Press Room

APA and WFMT Radio Network to create radio series

The American Pianists Association and the WFMT Radio Network today announced their collaboration on a new, nationally syndicated radio series documenting the finals of the APA’s yearlong competition, the 2012-13 ProLiance Energy Classical Fellowship Awards.  Five talented young musicians are vying for a prize valued at more than $100,000, one of the most lucrative awards available to an American pianist. Billed as “Classical Discovery Week,” the finals will take place from April 15 to April 20, 2013 in Indianapolis, home of the APA.  The Finalists – Sean Chen, Sara Daneshpour, Claire Huangci, Andrew Staupe and Eric Zuber – will participate in a plethora of public, adjudicated concerts: solo recitals; chamber music with the Linden String Quartet; APA-commissioned premieres of new music by five prominent women composers (Lisa Bielawa, Margaret Brouwer, Gabriela Lena Frank, Missy Mazzoli and Sarah Kirkland Snider); a song recital with soprano Jessica Rivera (April 18); and concerto performances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra under Gerard Schwarz (April 19, 20). On April 20, one Finalist will be named the APA’s 2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow: a musician with the potential to make significant contributions to American cultural life.  
The radio series is slated for broadcast in the fall of 2013.  “We are thrilled and honored to be helping the APA document its 2013 classical competition,” stated Steve Robinson, General Manager of the WFMT Radio Network.  “The five Finalists are all rising stars, and with each performing a wide variety of solo, chamber and concerto repertoire, I know the programs we produce will welcomed by radio stations throughout the U.S. and around the world.” 
“Exciting things are happening at American Pianists Association and I am delighted that we can share some of that excitement with music listeners around the nation and the world via the superb work of the WFMT Radio Network,” said Joel Harrison, the APA’s President/CEO and Artistic Director.
About the WFMT Radio Network
The WFMT Radio Network is a premier creator of radio programs that are syndicated to hundreds of radio stations throughout the United States and internationally, with a
focus on classical music, jazz, folk, science, and world culture. It is the home of prestigious classical concert series such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic; the renowned daily music appreciation series Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin; a national opera series; Jazz From Lincoln Center; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; The Midnight Special (folk music with a sense of humor); hourly modular classical and jazz series (Beethoven Satellite Network and Jazz Satellite Network); and dozens of other programs that range from ongoing weekly series to one-time radio specials. The WFMT Radio Network continually travels the world to develop new programming, having produced series from places such as Salzburg, South Africa, Edinburgh, Jerusalem, and many other locations.
About the American Pianists Association Fellowship
The American Pianists Association’s Fellowship provides a $50,000 cash award and two years of career assistance and performances, valued together at more than $100,000. Performance opportunities during the fellowship period involve solo recitals as well as appearances with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and the symphony orchestras of Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Santa Fe and Tucson. Previous winners have been presented at the Kennedy Center, Phillips Collection, Dame Myra Hess Series, Chopin Foundation of America; in various recital series nationwide; and on tours overseas. Steinway is the official piano of the 2013 Fellowship, and the chosen Fellow will issue a solo recording on the Steinway label, for distribution by ArkivMusic
Unlike any other major piano competition, the American Pianists Association focuses equally on classical and jazz pianists. Since 1992, the organization has offered Jazz Fellowships, with a similar cash award of $50,000 – the largest available in the jazz piano world. The 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz is Aaron Diehl, hailed by the New York Times as a “revelation.” Former Fellows include Dan Tepfer (2007) and Aaron Parks (2001). The next Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz will be named in April 2015.
American Pianists Association Mission
The mission of the American Pianists Association is to discover, promote and advance the careers of young American classical and jazz pianists of world-class talents. Since its founding in 1979, the organization has supported 43 Fellows. The 2009 Classical Fellows are Adam Golka, also a Gilmore Young Artist, who impressed the Washington Post with his “combination of brilliant technique and real emotional depth”; and Grace Fong, a “positively magical” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition. Among the previous Classical Fellows are Spencer Myer (2006), Christopher Taylor (2000), Frederic Chiu (1985) and Sara Davis Buechner (1981). The American Pianists Association was founded in 1979 as the Beethoven Foundation. In 1982, two of its founders, Victor Borge and Tony Habig, moved the national headquarters to Indianapolis.
About the APA Competition Finalists
Sean Chen, 24, was second-prize winner of the 2011 Seoul International Music Competition and a prizewinner in the 2009 Cleveland International Piano Competition. Born in Margate, FL and raised in Oak Park, CA, he has performed in Bucharest, Seoul, Taiwan, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Miami, and New York. Chen received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, where he won the 2010 Gina Bachauer Piano Competition; he is pursuing his Artist Diploma at Yale University. His teachers have included Jerome Lowenthal, Matti Raekallio, and teacher-mentor Edward Francis.
“Pianist Chen leaves New West Symphony audiences ‘Spellbound.’ … He brought piquant charm and prodigious fingerwork to play in [Rachmaninov’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini], and a lush and ruminative spirit to [Miklós Rózsa’s ‘Spellbound’ concerto].” — Ventura County Star
Sara Daneshpour, 25, won first prize at the XII Concours International de Musique du Maroc (Morocco, 2012), was the second-prize winner of the 2007 William Kapell International Piano Competition, first-prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2007 International Russian Music Piano Competition, and first-prize winner of the 2003 Beethoven Society of America Competition. She joined the roster of Astral Artists as winner of the 2010 National Auditions. Daneshpour has performed in her hometown of Washington, D.C. as well as in New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Russia, Germany, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and Sweden. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, studying under Leon Fleisher, and is now pursuing her master’s degree at Juilliard with Yoheved Kaplinsky.
“She created transfixing poetry”— Washington Post
“Sensational. Strength, finesse, passion; it was all there.” — Mercury News
Claire Huangci, 22, won first prize in the 2010 National Chopin Piano Competition in Miami, and was a laureate in the 2010 Queen Elisabeth International Piano Competition. She made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003 and has since performed with orchestras in Stuttgart, Frankfurt, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and the China Philharmonic, among others. Born in Rochester, NY, Huangci entered Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School at age seven and did her undergraduate work at the Curtis Institute of Music. She is currently studying at the Hochschule für Musik in Hannover, Germany with Professor Arie Vardi.
“The pianist displays the same talent once reserved for Vladimir Horowitz: phenomenal basses, dynamic phrases and a great feel for timbres.” Allgemeine Zeitung
Andrew Staupe, 28, recently made his Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall as recipient of the 2011 Pro Musicis International Award, and he was the Gold Medalist of the 2010 Young Texas Artists Music Competition. The St. Paul, MN native has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe, appearing at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, as well as in Russia, Latvia, Romania, France, Germany, and Bulgaria. Staupe received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Minnesota with Lydia Artymiw, and is currently completing his DMA in piano performance at Rice University in Houston with Jon Kimura Parker.
“Mr. Staupe gave a brilliant performance, handling the virtuosic demands with apparent ease, capturing the savage without ever resorting to pounding, and maintaining a tremendous level of stamina and power. … I was stunned- this was one of the most incredible performances of this masterpiece [Villa-Lobos’s Rudepoema] I have ever heard, live or recorded … a once-in-a-lifetime performance!” New York Concert Review
Eric Zuber, 27, has won major prizes in nine international piano competitions: the Cleveland, Arthur Rubinstein, Seoul, Sydney, Dublin, Minnesota, Hilton Head, Honens and Bösendorfer competitions. The Baltimore, MD native made his orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Baltimore Symphony and has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, Korean Symphony, and Ireland’s RTE National Symphony, among others. Zuber holds degrees from the Peabody Institute, Curtis Institute of Music, and the Juilliard School, and is currently pursuing his DMA at Peabody. His teachers have included Boris Slutsky, Leon Fleisher, Claude Frank, and Robert McDonald.
“Zuber held the audience in the palms of his hands [in Liszt’s Sonata in B minor]. Under the wrong circumstances, this piece can sound like a bag of virtuosic tricks, but Zuber shaped it with a keen ear for both the score’s celestial lyricism and diabolical ferocity.” — Cleveland Plain Dealer
Schedule of American Pianists Association “Discovery Week” Events
2013 ProLiance Energy Classical Fellowship Awards of the American Pianists Association
Condoleezza Rice, Honorary Chair
Note: All events take place in Indianapolis unless otherwise indicated.
April 15, 2013, noon
Discovery Week; Christ Church Cathedral
Solo recital and Dvorák: Piano Quintet No. 2 in A major, Op. 81
Eric Zuber, piano; Linden String Quartet
April 15, 2013, 7:30pm
Discovery Week; Eidson-Duckwall Recital Hall
New Music Recital: Premieres of APA-commissioned works by Lisa Bielawa, Margaret Brouwer, Gabriela Lena Frank, Missy Mazzoli and Sarah Kirkland Snider
April 16, 2013, noon
Discovery Week; Christ Church Cathedral
Solo recital and Schumann: Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44
Sara Daneshpour, piano; Linden String Quartet
April 17, 2013, noon
Discovery Week; Christ Church Cathedral
Solo recital and Shostakovich: Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57
Claire Huangci, piano; Linden String Quartet
April 18, 2013, noon
Discovery Week; Christ Church Cathedral
Solo recital and Brahms: Piano Quintet in F minor, Op. 34
Andrew Staupe, piano; Linden String Quartet
April 18, 2013, 7:30pm
Discovery Week; Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center
Song Recital
Jessica Rivera, soprano with all five APA Finalists
April 19, 2013, noon
Discovery Week; Christ Church Cathedral
Solo recital and Dohnányi: Piano Quintet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 1
Sean Chen, piano; Linden String Quartet
April 19, 2013, 8pm
Discovery Week; Hilbert Circle Theatre
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra / Gerard Schwarz
Gala Finals
Sara Daneshpour – Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor
Claire Huangci – Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major
Eric Zuber – Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
View the webcast:
April 20, 2013, 8pm
Discovery Week; Hilbert Circle Theatre
Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra / Gerard Schwarz
Sean Chen – Bartók: Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major
Andrew Staupe – Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor
Gala Finals and naming of the winner: 
2013 Christel DeHaan Classical Fellow of the American Pianists Association
View the webcast:
April 25, 2013, 1pm
New York, NY
Trinity Church (Wall Street & Broadway) 
Concerts at One
Performances by all competition pianists (including the winner, who will be named on April 20): Sean Chen, Sara Daneshpour, Claire Huangci, Andrew Staupe and Eric Zuber;
New York premieres of APA-commissioned works by Lisa Bielawa, Margaret Brouwer, Gabriela Lena Frank, Missy Mazzoli and Sarah Kirkland Snider
For further information, contact
Wende Persons, 21C Media Group: [email protected]; 917-691-1282; 
Joel Harrison, President/CEO & Artistic Director, American Pianists Association: [email protected]; 317-940-9945
© 21C Media Group, March 2013









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