Xuesha Hu, a master’s piano student of Alan Chow, won first prize and $15,000 in the 8th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition.
The 23-year-old pianist advanced through three stages of competition to a final round performance with the Phoenix Symphony, held January 8 at Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Arizona. Hu performed Sergey Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 to win the competition.
In addition to the cash prize, Hu will receive a number of concerto performance opportunities with the Phoenix Symphony, as well as a future recital in New York’s Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center.
Established in 2006, the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition is held biennially at Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts. A total of 183 pianists from 23 countries applied to the 2017 competition.
Hu has previously won first prize in piano and the grand prize in the 32nd Young Texas Artists Competition in 2016. She also won the 53rd Jefferson International Concerto Competition in Colorado in 2013, as well as the 2013 Lennox Piano Competition in Texas.
Originally from Ganzhou City, China, Hu started piano lessons at the age of four. Her talent soon blossomed when she won the gold medal at the 2003 China Pearl River Youth Piano Competition. At age 12, she embarked on a serious piano study with Xiaoxue Hu at the pre-college music school affiliated with the China Conservatory. Soon she achieved further success, including the first prize of the 2007 MSCC “Dance with Black and White” Piano Competition; second prize in the 2009 Beijing International Piano Festival Concerto Competition; second prize in the 2010 Steinway & Sons China National Piano Competition; and first prize in the 2011 Oberlin Cooper International Piano Competition. She was a finalist both at the 2008 Eastman Young Artists Competition and the 2009 Liszt International Piano Competition for Young Musicians in Weimar, Germany. Hu has performed throughout the United States, China, Austria, and Brazil.
Hu received her Bachelor of Music degree from the School of Music at Texas Christian University as a student of Tamás Ungár.
Hear Xuesha Hu’s semi-final round performance from the Bösendorfer competition, featuring works by Haydn, Ravel and Barber, below or at this link.