Mani Hourfar, age 16, is a junior pianist at the Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA). He has been playing piano since the age of 9. He currently studies with Richard Marshall in the Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and also studies advanced music theory and composition with Ethan Soledad, and had a masterclass with Dr. Robert Roux, Chair of keyboards. He has had multiple masterclasses by the Fischer Duo, and privately by piano faculty, Charlie Tauber. He studies chamber music at Opus1 Camber Music School, where he is coached by Matt Lammers. Mani has attended programs including Palmetto international Piano Festival, Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, and the Interlochen piano one week intensive, where he had masterclasses with esteemed pianists. Mani received an honorable mention in the 2021 Houston Youth Chopin competition, and a finalist in the 2021 TMTA solo piano competition. He was awarded second place in the 2022 HSPVA Concerto Competition earning a performance with the HSPVA Symphony. Mani has also played the violin since the age of 6. His hobbies include chess, reading, and playing music with friends. He volunteers as a piano tutor with the organization Teaching to Give, and has teaching piano for over 3 years.