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Classicalia - Global Classical Music Competition
Season 2021/2022 Winners

Finalists of Category 1: 11 years old and under 


Ontario-based pianist Ryan Huang was recently awarded first prize in the XXII The Nutcracker International Televised Music Competition in Moscow (2021). Other competitive achievements include first prizes at the Young Euregio Piano Award International Competition (Germany, 2021); WPTA Finland International Piano Competition (2021), Steinway & Son Junior Competition (Canada, 2020/2019), Canadian Music Competition (Canada, 2018), and GOCAA International Competition (USA, 2018); and second prize at the 27th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition for Children and Youth (Poland, 2019). Ryan has performed in halls including Carnegie Hall and Shanghai Symphony Hall, and with orchestras including Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra in China, Moscow Symphony Orchestra in Russia, Tarnow Chamber Orchestra in Poland, and Napoli Youth Orchestra in Italy. In addition to his piano studies, he has earned High Honors by John Hopkins Center for Talented Youth in both math and language. In his leisure time, Ryan likes to play chess, hockey, and baseball.


Austrian pianist Sunny Ritter has studied at the Musikuniversität Wien, Toronto’s RCM Taylor Academy, and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. Since her first gold medal at six years old, Sunny has triumphed at more than 25 international piano competitions in Austria, Germany, Italy, Romania, Russia, and Canada. She swept up the first prize and all special prizes at the Steinway Klavierspielwettbewerb and received the Grand Prize across all age categories at Mihaela Ursuleasa IPC. At 10, she competed at the senior level and won the top prize at Toronto’s Kiwanis Festival. Sunny made her orchestral debut in Bucharest and at Vienna’s Rathaus at eight years old. Although COVID-19 postponed her Koerner Hall debut, Sunny didn’t miss a beat. A pioneer of the lockdown-livestream, she was soon performing solo recitals like Playing from my Heart for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. The lockdowns have made her all the more grateful for live performing opportunities.


Sibling piano duo from Germany, Sophie and Alexander Wagner have been performing together and winning competitions for several years. The pair started playing piano at age five and currently study with Ilja Scheps. At nine, Alexander performed Mozart’s Piano Concerto no. 20. with the Shanghai Symphonic Orchestra conducted by his grandfather Runyu Hou. As an encore he played Mozart’s Turkish March with his five-year-old sister Sophie, and since then, the children have performed in various international competitions together, returning home with first prizes at: Steinway Piano Competition in Hamburg (2019), German SWR Ensemble Competition, 3rd International Piano Competition Music of the World (Israel), and the International Hamburger Instrumental Competition. The duo holds the honour of being the only children to give a solo concert during the renowned Schleswig Holstein Music Festival in Germany. In 2018 they participated in a television show in Shanghai with Chinese music stars as mentors.


Born in Taiwan, Shang-En Hsieh began learning piano and violin at the age of five. Since 2017 he has been widely recognized on both instruments with a unique stage charisma and been invited to perform as a soloist with orchestras. He has participated in numerous Taiwanese and international music competitions and has won more than one hundred first prizes. He was the winner of MozARTe Aachen, Piano Talents and Merci, Maestro! International Piano Competitions. He won first prize in Academy of Taiwan Strings, Città di Barletta, Osaka and Josef Micka Violin Competitions, and major prizes in Young Musician Tallinn, Leonid Kogan and K. Lipinski & H. Wieniawski International Competition for Young Violinists. He currently studies piano with Andreas Weber at the Mozarteum, and violin with Igor Petrushevski of Richard Wagner Conservatory.


Finalists of Category 2: 12-17 years old 


Spanish saxophonist Gisela Dekort Mesalles was awarded a scholarship from Fundació de Música Ferrer-Salat in 2020 at age 16 to begin her Bachelor of Music studies two years early at the Fundació Conservatori Liceu under Albert Julià. She has performed as a soloist with Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León and has won many international awards. In 2019, as member of Mezzo Quartet, she won first prize at Pugem a l'escenari of Joventuts musicals de Sant Cugat del Vallès, and first prize in the Sant Anastasi competition in Lleida. In 2020 she was a semi-finalist of the Superior Category at the Intercentros Melómano competition, and she won second prize in at the XVI Encontro Galego do Saxofón; and the Special Saxophone Prize in the Conservatori de Terrassa. In 2021, she became a finalist in the Spanish talent TV show Prodigios (RTVE-1) and won many first prizes in various online competitions. 


Born in Los Angeles with Eastern European heritage, flutist Nikka Gershman attends the Colburn Music Academy as a Jean-Yves Thibaudet Scholar. Haynes Flutes, the oldest flute manufacturing company in America, has invited Nikka to be their youngest ever Young Artist. In addition, she studies composition with renowned Polish composer Zbigniew Preisner. Nikka is honored to be a National Finalist of YoungArts, the most prestigious award in the United States, which identifies exceptional young artists to invest in their lifelong careers. The Concorso Internazionale A Tutto Flauto awarded her the Absolute First Prize (Primo Premio Assoluto) in the adult category. In 2022, she was the only 14-year-old in the history of the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition to win the Grand Prize for Exceptional Talent and Musicianship Award overall categories, judged by a panel of esteemed LA Philharmonic members. Nikka’s solo concerts include performances in Germany as well as throughout LA and in New York. She is a recipient of the Sir James Galway “Outstanding Junior Performer” Award and a winner of the prestigious career grant for the Salon de Virtuosi. Nikka was a guest performer on NPR’s From the Top National Public Radio station, showcasing her performance and composition.


An active young performer, Andrew has given solo recitals in Metz, France, and the Renming University Concert Hall in Beijing, China, after making his solo debut at the age of eight at the Castello Scaligero in Verona, Italy. He has recently become the youngest student to be offered a full scholarship to the Frost Chopin Academy, and has received scholarships from the Miami Music Festival and the Joseph Gingold Chamber Music Festival. Andrew’s piano competition wins include the Special Prize of Best Canadian Young Artist at the Canadian International Piano Competition, and first prizes in both the Concerto Competition at the Miami Classical Music Festival, and the Hong Kong Youth Piano Competition's Beethoven group. Aside from playing the piano, Andrew is interested in world history. He also enjoys reading, movies, swimming, and hiking.


Russian-Israeli pianist Artemy Sokolovsky is a student of the Moscow Gnessin Special School of Music studying with Elena Berezkina. He wrote his first melody at four years old, and by seven had performed in the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. In addition to winning numerous awards for his work on the piano, Artemy has performed throughout Moscow (Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory halls, Zaryadye Hall, Moscow Philharmonic, Pashkov House); in cathedrals and halls in Italy, Austria, The Netherlands, Ireland, Ukraine, and Israel; and at Embassy receptions at the residences of the Ambassadors to Germany, Norway, and Hungary. Artemy has performed with the Russian National Orchestra, Pavel Slobodkin Centre Orchestra, and Dubna Symphony Orchestra, and in 2021, was invited to perform at the Piano Duo Festival in Amsterdam. He has participated in masterclasses with Dmitry Bashkirov, Grigory Gruzman, Einar Steen-Nokleberg, Victor Ryabchikov, Antonio di Cristofano, Yulianna Avdeeva, Eduard Kunz, and others.


Finalists of Category 3: 18-25 years old 

Born in France, and now living in the USA, soprano Solène Le Van is a prizewinner of the Metropolitan Opera Council (2nd Prize Midwest / Joyce Castle Award) and the French Embassy (Cultural Services Award). She has won eighteen national and eight international competitions, including the Concours Léopold Bellan in Paris, the Ise-Shima Competition in Japan, the Danubia Liszt Contest in Budapest, and Classical Singer. In 2022, Solène will sing at Festival Theater Hudson as the Shepherd in Tannhäuser and debut the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at Vienna’s Musikverein. Other future engagements include recitals for the Metropolitan Opera and Pasadena Opera guilds, a concert with the Burbank Philharmonic, and performances at the Schloss Merode in Langerwehe, the Kloster Eberbach in Eltville am Rhein, and the Theater Meißen in Germany. Solène is a Princeton graduate and the recipient of highest honors from the Royal College of Music, London, in voice and violin.

In 2020, Scotland-based accordionist Sofia Ros won First Prize at one of the most prestigious International Accordion Competitions “Trophee Mondiale de l’accordeon”. She has also been awarded at the Klingenthal (Germany) and Castelfidardo (Italy) competitions. As soloist with orchestra, she has performed in various occasions at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh including works by Astor Piazzolla and Richard Galliano. In February 2022, she will perform Piazzolla’s Aconcagua Concerto with the Irving Symphony Orchestra in Dallas, Texas. In September 2021 she made her debut at Vienna’s Musikverein as part of the prize for Vienna International Music Competition. Sofia is supported by the Craxton Memorial Trust Award (UK), Drake Calleja Trust, and Talent Unlimited. She is an EU undergraduate ABRSM scholar at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, where she is currently studying with the Serbian accordionist Djordje Gajic.


American violinist Sophia Stoyanovich has captivated audiences since her premiere at age ten with the Bremerton Symphony. She has soloed with numerous orchestras, and has performed across North America, Europe, and Asia. Recent highlights include joining Chamber Music America as recipient of the 2021 Ensemble Forward grant, winner of the 2021 Beverly Hills National Auditions, and debuts on The Dame Myra Hess, Great Music L.A., and Encinitas Music by the Sea Concert Series. Sophia co-hosts the podcast American Stories with pianist Derek Wang, which examines and celebrates American identity through music in performance, illuminated by personal histories and reflections from featured guests of all walks of life. Based in New York City, Sophia currently performs with the New York Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, and is a chamber mentor for Midori & Friends. Sophia received her Bachelor and Master’s of Music degrees from The Juilliard School.


Hungarian-born Canadian pianist Thomas Torok made his orchestral debut in his first year studying at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists at the Royal Conservatory of Music, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 20 in Koerner Hall. With an ARCT from the Royal Conservatory with first class honours with distinction, Thomas has also had the opportunity to participate in masterclasses with John O’Conor, Anton Nel, Stephen Hough, Emanuel Ax, Marc Durand, Ronan O’Hora, and John Perry. Recent engagements include chamber music performances and recitals at Mazzoleni Hall and at the Canadian Opera Company. Since 2018, Thomas has been studying as a scholarship student at the Royal Conservatory’s Glenn Gould School pursuing a Bachelor of Music Performance under the tutelage of professors James Anagnoson and Li Wang, and he is expected to graduate in May, 2022.

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Audience Choice Award Winner 2021/2022


Angelina Nguyen (11) is from Southern California, USA. She is currently under the tutelage of Ariel Yang of Opus 119. She previously studied with Molly Nguyen and Melody Chiang. Angelina has recently been accepted into Orange County School of the Arts: Pianist Program, and will begin her study there in the Fall.  Angelina entered her first international competitions at age seven and immediately achieved first prizes in more than one category. Since then, Angelina has been First Prize winner of numerous other national and international competitions: Chicago International Music Competition and Festival, Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition (Europe and USA editions), Los Angeles Young Musician International Piano Competition, Gustav Mahler Prize International Piano Competition, United States International Duo Piano Competition, and IPPA Conero International Piano Competition, etc. 

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