Success for youngest entrant
The top prize in the 2018 Kerikeri International Piano Competition went to the youngest contender, 16-year-old Australian Shuan Hern Lee, after five days of intense competition and long deliberation by a trio of international judges.
Lee took home $15,000 out of a total prize pool of $32,500.
Second was Katherine Benson (USA), with Sunwha Kim (Korea) third and Baichao Lan (China) fourth.
The 14 contestants who made the initial cut were whittled down to four after two rounds of competition over three days, each presenting a 40- to 45-minute recital of their own choice before a packed Turner Centre auditorium in the final.
Benjamin Goodman (Israel) won the sonata prize, and Jeremy So (Australia) the Kerikeri International Piano Competition trustees’ prize. Seventeen-year-old New Zealander Lixin Zhang, who was given a place at the last minute after a Korean entrant had to withdraw, went home with the judges’ prize.
The judging panel was led was led by Awadagin Pratt (USA).