August 18, 2015


August 18, 2015, Kalamazoo, MI—Two young American pianists, Daniel Hsu and Micah McLaurin, have been named recipients of the 2016 Gilmore Young Artist Award; it was announced today by Daniel R. Gustin, Director of the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival which conducts and funds the Gilmore Artist Award program.  Mr. Hsu and Mr. McLaurin will each receive $15,000 over the next two years to further their musicianship and developing careers, in addition to a commission for a new piano composition for which the artist will have exclusive performance rights for one year.

The Gilmore Young Artist Awards are distributed every two years by the Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Michigan.  Candidates for the Gilmore Young Artist Award are nominated confidentially by a national range of music professionals. Those nominated are not judged in a competition but evaluated for their pianism and musical promise by a six-member artistic committee over an extended period of time. Candidates are unaware of their own consideration as the process is carried out anonymously.  Founded along with the Gilmore Artist Award in 1989, the Young Artist Award is meant to single out the most promising of the new generation of pianists, under the age of 22 in the United States. 

Between 1990 and 2014, 30 young pianists have received the Gilmore Young Artist Award, including Jonathan Biss, Kirill Gerstein, George Li, Natasha Paremski Orli Shaham, Yuja Wang and Orion Weiss. The award also promises a number of appearances from each artist at the 2016 Irving S. Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, 17-year-old Daniel Hsu studies at the prestigious Curtis Institute, where he enrolled at age 10 to study with Gary Graffman and Eleanor Sokoloff. At the age of 8, Mr. Hsu was the youngest-ever winner of the San Francisco Chopin Competition as well as the first place winner of the All-State Music Teachers’ Association of California Piano Concerto Competition, playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17. He made his orchestral debut at age 9 with the El Camino Youth Symphony.

Mr. Hsu has won many competitions, including the International Russian Piano Competition; the Pacific Musical Society Piano Competition, where he also won the James Denver Prize; the Menuhin-Dowling Young Artist Competition; and the CAPMT Bartok and Contemporary Music Competition.

Mr. Hsu, whose older brother Andrew performed at last year’s Gilmore Keyboard Festival as one of 2014’s Gilmore Young Artists, has performed with the Golden Gate Philharmonic Orchestra, the Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra. His performances are broadcasted across the United States through Philadelphia’s NPR station WHYY.

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, 19-year-old Micah McLaurin also studies at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia with Robert McDonald. Mr. McLaurin holds titles from several international competitions, including the Ettlingen International Competition for Young Pianists in Germany, the Thomas and Evon Cooper International Piano Competition at Oberlin, the Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, the Hilton Head International Piano Competition and the IIYM International Piano Competition.

He was the youngest of eight pianists chosen worldwide to participate in the Verbier Festival Academy in Switzerland as well as one of eight pianists selected to participate in the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, where he won the concerto competition and performed with the Academy Festival Orchestra.

Mr. McLaurin has performed to critical acclaim as a soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra, Orqueta Filarmonica de Montevideo, Orquesta Juvenil de El Salvador, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Perugia Festival Orchestra and the Virginia Symphony. He has also appeared in chamber music recitals at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, the Southeastern Piano Festival, the International Institute for Young Musicians, the International Piano Series at the College of Charleston and the Miami Chopin Foundation.

The Gilmore Awards are the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore, a Kalamazoo businessman and philanthropist, whose special devotion to keyboard music and its musicians inspired the creation of the biennial Gilmore International Keyboard Festival and the Gilmore Artist and Young Artist Awards in 1989.  Now in its 27th year, the next Gilmore International Keyboard Festival will take place April 29 to May 14, 2016.  More information can be found at www.thegilmore.com.

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Press Contacts

National Press Representatives:
Shuman Associates
Lisa Jaehnig | ljaehnig@shumanassociates.net
Constance Shuman | cshuman@shumanassociates.net

Gilmore International Keyboard Festival
Daniel R Gustin, Director

Mary McCormick, Director of Marketing & PR
269/342-1166 or 855/845-1768


Daniel Klein