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Esther Liao

Esther began learning the piano from her mother at age four. As she quickly showed her considerable talent in piano, the then six-year old Esther was introduced to her current piano teacher, Mr. Scott Holshouser, the principal keyboardist of the Houston Symphony.

She has been the recipient of many awards, including the Gold Medal, Bronze Medal, and Silver Medal (being the youngest participant as a third grader in the competition’s history) of the 2009, 2008, and 2006 Houston Symphony League Concerto Competition respectively, the Gold Medal of the 2009 Houston Symphony North Concerto Competition, and the Gold Modal of the 2011 Lynn Harrell South Regional Concerto Competition among many other competitions.

Most recently, she was named the Grand Prize winner of the 2013 American Protégé International Concerto Competition, the Third Prize winner of the 2013 Blount-Slawson National Young Artists Competition, and an honorable mention recipient of the Sorantin International Young Artist Concerto Competition. She was also featured on NPR’s “From the Top” and KUHF’s “The Front Row – exploring Houston’s Vibrant Arts Scene” in May 2012. Esther has performed with the Houston Symphony North, the Fort Bent Symphony Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and multiple times with the Houston Symphony.

In addition to performing at various prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York, Gulangyu Music Hall in Southern China, the International Festival of the Round Top Institute in Texas, the Stude Concert Hall at Rice University, the Miller Outdoor Theatre, and the Wortham Theater, Esther loves to share her music with local audiences at health institutions. Recently she has served as clinician to the elementary school piano workshop.

Esther is currently a sophomore at Bellaire High School where she is pursuing her academic interests. She has been the principal pianist in the Texas All-State 5A Symphonic Band and All-Region Symphony Orchestra in 2012 and 2013. Besides being a member of National Honor Society and her school’s debate team, Esther is also an officer for several clubs at school, and a Leader to the small group children during a biweekly adult bible study.

For Esther, there is something much deeper than dedication alone that provides the energy and motivation to practice piano because music, no matter what kind, is a form of expression that supplies a feeling of confidence, self-worth and pure enjoyment.