United States I Age 16

Sarah Tuan was born and raised in San Jose, California, and finds the music of Chopin and Rachmaninov particularly pertinent to her life as an Asian-American girl: “Their music expresses a sense of longing and a desire to belong, which reminds me of my two cultural identities and how I belong to both worlds.” A current student of Ning An, she made her concerto debut at 10 and recital debut at 12. Sarah has won several competitions in California, as well as the Philadelphia International Piano Competition, and has been featured on NPR’s From the Top and Philadelphia’s WRTI FM 90.1. The Valley Christian High School junior loves cooking (she specializes in handmade knife-cut noodles), origami, bubble milk tea, cats, and researching U.S. politics.

“In a world with social standards and expectations of ‘containing yourself,’ it is hard to express real, raw emotion and tell a story that people can truly accept and feel. That is why music is important to everyone—it doesn’t judge, it doesn’t criticize, and it will never abandon the people it befriends.”

Competitor Profile


Preliminary Round
BACH Prelude and Fugue in D Major, BWV 850
CHOPIN Etude in G-sharp Minor, op. 25, no. 6
CHOPIN Fantaisie in F Minor, op. 49

Quarterfinal Round

HAYDN Sonata in A-flat Major, Hob. XVI:46 (I)

CHOPIN Nocturne in B Major, op. 62, no. 1

MENDELSSOHN Variations sérieuses, op. 54

RACHMANINOV Etude-tableau in A Minor, op. 39, no. 6


Semifinal Round

HANDEL Suite No. 2 in F Major, HWV 427

SCHUMANN Faschingsschwank aus Wien (Carnaval de Vienne), op. 26

WIESENBERG Metamorphosis II


Final Round

CHOPIN Concerto No. 1 in E Minor, op. 11