WMU News

Pianist Hong cited at Van Cliburn competition

June 20, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- Western Michigan University's Yat-Lam Hong received a Special Recognition Award at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in Fort Worth, Texas, June 3-8.

A piano technician and tuner at in the School of Music since 1973, Hong was among 73 competitors from five countries and 24 states. Professional performers and piano teachers are barred from this biennial competition, open only to amateur pianists over age 35.

Two first prizes were awarded to a professor of chemistry from West Virginia and a professor of media technology from Massachusetts. By virtue of his special recognition, Hong's application fee for the 2004 competition will be waived.

Hong has given only three public recitals in his nearly 30 years at WMU, but says he plans to perform more frequently as a result of his experience at the Van Cliburn competition.

A native of China, Hong holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music performance from Indiana University. After computing to Ohio for 21 years, he earned a doctorate in music performance in 1991 from the University of Cincinnati.

Media contact: Thom Myers, 269 387-8400, thomas.myers@wmich.edu

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