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Sammamish Student is KING FM Young Artist Award Grand Prize Winner

Nathan Lee, a 9-year-old pianist from Sammamish, was just announced as the 2011 KING FM "Ten Grands" Young Artist Award Grand Prize-winner. He is a third grader at Samantha Smith Elementary.

Lee has been playing piano for only three years, but is noted as being tremendously gifted. This prize honors him with the opportunity to be featured at the Ten Grands concert at Benaroya Hall on Friday, April 1, as well as a $1,000 scholarship from KING FM.

The contest had more than 100 young musicians competiting, among them singers, songwriters, composers, violinists, pianists and other musical genres. The performance style ran from young performers playing some of the most challenge pieces in the classical repertoire, to performances of original works.

The competition for this year's prize was fierce as performances impressed KING FM programming director Bryan Lowe.

"The caliber of performances was truly incredible," said Lowe in 425 Magazine. "As I listened I had to constantly remind myself that these performers were kids! It's exciting to see so many inspired and talented young musicians. Nathan Lee, our Grand Prize-winner is a great example. His feet can barely reach the pedals on the piano, yet his playing was beautiful."

Ten Grands features ten grand pianos and ten concert pianists on a stunning, dramatically lit stage playing a variety of classical and modern pieces both simultaneously and individually.

Concert proceeds benefit The Snowman Foundation, which in turn benefits youth service groups, helps generate scholarships and music lessons for disadvantaged youth in Oregon and Washington and helps purchase pianos for schools and organizations in need.

The Issaquah Reporter wrote a great article on Lee and his win, read it at Issaquah Reporter. Take a look at Lee's submission tape:


Nathan had some stiff competition. Check out the videos of the other top contenders for the grand prize at King FM.

By partnering with Ten Grands, an organization that helps raise funds for music education for children, KING FM created the Young Artist Awards to honor youth in the Pacific Northwest who have dedicated themselves to arts education. Over 100 youth submitted videos for the competition.

For Ten Grands concert ticket information, visit www.benaroyahall.org or call 206-215-4747.

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