Five Young Canadians Selected to Compete in the 2011 Minnesota International Piano-e-Competition

Minneapolis/St. Paul—March 21, 2011

After an extensive global audition tour, twenty-five young pianists have been selected to play at the live performance rounds of the July 2011 Minnesota International Junior Piano-E-Competition.

Ranging from ages 11 to 16, representing China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, United States, Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Belarus, and Canada, these pianists are amongst the most gifted in the world under the age of 17.

The five Canadians who will be competing in Minneapolis July 1-8, 2011 are:

  • Claire Lee (13 yrs old), Vancouver
  • Vivian Lou (13 yrs old), Vancouver
  • Tristan Teo (13yrs old), Vancouver
  • Anastasia Rizikov (12 yrs old), Toronto
  • Annie Zhou (12 yrs old), Toronto

The three pianists from Vancouver all hail from the studio of Sasha Starcevich. Anastasia Rizikov is a student of Maia Spis and Annie Zhou comes from The Royal Conservatory’s Academy program for gifted musicians, under the tutelage of Marietta Orlov.

In various audition centres around the world, pianists from fourteen nations recorded 20 minute recitals on Yamaha Mark IV Disklavier PROs, the most advanced player piano system in the world. The recordings, synchronized with video, were reproduced live on another Disklavier PRO in front of a central jury panel at Yamaha’s Artist Services in New York City.

The Disklavier is a top-of-the-line Yamaha Acoustic Piano with built in laser optics, highly sensitive solenoids and a state of the art computer, which capture the exact keystrokes and pedaling of the pianist. As a result, the performance can be played back just as it was originally played.

In the upcoming July competition rounds, competitors will perform live in front of an audience and an international jury consisting of Akiko Ebi (Japan), Arie Vardi (Israel), Oxana Yablonskaya (United States), Blanca Uribe (Columbia), Sontraud Speidel (Germany), Jerome Rose (United States), and Stanislav Pochekin (Russia). These live performances will also be recorded on a Disklavier PRO version of the new and highly acclaimed Yamaha CFX Concert Grand.

The Minnesota International Piano-E-Competition alternates years between senior pianists - 18 -27 yrs of age and junior pianos 17 yrs and under. This competition is rated as one of the top most important piano competitions in the world by the Alink-Argerich Foundation. The First Junior edition of the Minnesota Piano-E-Competition took place in 2008 where Canadian phenom Jan Lisiecki took home 3rd prize.

Yamaha Canada Music Ltd acknowledges the great support by Tom Lee Music, Vancouver and The Royal Conservatory, Toronto for the use of their facilities as Disklavier audition centres.

For further information on the Minnesota International Piano-E-Competition

Dr. Stella Sick - Managing Director

Visit the website at

For further information on the Yamaha Mark IV Disklavier

Jun Fujimoto - Piano Marketing Specialist, Artist and Institutional Relations

Visit the website at