The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Here are the two young pianists and new winners of the Gilmore Young Artists Piano Competition for 2014. Andrew Hsu and Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner joins the ranks of Christopher Taylor, Jonathan Biss, Yuja Wang and Leif Ove Andsnes.

September 1, 2013
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By Jacob Stockinger

Today is a day to catch up of some classical music news.

So here is a story about the two new winners of the Gilmore Competition for young pianists, which takes place every two years. (Every four years, an older Gilmore Artist is named and given a $300,000 prize. That will take place again in 2014.)

Each Gilmore Young Artist receives a $15,000 stipend to further their musical career and educational development, as well as $10,000 to commission a new piano composition for which the artist will have exclusive performance rights for one year. The award is strictly monetary and advisory, and does not involve managerial assistance from the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival.

gilmore logo

This year’s winners, nominated by professional musicians, are Andrew Hsu, (below top, in a photo by Pete Checchi), who is  a 19-year-old graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia at in a YouTube video at the bottom performing American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes‘ “Roman Sketches.”; and Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner, who is a 16-year-old student currently attending the Juilliard School in New York City and who plays the fourth movement, a fugue, from Samuel Barber’s piano sonata in a YouTube video at the bottom.

Andrew Hsu Gilmore cr Pete Checchi

Llewellyn Sanchez-Werner

The Gilmore Young Artist awards are important to me on several counts.

One is that one of the 30 previous winners is Christopher Taylor, the acclaimed pianist-professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who is much is demand as a recitalist and concerto soloist.


The Ear also likes the competition because it is conducted in such an unusual manner.

Professional judges follow and track various nominees, and then decide. Candidates are unaware they are under consideration. There in NO face-to-face competition, as usually happens with the prestigious Arthur Rubinstein, Chopin, Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky international competitions among many others.

A third reason is that I think the track record of the Gilmore is good and the names have remained solid in the music world. Perhaps the best example is the Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, but also Jonathan Biss and Yuja Wang. Anyone care to argue with those results?


jonathan biss at piano jillian edelstein

Yuja Wang Ian Douglas NYT May 2013

Anyway, here are links to several stories about the Gilmore Foundation and the Gilmore Young Artist competition (age 22 and under), which is held every two years, and the two new recipients of the prize, which was established in Kalamazoo, Michigan, by the late philanthropist Irving S. Gilmore.

Here is a link to the Gilmore Foundation home website:

And here are links to the specific competition for young pianists:


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