A power outage stopped the 2008 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition finals in the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center Saturday night.
The set back was only temporary.
After relocating the six young finalists, the Bachauer staff and more than 500 audience members to the University of Utah's Libby Gardner Concert Hall, the finals began at 10 p.m. and ended at 11:30 p.m.
Just after midnight, the nine-member jury announced this year's winner.
Ching Toa Aristo Sham, 12, from Hong Kong, took home the Gina Bachauer gold medal and a cash award of $7,000. George Li, 12, from Lexington, Mass., won the second place silver medal and $5,000. Anna Han, 12, from Chandler, Ariz., garnered the third place bronze medal and $4,000.
The fourth, fifth and sixth place went to Yi Jia Wang, 12, from China, Jan Lisiecki, 13, from Canada, and Qi Xu, 13, from China. They were given $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000, respectively.
These six young pianists were selected from 33 international competitors between the ages of 11 and 13 Friday night after four days of intense competition.
Kary D. Billings, chairman of the Gina Bachauer Foundation board of trustees, said the finalists were "eager to complete their performances in spite of the late night and were in good spirits.
"We would like to thank everyone for their cooperation and understanding."
Saturday's high temperatures apparently caused a malfunction in the conduit leading to the transformer that supplies power to the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center around 6:30 p.m., said Bachauer Foundation spokesman Bryce Isaacson.
Moving to the Libby Gardner Concert Hall "was the only thing we could do," he said. "We had about 300 audience members come with us to Libby Gardner."
Although the 2008 Gina Bachauer Junior Piano Competition ended Saturday, next Tuesday marks the beginning of the Bachauer's International Young Artists Piano Competition featuring 30 pianists between the ages of 14 through 18 from 11 countries. For more information, log on to www.bachauer.com.
E-mail: [email protected]