Competition Laureates

Excellence on the World's Stages

Institute graduates put their new abilities to good use, and the number of competition winners passing through Alan Fraser's hands is steadily increasing.


We are pleased to showcase South African pianist Jan Hugo, who has attended several Paris institutes from 2016 onward. His performances at the semfinals of the 2017 Liszt competition have been special in many respects, one in that he was the only contestant to choose the new Chris Maene straight strung piano. Jan has done this wonderful instrument full justice, often using its magnificent register shifts to evoke the mystical, passionate aura of the great master himself.

Unfortunately the audio is not in sync with the video on these clips, but we feel this is no excuse not to offer you a taste of Jan's stellar playing.

Utrecth Liszt Competition Semifinals: Introduction

part 1: Réminiscences des Puritains, S390; Jeux d'eau à la Villa d'Este; Sursum Corda

Part 3: Introduction; Années de Pélérinage, Book II: Italie. Sposalizio; 3 Petrarch Sonnets

Dante Sonata


Luba Podgaskaya first attended the Overveen Institute in 2015. A gifted pianist suffering from injury, in her work with Alan she quickly resolved the tendonitis issue and turned to more pressing matters: the soulful, artful, virtuosic treatment of the great masterworks of the repertoire. Luba soon caught the attention of several Dutch conductors, and in 2017 was invited to play the Rachmaninoff First Concerto, then the Schumann concerto, and finally the Mozart F major concerto with orchestra.

Rachmaninoff: Concerto No. 1 n F sharp minor, 1st Mvt.


Michael Cheung attended the Paris April 2015 institute. In a remarkably short time he added a dimension of power and emotional subtlety to his playing that allowed h im to do well in three competitions later the same year.

He was the unanimous choice for first prize at the Boston Amateur Piano Competition in June, picked up no fewer than 5 first prizes at the Washington DC Amateur Piano Competion in July, and a second prize in the Chopin Amateur Piano Competition in Warsaw, Poland in October.

Here is one of Michael's prize-winning performances in Boston:

Rachmaninoff: Prelude in B flat Major, Op. 23 #2
• Messaien: Vingt Regards sur l'enfant Jesus


Aurelien Bocdard hails from Geneva, Switzerland and lives in Kansas where he is completing his doctoral studies. He first attended the Salt Lake City institute in 2013. In that first year he resolved some pain issues; since then the work has focused on developing sonority and expressive depth. Aurelien won a National Collaborative Pianist award in 2015.

Ravel: Concerto for the Left Hand