Wei Xin Zhou, a 13-year-old pianist from Shanghai, China, won the Intermediate Solo Competition to the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition Friday and earned a standing ovation from a discriminating crowd of piano enthusiasts at Cal State University, San Bernardino’s Palm Desert campus.
Jan Lisiecki, a shaggy blond-haired 12-year-old from Calgary, Alberta, won the Junior Division to earn $2500 and performances at Snowmass Village, Colo., and the Rancho Mirage Library.
Aaron Kurz, 11, of Dallas won the second prize (of the Junior Division) for $1000, and T.J. Keanu Tario of Honolulu, who turns 13 today, won the third prize of $500.
The crowd at the intimate Indian Wells Theatre at Cal State’s Palm Desert campus included the legendary 91-year-old classical pianist Earl Wild, who said he just bought a home in the desert after having moved out of the area more than three decades ago.
Wild said he was particularly enamored with the playing of Kurz and Wei.