ChooHooi Khoo has won the Van Cliburn Foundation’s second YouTube Contest for Amateur Pianists, after voting for this year’s contest ended on November 24. For the YouTube contest, applicants upload videos of their piano performances and a winner is chosen by an online popular vote. Khoo, also known as Janice, won with her performance of the Schubert Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 4. By winning the online amateur contest, Khoo wins the chance to compete in Van Cliburn’s International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs in 2011 in Fort Worth, Texas. Khoo, born in Malaysia, is a resident of Bakersfield, California, where she works as a full-time physical therapist and practice manager for a rheumatology medical office. Before immigrating to the United States in 1991, she studied piano at Malaysia’s Associated Board of the Royal School of Music, later receiving a master of physical therapy degree from California’s Loma Linda University. Khoo decided to enter the competition only a few weeks before the submission deadline; her interest was sparked after her son’s piano teacher, Bonnie Farrer—wife of John Farrer, music director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra—gave her son a DVD of a program featuring finalists in the Cliburn competition. Khoo was among 58 applicants from eight countries who posted YouTube performance videos.

Posted December 14, 2009