.5 min

Chopin, Nocturne Opus 27 No. 2 in D-flat Major – 5.5 min

Chopin, Polonaise in A-flat Major – 6 min

Round 3 – 25.5 minutes 

Haydn, Variations in F minor – 9 min

Bach-Busoni, Chaconne in D minor – 14 min

de Abreu, Tico-tico no fuba – 2.5 min

MiriamBerroBWPhotoMiriam Berro, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Miriam began studying piano at age 6 and gave her first recital at age 10.  She continued her piano studies at the Conservatory Juan José Castro, Argentina.  Passionate about math and physics, she earned a degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Buenos Aires. She also holds a Master from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada.  Her professional career has developed in the software field in Argentina and Canada where she has lived since 2006.


Round-1 – 11 min

Scriabin – Preludes Opus 11 No. 1, 4, 11 and 14 – 5 min

Debussy – Préludes Ondine & Feux d’artifice – 6 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Liszt – Etudes d’exécution trascendante N°11 – Harmonies du soir – 8 min

Ginastera – Tres Danzas Argentinas Opus 2 – 7 min

Round-3 – 27 min

Bach – Toccata (from Partita 6 BWV 830) – 7 min

Prokofieff Sarcasms Opud17 n°1, 2, 3 – 5 min

Schumann Fantasiestücke Opus12 No.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 –  15 min

ChistyakovBWPhotoPavel Chistyakov, Moscow, Russia

Pavel Chistyakov comes to us from Moscow, Russia where he is partner at consulting company and works with infrastructure development and regional policy. He holds a degree from Moscow University in Socio-Economic Geography. He started to play piano at 7 in music school. He has competed in the Paris piano competition for outstanding amateurs and the International Utrecht Student Piano Competition where he won first prize.


Round-1 – 10.5 min

Liszt. Sonetto del Petrarca No.104, S. 161, No 5 – 5 min

M-A. Hamelin. Étude No.8 ‘Erlkönig’ after Goethe – 5.5 min

Round-2 – 15

Medtner. Alla Reminiscenza (from Forgotten Melodies for piano Volume 1, Op. 38) – 3.5 min

Rachmaninov’s Prelude Op. 32 No. 10 – 5

Godowsky. Gardens of Buitenzorg (from the Java Suite) – 4 min

Kapustin. Concert Etude Opus 40 No.2, Reverie – 3 min

Round-3 – 27.5 min

Bach, The Well Tempered Clavier, Book I, Prelude and Fugue No. 22 in B-flat Minor – 5.5 min

Rachmaninov, Sonata No 2. Opus 36 – 22 min

NoahDeGarmoBWPhotoNoah DeGarmo, Dallas, TX

Noah C. DeGarmo works primarily as an Emergency Medicine Physician, but his primary passion has always been piano.  He has studied with Iris Graffman Wenglin, Xak Bjerken, Alan Chow, and currently Matthew Kline.  He has played in master classes with Leon Fleischer and Tong-Il Han.  Concerto performances include Mozart No. 20, Beethoven No. 3, and Rhapsody in Blue, most recently as finalist in the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition in 2012.

To be a physician who is active in music has been a lifetime goal of his. After having established himself as an Emergency Medicine Physician, he is excited by the opportunity to return to performance through participating in the Cliburn competition. While music has maintained its special place in Noah’s life, performance was limited in his early career-building years. Throughout college and medical school, he performed and collaborated with many musicians as a pianist and oboist.

Round-1 – 12 min

Chopin, Fantasie Impromptu, Op. 66, w/o repeats – 7 min

Wagner-Liszt, Isolde’s Liebestod from “Tristan und Isolde” – 5 min

Round-2 – 13 min

Scarlatti Sonata in E-major K 380 – 3 min

Prokofiev Sarcasms, Opus 17 – 10 min

Round-3 – 24 min

Rachmaninoff Prelude Opus 23 No. 4 in D major – 5 min

Beethoven Piano Sonata Opus 110 No. 31 – 19 min

PaulDoerrfieldBWPhotoPaul Doerrfeld, Algonquin, IL

Paul Doerrfeld works at Lion Tool & Die Manufacturing Company, as their office manager. In addition, Paul works part-time as Organist and accompanist at First Congregational Church of Glen Ellyn. In 2008, he went back to school to obtain Illinois State teaching certification and now has a second part-time job teaching high school music theory. A 1981 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago, Paul received a Bachelor of music degree in Piano Performance, studying with Mary Sauer. Paul enjoys participating in Amateur Piano Competitions to make new friends, travel, and to keep his piano skills sharp.

Round-1 – 10.25 min

Chopin – Polonaise in F minor, Opus 71 No. 3 – 6.5 min

Moskowski – Etude Op. 72 No.13 in A flat minor – 3.75 min

Round-2 – 12 min

Faure, Barcarolle Opus 96, No 8, D flat major – 3.5 min

Mozart, Giga in G major, K574 – 1.5 min

Schumann – Intermezzi Opus 4  No.5 & 6 – 7 min

Round-3 – 20.5 min

Beethoven,Sonata Opus 57 No. 23 in F minor,”Appassionata” Mov.1 – 9.5 min

Ravel, Jeux d’eau – 5 min

Chopin, Polonaise in A flat, Op. 53 – 6 min

TheresaDunsonBWPhotoTheresa Dunson, Denton, TX

Her studying of the piano started in her freshman year at William Penn College when she began taking lessons. Originally, Theresa’s focus was on other instruments including the clarinet, tenor saxophone, and voice. However, piano was an instrument that fascinated her and when the opportunity for her to study piano availed itself, she took it and fell in love with the instrument. After graduating in 1993, Theresa continued to study privately and in 2007 competed in the Colorado Springs Celebration of the
Amateur Pianist. When she settled in Denton, Texas she started studying with Dr. Richard Shuster at Texas Woman’s University and he encouraged her to obtain a master’s degree. During her time there, she was able to attend the Vienna International Piano Academy in 2011 where she studied with Paul Barnes, Krassimira Jordan, and Dr. Richard Shuster. Theresa graduated in 2013 with an M.A. degree in Piano Pedagogy; however she still continues to study privately with Dr. Shuster.

Theresa is currently employed by BMC Software as a Senior Education Developer in where she is responsible for designing and writing web-based and instructor-led training materials. It can be difficult to find a balance between work and the piano, but she’s lucky enough to have a home office where the piano is right around the corner.  So when she needs a break from the chaos of software development she can practice her piano. Her managers are also supportive of her interests and provide her with the flexibility that I need to continue my study.  When not practicing or working, you can usually find Theresa with her dogs who love to hike the local trails. They aren’t such avid fans of the piano and oftentimes can be heard providing their own vocal accompaniment particularly whenever she plays Mozart or Haydn. Whether they are being critical or just adding their own flavor, she hasn’t quite ascertained. When she’s not with the pups, you can find her training for the next trail race, doing a bit of traveling here and there, or simply spending time with family and friends.

Round-1 – 11 min

Brahms, Ballade in D Minor Opus 10 No. 1 – 4.5 min

Haydn, Sonata in Eb Hob. XVI: 49 Allegro – 5.75 min

Round-2 – 14.75 min

Schumann, Papillons Opus 2 – 16 min – 16 min

Round-3 – 25 min

Scarlatti, Sonata in C-Major K. 461, 1.25 min

Scarlatti, Sonata in B-Minor K. 87 – 2 min

Mozart, Sonata in D Major K. 311 Allegro con spirito – 4.25 min

Haydn, Sonata in Eb Hob. XVI: 49 Adagio e cantabile – 7.5 min

Mompou, El plany del captaire, 6 min

3FlockNorbertBWNorbert Flocke, Chicago, IL

Norbert Flocke is currently a scientific software developer at the University of Chicago. He is a native of Uruguay and the son of German immigrants. He started taking piano lessons at the age of 8 and continued to have private lessons once a week with yearly recital exams until the age of 18. In 1981 he left Uruguay to take up his university studies in Germany, which he finished in 1994 with a PhD in Chemistry. Piano playing has been a rather consistent hobby of Norbert’s and helps him a lot with focus and concentration in other parts of life.

Round-1 – 11 min

Beethoven, Sonata Opus 13, No 8,  “Pathetique”, Mov. 1 – 8 min

Chopin, Etude, Opus 10 No. 11 – 3 min

Round-2 – 13 min

Bach, Prelude No. 10 – 2 min

Schumann, Carnival, 2 or 3 pieces – 3 min

Debussy, Claire De Lune – 5 min

Chopin, Etude Opus 10 No. 4 – 3 min

Round-3 – 27 min

Mussorgsky, Some pictures at an Exhibition – 15 min

Chopin, Scherzo, Opus 31 No 2 – 12 min

EdwardFritzPhotoBWEdward Fritz, Mesa, AZ

Edward Fritz is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. He began his piano studies at age 7 with Harold Swingle until his graduation from the prestigious Hawken School, and with Daniel Winter at the College of Wooster.  Though not a music major, he was allowed to perform a senior recital as part of his Independent Study requirement at the college.  He completed his dental degree at Case-Western Reserve U. in Cleveland in 1978.  Dr. Fritz was inspired by the documentary film “They Came to Play,” in 2013, which motivated him to seriously resume practicing the piano. When not practicing the piano or dentistry, Dr. Fritz loves movies, theater, reading, Asian foods, and most of all spending time with his son Mason.  Dr. Fritz began his professional career as a dentist with the U. S. Air Force in AZ where he served until 1981.  He then began his private practice in Mesa, AZ where he continues to live and practice to this day.  He has competed at the Chicago Amateur Competition in 2014, and the Boston Amateur Competition in 2015.  In the past year he began studying with Dr. Baruch Meir at Arizona State University.

Round-1 – 12 min

Chopin, Nocturne, Opus 48, No. 1 – 7 min

Liszt/Schubert, Gretchen am Spinnrade – 5 min

Round-2 – 13.5 min

Rachmaninoff, Moment Musicale. No. 5 – 5 min

Scriabin, Etude, Opus 42, No. 7 – 1.5 min

Liszt, Cantique d’Amour – 7 min

Round-3 – 29.5 min

Rachmaninoff, Prelude, Opus 32, No. 10 – 6 min

Schubert, Impromtu. Opus 90, No. 4 – 8.5 min

Scarlatti, Sonata, K-141 – 2.5 min

Chopin, Ballade, Opus 52, No. 4 – 12.5 min

MichaelHaddadBWPhotoMichael Haddad, Brooklyn, NY

Joining the 2004 Teach For America corps in Washington, DC, Michael began his career teaching secondary math at the César Chávez Public Charter High School for Public Policy. After moving to New York City in 2007, he transitioned into computer programming and currently works as an entrepreneur and freelance developer. Outside of work, Michael enjoys piano and running.


Round-1 – 12 min

Bach, Italian Concerto (I) – 4 min

Copland, Piano Sonata (I) – 8 minutes

Round-2 – 15 min

Scarlatti, Keyboard Sonata in E major, K. 380 – 5 min

Brahms, Rhapsody in G minor, Opus 79 No. 2 – 6 min

Prokofiev, Montagues and Capulets, Romeo and Juliet, Op. 75 – 4 min

Round-3 – 27 min

Ginastera, Danza de la moza donosa – 3 min

Haydn, Keyboard Sonata No. 47 in B minor (I, II, III) – 14 min

Schubert, Piano Sonata No. 16 in A minor (I) – 10 min


RebeccaHuffBWPhotoRebecca Woodward Huff, Saratoga Springs, UT

Rebecca started taking piano lessons at age seven. She was inspired by her grandparents who
taught music at the university. As a teen, she studied with Christie Peery Skousen. Instead of
pursuing a music degree, she started a family. A few years ago, she decided to start lessons
again, studying with award winning concert pianist Dr. Josh Wright. She lives in Utah with her loving
and very supportive husband Tim and their nine children.

Round-1 – 12 min
Rachmaninoff – Etude Tableau Opus 33 No. 8 – 4 min
Beethoven – Sonata Opus 10 No. 2, 1st Movement – 5 min
Chopin – Etude Opus 10  No. 12 – 3 min
Round-2 – 14 min
Ravel – Miroirs III Une Barque sur l’Ocean – 10.5 min
Chopin – Etude Opus 25 No. 2 – 3.5 min
Round-3 – 30 min
Schumann – Carnaval Opus 9 – 30 min

AdrienneJohnsonBWAdrienne Johnson, Minneapolis, MN

Adrienne Johnson hails from Minneapolis where she is an Elementary School teacher and playwright.  She received her master’s degree in music from Julliard School in 1977 and has competed in the Boston Amateur Piano Competition as well as the 2014 Chicago Amateur Competition.  Five years ago, after raising 4 boys, she decided to play the piano again just for fun.  And, oh what fun she is having.


Round-1 – 11.5 min

Ravel, Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit – 8 min

Rachmaninoff, Prelude Opus 32, No.12 – 3.5 min

Round-2 – 14.75 min

Schubert, Piano Piece Opus 946 No. 2, E-Flat Major – 8 min

Rachmaninoff, Etude-Tableaux Op. 33 No. 8 in g minor – 3.75 min

Rachmaninoff, Etude-Tableaux Op. 39 No. 1 in c minor – 3 min

Round-3 – 28 MIN

Chopin, Nocturne Op. 27 No. 2 in D-Flat Major – 8 min

Franck, Prelude, Chorale and Fugue – 20 min

MachelleJohnsonBWPhotoMachelle Johnson, Gretna, LA

Machelle was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1970.  The piano was one of the joys of her mother’s life and her mother guided her to both learn and love the piano.  She has been a professional engineer since graduating from the University of Alabama all the while continuing to play for family and friends.  Recently, she has committed to more fully developing herself as a pianist with a goal of performing publically on a regular basis.


Round-1 – 12 min

Poulenc, Trois Novelettes 1 and 2 – 5 min

Kapustin, Opus 41 Variations – 7 min

Round-2 – 14 min

Beethoven, Sonata Opus 10 No. 2 1st mvmt – 6 min

Schumann/Liszt, Widmung – 4 min

Scriabin, 2 Preludes, Opus 11 No. 11 and Opus 13 No. 6 – 4 min

Round-3 – 25 min

Liszt, Hungarian Rhapsody No. 8 – 8 min

Schubert, Impromptu Opus 90 No. 3 – 6 min

Poulenc, Toccata from Trois Pieces – 3 min

Prokofiev, Scherzo, Opus 12. No. 10 – 3 min

Bach/Petri, Sheep May Safely Graze – 5 min

YunLiangPhotoBWYun Liang, Ann Arbor, MI

Yun Liang is a scientist studying skin diseases at the University of Michigan. She grew up in Beijing, China, and received her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California, San Diego. She studied piano with Chun Pan and Yevgeny Morozov.  She won the first prize in the 2014 Chopin amateur competition in Texas.


Round-1 – 9 min

Mozart, Sonata No.9 in D-major, K.311, Mov. I – 6min

Chopin, Etude Opus 25, No. 1 – 3 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Medtner, Sonata Reminiscenza – 15 min

Round-3 – 30 min

Beethoven, Sonata Opus 10 No.3 – 20 min

Chopin, Barcarolle, Opus 60 – 10 min

SharonMadisonBWPhotoSharon Madison, Chicago, IL

Sharon Madison attended the American Conservatory of Music from age six to seventeen years.  She earned a B.S. degree in Music Education with a performance major in piano and minor in flute from Hampton University.  She taught music in elementary school before retirement in the Chicago Public Schools.  She studied advanced Piano at Chicago Musical College and Sherwood-Columbia School of Music.  During this time she has given four Solo recitals and played on numerous adult student and chamber recitals.

Round-1 – 13 min

Beethoven, Sonata, Opus 10 No. 3, Presto – 7 min

Ravel, Jeux D’eau – 6 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Beethoven, Sonata, Opus 81a, Adagio/Allegro – 9 min

Chopin, Nocturne, Opus 9 No 1 – 6 min

Round-3 – 25 min

Bach, Partita 6, BWV 830, Toccata – 9 min

Beethoven, Sonata, Opus 10 No. 3, Largo – 9 min

Debussy, L’isle Joyeuse – 7 min

AlexandraNicaBWPhotoAlexandra Nica, Coralville, IA

Even though her professional career took her in the direction of academics in the field of Economics, piano has always remained Alexandra’s passion. It helped her through the happiest but also through the most difficult moments of her life, whether they were professional or personal ones. Alexandra says, “It has been a constant presence in my life, always rewarding and always patient, even when I had to be away from it for longer time spans. I could not imagine life without being able to play piano.”.

Round-1 – (9 min)

Ciortea, Joc Tiganesc (Gypsy Dance) – 2 min

Chopin, Etude, Opus 25, No.1,  Aeolian Harp – 2.5 min

De Senneville, Les Fleurs Sauvages  – 2.5 min

Debussy, Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum, Children Corner’s Suite No. 1 – 2 min

Round-2 – (13 min)

Enescu, Prelude, Opus 3, Piano Suite No. 1 Dans le style ancien – 3.5 min

Wesley, Lamentations of the Heart, Dark Night of the Soul Album– 4 min

Chopin, Polonaise, Opus 40, No.1, Polonaise Militaire – 5.5 min

Round-3 – (24.5 min)

Beethoven, Sonata, Opus 27, No. 2, “Quasi una Fantasia” – 15.5 min

De Senneville, Ballade Pour Adeline – 2 min

Chopin, Valse, Opus 69, No. 1, Valse L’Adieu – 3 min

Constantinescu, Toccata, Joc Dobrogean, 4 min

GerardOReilleyBWPhotoGerard O’Reilly, Melbourne, Australia

Gerard O’Reilly lives in Melbourne, Australia. He is an emergency physician and leads training programs for emergency room doctors across Asia. Gerard has completed Masters of Public Health and Biostatistics and a PhD. He learnt piano from his late mother, played at restaurants to support himself in medical school, and after accidentally walking into the Chicago Amateur Piano Competition in 2012, promised his beautiful wife that he would one day play in the competition.


Round-1 – 11 min

Beethoven, Sonata, No.17, D minor, Op. 31, No 2, 3rd movement, 8 min

Chopin, Prelude, Op 28, No 4, E minor 3 min

Round-2 – 14 min

Beethoven, Sonata, No. 8, C minor, Op. 13, 3rd movement, 8 min

Liszt, Consolation, S.172, No 3, D flat major, 6 min

Round-3 – 25 min

Bach, Prelude, Book I, No IX, E major, 3 min

Bach, Partita IV, D major, Sarabande, 7 min

Beethoven, Sonata, No. 8, C minor, Op. 13, 1st movement, 10 min

Beethoven, Sonata, No. 8, C minor, Op. 13, 2nd movement, 5 min

MichaelQuinnBWPhotoMichael Quinn, Woodside, NY

Michael is a college professor in the Media Arts department at The College of New Rochelle, in New Rochelle, New York, where he teaches courses ranging from web development to a class on the psychology and philosophy of evil.  He started playing piano at nine after at the suggestion of his uncle, an accomplished amateur pianist. Despite his career choices taking him away from music, he has frequently been drawn back to the piano.

Michael says this, “Classical piano is extremely important to me.  It encompasses some of the greatest art the world has known, and the idea that I can participate at all in such a field is a great honor to me.  Amateur piano competitions – where no one is seriously thinking of making money, much less a career from the piano – seem a great way to share one’s love of the art, and to meet people with similar ambitions.”.

Round-1 – 11.75 min

Chopin “Revolutionary” Etude, Op. 10 No. 12. – 2.5 min

Chopin Ballade in G Minor, Op 23. – 9.25 min

Round-2 – 14.25 min

Bach, Prelude and Fugue No. 3, Well-Tempered Clavier Book 2 – 4 min

Beethoven, “Appassionata” Sonata, Op 57, Movement 1. – 10.25 min

Round-3 – 29 min

Rachmaninoff, Etude-Tableau Opus 39 No. 2 – 7 min

Rachmaninoff, Prelude, Opus 25 No. 5 – 4 min

Prokofiev, Sonata No. 7 – 18 min

JamesRosenbloomBWPhotoJames Rosenblum, New York, NY

James Rosenblum, 35, is a lawyer, tutor, and editor who has played the piano since the age of six.  He has degrees in Political Science and Law from Yale University and Columbia Law School.  He currently lives in New York, NY.   As of the time of writing, he is a finalist in the WQXR Classical Moonlighters Competition in New York.


Round-1 – 12 min

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in G-major, WTC Book II – 2.5 min

Bach, Prelude and Fugue in E-major, WTC Book II – 6 min

Chopin, Impromptu, No. 1 in A-flat major – 3.5 min

Round-2 – 14.75 min

Brahms, Capriccio, Opus 116 No. 3 – 3 min

Brahms, Intermezzo, Opus 116 No. 4 – 4 min

Schubert, Impromptu, Opus 90 No. 3 – 5 min

Rachmaninoff, Prelude, Opus 32 No. 12 – 2.75 min

Round-3 – 30 min

Beethoven Sonata no. 26 in E-Flat Major, op. 81a (“Les Adieux”)

Granados, Valses Poeticos – 12 min

Rachmaninoff, Etude-Tableaux, Opus 32 No. 5, E-flat minor – 5 min

CarlRosserBWPhotoCarl Rosser, Ellensburg, WA

Carl Rosser is an ESL teacher at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. Besides playing the piano, he loves to read—from the backs of cereal boxes to Shakespeare. Another hobby is taking landscape photographs, which combines his love of nature and the visual arts. Carl is married, and has three children.

Carl says, “When I learned, through surfing the web, that there was a competition for amateur pianists like myself in Chicago, I knew immediately that I had to apply.  I have many fond memories of Chicago, back from a time when I was living within driving distance in Iowa City as a graduate student. I love Chicago—and especially the Art institute, which was always my number one destination when I visited. “.

Round-1 – 10 min

Chopin, Nocturne in B major, Op. 9 No. 3 –  7 min

Debussy, Serenade for the Doll from The Children’s Corner – 3 min

Round-2 – (Total play time) 14 min

Mozart, Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332, 1st mvt.- 7 min

Schubert, Impromptu in G-flat major, D.899, No. 3 – 7 min

Round-3 –26 min

Chopin, Andante Spianato, Op. 22 – 4.5 min

Chopin, Nocturne in E-major, Op. 62, No. 2 – 6 min

Moszkowski, Siciliano, Op. 42, No. 2 – 3.5 min

Debussy, Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum and Golliwog’s Cakewalk from the Children’s Corner – 6 min

Chopin, Valse Brillante in A-flat major, Op. 34, No. 1- 6 min

EsfirRossBWPhotoEsfir Ross, Oakland, CA

Esfir was born in the tiny country of Moldova.  She started studying the piano at age 6. She graduated from Kishinev conservatory with degree in piano and worked as a pianist in Moldova, Israel, and Greece.  In1980 emigrated to USA and since 1985 has worked as dental assistant. Esfir, from 2007 to today, has participated in many amateur competitions including 2nd place in Rocky Mountains Amateur competition 2011.

Won many awards for best programming, Romantic, Baroque music. She has also played in several recitals at festivals in Argentina, Italy, Japan, Israel, Germany, France, UK, and USA.  She has studied piano with the famed Karl U. Schnabel.  Many know her from being featured in the documentary film “They Came To Play” which depicts several competitors at a Van Cliburn Competition.

Round-1 – 11 min

Purcell, Ground in C – 2 min

Mozart, Variations in C, KV 265 – 9 min

Round-2 – 14 min

Massenet, Meditation – 4 min

Ravel, Jeau D’eau – 5 min

Moskovski, Caprice Espagnol – 5 min

Round-3 – 25 min

Haydn, Sonata in B#, Hoboken – 10 min

Moskovski, J. Offenbech, Barcarolle from Tales of Hoffman – 5 min

Tchaikovsky, Dumka – 10 min

MichelleSteffersBWPhotoMichelle Steffers, Pittsford, NY

Michelle Steffers , piano, a physician, faculty member in the departments of Psychiatry and Medicine at the Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Steffers obtained her MD degree from University of Rochester School of Medicine.  She has been studying piano since age 5 and attended the precollege division of the Julliard School in New York City where she studied with Richard Fabre.  She is currently a student of Irina Lupines at the Eastman Community Music School where she has previously studied with Harriet Zimmerman.  She has participated in numerous recitals and chamber music venues through Eastman and Hochstein.  Dr. Steffers lives in Rochester New York with her husband and three children, Matthew, Francesca and Evan (and her two pugs Yuqi and Charlie).

Round 1 – 11.5 min

Rameau, Suite for Pianoforte in G, Mov 1 (Les Tricotets), Mov 3 (La Poule) – 5 min

Scriabin, Etude Opus 2, No 1- 3 min

Rachmaninoff, Etudes Tableau, Opus 39, No. 1 – 3.5 min

Round 2 – 13 min

Beethoven, Sonata Opus 110, Movement 1 – 7.5 min

Rameau, Suite for pianoforte in G, Mov 5 (Les Sauvages) – 1.5 min

Rachmaninoff, Etude Tableau, Opus 33, No 8- 4 min

Round 3 – 27 min

Schubert: Moments Musicaux op 94 (no 1 in C-moderato, no 2 in A flat-andantino, no 3 in F minor -allegro moderato, no 4 in C sharp minor-allegro moderato, no 5 in F minor-allegro vivace, no 6 in A flat-allegretto) – 27 min

StephenStouderBWPhotoStephen Stouder, Apple Valley, MN

Stephen began his music studies at age 9 on the violin.  The next year he switched to cello and also began piano lessons.  There was never anyone pushing him to study music.  He loved it and knew what he wanted.  He has made some very key decisions that propelled his career as an amateur pianist and musician.  Stephen says, “If you don’t do something to make change, and take risks, things will never get better.  I am challenging myself, as are the rest of us here.”.  He benefited from being in  an orchestra all through his youth as Principal Cellist, culminating in the William and Mary Symphony Orchestra under Dora Short.  Stephen graduated in 1980 from the Peabody Conservatory, receiving his diploma from Leonard Bernstein.   Today he works as an Account Executive in National Sales at UnitedHealthcare in Minnetonka, MN.  He enjoys reading and studying with Dr. Julia Elkina at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN.

Round-1 – 11 min

Brahms Intermezzo Opus 119 No. 1 – 4 min

Ravel Alborada del gracioso from Miroirs – 7 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Beethoven Sonata Opus 54, both movements – 9.5 min

Liszt Transcendental Etude No. 8, Wilde Jagd – 5.5 min

Round-3 – 27 min

Beethoven Sonata Opus 90 – 14 min

Chopin Fantaisie in F minor – 13 minutes

DavidSwensonBWPhotoDavid Swenson, Butler, PA

David was born in 1951 in St. Paul, MN. Both his parents studied piano in St. Paul when they were young. David’s mother began teaching him the piano at age 7. From age 9 to 20 his teacher was Earle C. Voorhies, former head of piano at California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. He met his wife Rebecca during medical school at the University of Virginia, and after residency he served in the Public Health Service in Virginia. Since 1987 they both have been physicians at the Veterans Affairs Hospitals in Pittsburgh and Butler, PA. David retired from full-time medical practice in 2014 and still works at the VA part-time. He resumed playing and practicing the piano 2 years ago and studies piano now with Tom Hill in Pittsburgh, PA

Round-1 – 12 min 

Liszt Etude de Concert No. 2, “La leggierezza” – 4 min

Debussy Sarabande from Pour Le Piano – 4 min

Rachmaninoff Prelude Opus 23 No. 2 in Bb major – 3 min

Round-2 – 15 min    

Debussy Toccata from Pour Le Piano – 4 min

Rachmaninoff Prelude Opus 23 No. 4 in D major – 4 min

Chopin Scherzo Opus 39 No.3 in c# minor – 7 min

Round-3 – 30 min

Bach Partita No. 2 in c minor, BWV 826, w/o repeats – 15 min

Debussy Reflets dans l’eau from Images – 5 min

Chopin Etude Opus 10 No. 4 – 2 min

Chopin Etude Opus 10 No. 5 – 2 min

Chopin Etude Opus 10 No. 8 – 2 min

Chopin Etude Opus 25 No. 12 – 2 min

AlThomasBWPhotoAl Thomas, Burlington, NC

A native of Burlington, NC, Al Thomas and has collaborated in numerous recitals with his daughter, Katherine Thomas, a professional violinist based in New York City.  He has competed in previous competitions such as the Van Cliburn International Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 2007 and 2011, and the 2014 Chicago Amateur Piano Competition where he was a semi-finalist. Al is the President of Thomas Appraisal Company, Inc. in Burlington, NC.

The primary reason for entering this competition is simply a great passion and love for the art of playing the piano and the love for the unlimited master pieces written for the piano.  This also gives him a great opportunity to share his music with others of varying backgrounds and cultures from throughout the world who are like minded in their love of the piano and music.  Al has competed in the Van Cliburn Amateur Competition in 2007 and 2011 and found those experiences to be life changing.

Round-1 – 12 min

Bartok, Fantasie in E-Minor, BB27 No.1 – 4 min

Brahms, Rhapsody in B-Minor, Opus 79 – 8 Minutes

Round-2 – 15 min

Schubert, Impromptu in Ab Major, Op. 90, No. 4 – 6 min

Chopin, Scherzo in b Minor, Op. 20 – 9 min

Round-3 – 27 min

Scarlatti, Sonata, D-minor, K-517 – 4 min

Ravel, Le Tombeau de Couperin, Prelude – 3 min

Haydn, Sonata No. 49 in Eb-Major, L59 – 20 min

UnderhillBWPhotoJanet Underhill, Chicago, IL

Janet taught classroom music for 33 years in Chicago, IL. During that time she also accompanied
singers and played in a big band. In retirement she returned to being a student. She continues to
explore the piano repertoire and play in a trio.

Round 1 – 11 min

Ravel, Jeau d’Eaux – 5.5 min

Liszt, Paganini, Six Grand Etudes, No. 2 – 5.5 min

Round 2 – 16 min

Bach, French Suite #1, D-Minor – 8.5 min

Beethoven, Sonata, Opus 2, No.2, 1st Mov. – 7.5 min

Round 3 – 30 min

Schumann, Grosse Sonata, Opus 11, F# – Minor – 30 min


RonaldVanVolenhovenBWPhotoRonald van Vollenhoven, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Ronald F. van Vollenhoven is a physician specializing in rheumatology and a professor at the Amsterdam Rheumatology and Immunology Center (AMC/VUMC) in The Netherlands. He started playing the piano at age 8 and received lessons from Lenie Noske-Friedländer, Kim Malmquist, Louis Gosztonyi, and Iveta Calite. In 2012 and 2013 he gained third prize (2nd cat.) at the Piano Bridges competition in St. Petersburg. He is married and has two children ages 20 and 17.


Round-1 – 12 min

Bach, Partita No. 2 in C-Minor, BWV 826, Capriccio – 2 min

Chopin, Scherzo No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Opus 31 – 10 min

Round-2 – 15 min

Bach, Partita No. 2 in C-Minor, BWV 826, Sinfonia – 4 min

Liszt, Funerailles – 11 min

Round-3 – 29 min

J.P. Sweelinck: Variations on the theme “Mijn jonge leven heeft een einde”; Amsterdam, +1600; 7 min

C.M. von Weber: Polacca Brilliante, op. 72: 6 min

F. Chopin: Ballade nr. 1 in g minor, op. 23: 10 min

Prokofjev: Montecchi i Capuleti op. 75(6): 4 min

AlexanderWeymannBWPhotoAlexander Weymann, St. Louis, MO

Alexander Weymann was born in Germany and lives in St. Louis, Missouri.  He started playing the piano at the age of 6 because his father decided that it was time; he, an amateur musician, taught Alexander himself for many years.  Alexander fell in love with the instrument immediately, but it wasn’t until he was 15 years old that he had the opportunity to study with a professional teacher (Erica Kriesche, Hamburg).  His later teachers included Peter-Jürgen Hofer and Karl-Heinz Kämmerling.  He pursued his studies with renewed fervor and repeatedly won first prizes in German youth music competitions (Jugend Musiziert; Hamburger Instrumental Wettbewerb).  He even dreamt of a career as a professional musician – maybe not as a concert soloist, but possibly a piano teacher, chamber musician or accompanist.  Eventually, however, he decided to pursue a career in medicine.  In his second year of medical school (Witten/Herdecke University, Germany), he had his last piano lesson for the next 22 years.  In 2014 he finally had a piano of his own again and found a teacher to help him resume his studies – Daniel Schene, with whom he continues to work.

Alexander is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine.  He says, “The CAPC is reconnecting me with a lost dream – the dream of playing not professionally, but beautifully, confidently and maturely.”

Round-1 – 11.5 min 

Händel, Chaconne in G major, HWV 435 – 7 min

Lutosławski, Two Etudes – 4.5 min


Round-2 – 15 min 

Beethoven, Sonata in F# major Opus 78 – 8 min

Rachmaninov, Prélude in D-Flat major Opus 32 No. 13 – 7 min


Round-3 – 28 min 

Liszt, Après une lecture du Dante, Fantasia quasi Sonata – 17 min

Dutilleux, Sonate, III. Choral et variations – 11 min