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Linda Cajigas
Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

IU Jacobs School of Music 'Young Pianist' wins international piano competition

July 27, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Yihan Chen, a student of Karen Taylor in the Young Pianists Program at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, captured the Grand Prize for Best Concerto Performance (all Young Artists levels) at the 54th World Piano Competition (WPC) July 1 in Cincinnati. He advanced to the finals after winning the Gold Medal in the Level 10 Concerto division.

The award included a prize of $1,600, an opportunity to perform the Liszt Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major with the competition's World Symphony Orchestra during the WPC Artist Finals on July 18 and an invitation to perform in Carnegie Hall this fall in the showcase recital featuring WPC winners.

"I've taught Yihan for the last five years, and it's been a sheer joy to work with him and watch him grow and excel," Taylor said. "He's a brilliant young artist blessed with a remarkable intelligence, a wonderful command of the instrument and a musical understanding that's remarkably mature for his age. I suspect that he's only at the start of a career filled with achievements."

Chen took a few days off from the IU Piano Academy to compete in the WPC semi-finals and finals then hurried back to Bloomington to finish the session and perform the Liszt concerto in the Piano Academy's Honors Recital July 10.

In addition to his piano studies with Taylor, Chen studies composition with Jacobs Professor Don Freund. Chen is focusing on composition during the next several weeks at the New York Summer Music Festival.

In April 2010, he won honorable mention in the 2010 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards.

The son of Lingma and Doug Acheson of Plainfield, Ind., Chen attends Indiana University High School and will begin piano studies with Jacobs Professor Arnaldo Cohen this fall.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, visit