What is this about?

The Steinway Society of Riverside County Awards Festival takes place every year in March at Xavier College Preparatory High School in Palm Desert. Its purpose is to award talented young pianists and give them an opportunity to perform and work with master teachers.

Participants will play in a master class for each of two teachers and in a recital. Award winners will be selected on the basis of their performance in all three venues. Students’ teachers are strongly encouraged to attend.


Applicants must be residents of Riverside or San Bernardino County or be studying with a teacher who is a resident of these counties.
The student must have studied with the current teacher for six months prior to the festival.
Festival participants will be divided into Junior and Senior Levels.
Junior Level – through grade 8, level 5 literature and above.
Senior Level – grades 9 – 12


Four awards of $500 will be given at both Junior and Senior Levels.
Students will perform three pieces of contrasting style.
Participants must choose one Baroque OR Classical piece. Schubert may count as Classical.  The third selection will then be Romantic or later.

Are you interested in participating?

2023 Winners

Senior Winners (grades 9-12):

Demi Jiaqi, 15, from Rancho Cucamonga, playing French overture in B Minor by Bac
Jadon Wu, 16, of Mission Viejo playing Danse Macabre by Saint-Saens/ Liszt
Isabelle Ragsac, 17, of Corona performing Prokofiev’s Toccata Op. 11

Junior Winners (ages 7-14)

Queenie Chen, 11, of Menifee playing Chopin’s Waltz in C sharp Minor, Op. 64. No. 2
Yuan Yin, 11, of Temecula, performing Muczynski’s Desperate Measures, Theme and Vars. 7 and 12
Melody Liu, 10 or Rancho Cucamonga, playing Liszt’s La Leggierezza
Edina Zhang, 9, of Highland performing Poulenc’s Toccata

2022 Winners

Senior Winners (grades 9-12):

Isabella Cao, 17, from Rancho Cucamonga, a student of Agatha Hou, Alta Loma
Kathleen Gurning, 15, and Matthew Gurning, 18, from Fontana, students of Elvin Rodriguez, Riverside
Christina Liu, 17, from Redlands, a student of Rodriguez; and Ben Phipatanakul, 14, from Loma Linda, a student of Prodan.

Master teachers for the event were Catherine Kautsky and Anthony Padilla, both from Lawrence University

Junior Winners (through 8th grade):

Ziyue Abby Bi, 13, from Temecula, a student of Eva Martin Hollaus, Perris
Matthew Sakata, 12, from Murrieta, a student of Yiyi Ku, Murrieta
Jadon Wu, 14, from Mission Viejo, a student of Angelica Prodan, Redlands
Evangelyn Wuchner, 13, from Murrieta, a student of Ku; Edina Zhang, 7, from Highland, also a student of Prodan.

Master teachers for the event were Giorgi Latso and Nelms McKelvain.


Previous Winners of the Steinway Society Piano Festival Competitions



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