Pianists honor the late Liberace | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Pianists honor the late Liberace

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS ” Four piano enthusiasts have won scholarships and prizes at the 2008 Liberace Piano competition, each embracing the spirit of the late entertainer.

The competition in Las Vegas last minth pitted 11 finalists against each other on the ivories, all in homage to the part-time Kingsbury Grade resident known for his rhinestones and showmanship.

Christopher Carter of Huntsville, Ala., took home $1,000 for first place in the showmanship division, the only division open to professional performers.

Ashlee Young, a 21-year-old from Billings, Mont., won the open division, open to college students studying music. The two other winners were 8-year-old Abigail Verghese of Henderson and 17-year-old Carmen Lai of Las Vegas.

Liberace, whose full name was Wladziu Valentino Liberace, won two Emmys for “The Liberace Show,” which debuted in 1952 and was eventually carried by 217 American television stations and in 20 foreign countries.