And then there were six -- piano competition winnows the field

Jin-Hong Li
Jin-Hong Li

The field of 13- to 17-year-olds in the inaugural Hilton Head International Young Artist Piano Competition has been narrowed from 20 to six.

A five-judge panel on Thursday selected finalists Jin-Hong Li, 16, of China; Kate Liu, 16, of Singapore; Micah McLaurin, 16, of the United States; Drew Petersen, 17, of the United States; Zhu Wang, 14 of China; and Ruixue Zhang, 16, of China.

The judges narrowed the field after the second round, in which competitors played 30-minute solo recitals, according to the host organization, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.

The finalists face off Saturday in the third and final round at 7p.m. at First Presbyterian Church. They will play a movement from a concerto chosen from the competition's concert list and accompanied by the orchestra.

All six finalists get prizes, with first place netting $5,000 and a four-week summer scholarship to the Aspen Musical Festival and School In Aspen, Colo., valued at $4,500.

Second place is $3,000 while third place is $2,000. The fourth-, fifth- and sixth-place finishers get $500 each.

Tickets for Saturday's finals are $35, $50 and $65. They can be purchased by calling the Hilton Head Orchestra box office at 843-842-2055 or going to www.hhso.org or www.hhipc.org.

Allison Stice