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“The collective effort of all musicians in pursuing their craft, perfecting their sound, and holding faith in the power of their work, classical music can continue to reach more audiences, touch more hearts, and unite more through this universal language.”

Steven Ruochong Cui began piano at the age of 4 in his native Chengdu, China. After his family immigrated to the United States in 2015, he continued his studies with San-Qing Lu-Bennaman and won numerous regional competitions, as well as the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition for Children and Youth (Poland). Since 2017, he’s been in the pre-college division of The Juilliard School under Yoheved Kaplinsky and Yiheng Yang, and 2022 saw both a first-prize finish at the International ArtePiano Competition and full scholarships to the Aspen Music Festival and School and the Oxford Piano Festival. He is an alumnus of NPR’s From the Top and the Lang Lang Foundation Young Scholars. At school, in addition to serving as the class representative in student government and a member of the Ethics Bowl team, Steven is an editor for the student newspaper—an interest certainly driven by his aptitude as a storyteller. Of his music, he says: “What drives my artistry is the knowledge that every note I play is the authentic story of other human beings, which gives me the responsibility of handling it, of playing it, with the utmost care. These people could be from centuries ago, but their music—their story—never diminishes or dies out. In fact, their sentiments and emotions often resonate even more in the modern day.”


Preliminary Round

BACH  Prelude and Fugue in G-sharp Minor, BWV 887
BRAHMS Klavierstücke, op. 118, nos. 1 and 2
LISZT Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor

Quarterfinal Round

HAYDN Sonata in C Minor, Hob. XVI:20
CHOPIN Nocturne in B Major, op. 62, no. 1
PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 1 in F Minor, op. 1

Semifinal Round – Recital

VINE Sonata No. 1 (I)
CHOPIN Sonata No. 3 in B Minor, op. 58

Final Round – Concerto 

BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Minor, op. 37


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