Jarrett Takaki, age 20, is a junior at the Cleveland Institute of Music, in the piano studio of Antonio Pompa-Baldi. As a co-founder of 88Keys to Cure, Jarrett found that through music, he has the ability to inspire audiences to support those in need. As such, he participated in a benefit Master Class at the Cleveland Steinway Piano Gallery, after which, proceeds were donated to the victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
While in the studio of Sueanne Metz, Jarrett performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante in Perugia Italy, the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago, the Harper College Symphony Orchestra and the MostArts Orchestra at Alfred University in New York. He was a prizewinner in the 2017 YoungArts Competition, the 2017 ENKOR International Music Competition, the 2017 IIYM International Piano Competition the New York Piano Festival and Piano Competition, and the concerto and solo piano division of the 2016 American Prize National Competition in the Performing Arts. In the summer of 2016, Jarrett won the Grand Prize in the Senior Solo and Concerto Divisions of the Indiana Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition. He has received first place awards at the DePaul University Concerto Festival for Young Performers, the American Fine Arts Festival International Piano Competition, The Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Emilio Del Rosario Concerto Competition, The Lee Piano Competition at Augustana College, and the Tennessee Tech Young Artist Piano Competition. In 2012, Jarrett won second place in the Junior Division of the Cleveland International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the 2013 Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition. He has performed at Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall, Symphony Center, Daley Plaza, Bennett Gordon Hall at Ravinia Park, the Sala De Notori in Perugia Italy, the Tarkington Center and the Palladium at the Center for Performing Arts and Warner Hall at Oberlin College. Jarrett was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars, and the Japanese National Honor Society at New Trier High School.
Grace Tu, 19, is a junior at the University of Southern California majoring in biochemistry. She is a co-founder of 88Keys to Cure. Grace was the district senior division winner of the 2016 Illinois State Music Teachers Association and advanced to receive second place at the State Competition Finals. In 2016, Grace also received second place in the Concerto Advanced Division of the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition and was a finalist in the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra’s Bonnie and Lee Malmed Young Artists Competition. Grace has also received prizes from the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition, ENKOR International Music Competition, American Protégé International Piano Competition, the Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the Cardinal Stritch Young Artist Competition. Grace performed as a soloist in 2014-2015 Young Steinway Concert Series and the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Outside of piano, Grace is also an accomplished flutist, selected for the ILMEA District Senior Band and winning first place awards from the Society of American Musicians, the Chicago Flute Club Competition and an honorable mention at the 2013 Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions. Grace is a member of the USC Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-medical society.
Derek Chung is a sophomore at Stanford University majoring in Music and Computer Science. He currently studies piano with Frederick Weldy and previously studied with Sueanne Metz. Derek’s accomplishments include the Grand Prize Winner at the Chicago International Music Competition, first place at the MTNA National Senior Piano Competition, Arthur Fraser International Piano Competition, MostArts Festival Piano Competition, Future Stars International Competition, Luminarts Cultural Foundation for Classical Music, the American Fine Arts International Concerto Competition, and the Los Angeles Young Musician International Piano Competition where he was awarded the overall Best Romantic Performance. Most recently, Derek was selected as a recipient of the 2019 Blew-Culley-LaFollette Prize for piano performance and as a winner of the 2019 Stanford Concerto Competition. He performed with the Stanford Symphony Orchestra in June.
Derek has had the honor of performing in musical venues such as the historic Sala dei Notari in Perugia (Italy), Bing Concert Hall in Stanford, Benaroya Hall in Seattle, Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Hall, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. He has given public performances with the South Carolina Philharmonic, the MostArts Symphony Orchestra, WFMT’s “Introductions” show on channel 98.7, the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante, live on Kansas Public Radio, and the Shining Stars Concert as part of the Music Festival of Perugia. Derek was also a member of chamber group Piano Trio Royale. They were two-time semifinalists at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, and were featured on NPR’s From-the-Top program.
Derek is a co-founder of 88Keys to Cure, a non-profit organization promoting classical music for the benefit of various causes. Since its establishment in 2016, 88Keys has supported numerous charities and retirement homes around Chicago, raising over $30,000. He is also involved in his school’s arts community, where he played piano for the musical theatre production ‘A Little Night Music.’
Sophia Li, 18, is a second-year piano performance major at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. She currently studies piano with Christopher Harding and previously studied with Sueanne Metz. Her accomplishments include receiving 1st place at the 2016 Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, 1st and 2nd place prizes in the 2016 Great Composers Competition Series, 3rd Prize at the Future Stars International Piano Competition, honorable mention in the 2015 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Crain-Maling Young Artists Competition, 1st place in the 2014 U.S. New Star Piano Competition, 2nd at the 2014 Louisiana International Piano Competition, 2nd place at the 2014 American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music, 3rd place at the 2012 Illinois State Music Teacher Association Piano Competition.
As a winner of the 2013 American Fine Arts Festival Russian Concerto Competition, she performed in both Carnegie Hall and with the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra in Moscow, Russia. Sophia has competed in Warsaw, Poland at the Chopin International Youth Competition and performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Alicante at Sala dei Notari in Perugia, Italy. Sophia has participated in concert programs at the Skokie Valley Public Library, Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library, and the Chicago Cultural Center. Most recently, Sophia has made her chamber debut at the Bloomfield Township Public Library. Aside from piano, Sophia enjoys writing and plans to pursue a minor in creative writing.
Colin Choi is a freshman at Northwestern University majoring in Computer Science. At age 7, Colin won first place in the International Youth Praise Festival and performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. The following year, Colin was selected as a winner of the International Chopin Celebration Competition and was featured in a concert at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall. Colin made his concerto debut in 2011 with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra which was broadcasted on WFMT 98.7 classical station. Since then, he has performed as a soloist with the Kishwaukee Symphony, the Harper Symphony, and the Chicago Civic Orchestras. Colin was a first place winner in numerous competitions including the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, the Arthur Monzka Young Artists Concerto Competition, and the Emilio del Rosario Piano Concerto Competition, the Aloha International Piano Festival, the Enkor International Competition, the Chopin Youth Competition, and the Sejong Music Competition. He was also the Illinois state winner in the MTNA Competition of 2014. Colin was a prize winner in the New Music National Young Artist Competition, the Chopin International Competition in Hartford, CT and the Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competition where he also received the award for Best Contemporary Music performance. Most recently, Colin was awarded as the First Alternate in the 2018 Crain-Mailing Chicago Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
Colin is currently the pianist for the Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra and also enjoys playing the drums and guitar. This upcoming summer, Colin will be travelling to S. Dakota for the fourth consecutive year to assist in work projects in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He wants music to play a major role in his future and hopes his performances will inspire the young generations to appreciate classical music.