PianoSummer at New Paltz is pleased to announce that Ryo Kaneko, of Japan, was named the first place winner of the 2015 Jacob Flier Piano Competition. The final round of this prominent competition was held at the College on July 22. Second and third place winners are Narae Lee, of South Korea, and Nenad Ivovic of Serbia respectively.
Kaneko performed Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Op. 1 at the Symphony Gala with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic on July 31.
Born in Japan in 1994, Kaneko’s first exposure to music lessons was at the age of two in a Yamaha Music Program. At the same time, he enjoyed dancing, singing and listening to music, and from this unique training he developed his perfect pitch. At the age of four, his family moved to the United States where he began his serious study of piano at the age of nine. His fascination for music has grown exponentially in the past few years, leading him to a rapacious study of composers and their entire works, compositional styles, study of orchestration and harmony and various forms of analysis.
Kaneko has presented solo performances at Manhattan Steinway Hall, George Mason University’s Performing Arts Center Young Artists Series, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the Rising Star Concerts at The Alden, JoAnn Rose Gallery, New World Center in Miami, SUNY New Paltz McKenna and Studley Theatres, and Harris Theater. He has been a winner in the Lichtenberg Competition, Friday Morning Music Club High School Piano Competition, MTNA Virginia Senior Competition, Old Dominion University Harold Protsman Competition, Washington Music Teachers Association Ylda Novik Concerto competition, Northern Virginia Music Teachers Concerto Competition, and the Young Artist Kapell Competition for High School Students in 2012. In 2014, he won second place in the Rice University Piano Competition, first place in the Miami Summer Music Festival, and second place in the Jacob Flier International Piano Competition. He has also been the soloist for the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.3 with the Capital City Orchestra in 2012 and the Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 with the Miami Summer Music Festival Orchestra in 2014. He has participated in numerous Summer Festivals such as Piano Texas, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Academie Boulanger in Gargenville, France and PianoSummer at New Paltz with pianist Vladimir Feltsman. He was a student of Dr. Marjorie Lee for 9 years, and he is currently studying with Dr. Robert Roux at Shepherd School of Music, Rice University in Houston, Texas.
About PianoSummer Festival and Institute
PianoSummer was founded in 1994 by renowned maestro Vladimir Feltsman, distinguished professor of piano at SUNY New Paltz. One of the distinctive features of the Institute was, and continues to be, that every student works intensively and simultaneously with all the faculty members who represent a variety of traditions and styles. Additionally, the Institute provides a public setting in which students experience performing in front of an audience. Today, the program continues to focus on an integrated approach to learning and performance.