Bryna Sullivan, a fourth-grade student in Rochester Hills, has had a genuine interest in music since she was little. She began taking lessons from piano teacher Ms. Marta Pietrzyk when she was 6 years old. Her favorite composers include Mozart, Chopin, and Mendelssohn. She has won numerous piano competitions since she was 7 including first prize for the American Guild of Music 2017 age competition and the 2018 National Champion for Concerto Competition. She has also won two first place awards in the Metro Detroit Music League Young Artist Competition – first for lower elementary in 2018 and again in 2019 for upper elementary. Besides piano, Bryna also enjoys Ballet and Jazz dance classes and performing in front of an audience. She also loves reading and teaching her younger sister piano. Her favorite sports are swimming and skating. She hopes one day to study music and become a concert pianist.
Ryan Li is 11 years old, and he is currently a sixth grader at Cranbrook Kingswood Middle School. He began playing piano at the age of six with Dr. Nai-wen Wang. With her inspiring teaching, Ryan has developed a passion for music. Ryan has made steady progress since then and, with her encouragement, he has participated in quite a few competitions around the Metro Detroit area. Ryan won the First Place award in Upper Elementary Division for Young Artists Scholarship competition (Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League) in 2017, First Place award in Upper Elementary Division for Vivace Achievement Competition in 2018, Honorable Mention at the Oakland University Piano Day competition in 2019, and First Place award in Elementary Section for Schoolcraft Piano Competition 2019. Ryan was chosen to perform at the Cranbrook Music Guild Emerging Artists Competition Festival on April 6th. Ryan has also been playing the cello for three years and is 1st Cello in advanced orchestra at Cranbrook Middle School. Apart from music, he loves to play golf.
Aleks Shameti was born in 2003, in Tirana, Albania. He started taking piano lessons at age 10 at a local music center. At first, piano was just a hobby he enjoyed two times a week. He enjoyed hearing sounds come out of the piano, and performing in concerts made him ecstatic. But it was practicing that got the best of him. For the next 2 years, piano stayed a “part-time job,” and having no piano to practice on caused his love for piano to fade.
Aleks regained his passion for piano during a vacation to Ann Arbor, when he began listening to classical music. Spurred on by his newly found desire, he returned home to fully commit himself to music lessons. With an unconscious dream to become a concert pianist, Aleks competed in his first competition, in which he earned 2nd prize. He then went on to join music school and studied as much music theory as he could. He also auditioned for Tirana’s music lycee. After getting accepted, Aleks started competing and winning regularly. In 2018, his third year in “Jordan Misja” 10th grade, he moved to Ann arbor, turning over a new leaf and concluding his history up until now.
Angela Morgan is 9 years old. She is passionate about music and has studied piano with Ms. Catherine Rollin since she was 6.
Angela has received top awards at various piano competitions. She has performed at Carnegie Hall on three occasions with the most recent performance taking place in April of 2019. Angela received first-place awards at the Albion College Piano Festival Competition in 2016, 2017 and second place in 2018. She was a winner of Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League Young Artist Competition in 2017 and 2018. She was a winner of American Guild of Music Competitions in 2016. In addition, Angela performed at the Grand Valley State University 20th/21th Century Festival in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
In addition to her love of playing piano, Angela is dedicated to her ballet studies and gymnastics. In her spare time, Angela enjoys attending concerts and Broadway shows, playing video games with her friends and playing with her dog Chuchu.
Jean Yu, an 8th grader in Rochester Hills, is currently studying with Mary Siciliano. Jean began playing piano at the age of five and won her first piano competition when she was six, performing at Carnegie Hall in New York as a winner of the World Piano Competition. Jean has won numerous awards in piano competitions. In 2015, she won the 1st place award in Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League for the upper elementary division and 3rd in an MMTA concerto competition. In 2016, Jean received 2nd place in the Carmel International Piano Competition and won the New York International Piano Competition in 2017 and 2018, and performed again at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2017 and 2018, she won Schoolcraft College Honors auditions, 3rd place at the Oakland University in 2017, and honorable mention in 2018. Additionally, she received first place awards at the Albion College International Piano Competition for two years (2017 and 2018). Most recently, she won the 1st place award in the Detroit Music League, again for Junior High division, and won 2nd prize in the Crescendo International Piano Competition. Jean attends Reuther Middle School, loves to travel and has traveled to many places in the world. She also enjoys tennis and hanging out with friends.
Shuheng Zhang has been passionate about music ever since he started piano lessons. He is a proud Young Scholar of The Lang Lang International Foundation and joined the Young Scholar Program which is aimed to identify and offer mentorship, tutelage, and unique opportunities for performance to a limited number of exceptionally talented young pianists from around the world. Chicago Music report lauded Shuheng’s performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 with Midwest Young Artists Orchestra as “invigorating, incisive, and note-perfect account”,” establishing an agreeable report with the conductor as they exchanged pleasantries in the composer’s conversational rondo”.
Shuheng has won top prizes in many competitions such as Thousand Islands International Competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, Lee University International Piano Competition and MTNA. He has been featured as soloist and performed concerti with orchestras, from Alfred, NY to Saarlouis, Germany. His upcoming performances include Prokofiev Concerto No.3 with Detroit Symphony Youth Orchestra and Rochester Symphony Orchestra in May.
Shuheng has performed on stages throughout the U.S. and Europe: highlights include recitals at Poland National Theater (Warsaw , Lang Lang Foundation Allianz Junior Music Camp, 2016), Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center (Salt Lake City, UT, Gina Bachauer International Piano Festival, 2017), Penderecki European Center of Music (Lus?awice, Poland, 6th Emanacja International Music Festival, 2018), Hochschule für Musik Freiburg, Germany ( Emil Gilels International Piano Festival, 2018). This March, he was invited by the Leeds International Piano Festival to give series concerts at venues including Leeds Town Hall and London Symphony Orchestra St. Luke’s, UK and was praised by the enthusiastic audiences for his sensitivity, interpretation and musicianship. Shuheng studies piano with Dr. Logan Skelton of University of Michigan.
Eight-year old Fayfay started piano playing at age four with her mother Dr. Peng Chen. Currently she is a student of Dr. Tian Tian, Professor of Piano at Oakland University, Michigan. For two years Fayfay studied with Dr. Amy Cheng, faculty of School of Music, Theater and Dance at University of Michigan. She also receives occasional guidance from her father Bright Sheng.
Fayfay’s progress on piano playing has been impressive. She was the First Prize winner and Exceptional Young Talent Special Price winner of the 2019 Gold Classical Music Award International Competition, which resulted her Carnegie Hall debut in March that year at Weill Recital Hall, New York City. Fayfay has won the Sonata/Sonatina Festival in Feburary, 2018, and was named second place of 2018 Steinway & Sons Piano Competition in March. She also has been winner for 2018 Honors Recital Audition, 2019 Bach Festival Audition, and 2019 Sonata Festival Audition, among others.
Fayfay is in the second grade at Emerson School and is active in swimming and Chinese. She is fond of drawing.
Aaron Wang is 12 years old and in the 6th grade. He has been recognized as both a pianist and a composer. As a pianist, he has won many awards including a first prize from the Michigan Music Teachers Association (MMTA) at the state solo finals in 2018. He also has been a first and a third prize winner in the MMTA Concerto Competition in 2016 and 2017 respectively. Additionally, Aaron has won awards from the Metropolitan Detroit Musicians League Young Artist Competition. In 2017, he was honored to be selected as a semi-finalist and finalist in the prestigious Kaufman International Competition held in N.Y.
As a composer, Aaron has had many distinctions. He won the state, regional and national first prize from the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition in 2017. For three consecutive years, 2017, 2018 and 2019, Aaron was honored to be selected as the state and regional first prize winner and as a national finalist from the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) Composition Competition. In 2018, Aaron was selected as the national second place winner in composition by the MTNA.
Aaron has studied piano and composition with Catherine Rollin since the third grade. He has also been studying composition with Professor Bright Sheng of University of Michigan since the fall of 2018. Additionally, Aaron is an avid hockey player and accomplished sailor.
Zhengshuo Wang, age 16, is a junior at Washtenaw International High School and a member of the Tuesday Musicale of Detroit’s Student League. He began his piano study at eight and is currently a student of pianist Dizhou Zhao.
Zhengshuo has performed in many piano competitions and festivals. Before winning the third prize in the 2019 Steinway Piano Competition, he won first prizes at the American Guild of Music Contest in 2013 and 2014, the Evola Honors Recital in 2015, the Crescendo International Piano Competition in 2016 when he performed in the Carnegie Hall in New York, honorable mentions in the Schoolcraft College Honors Recitals in 2016 and 2019, the Oakland University Piano Day Competition in 2019, and the Cranbrook Junior Audition in 2019.
Besides music, Zhengshuo has been playing ice hockey for eight years and is developing an interest in philosophy.