Adjudicators for 2015 USNSPC

Adjudicators for 2015 US New Star Piano Competition

We have asked the following Piano Educators to be our Adjudicators for 2015 US New Star Piano Competition: Dr. Yu-Chi Tai and Ms. Chia Chi (Nina) Yen.

Dr. Yu-Chi Tai is currently Assistant Professor of Piano at University of Texas-Pan American and Steinway Ensemble Artist.

She made her first orchestral debut at age 14 with the Tainan City Youth Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan, performing Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 15. Since then, she has won numerous international competitions and appeared in many concerts, including the Bronze Medal of the Evgeny V. Malinin piano competition at the IBACH Piano Academy in Germany, First Prize in the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition in New York, 2008 Krannert Debut Artist Award, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra Piano Concerto Competition, UIUC School of Music Concerto Competition, and Artist Presentation Society Competition, the recipient of the Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship,KAWAI Outstanding Musician Award, and Canada Banff Center Creative Musician Award.

Dr. Tai has performed throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia as a solo recitalist, chamber pianist and collaborative musician. Her concerts venues include Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, Villa Bertramaka in Prague, Concert Hall in Zwickau Germany, Shanghai Oriental Art Center in China, Foellinger Great Hall at Krannert Center for Performing Arts in Illinois, Recital hall of Jan Deyl Conservatory in Czech Republic, Steinway Hall in Akron Ohio, National Concert Hall in Taiwan, Rolstan Recital Hall at the Banff Center in Canada, Recital Hall of Long Ridge Music Center in Connecticut, Ethical Society in St. Louis, Performing Arts Center at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in Texas, Carter Hall University of Northern Colorado in Greely Colorado, COFAC Recital Hall of Western Illinois, Ludwig Recital Hall of Kent State University in East Liverpool Ohio, Auer Hall of Indiana University in Bloomington Indiana, etc. She has given master classes at San Jose State University, Texas A&M University-College Station, University of Tainan in Taiwan, Del Mar College-Corpus Christi in Texas, Coastal Carolina University andConverse College-Spartanburg in South Carolina, New World School of Arts in Miami and others.

Dr. Tai has been a soloist with the Tainan Youth Orchestra, University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra, UTPA Wind Ensemble, UTPA Chamber Orchestra, and Valley Symphony Orchestra. Her performances have been broadcast on WFMY in Illinois and KBMH in Texas. A concerto performance reviews reads “…she tenderly, yet powerfully, interpreted the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 by Rachmaninov. The audience, and members of the orchestra, responded with a storm of applause and shouts of “bravo” as they rose to their feet to express their appreciation for the superb artistry of this delightful performer. ” (La Feria News).

As a dedicated chamber musician, the Steinway Concert and Artist Division in New York invited the Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo to become a Steinway Artist Ensemble in 2012. The Ehlen-Tai duo has been performing concert tours in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, California and Texas. Tai has been working with many internationally renowned artists in the DoCha Chamber Music Festival and Killington Music Festival, including Pacifica Quartet, Stefan Milenkovićst, Dmitry Kouzov, Joseph Silverstein, Wendy Warner, Sergiu Schwartz, Alondra de la Parra and so on. She has also presented collaborative recitals with the Symmetrio Piano Trio at chamber series in Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, Missouri, Banff Center in Canada, as well as in Taiwan. This summer 2015, she is invited to perform in the Montecito International Music Festival in California.

In 2014, Dr. Tai founded the Encore! Piano Association, which promotes piano music in the community and helps developing UTPA students to become more successful pianists and educators. The Association invites internationally renowned pianists to give master classes and concerts to inspire and motivate students. Meanwhile, she collaborates with local piano teachers and students in the community to develop the growth of piano-related activities.

Dr. Tai was the first pianist earning both Artist Diploma and DMA degrees in Piano performance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) since 1867, where she studied with Ian Hobson and served as his teaching assistant. Tai’s prior piano training was with Arnaldo Cohen and Evelyne Brancart at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she received the Master of Music degree and Performance Diploma with honors.

Dr. Yu-Chi Tai is an international Steinway Ensemble Artist of the Ehlen-Tai Piano Duo.

For more information, please visit

Chia Chi Yen, born in Taiwan, discovered the piano at age of five. Within a few years, she has won many prizes in Taiwan. In 2009, she was admitted into the Oberlin Conservatory of Music with a merit scholarship, where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree under tutelage of Professor Haewon Song. This May, Ms. Yen completed a Master’s Degree at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University studying with Professor Yong Hi Moon.

Ms. Yen was a participant in many prestigious music festivals, including Music Festival at Walnut Hill, Cooper Piano Festival at Oberlin, Aspen Music Festival and School. She has also performed in piano master classes with world leading pianist, such as Hung-Kuan Chen, Meng-Chieh Liu, Ruth Slenczynska, John Perry, Choong-Mo Kang, Matti Raekallio, and others. Among the venues in which she has performed include Jordan Hall (Boston, MA) Le Petit Trianon Theatre (San Jose, CA), Mayer Theatre (Santa Clara, CA), Warner Concert Hall (Oberlin, OH), Chung Shan Hall (Taichung, Taiwan), Glass Museum (Hsinchu, Taiwan).