2016 Cooper Competition Concerto Finalists Revealed

July 20, 2016

Erich Burnett

Cooper International Competition poster

At the conclusion of a riveting night of performances in the Recital Finals, three pianists earned the right to advance to the Concerto Finals of the 2016 Cooper International Competition for piano, which will be held July 22 at Severance Hall in Cleveland.

Announced Wednesday evening after jury deliberations, the Concerto Finalists are as follows:

Evren Ozel, 17, of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Performing Beethoven's Concerto No. 4 in G Major, Op. 58

Ryota Yamazaki, 17, of Koriyama, Japan
Performing Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18

Nathan Lee, 14, of Sammamish, Washington
Performing Rachmaninoff's Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18


Each finalist will perform a complete concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall, under the direction of Jahja Ling. The top finisher will earn $20,000, with second and third place taking home $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. All three finalists also earn full-tuition scholarships to attend the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, pending acceptance.

The Concerto Finals, part of The Cleveland Orchestra's popular Summers@Severance series, begin at 7 p.m. Friday. Tickets start at $25, and students under 18 are free with a paying adult. For more information, visit the Cleveland Orchestra website.

The Concerto Finals will be broadcast live by Cleveland's classical music station, WCLV 104.9 FM Ideastream.

Also shining in Wednesday's Recital Finals were 15-year-old Chaewon Kim of Suwon City, South Korea; 16-year-old Andrew Li of Lexington, Massachusetts; and 17-year-old Clayton Stephenson of New York, New York; who finished fourth through sixth, respectively. Each earns a prize of $1,500.

In addition, Nathan Lee won the Audience Prize of $500.

On Thursday, July 21, outstanding performers from the semifinal rounds will take part in an Honors Recital. Beginning at 7 p.m., the performance is free and takes place in Warner Concert Hall in Oberlin. It will also be streamed live on the Oberlin website.

Learn more about the 2016 Cooper Competition at oberlin.edu, and follow Friday night's Concerto Finals results on the Cooper Competition's Facebook page.

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