The Malek Jandali International Youth Piano Competition Announces 14 year old Keona Lim-Rose as Winner

The jury of the Malek Jandali International Youth Piano Competition announced it has named 14-year-old Keona Lim-Rose from the United States as the grand prize winner of its annual competition. In making the announcement, Mr. Jandali said, “The competition was very close. The jury was very impressed with the talents of these young pianists. Keona stood out to the jury, not just because of her age, but because her passion and technique were evident.” Keona beat about 29 other contestants from around the world, including Canada, Tunisia, France, Brazil, Syria and the US. Keona won a $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to perform with Malek Jandali at Carnegie Hall on February 6, 2016.

Keona is the student of Dr. Paul Nitsch, the Carolyn G. McMahon Professor of Music and Macavity Artist in Residence at Queens University Charlotte. Dr. Nitsch is a world renowned pianist, having studied with Grammy Award nominated Maestro Leon Fleisher. Throughout his academic career, students of Dr. Nitsch have won numerous competitions and reached international acclaim. Keona plans to continue her piano studies at Juilliard School of Music in New York.

Those entering the competition were required to perform a piece by a composer from their country of origin and the required “Yafa” piece by Malek Jandali.   All contestants performed from memory and submitted their video recordings online. After pushing the competition across social media, more than 29 students from all over the world submitted their performances. This competition aims to encourage young pianists to explore composers of their countries of origin in an effort to keep rich local musical and cultural traditions alive for future generations.

The jury, comprised of conductors, professors and music experts, split the second prize between 14-year-old Amira Knani and 16-year-old Leila Chelbi of Tunisia, and the third prize went to 18-year-old Ahmed Mohamed from Egypt.  Members of the jury included American composer and conductor Thomas Ludwig and Professor Mohamed Alsiadi.

In looking ahead to the impact he hopes this annual event will have in the next generation of musicians, Malek Jandali said, “We can’t see or touch music but I hope that I can touch the hearts of these talented young pianist to thrive in their local communities. I thank their amazing teachers and wonderful parents who guided them and nourished their talents to participate in this competition. Their love for music is evident and their talent is undeniable.” The winners will receive an invitation to attend Mr. Jandali’s Carnegie Hall concert in New York City on February 6, 2016 where they will receive their prizes.  Those wishing to hear Mr. Jandali’s “Yafa,” may find it here:

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