Arts & Entertainment

Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey’s Alumni Perform Two Fundraising Events

October 7, 2012 at 4:35 PM

Our outstanding alumni, Claudia Hu & Helen Shen, will perform two piano solo recitals to benefit two Not-for-Profit Educational Music Organizations.

The first concert, which will benefit Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey, will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 7:00, Bridgewater, New Jersey.  Tickets: Advanced reservations:  Adults $35.00, Students $15.00.  Tickets at the door:  Adults:  $40.00, Students $15.  For further details, please E-mail

The second concert, which will benefit Shandelee Music Festival, will take place on Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 7:30, Manhattan, New York City.  This event will be followed by a sit-down dinner.  Tickets: $75.00.  For further details, please E-mail:

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Multiple time competition winner Claudia Hu has appeared numerous times at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, Steinway Hall (New York City), and the St. Nicoló Auditorium in Chioggia (VE, Italy), as well as other various venues throughout New Jersey.  Claudia has also appeared as a soloist with Orchestra Sinfonica del Festival di Chioggia performing J.S. Bach’s Concerto in F Minor BWV 1056 and Mozart’s Concerto No.12 in A Major K.414 under the direction of Pietro Perini.  Claudia’s competition accomplishments include:  three-time winner of the Russian Music Festival Competition, prize winner of the Cecilian Music Club’s Young Artist Competition, 2012 Gold Prize winner of the Young Artist & Concerto–One-Movement Divisions, and 2010 Silver Prize of the Ensemble Division of the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey (YPCNJ), Third Place in the Young Artist Division (2009, 2011).  Claudia also received the Honorable Mention Award at the 2011 YWCA Queens New York Competition and Second Place at the 2010 New Jersey Music Teachers Association (NJMTA) Young Pianist Competition.  Claudia has also traveled to Italy, where she participated in Festival “Musica in Laguna” (2008 – 2011).  She was born in 1998 and has been studying the piano for seven years with Yelena Ivanov.

 At the age of 5, Helen Shen began to study the piano with Ms. Lana Ivanov.  Within one year, Helen began to win competitions and at the age of 6, performed for the first time at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall as a winner of the 2006 Russian Music Festival Competition.  Since then, Helen performed Haydn’s Concerto in C Major, Haydn’s Concerto in D Major, as well as J.S. Bach’s Concerto in G minor with the Orchestra Sinfonica del Festival di Chioggia, (Chioggia, Italy) during the summers of 2008, 2010 & 2012.  Her other appearances at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall (2007-2012) include numerous Winner Recitals for the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey (YPCNJ) and Russian Music Festival Competition.  Helen also appeared at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall (2009 & 2010) as a winner of the Cecilian Music Club Competition and at Steinway Hall in New York City as a winner of YPCNJ’s Ensemble and Concerto Competitions.  As a winner of New Jersey’s Music Teachers Association (NJMTA) Piano Competition, she was chosen to perform at NJMTA’s 2010 State Conference.  She has also appeared in an outreach concert for Senior Citizens at the Simon and Sarah Birnbaum Jewish Community Center in 2009 and performed numerous times for the Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey’s Fundraising Concert Series.  Helen’s competition accomplishments include:  First Place winner of the 2010 NJMTA Young Musician Competition, First Place winner of the 2009 & 2010 Cecilian Music Club Piano Competition, First Prize Winner of Russian Music Festival Competitions (2006, 2009, 2011), Second Place Winner of the 2012 Junior Division of International Piano Competition of “Festival Musica in Laguna”, Silver Prize & First Place winner at the Solo & Young Artists Divisions of YPCNJ (2008-2011), Silver Prize winner of YPCNJ’s Concerto & Ensemble Divisions (2008-2012) and Third Place winner of the 2011 Steinway Society Scholarship Competition. Helen also received the High Honor Awards (2006-2012) from the NJMTA’s Annual Piano Audition.  Helen Shen, was born in 2000 and currently resides in Basking Ridge, New Jersey.

 The Young Pianist Competition of New Jersey (, now in its 25th year, is an organization created for the purpose of encouraging young talented musicians to grow artistically, to perfect their musical abilities, and to provide as many performing opportunities as possible.  It is an organization of music educators and professional music teachers who have a common goal:  to promote the love and understanding of the entire piano repertoire throughout the community.  Since its creation in 1989, the Competition has grown throughout the state of New Jersey by introducing new projects, programs and competitions involving schools, colleges, libraries, students, parents, teachers and many community members.  The competition is opened to the Tri-State Area and Pennsylvania. Throughout the years, our competition winners performed at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall & Steinway Hall in New York City.  Our concerto competition winners have appeared with the Central Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Westfield Symphony Orchestra, and now for the past ten years with the Plainfield Symphony Orchestra as part of their concert series.  Numerous winners received scholarships and attended the International Music Festival in Chioggia (VE) Italy and appeared with Orchestra Sinfonica del Festival di Chioggia.

The Shandelee Music Festival ( celebrates its 20th Anniversary season.  The Festival’s philosophies and goals provide for the further development and nurturing of an individual’s creativity and passion for music while enriching the cultural community of Sullivan County.  Over the years, the Festival has helped foster the talent of over 200 students during their summer young artist program, presented over 80 concerts in New York City, over 30 Outreach concerts in Sullivan County for youth and those who might not otherwise be able to attend a live concert, and presented over 120 concerts at the Festival grounds in the Catskills.


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