PianoSummer at New Paltz announces the winners of the 2017 Flier Piano Competition

PianoSummer at New Paltz proudly announces the winners of the prestigious 2017 Jacob Flier Piano Competition.

The First Prize winner will be rewarded with a debut recital in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall and will share a recital with the second and third-place winners at the 2018 PianoSummer at New Paltz Jacob Flier Piano Competition Gala.

The competition’s Final Round concluded on a high note, with prizes awarded to the following rising stars:

  • Polina Kulikova, 25 yrs, Russia (First Prize)
  • Mackenzie Melemed, 23 yrs., USA (Second Prize)
  • Hao Tian, 15 yrs., China (Third Prize)
Mackenzie Melemed, Polina Kulikova, Hao Tian

Polina Kulikova graduated with distinction from the Ural Music College in Ekaterinburg, studying under Professor Larissa Kutsenko. She went on to the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she worked with two National Artists of Russia: Professor Vera Gornostayeva and Professor Alexander Bonduryansky.

As a soloist and a member of “Davidsbundler” piano duo, Ms. Kulikova performs regularly in Germany, Norway, Poland, Japan and Russia.

She has participated in many international piano competitions around the world, and has won multiple honors:

  • Third Prize in the International Schubert Piano Duo Competition
  • Grand Prix and a Special prize in the International Kabalevsky Competition
  • Semi-Finalist in the VIII International “Isidor Bajic” Piano Competition
  • Semi-Finalist at the Chicago International Duo Piano competition
  • First prize and five special prizes in the VI International Piano Duo Competition in Poland
  • First prize and two special prizes in the V International Taneyev Chamber Music Competition
  • Winner of the Piano Concerto Competition “Crescendo”
  • Second Prize in the II International Lotar-Shevchenko Piano Competition.

Just 23 years old, Mackenzie Melemed has performed more than 600 concerts for audiences around the world, including a 5-year series of performances at The White House.

He completed studies in Finnish at Columbia University and recently graduated with his Bachelor of Music degree. He will be completing his Master of Music degree this year at The Juilliard School with a full tuition scholarship.

Melemed has won numerous prizes during his career, at competitions including:

  • The ninth Iowa International Piano Competition
  • The New York International Piano Competition
  • The Gina Bachauer International Young Artists Piano Competition
  • The 18th Hamamatsu International Piano Academy Competition
  • The Juilliard School Gina Bachauer Competition
  • The Mieczysław Munz Competition at The Juilliard School.

Hao Tian, born in Beijing, China, began his piano studies at the age of five. He is currently studying at the Middle School Affiliated to China Central Conservatory of Music. Selected awards from his young career include

  • The Young Artist Award at The 12thSchlern International Music Festival, Italy
  • Second Prize at The 12th“Xinghai Cup” National Piano Competition, China
  • First Prize at The 15th“Cadenza Cup” National Piano Competition, China.

About the Jacob Flier Piano Competition
The Flier Piano Competition was established to honor the distinguished Russian pianist Jacob Flier, who taught for many years at the Moscow Conservatory and who brought up generations of prominent musicians, including PianoSummer at New Paltz Artistic Director Vladimir Feltsman. The competition is open to students up to age 32. The First Prize winner performs a debut recital in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall and will share a recital with the second and third-place winners at the 2018 PianoSummer at New Paltz Jacob Flier Piano Competition Gala.

PianoSummer at New Paltz is a yearly event sponsored by the School of Fine & Performing Arts at SUNY New Paltz.