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Student Wins Prestigious International Competition

Boston Conservatory Student Wins Grand Prize at Piano Teachers National Association Competition in Japan


Pianist Rui Urayama, a student in The Boston Conservatory’s Master of Music degree program, has won the Grand Prize of the Piano Teachers' National Association (PTNA) Competition in Japan, the most important and prestigious national music award in that country.

The full PTNA Competition lasted three months and went five rounds. During the semi-final round, Urayama played Beethoven’s piano sonata No. 13, Op. 27-1, Naoya Akaishi's "Torso I Bianco" (compulsory Japanese work), D.Scarlatti's two sonatas (K.427/L.286, K.455/L.209), and concluded her program with five pieces from Albeniz's "Iberia" vol.1 & 3. Urayama won the final competition with a live, televised performance of Chopin’s First Piano Concerto with the Tokyo City Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Kazumasa Wantanabe.

Urayama was born in Hokkaido, Japan. She first met Michael Lewin, a Piano Faculty member at The Boston Conservatory and the Artistic Director of the Piano Masters Series in Italy when she was 17 years old. The two emailed every other week to build her English skills before making the journey to the U.S. two years ago to study at The Boston Conservatory.  

Ms. Urayama previously studied at Kyoto City University of Arts. She was a 2012 prize-winner of The Boston Conservatory’s H. Wilfred Churchill Piano Scholarship Competition. That same year, she won second prize at the Chopin Piano Competition in Hartford, Conn. She has played solo and chamber recitals (JEMUR Piano Trio) in Japan, Italy, Lithuania, and the United States. This was her second time reaching the final round of the PTNA competition, having gotten that far as well in 2006.

Since winning the PTNA Competition, Ms. Urayama has performed a nationally broadcast radio recital, and a meeting with the Japanese Minister of Culture.   In addition to a monetary award, Ms. Urayama will receive more than 20 concerts and extensive career assistance from the PTNA and the Japanese government. Video of Ms. Urayama’s award winning performance can be found here: 

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