Release Date: May 8, 2003

Media Contact: Phred Meller (201) 358-0550,,


Pianist David Hibbard from Fort Worth, Texas, was awarded the $1,000 First Prize at the finals of the Fourth Annual New York City International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs held at the Goethe Institut in New York City on May 4, 2003. Forty dedicated amateur concert pianists from across the United States, as well as from England, Austria, France and Mexico, competed for First Prize, which includes a future recital at the showroom of Faust Harrison Pianos in New York City.

Five of the contestants reached the final round. In addition to Hibbard, a Locomotive Utilization Manager for a railroad company, Sihyun Park, an acupuncturist from Palisades Park, New Jersey, was the Silver Medal winner and Brad Arington, an attorney from San Francisco, California, was the Bronze Medal winner.

Hibbard was extremely musical and soulful with his program of Rachmaninoff's Vocalise and Etudes-Tableaux and Chopin's Polonaise-Fantasie. Hibbard also won the Press Jury Award for his fine playing. Park was dazzling with Chopin's Ballade no. 4 in F minor and Barcarolle. Park also garnered the Best Performance of a Romantic Selection Award and Arington impressed the jury with his control of one of the concert repertoire's most difficult works: Schubert's Impromptu Wanderer.

In addition, "specialty" prizes were awarded to Debbie Takakjian, an attorney from New York City for Audience Award and Best Performance of a Baroque Selection. Nancy Futrell, a neurologist from Salt Lake City, Utah, won the Best Performance of a
Modern Selection and semifinalist Julie Lee, a retired executive secretary from New York City won the Best Performance of a Classical Selection. Semifinalist TimAdrianson, a food scientist from Oak Ridge, New Jersey, won the Most Imaginative Program Award with selections from Takemitsu, Danielpour, De Severac and Mompou.

All participants had a choice to play on the Steinway Model O or the Mason & Hamlin seven-foot, semi-concert grand model BB, contributed by sponsors Faust Harrison Pianos and Mason & Hamlin. All players at the finals chose the Mason & Hamlin.

The jury for the New York City International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs was distinguished with Eva Kovalik and Martin Canin from the Juilliard School; Luiz de Moura Castro from Hartt Conservatory; Angelin Chang from Cleveland State University and Sara Faust of Faust Harrison Pianos. Serving on the Press Jury were Leslie Kandell of The New York Times; Carol Montparker of Clavier Magazine; and Harris Goldsmith, freelance writer and critic.

"We were overjoyed this year with the record audience turnout," noted Phred Meller, Founder and Artistic Director of the competition. With the generous support of our sponsors, Faust Harrison Pianos, Mason & Hamlin and Phred Piano Expression, we plan to build the New York City International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs into an annual, New York City rite of spring."

For more information on the New York City Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, please contact Phred Meller at, (201) 358-0550, or visit the web site

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