Albert Chen

Co-director

Albert Chen is a freshman at Purdue University. He is currently studying piano under the instruction of Sueanne Metz. He has won various awards and honors at local, regional, and international piano competitions, such as the CAMTA Sonata Festival, US New Star Piano Competition, American Fine Arts Festival Piano Competition, American Protege International Music Talent Competition, International Music Competition Grand Prize Virtuoso, Great Composers Competitions Best Beethoven Performance, Master of Piano Sonata, Best Schumann Performance, and the Art of Piano, among others. He performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and Parco della Musica in Rome, and participated in multiple piano summer camps. As an active member of 88Keys to Cure, he has enthusiastically involved himself in advertising and performing at its many charity events. At his high school, Albert has been part of the school’s Business Professionals of America team as well as its charity club and contributes to his school's newspaper. Albert also enjoys playing tennis, snowboarding, and creative writing.

Anna Xie

Co-director

Anna Xie is a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, IL and currently studies piano with Sueanne Metz. Some of her accomplishments include gold medals at the Chicago Area Music Piano Contest Sonata Festival for five consecutive years, prize winner at 2017 Best Mozart Performance Competition, 2018 Roberta Savler Piano Contest, 2018 Rising Talent Americas International Music Competition, 2018 ENKOR International Piano Competition, 2nd place at the 2019 Confucius Music Festival, 2020 New Star Piano Competition, prize winner at 2021 Rocky Mountain International Piano Competition, and 2021 Quebec International Music Competition.  She had the honor to perform in the American Fine Arts Festival Recital at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2017.  She also placed first in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition and performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London in 2019. Recently, she placed first at the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition and will perform at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2021.


Outside of music, Anna is nationally recognized in debate and enjoys reading, writing, and fitness.

William Zhu

Co-director

William Zhu is a senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He has studied piano with Sueanne Metz since he was 5 years old. William won first place at the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition in 2018 and performed at the winner’s concert at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. William also won prizes from a number of other competitions in the past, including the Great Composer Competition (2018), the ENKOR International Music Competition (2018), US New Star Piano Competition (2018), the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition (2017), the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition (2015), the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition (2015), the Society of American Musicians Competition (2014) and the American Fine Arts Festival (2011).


William participates in the science and math teams at school. He has competed in Science Olympiad for the past four years and has won individual and team first place gold medals at national tournaments for the middle school division. William is a Caroline D. Bradley Scholar, and is a member of the Julian C. Stanley Study of Exceptional Talent (SET) Program by John Hopkins University’s Center for Talented Youth. William is a first-place winner from the Northwestern University Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) in each of the past three years, and he was a Duke University Talent Identification Program’s Scholar of Distinction in 2017. In addition, William enjoys cross country and fencing at high school, and he actively participates in the community services.

Howard Dai

Co-director

Howard Dai is a senior at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois.  He has been studying piano with Sueanne Metz since the age of 9. Some of Howard’s most notable accomplishments include first place at the 2014 Granquist Music Competition, gold medals at the 2016 CAMTA Sonata-Sonatina Festival and the 2016 NSMTA Sonata-Sonatina Festival, first prize at the Great Composers Competition - The Music of Germany and Austria, first prize at the 36th CAMTA Roberta Savler Contest (2016), first prize at the Great Composers Competition - The Music of the 18th Century, a gold medal at the 2017 CAMTA Sonata-Sonatina Festival, first place at the 2017 Granquist Music Competition, first place at the 2017 Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, first prize in the Grand Prize Virtuoso Competition, first prize and best Korean interpretation at the 2019 Sejong Music Competition.  Howard has also achieved placement at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, NWSMTA, ISMTA, Future Stars International Piano Competition, U.S. New Star Piano Competition, Great Composers Competition - Rachmaninoff, American Fine Arts Concerto Competition, Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, and the Osaka International Music Competition.  Through these musical accomplishments, Howard has earned opportunities to play at Carnegie Hall two times (2016, 2018) and travel the world and perform in various foreign countries such as Austria, Russia, Italy, and Japan.  

 

Howard is also a participant for the Glenbrook North Math Team.  During his freshman year, he placed 3rd individually at the ICTM State Math Contest and contributed to Glenbrook North’s overall 1st place finish.  Howard was also the only freshman on Glenbrook North’s competitive team for the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament, and was first overall in the North Suburban Math League with a perfect score.  He has been on the AMC10/12 honor roll in all three years of high school so far, allowing him to participate in the American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) each year.  He qualified for the ARML Chicago A Team, and earned a top scorer award (top 4 scorer from the Chicago area). Apart from math, Howard is invested in the studies of literature and history, and is a member of the Glenbrook Academy of International Studies.  He also participated in Glenbrook North tennis and wrestling, and enjoys staying physically active and playing sports, teaching piano/math lessons, and playing video games during his free time. 

Ryan Liu

Co-director

Ryan Liu is a junior at Stevenson High School. He began studying piano with Sueanne Metz at age 7. Some of his past achievements are gold medals at the Chicago Area Music teacher Association’s Sonata Festival for 2 years in a row, first prize at the Grand Prize Virtuoso competition which allowed him to perform in Rome, first prize at the Illinois Music Association competition for best solo performance, First prize at the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius, and also First prize in the American Protege competition and the American Fine Arts Festival competition, both of which allowed him to perform at Carnegie hall at ages 8 and 9. He has also placed in other competitions such as the Sejong Music Competition, ISMTA, the USA New Star Piano competition, and previous years of the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius.

 

Beyond Piano, Ryan also has many other hobbies and interests. He is a member of the math team at Stevenson High school, and was the captain of the math team at his former middle school.  He also enjoys playing and competing in badminton. He has also participated in esports in the past, as the only freshman (at the time) on Stevenson’s varsity Counter Strike:Global Offensive team, taking home the semi - finalist title in the High School Esports League’s Fall Major (2019). Some clubs he participates in are Key Club, Physics club, and Math club. In the past, he has competed in kung fu, figure skating, cross country, track, and table tennis. His other hobbies include biking, calisthenics, reading, volunteering, cooking new dishes, and learning. He really likes dark chocolate.

Vivian Zhu

Co-director

Vivian Zhu is a sophomore at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois and currently studies piano with Sueanne Metz. She has performed in Russia with the Kostroma Symphony Orchestra and in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2021, she won prizes in the Centro Franz Liszt International Piano Competition, the North American Virtuoso International Music Competition, the Neapolitan Masters Online Piano Competition, and the Quebec International Music Competition. She has also received recognition from the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, Best Rachmaninoff Performance, the New Stars International Piano Competition, the American Fine Arts Festival International Music Competition’s concerto category, the Illinois State Music Teacher Association, the Steinway Junior Piano Competition, the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition, and the American Protégé International Piano Competition. She aims to use music to support and amplify marginalized voices in her community.


In her free time, Vivian enjoys creative writing and has been recognized nationally by the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. An alumna of the International Writing Program's Between the Lines summit, she is published or forthcoming in Aster Lit, The Incandescent Review, and Cathartic Literary Magazine, among others. She will graduate in 2024.