UIC PIANIST WINS FIRST PRIZE AT YOUNG ARTIST COMPETITION
Jeong-Hye Veronica Hwang, a 21-year-old piano student pursuing a bachelor's degree in biochemistry at the University of Illinois at Chicago, won first prize at the Skokie Valley Symphony Young Artist Competition. Hwang receives $1,000 and will perform her winning piece, Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3, in the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra's subscription series next year at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts.
"This contest brings together the best young players on all instruments in the Chicago area and beyond," said Theodore Edel, UIC associate professor of performing arts and Hwang's piano instructor. "It is a wonderful occasion for one of our students to win a contest in which the standards are very high, really professional-level playing."
"This is one of the most demanding symphonies for young artists," says Edel. "Jeong showed a great deal of dedication to learn Rachmanicoff Concerto No. 3, and when the competition began, she played a superb rendition of the piece."
Hwang has been playing the piano for more than 10 years, but does not intend to pursue music professionally.
"My parents suggested I start playing the piano at an early age, but the main reason I really took interest was to be like all my friends who were already playing the piano," said Hwang. "I'm not sure if I will pursue playing professionally because right now I play for the love of playing."
With 25,000 students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88 national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and cultural fabric of the area.
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