California student wins International Piano Competition in Hilton Head

Elliot Wuu of the United States was the first-prize winner Saturday night at the Hilton Head International Piano Competition for Young Artists.

For the final round, five finalists took to the stage at First Presbyterian Church in front of a near-capacity crowd and performed with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Guest Conductor Chelsea Tipton II.

"This year's competition included some of the most outstanding young pianists from around the world," said Mona Huff, competition director. "We are thrilled to attract such a high caliber of competitors."

Wuu, 15, is a sophomore at Valley Christian High School and Conservatory of the Arts in San Jose, Calif.

First prize was $7,000, a scholarship to an internationally recognized summer music program, and a chance to perform as a soloist with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra.

Eighty young musicians originally applied to be included in the competition. From those, the top 20 were selected by a jury to perform in the live rounds that began Monday evening. The competitors ranged in age from 13 to 17 and heralded from 10 different countries.

Other winners included: