AZUSA, Calif.— Montebello resident Shotaro Matsumoto, a senior piano performance major at Azusa Pacific University, earned first place in two separate categories in the California Association of Professional Music Teachers (CAPMT) regional competition on Sat., Nov. 16. Matsumoto ranked first place in the New Music category and the Honors Audition. Matsumoto will represent Southern California in a statewide competition in February.

“Shotaro possesses a powerful combination of talent and passion,” said Joel Clifft, director of keyboard studies at APU. “He is committed to pursuing the highest level of excellence and creating a musical experience for the listener that is akin to storytelling. His skill and unwavering determination are the reasons he is and will continue to be successful.”

As an accomplished musician, Matsumoto has placed in numerous musical competitions across the United States, including securing a spot as a semi-finalist in the American Prize in Piano Performance and the Paderewski Piano International competitions. He ranked first in The American Protégé International Competition, the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Open Solo, the Yamaha Performing Artist Competition, and the Brentwood Westwood Symphony Orchestra. Matsumoto has played in numerous honor competitions at APU since 2010. In addition, he has performed at several charity events, including concerts to raise money for the Japan earthquake and tsunami disaster relief.

Annually, the CAPMT, in association with the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), holds five national senior competitions and four junior competitions for elementary through college-age students, 11–26 years of age, in brass, piano, strings, voice, and woodwinds. CAPMT is the California affiliate of MTNA comprised of more than 1,000 members teaching throughout the state in independent studios, private and public schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities.