Ukraine, Russia and China represented among winners of piano competition

All good friends at the 29th Annual Beethoven Piano Competition, sponsored by Emeritus Chancellor Irving Shain

Sunday, April 6, 3:30 PM, Morphy Hall. Reception to follow.

2014 Beethoven Piano Competition winners Oxana Khramova, Yana Groves and Zijin Yao. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.
2014 Beethoven Piano Competition winners Oxana Khramova, Yana Groves and Zijin Yao. Photograph by Katherine Esposito.

When its comes to beautiful music, political differences are all but irrelevant. That will be nicely shown this Sunday at the annual winners recital of the Beethoven Piano Competition, in which UW-Madison School of Music pianists from Ukraine, Russia and China will perform their winning works.

The competition was held last weekend and is now in its 29th year. It is sponsored by former University Chancellor Irving Shain. Winners receive cash honoraria.

The winners are Zijin Yao of China; Oxana Khramova, a Russian native; and Yana Groves, a native of Ukraine. Zijin Yao is a doctoral student in piano performance and pedagogy who studies with professors Martha Fischer and Jessica Johnson. Oxana Khramova is a doctoral student in piano performance and pedagogy who studies with Professor Christopher Taylor. Yana Groves will finish her master’s degree this spring and begin doctoral studies next fall in the studio of Christopher Taylor.

All will perform music composed by Ludvig van Beethoven. The program will include Sonata in D Major, Op. 10 no. 3 (Khramova); 15 Variations and Fugue in Eb Major, op. 35 (“Eroica”) (Zijin Yao); and Sonata in Eb Major, Op. 27 no. 1 (Groves).

The winners will appear in recital on Sunday, April 6 at 3:30 p.m. in Morphy Hall. Admission is free, and there will be a post-concert reception for audience and musicians.

The judge for the competition was Karen Boe from UW-Whitewater, who also awarded an honorable mention to Haley O’Neil, who studies with Christopher Taylor.

Here are biographies of the winning students.

Pianist Zijin Yao was born in China’s Hubei province and received her bachelor’s degree at China Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2010. In the same year, she was admitted by the Graduate School of China, Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship and received a master’s degree in 2013. A passionate performer, Zijin is the winner of the 2013 Beijing Piano Festival, recipient of the Gold Award of the Piano Group at the 2012 National Music and Dance Competition in Beijing. A committed piano teacher, she has focused on exploring piano pedagogy alongside the art of piano performance. She has published six articles on piano performing and teaching in several major academic journals in China during the last three years.

Oxana Khramova began her musical career at the age of seven. During her studies, Oxana played many solo and chamber music recitals and was a prize winner at the All Russian Piano Competition in 1996. In 2010 Oxana moved to the United States and completed her master’s degree in piano performance at the University of Northern Iowa. Oxana is a teaching assistant at the School of Music, and a piano instructor for the Piano Pioneers program and at Farley’s House of Pianos.

Yana Groves is originally from Kharkiv, Ukraine, where she attended Music School # 9 and studied with Glazirina Tatiana, majoring in piano performance. She began her US studies with Dr. Karen Becker at SUNY Plattsburgh in 2007 and has participated in master classes with Evgenia Tzarov and Helen Huang. In the spring of 2011 Groves made her debut as soloist with the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488. She completed her bachelor’s degree with a double major in music and accounting in May 2012, graduating summa cum laude. In the spring of 2013, Yana and flutist Danielle Breisach were the winners of the Annual Shain Woodwind-Piano Duo Competition.

 

 

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