Parillo Piano Competition

Louise DeFeo Parillo Piano Competition 2023

On behalf of the organizers of the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra, we thank you for participating in the 2023 Parillo Piano Competition: Bach to Schenectady

Three judges jointly evaluated the candidates in a double-blind evaluation process and they have decided on two winners. 

  • 1st place winner is Sean Cooney, a 10th grader from Wynantskill attending Doane Stuart. He studies with Akina Yura. He performed Bach Toccata in C-minor BWV 911 and Rachmaninoff Moments Musicaux No 6 “Maestroso.”

  • 2nd place winner is Isabel Luzzi, a 9th grader from Tivoli attending Red Hook High School School. She studies with Susanne Son. She performed Bach Prelude and Fugue No. 21 in B-flat Major BWV 866 and Debussy L’isle Joyeuse L106.

Congratulations to Sean and Isabel!

They will be awarded their certificates and awards on the MainStage at Proctors during the upcoming 2023-2024 season. In addition, the SdSO would like to provide as many performance opportunities as possible to these promising young artists. One of our greatest joys has been to welcome back former winners to perform full concerti with the Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra on the MainStage at Proctors. We are happy to invite 2018 winner William Lauricella to perform the Rachmaninoff “Piano Concerto No 2. in C-minor” with us on January 21, 2024, Maestro Glen Cortese conducting.

We are also proud of the many Parillo alums who have blossomed into successful doctors, engineers and business professionals while maintaining their love of music. Hats off to the students, parents and teachers for their dedication! Thanks also to the volunteers, especially the three judges and the administration and staff at SUNY Schenectady. The School of Music has been our invaluable partner for many years, providing world-class resources that enable our finest local students to blossom to their fullest.

Masako Yamada
Parillo Piano Competition Chair
VP of Musical Operations
Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra

More on the competition:

This competition was created in 1995 for young pianists in the Capital District to honor the memory of Louise DeFeo Parillo. Mrs. Parillo was a locally prominent pianist who had her own radio show on WGY in the 1930s and ‘40s and was very active in area music groups. Reflecting the spirit of Louise DeFeo Parillo, the aim of the Parillo competition is to encourage a life-long enjoyment of music in young pianists, either as accomplished professionals or as dedicated amateurs.

The winners of the 2022 competition were David Fu of Delmar (1st prize) and Samantha Baker of Clifton Park (2nd prize). David attends Bethlehem Middle School and studies with Dr. Julian Martin at the Juilliard Pre-College. Samantha attends Emma Willard School and studies with Michael Clement.

The Parillo competition is open to Capital District piano students aged 12 years or older, by nomination of their piano instructors. Winners are recognized at Proctor’s Theater with cash awards. Especially promising students will be considered for further performance opportunities. Past competition winners Ryan Reilly, Christopher Reynolds, Rachel Sohn and Kyra Lombard have recently been invited to perform with the Orchestra at historic Proctor’s Theater, to the great delight of our audiences.

Former winners have been selected to perform for NPR/From the Top and WMHT/Classical Student of the month. Many have continued their music studies at prestigious conservatories and universities such as Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman, Yale School of Music, Oberlin, Indiana, Harvard, Dartmouth and Columbia. Exceptional winners may be invited to perform with the Schenectady Symphony.

The Louise DeFeo Parillo Piano Competition
Schenectady-Saratoga Symphony Orchestra
Proctor’s Arcade, 432 State St.
Schenectady, NY  12305
Chair, Masako Yamada: