The goal of the Snowy Range Piano Competition is to promote classical piano performance and to encourage young pianists residing in the Mountain West region to pursue higher education. The competition is sponsored by the Linford Pfeifer Foundation in partnership with the University of Wyoming. There are two divisions. The Regional SRPC is for young pianists who are of age 16 to 19 and are residents of the Mountain West. The Regional Division competition was last held on May 21-22, 2011. The University of Wyoming Division is held in alternate years and is open to full-time students of UW of ages 17 to 26. The next competition of the UW Division will be January 21-22, 2012. Our primary goal in establishing these competitions is to provide young pianists with a supportive environment in which to develop their performance skills. We view the event as both a venue for experienced performers and a developmental opportunity for students who wish to gain experience in a smaller competition environment, offering in-depth discussions with the judges about all aspects of their performance. We believe that many young pianists at various stages in their instruction can benefit from this experience and would like to extend this opportunity to a range of participants.

Information on eligibility, performance requirements, facilities, and prizes is available on this website. Applications and rules/regulations are downloadable in pdf format. Judges for these competitions will be posted on the website prior to the start of the application period. We encourage the participation of music professionals and others dedicated to the arts to ensure the success of the program. Contact information and links to participating organizations are provided below.

Winners of the 2011 Regional Competition

Winners of 2011 Regional Competition

Born in 1994 in Seoul, Korea, Sahun Hong has studied piano since the age of four. At the age of 16, he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Texas Christian University (TCU) with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance. He is a student of Professor John Owings. He has also had lessons with Juilliard Professors Martin Canin and Veda Kaplinsky. Prior to entering TCU at the age of 11, Sahun performed in 28 schools in the Fort Worth ISD through the Van Cliburn Foundation’s “Musical Awakenings” program. Among the many gifts he received, his most treasured is a personally autographed photo of Van Cliburn. He was also invited to perform for the Educational Program of Performing Arts Fort Worth at the Van Cliburn Recital Hall in 2005. Sahun has won numerous prizes and awards. In 2010 he was named a Young Steinway Artist, joining a select roster of talented young pianists from around the world. He has won First Prize in the 2011 Snowy Range Piano Competition in Wyoming, the 2011 Hubbard Solo and Chamber Music Competition, the 2010 Lennox International Young Artist Competition, the 2009 Fort Worth Symphony Young Artist Competition, the 2009 Leschetizky Competition for Gifted Young Pianists in New York, and the 2009 Juanita Miller Concerto Competition, sponsored by the Texas Association of Symphony Orchestras (TASO). He also won Fourth Prize in the 2010 Cooper International Piano Competition in Oberlin, Ohio, competing against 43 pianists from eight countries. He is a recipient of the Bayard H. Friedman Award for Outstanding Student in Performing Arts presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth. Sahun has performed with the Fort Worth Symphony, Richardson Symphony, Waco Symphony, Brazos Valley Symphony, Galveston Symphony and Camerata New York. He has also been featured on the nationally broadcast radio show “From the Top.” Reviewing his performance in Merkin Hall, Howard Aibel wrote in New York Concert Review that Sahun “was at home at the keyboard, performing this great Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 3 with lots of clarity, confidence and wisdom.” The April 2008 issue of Fort Worth Magazine featured Sahun in an article titled “14 Brilliant Minds.” Sahun enjoys math, reading, speedcubing, magic tricks, chess, and table tennis.

Ellen Pavliska made her orchestral debut at the age of 16 with the San Antonio Symphony on March 22, 2009 in a performance of the 3rd Movement of the Concerto No. 2, Op.22, by Saint-Saens at Trinity University’s Laurie Auditorium. Later that year she performed a solo recital at the San Antonio Tuesday Musical Club. A reviewer from The San Antonio Express News said, “Pavliska captivated her audience with an eclectic program. (Her) Haydn Sonata…had strong dynamics and flawless runs…Pavliska concluded her program with a brilliant rendition of Chopin’s Scherzo in b-flat minor, op. 31.” Ellen began studying piano at the age of 11, winning second place in her first state level competition, The Janice K Hodges Contemporary Piano Competition, at the age of 13. Since then she has placed first in the same competition. In addition to winning the San Antonio Symphony’s Future Stars Competition, Ellen won Grand Prize in the Wysong-Joplin Young Artist Competition, placed second in the Baylor-Waco National Piano Competition, third at the DeBose National Competition in Baton Rouge, third in the TMTA State Level Competition, and second in the San Antonio Jr. Tuesday Musical Club contest. She has also been pleased to perform for the San Antonio Symphony League’s Annual Spring Luncheon and the San Antonio International Piano Competition’s Showcase for Young Pianists. This past fall, Ellen was interviewed on Texas Public Radio's “Classical Spotlight”, and gave another successful solo recital, where she recieved the Musical Arts Center of San Antonio's Artist Award. Ellen had the honor of serving on the first Junior Jury of the 2009 San Antonio International Competition, and to perform in SAIPC sponsored Master Classes with Gustavo Romero of the University of North Texas, and Santiago Rodriguez of the University of Maryland. She has enjoyed additional Master Classes with Dr. Angela Cheng, Dr. Douglas Humpherys, Dr. Julian Martin, Dr. Boris Slutsky, Dr. Robin McCabe, Ewa Kupiec, and Ryo Yanagitani. Ellen has been studying with Kenneth Thompson, Executive Director of the Musical Arts Centers of San Antonio, since 2006. Next year she will be studying Piano Performance with Dr. Pamela Mia Paul at the University of North Texas under full scholarship.

Alie Yorgason is currently studying piano performance with Ms. Yong Hi Moon at the Peabody Conservatory. Alie's life has been filled with music. Among her many awards are: National MTNA piano duet first place winner, Utah State MTNA piano solo first place winner, Utah conservatory composition winner, and Utah State Fair first place winner. She has performed with the Summer Arts Festival Orchestra at the University of Utah, and has been a soloist at such venues as the Libby Gardner Hall and the Assembly Hall at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alie has also performed many recitals for church groups and friends, and accompanies regularly for church choirs. It has been a goal for her to attend a music conservatory. She hopes to perform, teach and compose music in the future. She has composed a piano solo and several hymns, one of which was performed by a children's choir. Alie's other important teachers and mentors are: Dr. Vera Oussetskaia-Watanabe, whose commitment and expertise made it possible for her to begin her dream of attending Peabody Conservatory; Mr. Eugene Watanabe, who made music fun and gave her a solid music theory knowledge base; and Mrs. Lela Benson, who was patient and tender with her as a child.

2011 Regional Competition Finalists

Finalists of 2011 Regional Competition

Ellen Pavliska    Alie Yorgason    Verina Chen    Sahun Hong    Zoe Lu

Winners of the 2010 UW Competition

Winners of 2010 UW Competition

Jun Guo     Diego Caetano     Xiaoqian Gou

                                                     First Place         Second Place              Third Place

Students of Theresa Bogard

Jun Guo

Jun Guo was born in Liaoyuan, China on April 16, 1986. He began studying piano with a music teacher at the elementary school. In 1997, he played the Mozart sonata K.311 and won the second prize of the piano solo competition in Jilin province. The next year, he won the first prize of the piano solo competition in Jilin province. At the age of 15, Jun was admitted to the Yue Fu Music Middle School, and studied piano with Jin Shi, who is a famous Chinese pianist. In 2001, he won second prize in the Yamaha piano competition. In 2005, he enrolled in the Shenyang Conservatory of Music as a top student, and studied with Professor Zhang. In both 2006 and 2007, he was awarded a scholarship to the Shenyang Conservatory of Music, where he was named a chairman in the students’ union, by the piano department. In 2006-2008, Jun was invited to play recitals in many venues, including Harbin City, Jinzhou City, Dalian City, and Neimenggu Province. In 2007, he took part in a German Pianist Master Class and performed at the concert as the outstanding student. The following year, he was selected as a member of the Shenyang Conservatory of Music Young Symphony Orchestra to perform at the Conservatory’s 70th Anniversary Celebration. From 2006 to 2008, he won the prize of excellence at the Shenyin Cup Piano Solo Competition and won the prize of excellence at the Shenyin Cup Piano Concerto Competition. Meanwhile, he maintained a high GPA every semester at the Conservatory. Jun also plays chamber music by composers such as Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, and Brahms. At the age of 23, he graduated with a bachelor's degree in piano performance from the Shenyang Conservatory of Music--one of the most prestigious conservatories in China. In 2010, he went to the United States to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Wyoming, where he studies with Dr. Theresa Bogard.

Diego Caetano

Diego Ribeiro Caetano was born on August 21st, 1989 in Anapolis, Brazil. In 2000, Mr. Caetano began his piano studies in Anapolis, Brazil under his aunt Viviane Fiaia Costa. Eventually, he moved to Goiania, where he studied piano under Lilian Meire Silva Carneiro de Mendonca at the Lilian Centro de Musica and under Dr. Maria Borges at Goias Federal University where he graduated with a Bachelors of Music in Piano Performance. He is considered one of the most outstanding pianists of the new Brazilian generation of musicians. He has won overthirty prizes in both national and international piano competitions including Rabat International Piano Competition, Claudio Arrau International Piano Competition, Bauru Atlanta International Piano Competition, Paulo Giovanini Competition, Lorenzo Fernandez Piano Competition, Orestes Farinello Piano Competition, Arnaldo Estrella International Piano Competition, Piano Division of the MTNA Competition, and most recently the Snowy Range Piano Competition. He has also won special awards including Best interpreter of Brazilian Composers, Best interpreter of Spanish Composers, and Excellence in Performance. Mr. Caetano’s repertoire is exceptionally extensive considering the comparatively short amount of time that he has been performing on the piano. Mr.Caetano has performed music by Villa-Lobos, Liszt, Chopin, Granados, Prokofieff, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Scarlatti, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Marlos Nobre, Brahms, Haydn, Allende, Alfonso Leng, Elgar, Schumann, Guarnieri, Skryabin, and Faure. His performances are notable for their flair and technical mastery. Performances as a soloist with orchestras and as a chamber musician have taken him throughout the world, including concert halls in the United States, Brazil, Chile, Africa, and Europe. Apart from Mr. Caetano’s work with Classical music, he takes an interest in foreign languages and can speak eight languages, including Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese, English, and Russian. Currently, he is a graduate student in piano performance at the University of Wyoming, where he studies piano under Dr. Theresa Bogard.

Jason Gou

Xiaoqian Gou was born on Dec 5, 1984 in Shaanxi, China. Starting at the age of 5, he had piano training with Mrs. Du Xixian of the Shaanxi Provincial Ensemble. In 1996, he was the 2nd place prize winner of the “Zhujiang Award” for the youth piano competition in Northwest China. From 1998 to 2001, Mr. Gou received his piano training at the Canton-Xinghai Conservatory of Music. From 2001 to 2004, he studied at the Xi’an Conservatory of Music under Prof. Tao Minxia, Prof. Sokolova Svetrana (Russian), as well as receiving special classes by pianist Shi Shucheng (China) and Klaus Besler (Germany). Between 2004 and 2008, Mr. Gou studied at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music in the Bachelor Degree Piano Program under the guidance of Prof. Su Bin (grad. in France) and Prof. Sun Yun (grad. in USA). Mr. Gou participated in the 2005 International Pianist Master Class at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and the 2006 master class of Boris Berman (USA). He is presently in his first year with Dr. Theresa Bogard at the University of Wyoming.

Winners of the 2009 UW Competition

Winners of 2009 UW Competition

Finalists of the 2009 UW Competition

Finalists of 2009 UW Competition

Qiaoquin Gou     Mei Lian     Yu Zhang

Students of Theresa Bogard

Winners of the 2009 Regional Competition

Winners of 2009 Regional Competition

2009 Regional Competition Finalists

Finalists of 2009 Regional Competition

Kellice Bradley     Michael Stewart     Alie Yorgason
Christina Qi     Fan-Ya Lin

Winners of the 2008 Regional Competition

Winners of 2008 Regional Competition


Linford Pfeifer Foundation
Dr. Gary Linford
Dr. Shirley Pfeifer
Laramie, WY     82070-4877
(307) 721-8892

University of Wyoming
Department of Music
1000 East University Avenue
Laramie, WY     82071
Contact: Dr. Theresa Bogard
Area Coordinator, Keyboard
(307) 766-3894



UW Fine Arts Concert Hall The University of Wyoming
Music Department
Fine Arts Concert Hall
Laramie, Wyoming     82071
(307) 766-5242

Situated in the southeastern part of the state, it is a two-hour drive or 30-minute flight from Denver.

Foundation House The Linford-Pfeifer Foundation is located at
1325 Whitman Street
Laramie, Wyoming     82070-4877

The Foundation House is located approximately two miles from the University of Wyoming.