Connecticut Alliance for Music has announced the winners of the 2013 Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition held on Nov. 24 at Westport Town Hall. Supported by the Westport Arts Center, the event bi-annually brings together young musicians, ages 19 to 30, from around the world to compete for cash prizes. Many of this year’s competitors have already garnered top prizes in competitions and performed with leading orchestras and chamber groups world-wide. 

The awards were presented by Honorary Chair Yue Chu, the first-prize winner of the 2011 competition, and CAM Artistic Director Doris Goltzer. For the first time in the 40-year history of the competition, the judges selected two of the six finalists for first place awards — Josh Wright of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Timur Mustakimov of Russia, who each received $5,000. In third place was Yi-Yang Chen of Taiwan who was awarded $1,500. Honorable Mention awards of $500 each were given to Moye Chen of Beijing, Andrew Yang of Evanston, Ill., and Samuel Post of Washington, D.C.

The prizes were generously provided by The Artur and Heida Hermanns Holde Bequest, Nancy and Roger M. Sachs, Kristin Foster, Mitch and Doug Kanner, John and Cindy Vaccaro, and Joe and Marion Wertheim. A special award donated by Ms. Foster will bring back the first prize winners to perform in a free concert for the community to be held at the Pequot Library in the spring.

Heida Hermanns, a 40-year Westport resident, was a celebrated concert pianist and premier music lover and promoter. In 1973, she founded the competition, which has since been named in her honor. Prominent past winners of the competitions include pianists Andrew Armstrong, Frederic Chiu, Max Levinson and Christopher O’Reilly.

For more than 40 years, Connecticut Alliance for Music has been nurturing the talents and careers of young musicians and fostering the love of fine music. The Westport Arts Center, dedicated to connecting community through the arts, reaches more than 11,000 people annually through outstanding programs in visual arts, arts education, and the performance arts of chamber music, jazz, and film. For more information, visit www.camusic.org, or westportartscenter.org.