Young Artist Piano Competition & Masterclasses

Saturday, January 27 & Sunday, January 28, 2024

ECU School of Music

Haochen Zhang Recital Tickets

Application is now closed

Announcing the 2024 East Carolina University Young Artist Piano Competition & Masterclasses! In addition to the annual competition and masterclasses, we are thrilled to present an acclaimed pianist, Haochen Zhang (Gold Medalist of the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition), in a guest artist recital.

All events for the 2024 edition will take place in-person at the ECU School of Music.

The piano competition (Saturday, January 27) is open to students aged 11-18 from the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

The masterclasses with ECU faculty (Sunday, January 28) are open to both competing and non-competing students (pre-college and college students, ages 11-26). There is no residency requirement. First 8 applications will be accepted.

Haochen Zhang masterclass (Saturday, January 27) is open to public. Performers will be selected by the Competition Director and the judges.

Guest Artist:

Haochen Zhang

Gold Medalist, the 13th Van Cliburn Internațional Piano Competition

Such a combination of enchanting, sensitive lyricism and hypnotizing forcefulness is a phenomenon encountered very rarely.” –Ury Eppstein, The Jerusalem Post

In recent seasons, Haochen debuted with the New York Philharmonic and Lucerne Festival Orchestra, toured Asia with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed with the Dover Quartet at Kennedy Center. He gave a concerto performance at Carnegie Hall with the NCPA Orchestra, which was followed by his recital debut at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.

Haochen released his debut concerto album on BIS Records performing Prokofiev’s second piano concerto and Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra under Dima Slobodeniouk. His debut solo album was released by BIS, which includes works by Schumann, Brahms, Janacek, and Liszt.

Haochen Zhang Guest Artist Recital

Sunday, January 28, 3pm
Fletcher Recital Hall, ECU School of Music

Ticketed. Tickets may be purchased at the link below.


Masterclass Instructors:

Keiko Sekino

Associate Professor of Piano

B.A., Yale University, M.M., Yale School of Music, D.M.A., Peabody Institute. Studies with Peter Frankl, Robert McDonald, and Elisso Virsaladze.

Kwan Yi

Associate Professor of Piano

B.M., Curtis Institute, M.M., Juilliard School, A.D. Peabody Institute. Studies with Leon Fleisher and Robert McDonald.

Competition Judges:

Melinda Baird

Director of Piano Programs
Levine School of Music


Shuai Sophia Wang

Piano Faculty
Cleveland Institute of Music


Schedule on Saturday, January 27, 2024:

8:45am-12pm Senior Competition Adjudication
12pm-12:30pm Lunch & Showcase by ECU Piano Department
12:30-4:40pm Junior Competition Adjudication
5-7pm Masterclass with guest artist, Haochen Zhang
7pm Announcement of Winners & Winners’ Recital

Schedule on Sunday, January 28, 2024:

12pm-2:30pm Masterclass with ECU piano faculty
3:00pm Guest Artist Recital by Haochen Zhang


Young Artist Piano Competition

  • The piano competition is open to pre-college students between the ages of 11 and 14 (Junior Division) and 15 and 18 (Senior Division), who are residents of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia or who have studied with a teacher residing in that area for at least six months prior to the date of the competition. The Division each contestant should enter is determined by his/her age on the date of the competition, in this case, January 27, 2024.

Masterclasses with ECU Faculty

  • The masterclasses are open to both competing and non-competing students (pre-college and college students, ages 11-26). There is no residency requirement.

Competition Rules:

  1. Current students of the judges in their division are not allowed to enter the competition.
  2. Contestants will be assigned a number and will not be referred to by name.
  3. Former first place winners may not enter in the same division.
  4. By submitting the online application form, the contestant agrees that the director of the competition may use the submitted video recordings in future media broadcasts or in advertising for the competition without compensation to the contestant.
  5. All judges’ decisions are final.
  6. All competitors are required to be present at the Lunch & Showcase Performance as well as the  Announcement of Winners & Winners’ Recital.

Junior Piano Division – Specific Rules & Prize Information

Senior Piano Division – Specific Rules & Prize Information

List of Winners from Previous Competitions

Previous Years

Contact Information:

Kwan Yi, Director (
Kirsten Holley, Competition Coordinator (
Sponsorship of the East Carolina University Young Artist Piano Competition comes completely from private donations. Persons who are interested in funding a prize or supporting the operating expenses of the competition through a tax-deductible contribution may contact Kwan Yi.