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Emily Choi '14 wins annual Cornell Concerto Competition

Pianist Emily Choi '14 has won the Seventh Annual Cornell Concerto Competition with her performance of the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1. The competition was held Dec. 12 in Barnes Hall.

Choi is enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences and studies with associate professor of music Xak Bjerken. She will reprise her winning piece in a concert with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra Saturday, March 12 at 8 p.m. in Bailey Hall.

"Coming in as a freshman, I'm just surprised and extremely happy that I ended the year so well," Choi said. "I'm so excited to play with the Cornell orchestra; it's honestly the best feeling ever, and I can't wait until March."

From a pool of nine undergraduates in the first round of competition, three were chosen as finalists: Choi; flautist Miriam Nussbaum '11, a linguistics and music major; and violinist Marit Imsdahl '13, a music and classics major.

Choi, of Tenafly, N.J., also writes for the Cornell Daily Sun. She attended the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College program and has participated in the Banff Piano Master Classes and competed in the New York International Piano Competition. She has also initiated concert lectures in children's hospitals and nursing homes, giving personal impressions and interpretations of her repertoire.

"Emily is just a freshman and already exhibits great power and clarity in her playing," Bjerken said. "Her strong background from her studies at the Juilliard School matched with her talent and ambition make her a force to reckon with."

Judging the competition were Cornell assistant professor and musicologist Roger Moseley, Ithaca College assistant professor and violinist Nicholas DiEugenio, and conductor Rachel Lauber, who will lead the Cornell Orchestras this spring during Chris Younghoon Kim's sabbatical leave.

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Blaine Friedlander