Current Student Achievements

 

The following awards and accolades have been presented to the Academy class of 2013-14.


6.6.14 North Shore Chamber Music Festival - Piano Trio Radi - Nicholas Brown, violin, Josiah Yoo, cello, and Natalie Nedvetsky, piano, performed in the North Shore Chamber Music Festival on June 4-7 at the Village Presbyterian Church in Northbrook. The trio enjoyed a master class with Italian pianist Alessio Bax, a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient. Bax has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Dallas and Houston symphonies, the NHK Symphony in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle. On Friday during the Young Artist Showcase, the trio performed Beethoven's "Ghost Trio" in D Major, mov. 1. The festival offers quality arts programming at the highest level that joins internationally renowned classical music performers, hardworking young music students from the region, exciting in-school arts education residencies, and professional development opportunities in arts administration. 

 

6.2.14 Academy violinist Serena Harnack, 15, performed at the Arts Alliance Illinois' 2nd Annual Benefit Luncheon at the Palmer House Hilton, Chicago.

Nearly 500 of Illinois' cultural, civic, and corporate leaders gathered to celebrate the arts a...nd participate in dialogue about the role of arts and creativity in Illinois.

Richard and Susan Kiphart were honored with the "Citizen Advocate" award, which recognizes individuals whose vision and civic leadership provide heightened visibility to the value of the arts.

Serena and pianist Milana Pavchinskaya performed the first movement of Antonio Vivaldi's Concerto No. 1 in E major, Op. 8, RV 269, "La primavera" (Spring) From the Four Seasons as a tribute to Susan Kiphart who is fond of Baroque music. Proceeds from the event will go toward Arts Alliance Illinois' work to advance widespread support for the arts and arts education throughout the state. 


5.16.14 Cellist Nathan Mo, student of Hans Jørgen Jensen, has been selected as a First Place Winner (Age Category 13-18) of the American Protégé International Concerto Competition 2014.

The Winners' Recital will be held on Monday, May 26th (Memorial Day) at 11:30AM at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 15 First Place winners are scheduled to perform in the Winner's Recital from 11:30AM until 2:30PM.

 

Participants from across the U.S., Canada, Australia, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Thailand, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Bulgaria, Sweden, United Kingdom, Germany and Costa Rica applied to the Competition.

 

Nathan will perform the Shostakovich, Cello Concerto No. 1 in E Flat Major.

 

5.12.14 DANIEL SZEFER, 15, PIANO STUDENT OF RALPH NEIWEEM HAS BEEN INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN The 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians!

The 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians is organized by the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars, the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory, the Russian Gnesins Academy of Music and the Central Music School at the Moscow Conservatory. 129 young musicians from 17 countries were chosen to participate in the competition.

 

The International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians is the largest independent professional contest among young talents (up to 17 years old). The Competition consists of 3 sections: piano, violin and cello. The main objective of the competition is educational. Young musicians prepare complicated repertoire, which lays the foundation for future professional mastery. The Competition provides talented young artists the opportunity to demonstrate their skills to wide audience – about 1000 contestants from 32 countries participated in the last 7 contests; 2500 musicians participated in preliminary auditions, more than 50,000 spectators were acquainted with interpretations executed by the participants and heard opinions of authoritative musicians and critics. Moreover, the educational nature of the Competition is reaffirmed by establishing special awards for best teachers, master-classes, and exhibitions into the competition program. Opening Ceremony, Third round, Awards Ceremony and Closing Ceremony of the Competition will be held at the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Finalists will perform with a symphony orchestra.

Competition dates: June 23rd - July 3rd, 2014.

 

5.13.14 Make Music Chicago - Saturday, June 21

MIC faculty member and esteemed pianist Matt Hagle will perform "Seven Images" composed by Andrew Guo; Serena Harnack, and Isabella, Joshua and Nicholas Brown will also perform on Make Music Chicago.

 

Make Music Chicago is based on France's Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982. The festival has become an international phenomenon celebrated on the same day in more than 460 cities in 110 countries, including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, and Japan. This year, Make Music Chicago, Saturday, June 21, will present musicians of all ages and skill levels – beginners, amateurs, professionals, teachers, students, and marquee artists –performing side by side in Chicago neighborhoods from Hyde Park to Evanston, Humboldt Park to Lake Shore Drive, Lincoln Square to the Loop. Every performance is free and open to the public.

Throughout the day, 98.7WFMT will feature live broadcasts from multiple venues.

 

Piano, composition, and musicianship faculty member Matthew Hagle will perform on WFMT's 10:00am live broadcast of Make Music Chicago streaming from Nichols Concert Hall. He will play three selections from Academy student Andrew Guo's, 15, recent piano composition "Seven Images". Andrew studies composition with Matt Hagle.


At 11:00am, the Make Music Chicago live broadcast will feature a solo performance of Orange Blossom Special by violinist, Serena Harnack, 15, student of Almita Vamos, and a performance by Isabella Brown, 11, Joshua Brown, 14, and Nicholas Brown, 17, who all study with Almita Vamos. The trio will play Friedrich Hermann's Capriccio No. 2 for 3 Violins, Op. 5. 

 

5.11.14 CONGRATULATIONS TO VOX QUARTET, SILVER MEDAL WINNER AT THE FISCHOFF NATIONAL CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION!

Hansuh Rhee, violin, Serena Harnack, violin, Mira Williams, viola, and Nathan Mo, cello. The ensemble is coached by faculty member Mathias Tacke.

 

5.9.14 GOOD LUCK TO THE ACADEMY CHAMBER MUSIC ENSEMBLES OFF TO THE FISCHOFF QUARTER FINAL ROUND OF THE NATIONAL FISCHOFF CHAMBER MUSIC COMPETITION!

ATARA QUARTET

OIKO QUARTET

VOX QUARTET AND

TRIO ANIMA


5.14 Daniel Szefer, 15, piano student of Ralph Neiweem, became the youngest fellow of the 2014 Gilmore International Keyboard Festival in Kalamazoo MI. The Gilmore's master classes are offered to the most promising young pianists from the finest conservatories in the United States. Most of the fellows are students of the Master or Doctoral programs. Daniel had the honor to play for Maestro Llyr Williams from Great Britain. After the first master class, he was re-invited by The Gilmore organizers to play for 2014 Gilmore Artist Award Winner- Maestro Rafal Blechacz from Poland. Both pianists highly praised Daniel's " impressive technical skills, great musicality, and a poetic tone of plying". Thanks to the Gilmore Festival scholarship, Daniel was also able to observe lectures, master classes, and concerts of the most talented international pianists invited to the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival this year. 

 

5.9.14  Natalie Nedvetsky, 16, piano student of artist faculty member James Giles, on her Carnegie Hall Debut. Natalie has been chosen as a First Prize Winner of the 2014 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. It was the consensus of the judges that her performance reflects the depth of interpretation, musicality, and technical expertise needed to distinguish oneself in the world of professional performance, and we are very pleased to award you this honor. The Winners' Recital will be held Sunday, May 18th at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

http://www.alexanderbuono.com/

 

5.9.14 Andrew Guo, 15, piano student of artist faculty member Alan Chow, has been named the winner of the 2014 Luminarts Cultural Foundation's Classical Music Audition (Piano, High School Division). Each year the foundation auditions in classic music, jazz, and creative writing for high school students, college students, and young adults. The winners become Luminarts Fellows and are given monetary awards. By recognizing, encouraging and rewarding Chicago's most talented young artists, The Luminarts Cultural Foundation expands their creative opportunities and enriches their lives, while enhancing the cultural community of our city.

 

Daniel Szefer, 15, piano student of Ralph Neiweem, was one of five finalists in the competition.

 

4.26.14 St. Paul String Quartet Competition –  Out of eight national ensemble finalilsts, The Atara String Quartet—Karisa Chiu, Hannah White, Tess Krope and Krystian Chiu and coach Marko Dreher  received a SILVER MEDAL at the St. Paul String Quartet Chamber Music Competition held on April 26 in Minnestota. 

 

Academy Ensembles Sweep 2014 A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition

The second annual A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Music Competition was held on Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Anne & Howard Gottlieb Hall at Merit School of Music in Chicago. The Barnett competition is open to musicians aged 18 and under with two divisions: Strings and Piano / Winds, Brass, Percussion, and Voice

 

Congratulations to Trio Solaris-Gallia Kastner, Nathan Walhout, and Andrew Guo for winning 1st place and the Barnett Competition Grand Award.

Sang Mee Lee, coach

 

Congratulations to the Vox Quartet-Hansuh Rhee, Serena Harnack, Mira Williams, and Nathan Mo for winning 2nd place

Mathias Tacke, coach

 

Congratulations to Atara Quartet-Karisa Chiu, Hannah White, Tess Krope, and Krystian Chiu for winning 3rd place

Marko Dreher, coach

 

Strings & Piano Division:
1st Place – Trio Solaris
2nd Place – Vox Quartet
3rd Place – Atara String Quartet

 

Barnett Competition Grand Award: Trio Solaris

 

Winning ensembles from each division will be required to perform on a winners' concert on Friday, April 11, 2014 at 7 pm at Merit School of Music. In addition the winning ensemble of the competition will have the opportunity to perform on WFMT (date to be determined after competition). The Barnett Chamber Music Competition and Winners' Concert are free and open to the public. 

 

4.3.14 Trio Solaris - Gallia Kastner, violin, Nathan Walhout, cello, and Andrew Guo, piano – collaborated with the renowned Trey McIntyre Project Thursday evening, April 3, 2014, on a dance and music initiative known as The Vinegar Works: Four Dances of Moral Instruction. MIC was invited to participate in this project by the Harris Theater. The performance of this work commissioned by the Harris Theater, was inspired by the work of illustrator and writer Edward Gorey who was known for his intense fondness for ballet. The piece also included puppets from renowned designer Michael Curry. Curry's work has been featured by The Walt Disney Company, The Lion King on Broadway, Cirque du Soleil, and Shrek the Musical, among many others.

 

MIC faculty member and String Department Chair Sang Mee Lee coached the trio through months of rehearsals to prepare perfectly paced recordings TMP dancers used for rehearsals in preparation of the April 3rd live performance of Dmitri Shostakovich's Piano Trio in E Minor.

 

The trio was recently invited to perform Piano Trio in E Minor with TMP on six concerts at Jacobs' Pillow in Massachusetts in June. Jacob's Pillow is home to the nation's longest-running international dance festival where 80,000 people visit each year. 


4.2.14 Congratulations to Mira Williams, 16, viola student of Marko Dreher, who has been named a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Scholarship recipient.

Since 2005, From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation have awarded more than $1.8 million in scholarships to exceptional young musicians with financial need. In addition to providing these young artists with an opportunity to perform on From the Top's national broadcasts, recipients are awarded up to $10,000 to help offset the often prohibitively expensive costs of studying classical music at a high level.

 

The Young Artist Award Program provides 20 outstanding young musicians with a scholarship to advance their artistic development and education. In addition, Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists perform on the hit NPR and PBS programs, From the Top, and participate in arts leadership training to spread the power of classical music. Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists range from age 8 to 18, and hail from all across the United States and abroad. Serious students of classical piano, strings, flute, and more, they are also active in community-service projects and academic pursuits. Common to all is a passion for music and a love for sharing it.

 

Mira will record on From the Top on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at the New World Center in Miami Beach, Florida. 

 

3.24.14 Gallia Kastner, 17, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, winner of the Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Audition. The competition provides young musicians with the opportunity to be evaluated by music professionals, and the chance to perform as a soloist on stage with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In addition, the winner will be featured in a solo performance on Introductions on 98.7 WFMT, a radio program featuring Chicago's finest pre-college classical musicians. Karisa Chiu, Nathan Mo, and Nathan Walhout were finalists in the competition.


3.24.14 Maya Buchanan, 14, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, 2nd place winner of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) National Junior Strings Competition. The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile was host to nearly 2,000 music teachers, students, and industry experts March 22-26, 2014. The purposes of the competitions are to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in the pursuit of musical excellence. 

 

Congratulations to Atara String Quartet-- Karisa Chiu, Hannah White, Tess Krope and Krystian Chiu, named finalists in the St. Paul String Quartet Chamber Music Competition! Atara is coached by faculty member Marko Dreher. Good luck on April 26, 2014 at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota.

 

3.21.14 Congratulations to the following Academy chamber music ensembles that advanced to the Quarterfinal Round of the 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition!

 

Trio Anima
Steven Song, Leevy Williams, David Hou
Elaine Felder, coach

 

Atara String Quartet

Karisa Chiu, Hannah White, Tess Krope, Krystian Chiu
Marko Dreher, coach

 

Oiko String Quartet
Rachel Gallegos, Tabby Rhee, Katie Gallagher, Alexandra Kim
Rodolfo Vieira, coach

 

Vox String Quartet
Serena Harnack, Hansuh Rhee, Mira Williams, Nathan Mo
Mathias Tacke, coach

 

The 2014 Fischoff Competition is scheduled for May 9 - 11 on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. Twenty-four ensembles from the junior division advanced to the Quarterfinal Round.

 

 

3. 8. 14 Hansuh Rhee, 16, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, is the winner of the Musicians Club of Women (MCW) Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship.  Musicians Club of Women (MCW) is the oldest musical club in America. In 1873, a group of five music-loving women began meeting informally to play and sing for each other in what became known as "The Amateur Musical Club." Over the years, other generous individuals established scholarships, and currently the club awards over $80,000 annually to assist talented young women to move forward in the highly competitive field of music. To this day, MCW is composed entirely of volunteers, enabling all of its income to go directly to assisting women musicians.

 

Previous Winners:

Gallia Kastner - 2013 The Jerome and Elaine Nerenberg Foundation Scholarship

Ade Williams - 2013 The Farwell Trust Award

Kelly Talim - 2012 Edith Newfield Award

Claire Bourg - 2012 Farwell Award 

 

The Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions provide young musicians with the opportunity to be evaluated by music professionals, and the chance to perform as a soloist on stage with the CSO. The auditions provide contact with other student instrumentalists, an opportunity to be evaluated by music professionals, and the chance to perform on stage with the CSO. In addition, the winner of the competition is featured in a solo performance on Introductions on 98.7 WFMT, a radio program featuring Chicago's finest pre-college classical musicians.

 

Results of the Preliminary 2014 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Youth Auditions are:

Final Auditions: March 22

 

Finalists in alpha order:

Karisa Chiu, student of Almita Vamos

Gallia Kastner, student of Almita and Roland Vamos

Nathan Mo, student of Hans Jensen

Nathan Walhout, student of Gilda Barston

 

Honorable Mention:

Steven Song, student of Gerardo Ribeiro 

 

Nathan Walhout, 17, cello student of Gilda Barston, won first place in the annual Music Institute of Chicago/Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Competition. Nathan will perform Ernest Bloch's Schelomo with the Ars Viva under the Baton of Maestro Alan Heatherington on Sunday, May 4, 2014, 3pm, at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie.


Congratulations to Academy students Mira Williams, 16, viola student of Marko Dreher, 2014 Sphinx Competition Junior Division 2nd place Laureate, and Hannah White, 14, violin student of Hye-Sun Lee, 2014 Sphinx Competition Junior Division 3rd place Laureate! Academy alum Clayton Penrose Whitmore, former violin student of Almita Vamos, won 2nd place Laureate in the senior division.

The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. Its primary goals are to encourage, develop and recognize classical music talent in the Black and Latino communities.

 

Academy Chamber Ensembles Sweep Three 2014 Competitions!

The Midwest Young Artists 7th Annual Discover National Chamber Music Competition was held on Sunday, February 9, 2014. The annual competition is designed to provide an educational as well as a competitive experience for young chamber ensembles. The competition is open to chamber ensembles in 12th grade and younger and is comprised of two divisions (Open and MYA).  

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2014 Open Division Winners, VOX String Quartet and to the Strings Category Honorable Mention, Atara String Quartet!

Overall Division Winner and Strings Category Winner
VOX String Quartet (coached by Mathias Tacke) - Hansuh Rhee, violin; Serena Harnack, violin; Mira Williams, viola; Nathan Mo, cello;

Strings Category Honorable Mentions
Atara String Quartet (coached by Marko Dreher)- Karisa Chiu, violin; Hannah White, violin; Tess Krope, viola; Krystian Chiu, cello

Overall Winning Ensembles will perform on a Winners Recital at the Chicago Cultural Center in March. (Additional performance opportunities to be arranged.)

The Overall Winning Ensembles will each receive a Cash Award of $1,000.

              

17th Annual Rembrandt High School Chamber Music Competition

SHARED FIRST PRIZE: VOX QUARTET

String Quartet No. 2, Mvt. 3                                       Sergei Prokofiev

Vox String Quartet - Serena Harnack, Hansuh Rhee, violins; Mira Williams, viola; Nathan Mo, cello

Mathias Tacke, coach

 

Honorable Mention: TRIO ANIMA

Piano Trio in B-flat Major, Op. 11, mvt. I      Ludwig Van Beethoven

Trio Anima - Steven Song, violin; Leevy Williams, cello; David Hou, piano

Elaine Felder, coach

 

Society of American Musicians (SAM) Jules M. Laser Chamber Music Competition

1st Place: ATARA STRING QUARTET - Hannah White, Karisa Chiu, violins; Tess Krope, viola; Krystian Chiu, cello

Marko Dreher, coach

2nd Place: VOX STRING QUARTET - Serena Harnack, Hansuh Rhee, violins; Mira Williams, viola; Nathan Mo, cello

Mathias Tacke, coach

 

Violinist KATIE GALLAGHER, student of Almita Vamos, is the first place winner of The DuPage Symphony Orchestra's 57th Annual Young Artist Audition.  Katie performed the fifth movement of Lalo Symphonie Espagnole.  Violinist Steven Song, student of Gerardo Ribeiro, received Honorable Mention. 

The competition took place Saturday, Feb. 1 at the Wentz Fine Arts Center on the campus of North Central College in Naperville. The First Place Winner receives a cash award of $500 and the opportunity to appear as a soloist with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra during the concert on Saturday evening, May 3, 2014.

 

The ELMHURST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Presented the 2014 Dr. ROBERT STANGER YOUNG ARTISTS CONCERTO AUDITION on SATURDAY, February 8, 2014.

The Elmhurst Symphony Association, through its Young Artists Auditions, encourages serious study and high standards among young musicians. It is the Association’s intention that the Young Artists Auditions be both educational and rewarding to each entrant. Judges are selected both for their prominence as performers and their familiarity with students’ musical development.  

 

Congratulations to the following students!

 Second Place: Serena Harnack, Violin   

Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Mvmt I  

Sophomore, St. Francis College Prep High School  

Teacher: Almita Vamos and Hye-Sun Lee

 

Fourth Place: Steven Song, Violin   

Dvorak Violin Concerto in a minor, Mvmt I  

Freshman, Neuqua Valley High School  

Teacher:  Gerardo Ribeiro  

 

The 2nd Place Winner will receive a cash award of $350 and will be expected to perform at either an Elmhurst Symphony Association or Kiwanis function during the spring of 2014.

The 4th Place Eunice Sidner Memorial Award Winner will receive a $250 cash award sponsored by the Auxiliary of the Elmhurst Symphony and will be expected to perform at Elmhurst Symphony Association or Kiwanis function during the spring of 2014.

 

SOCIETY OF AMERICAN MUSICIANS (SAM) COMPETITION

Violin 

Senior Division / 18 YEARS OR YOUNGER

1ST place - Zachary Brandon, student of Hye-Sun Lee

2nd place - Hansuh Rhee, student of Almita and Roland Vamos

Intermediate Division / 14 YEARS or YOUNGER

1st place - Steven Song, student of Gerardo Ribeiro

 

Maya Buchanan, 13, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, is the winner of the West Central Regional Music Teachers National Association (eight  states were included). Maya will compete as a national finalist at the 2014 MTNA National Conference in Chicago.  The Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile will play host to nearly 2,000 music teachers, students and industry experts March 22–26, 2014.  The purposes of the Music Teachers National Association Performance competitions are to provide educational experiences for students and teachers and to recognize exceptionally talented young artists and their teachers in their pursuit of musical excellence. The state competitions are considered the primary educational level with the division and national levels showcasing outstanding performance and honoring significant pedagogical achievement.


Congratulations to the following Academy students who participated in the DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers Open Division.

The DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers was founded in 2003 to provide an opportunity for intermediate level pianists in the Community Music Division to perform with an orchestra. Repertoire was selected from sonatina movements and short piano pieces for which string accompaniments were available. Auditions were held and eight winners were selected to perform with the DePaul Youth String Orchestra. In 2004, the Festival was expanded to include violin students and also offered a wider range of repertoire for pianists. In 2006, cello and flute were added to the roster of instruments. To accommodate the increasing difficulty of repertoire, a decision was made to conduct the Festival with a full symphony orchestra. A partnership was formed in 2007 with the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Mina Zikri. That year, thirteen winners had the privilege of performing a concerto movement in concert. In 2008, the Festival was opened to students outside of the Community Music Division. Viola was added in 2009, clarinet was added in 2012, and oboe and bassoon were added in 2013.

  

Winners’ Concert, Sunday, February 9 - DePaul Concert Hall


Cellists 

Alexandra Kim, 15, student of Hans Jorgen Jensen (Winner)

 

Violinists 

Serena Harnack, 15, student of Almita Vamos & Hye-Sun Lee (Honorable Mention with Distinction)

Steven Song, 14, student of Gerardo Ribeiro (Honorable Mention with Distinction)

Katherine Gallagher, 17, student of Almita Vamos (Honorable Mention)

 

Leevy Williams, 15, cello student of Gilda Barston, has been accepted to participate in the Cello Master Class at the Suzuki Association of the Americas 16th Biennial Conference in Minneapolis, MN, May 23-25, 2014. Master classes participants are selected by audition only. Leevy will also perform in the Suzuki Americas 2014 Celebration, featuring the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble, and will participate in additional special events for all Suzuki students from North, Central, and South America.

Congratulations to the following students who participated in the Midwest Young Artists 18th Annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition, held at the MYA Center at Fort Sheridan and Bennett-Gordon Hall at Ravinia on December 28 & 29, 2013. Prizes for this solo competition included an opportunity to perform with the MYA Symphony Orchestra and on the prestigious From the Top radio program.

 

Open Senior Division Results 

Overall Open Division Winner and String Category Winner (will perform in February at Symphony Center) 

 

Hansuh Rhee, 16, violin, student of Almita and Roland Vamos

 

Honorable Mentions (String Category):
Serena Harnack, 14, violin, student of Almita Vamos and Hye-Sun Lee
Alexandra Kim, 15, cello, student of Hans Jorgen Jensen
Nathan Mo, 15 cello, student of Hans Jorgen Jensen
Steven Song, 14, violin, student of Gerardo Ribeiro

 

Open Junior Division Results 

 

Junior Division String Category Co-Winner: 

Maya Buchanan, 13, violin, student of Almita and Roland Vamos

 

Honorable Mention (String Category):

Kitsho Hosotani, 13, violin, student of Paul Vanderwerf

12.7.13 The Sejong Cultural Society strives to advance awareness and understanding of Korea's cultural heritage amongst people in the United States by reaching out to the younger generations through contemporary creative and fine arts. The Sejong Music Competition seeks to encourage talented young musicians in their studies and introduce traditional Korean musical themes to musicians. The 2013 Music Competition was held on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Winners' Concert and Award Ceremony will be in January.  

 

2013 Sejong Music Competition Winners 

 

Violin Senior Division 

Second Place - Hannah White, 13, student of Hye-Sun Lee

Third Place - Karisa Chiu, 14, student of Almita Vamos

Honorable Mentions – Serena Harnack, 15, student of Almita Vamos and Tabby Rhee, 16, student of Hye-Sun Lee

Best Interpretation of Korean Piece – Hansuh Rhee, 16, student of Almita Vamos

 

 

Hannah White, 13, student of Hye-Sun Lee and Mira Williams, 15, student of Marko Dreher, have been named semi-finalists in the 17th Annual Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players.The Sphinx Competition is held every year in Detroit, Michigan. The competition is open to all Junior High, High School, and College age Black and Latino string players residing in the U.S. The Sphinx Competition offers young Black and Latino classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with established professional musicians in a competition setting. 18 semi-finalists (nine from each age division) will compete in the live semi-final and final rounds of the competition, February 19-23, 2014.     

 

Hansuh Rhee, 16, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos and Zachary Brandon, 14, violin student of Hye-Sun Lee, have been named one of the 700 YoungArts Winners for 2014 out of over 10,000 applications by the National YoungArts Foundation. For more than 32 years, YoungArts has been identifying, recognizing and inspiring America’s most outstanding young artists, and you are now joining a family of over 17,000 alumni.  “For the first time, we are opening up invitations to our YoungArts regional programs in LA, Miami, and New York programs to all winners across the country.  Each YoungArts program is truly a life changing experience. This will be a week to share in the creative energy of your peers; perform/exhibit your work; and to learn from renowned master artists. Further, as a participant in the LA, Miami, or New York program, you will be honored in a Medallion Ceremony celebrating your accomplishments.  You will also receive a participation award of $500; and may also be considered for special awards of up to $5,000 and for U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts 2015 nomination.” 

Gallia Kastner, 16, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, has been named a Finalist in the YoungArts Competition. YoungArts Week, which takes place in Miami each year, enables approximately 170 participants in the YoungArts program to work with distinguished master teachers and mentors. Gallia will be flown to Miami, January 6-12, to participate in master classes and concerts, and compete as a finalist.

 

Karisa Chiu, 14, student of Almita Vamos, is the winner of the Northern Illinois University Community School of Arts 2013-2014 CSA Concerto Competition. She will perform Concerto No. 1 in D Major, Mvt. 1, by Prokofiev, with the CSA Sinfonia on March 5.  The NIU Community School of the Arts links the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ superb teaching faculty, students, and facilities with the people who live in the communities in and around DeKalb. The winner receives a prize of $200 and performs the concerto with the orchestra at the March concert.

 

 

Maya Buchanan, 13, Rapid City, South Dakota, won first place in the MTNA Junior String Competition, the first level of a three-tier competition.  Maya now proceeds to the West Central Divisional (8 states) Competition in January which is the qualifier for the national competition. The state competition was held at South Dakota University in Brookings, SD the first weekend of November. The South Dakota Music Teachers’ Association (SDMTA) was founded in 1955 by a group of music educators across the state who joined forces to improve the standards of teaching music although membership is open to all music professionals. SDMTA competitions provide opportunities for musical growth for member teachers and their students through recognition of high performance standards.  Maya studies violin with Almita and Roland Vamos.

 

29th Annual Music Festival in Honor of Confucius - The Chinese Fine Arts Society’s flagship competition for cellists, violinists and pianists ages 18 years or younger, was held Sunday, October 20, at the Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College, Chicago.  Congratulations to Zachary Brandon and Richard Li, first place winners who will perform at the MFHC Winners Concert, Sunday, November 24, 3pm, at Preston Bradley Hall in the Chicago Cultural Center. 

 

Congratulations to all of the Academy students who participated, and special kudos to Annamarie Wellems, Nathan Mo, Krystian Chiu, Josiah Yoo, Karisa Chiu, Steven Song, Serena Harnack, and Tabby Rhee who placed as follows:

 

Cello Junior II Annamarie Wellems Second Place (student of Tanya Carey)

Cello Junior II Nathan Mo Third Place (student of Hans Jorgen Jensen)

 

Cello Senior Richard Li First Place (student of Gilda Barston)

Cello Senior Krystian Chiu Second Place (student of Hans Jorgen Jensen)

Cello Senior Josiah Yoo Third Place (student of Gilda Barston and Hans Jorgen Jensen)

 

Violin Junior II Karisa Chiu Second Place (student of Almita Vamos)

Violin Junior II Steven Song Honorable Mention (student of Gerardo Ribeiro)

 

Violin Senior Zachary Brandon First Place (student of Hye-Sun Lee)

Violin Senior Serena Harnack Second Place (student of Almita Vamos and Hye-Sun Lee)

 

Violin Senior Tabby Rhee Honorable Men (student of Hye-Sun Lee)

 

Maya Buchanan, 13, student of Almita and Roland Vamos, from Rapid City will perform on NPR's "From the Top" radio program on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

America’s best young classical musicians appear on an episode of NPR’s “From the Top” radio program, hosted by pianist Christopher O’Riley. The program was taped at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and is airing this week nationally, and at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, on South Dakota Public Broadcasting. Maya began her classical violin training at age 3 with the Black Hills Suzuki School and has won numerous competitions, awards and national honors. She is a merit scholarship recipient at The Academy, Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college music conservatory, and studies with Almita and Roland Vamos. She also studies with Paul Kantor at The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. When she was 9, she was accepted to the Aspen Music Festival and has participated yearly in the summer seasons. Three times, she was one of 12 young violinists selected nationally to participate in the Brian Lewis Young Artist Program and was twice selected as concert mistress of the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas. She made her professional solo debut in 2011. On the radio show, she performs the first movement, Allegro, from the Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, “Spring” by Ludwig van Beethoven.

 

  Kitsho Hosotani, 13, violin student of Paul Vanderwerf, recently participated in the International Beethoven Project master class series as part of the Beethoven Festival: Love 2013. Kitsho performed in a class provided by Rachel Kolly D’Alba, considered one of the most esteemed Swiss soloists worldwide,she made her international violin solo debut at the age of twelve. The International Beethoven Project is dedicated to the advancement of culture and civilization through music, dance, art, and human expression guided by Ludwig van Beethoven’s ideals and creative courage. International Beethoven Project represents more than 100 multidisciplinary events. The programs are held over a period of nine days and nights every September in downtown Chicago.  

 

Earlier this year, Kitsho was selected to participate in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2013 Chicago Youth in Music Festival. The goal of the Festival was to extend and deepen the engagement of youth in music by enhancing musical training and providing opportunities for youth from different parts of the city (and the world) to come together to make music. Kitsho was one of the youngest students selected for the orchestra. 

 

Quartet Lumiére - Students at the Music Institute of Chicago, coached by Mark Dreher, will record on From the Top in Bowling Green, Ohio - Kobacker Hall, Saturday, September 28, 8:00pm - 9:30pm. The quartet will perform the first movement of Edvard Grieg’s String Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Op. 26.

16-year-old violinist Gallia Kastner from Arlington Heights, Illinois/ 18-year-old violinist Rebecca Benjamin from Warsaw, Indiana (Rebecca graduated from the Academy last May and now attends the Cleveland Institute of Music. How nice that she was able to join her former ensemble)/ 15-year-old violist Mira Williams from Chicago, Illinois/ 15-year-old cellist Josiah Yoo from Northbrook, Illinois

 

From the Top celebrates the amazing performances and captivating stories of extraordinary young classical musicians. Broadcast on 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners, From the Top is one of the most popular classical music programs on radio. Each one hour episode presents five high-caliber performances along with interviews, sketches and games, revealing the heart and soul behind extraordinary young musicians. http://www.fromthetop.org/radioshow-tour

 

Richard Li, cello student of Gilda Barston, will be playing the last movement of Dvorak's cello concerto, two movements of Bach's Third Suite (Prelude and Bouree), and the Chopin Polonaise on the first concert of the Young Steinway Concert Series. The recital is on September 22, 3pm-4pm, in the Petty Auditorium of the Skokie Public Library. The 32nd Annual Young Steinway Concert Series showcases young people with extraordinary talent, giving local audiences the chance to enjoy first-class music close to home. Many past performers have gone on to great achievements as professional musicians. 

http://www.skokielibrary.info/s_programs/pr_performances/steinway.asp  

 

Hannah White, violin student of Hye-Sun Lee, will perform with Fulcrum Point and Thodos Dance Chicago: New Music and Dance on Friday, September 20, 7:30 pm., at The Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St. in Chicago. There is a $25 ticket fee. For one night only, this concert features works created and performed by these two groups together over the last decade in addition to a special world premiere. Featured is the critically acclaimed Aries, for twelve dancers, a piece about the Zodiac by Karlheinz Stockhausen for trumpet, a trio set to Pulitzer winner Shulamit Ran's Eastwind, for flute, In a Vacuum a very special archival solo work choreographed by Sybil Shearer to Pictures at an Exhibition for piano.  Also featured is Sentient a dance for six set to virtuoso violin music by Fritz Kreisler and commissioned by and premiered at the Auditorium in February 2013.

http://fulcrumpoint.org/event-schedule/current-season.html#2013-09-20    

 

Maya Buchanan, 13, violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, will be the guest artist recording on From the Top this weekend at University of South Dakota in Vermillion, South Dakota. Chris O'Reilly will be playing an 1800's Viennese grand piano from the Beethoven era from the National Music Museum to perform with Maya.  From the Top is also planning a pre-recorded piece about Maya’s life "on the ranch" in the Black Hills. Maya and Mr. O’Reilly will perform the first movement, Allegro, from Violin Sonata No. 5 in F Major, Op. 24, "Spring," by Ludwig van Beethoven. http://www.fromthetop.org/calendar2

 

From the Top celebrates the amazing performances and captivating stories of extraordinary young classical musicians. Broadcast on 250 stations nationwide to an audience of more than 700,000 listeners, From the Top is one of the most popular classical music programs on radio. Each one hour episode presents five high-caliber performances along with interviews, sketches and games, revealing the heart and soul behind extraordinary young musicians. http://www.fromthetop.org/radioshow-tour