2019 US New Star Piano Competition Adjudicators

Dr. Koji Attwood


Dr. Chih-Long Hu



Dr. Koji Attwood bio:

“Picture Liszt’s extravagant concerts–theatrical, virtuosic, full of music to show the expansive horizons of the piano–and the pianist.  No fawn gloves in Koji Attwood’s appearance onstage, but Liszt’s spirit lives.”

–H. Daniel Webster, Philadelphia Inquirer

Koji Attwood, a Kansas native, made his solo debut at the age of ten, and one year later won 2nd prize at the Young Keyboard Artists International Competition.  He earned 2nd prize at both the Stravinsky and Missouri Southern International Keyboard competitions, and was a participant in the International William Kapell Keyboard and the Hamamatsu International Piano competitions.  He received honorable mention at the VII International Web Concert
Hall Competition, which entitled him to a performance that will continue to be broadcast on the internet, via the Web Concert Hall Artist Series, over the next seven years.  Koji was also a winner of Astral Artistic Services’ 2003 International Auditions, and was the featured artist on yamahamusicsoft.com’s  “New York City Rising Star” series.

Mr.  Attwood has performed numerous solo recitals across much of the country, including concerts in Steinway Hall, Lincoln Center, and on the Kosciuszko Foundation Concert Series.  He appeared regularly on the “World of the Piano” series at the Julliard School and was frequently heard on a weekly radio show on New York’s WQXR, hosted by David Dubal entitled “Reflections From the Keyboard: the Pianist in Comparative Performance” and currently on Dubal’s new show, “The Piano Matters” on WWFM.

Committed to the performance of contemporary music, Mr. Attwood has given world premiere performances of works by Cynthia Folio, Hector Martinez Morales, and Daniel Ott.  Also active in chamber music, Mr. Attwood has performed with members of the Borromeo, St. Lawrence, Koryo, and Enso quartets, and is a regular collaborator with Mikhail Baryshnikov.  He performed with the dancer’s White Oak Dance Project, and partnered with Mr. Baryshnikov for his 2002-3 solo tour of the United States–providing solo interludes as well as accompaniment for the dances–garnering praise for being a “phenomenal pianist” [Binghamton Press &Sun-Bulletin], ” beautifully nuanced” [Cleveland Plain Dealer], “enchanting”  [Santa Barbara News Press], “wonderful pianist” [Seattle Times], “Koji Attwood…is a pianist of rare
gifts, both as a solo artist and as a collaborator.  Playing solo pieces of Scriabin, Scarlatti, Liszt and Soler, this young pianist was much more than fill.  He is a concert pianist with an impeccable technique, a rich tone, and an assured sense of good interpretive taste” [Nevada-Events], and described by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “Koji Attwood percolated
rapturously…they (Baryshnikov and Attwood) displayed lovely chemistry in a performance full of virtuosity, and humor,whimsy and seriousness.  Their coordination was so tight that it sometimes seemed as though the dancer’s limbs were attached to the musician’s notes.”;  Mr. Attwood has also performed throughout the United States and in Europe with the Mark Morris Dance Group, Wally Cardona Quartet, and C. Eule Dance.  In May and June 2010 he joined the
American Ballet Theatre for eight sold-out all-Chopin performances at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, playing in the company’s critically lauded premiere of the John Neumeier ballet Lady of the Camellias, and was invited back the following year for seven repeat performances.

Mr. Attwood’s recent performances include a highly acclaimed recital at Merkin Hall in New York City, a European debut at the prestigious Husum festival in Germany, debut in Canada, performing in Montreal at the Theatre Outremont, and invitation by the Fondation Cziffra to perform at the Chapelle Royale Saint-Frambourg in France.  He is featured, along with pianists Marc-Andre Hamelin, Lev Vinacour, and Daniel Berman on the 2009 “Rarities of Piano”
Danacord release, and as an avid transcriber, has over twenty arrangements to his credit.

Prior to receiving a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Seymour Lipkin, Koji studied at the University of Kansas with Richard Angeletti.  He then went on to earn a Master of Music and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Julliard School, under the tutelage of Jerome Lowenthal.  Mr. Attwood currently serves on the faculty of the Gifted Music School, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a Visiting Associate Professor of piano at the University of Utah.  Koji is a Yamaha Artist.

Dr. Chih-Long Hu

A native of Taiwan, pianist Chih-Long Hu’s performance career was launched after receiving honors including the Taipei National Concert Hall Arising Star, the Chi-Mei Artist Award, and prizes from the Mauro Monopoli International Piano Competition in Italy, the Concurs International De Piano D’Escaldes-Engordany in Andorra, the Takamatsu International Piano Competition in Japan, and San Jose International Piano Competition in California.

An active performer, Hu performs extensively in Asia, Europe, and America appearing as a concerto soloist, recitalist, and chamber musician. His recent performance highlights include concerto performances of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3, Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 2, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, solo and chamber recitals in China, Taiwan, Korea, Canada, and throughout the US. Hu’s performances have been broadcast in “Performance Today” through NPR stations across the country and televised in Taiwan, China and Japan. His CD albums “Formosa Caprices,” “Complete Rachmaninov Etudes-Tableaux,” and “Trifecta Trio” have received critical acclaim. His latest album of Bach Goldberg Variations has been released under Blue Griffin Recording.

Named “Teacher of the Year” by the Tennessee Music Teachers Association, Hu is frequently invited to give lectures and master classes, as well as to judge international and national competitions. Hu is the artistic director of St. Andrews Piano Academy and Festival International (New Brunswick), as well as the New York International Piano Festival.

Hu holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from Taipei National University of the Arts, and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from National Taiwan University. His piano teachers include Arthur Greene, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Tai-Cheng Chen. Dr. Hu has served on the faculty at East Tennessee State University, and was appointed the Sandra G. Powell Endowed Professor of Piano at the University of Tennessee in the fall of 2016.