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Winners of the Renée B. Fisher Competition for Young Pianists

Piano students from across the state recently performed at Neighborhood Music School, as winners of the 39th annual Renée B. Fisher Competition for Young Pianists Winners’ Concert. The 2016 Fisher Competition marks a 39-year tradition of nurturing young pianists who live or study in Connecticut. Neighborhood Music School proudly accepted management of the Competition in 2003. Milton B. Fisher of Westport, Conn., founded The Fisher Competition and Composer Awards as a fitting way to honor the memory of his wife Renée, a talented pianist, author and teacher who passed away in 1976.


Commissioned Piece   –Stephanie Chang (Svitlana Fiorito) Riverside

3rd prize                      –Aimee Chang (Miyoko Lotto) Madison

2nd prize                      –Noah Lee (Hyun Sook Park) North Haven

1st prize                       –Stephanie Chang (Svitlana Fiorito) Riverside


Commissioned Piece   –David Sacks (Miyoko Lotto) Greenwich

Honorable Mention    –Claire Chang (Miyoko Lotto) Madison

3rd prize (tie                –Gilbert Tsui (Yoshie Akimoto) Weston

3rd prize (tie)               –Harris Andersen (Rebecca Raffaelli) Woodbridge

2nd prize                      –Caroline Ma (Margreet Francis) Unionville

1st prize                       –David Sacks (Miyoko Lotto) Greenwich

The distinguished panel of judges for the competition included Jung-Ja Kim (Boston Conservatory); Ivo Kaltchev (Catholic University); and Russell Hirshfield (Western Connecticut State University).

The judges selected winners in Elementary/Middle and High School Divisions who will receive monetary prizes in addition to the opportunity to perform. “The seemingly bottomless pool of talent in Connecticut never ceases to amaze me. We at NMS are very proud to introduce these accomplished young artists to the community each spring.” said Michelle Zingale, NMS piano teacher and coordinator of the Competition.

A unique component of the Competition is the annual Fisher Composer Awards which commissions two international composers to create works that are debuted at the Competition. This year’s featured composers are Edmund Jolliffe, who wrote The Strath for the Elementary/Middle School Division, and Pierre Bastaroli, who composed Laeta Devote for the High School Division. “It is most gratifying to see the students and their teachers so inspired by and committed to the contemporary works which we commission for them.” said Zingale.

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