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. In 2004, the Festival was expanded to include violin, In 2006, cello and flute were added to the roster of instruments. A partnership was formed in 2007 with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago under the direction of Mina Zikri. In 2008, the Festival was opened to students outside of the Community Music Division, and today the DePaul Concerto Festival attracts nearly 150 participants in piano, strings, and woodwinds from the Midwest who audition for a chance to perform with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago.
MIC Community Music School and Academy students have had great success through the years in the DePaul competition. A list of 2023 Academy winners are listed below. Watch for all MIC winners on social media and on the MIC website.
Students in piano, violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, and saxophone in 12th grade or younger competed in the DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers. Winners perform a movement of a concerto with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago. https://music.depaul.edu/cmd/news-and-events/Pages/competitions.aspx
Cello Winner (Serge was one of two winners in the cello division)
Serge Kalinovsky - Bruch, M.: Kol Nidrei, Op. 47 (student of Susan Moses)
Jan Vargas Nedvetsky - Haydn, F. J.: Concerto in C Major, Hob. VIIb:1 - Mvt. 1 (student Hans Jensen)
Lucy Wu - Elgar, E.: Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85 - Mvt. 4 (student of Stefan Kartman)
Emily Chen – Mozart, W. A.: Concerto in G Major, K. 216 – Mvt. 1 (student of Injoo Choi and Almita Vamos)
Tristan Zhu - Mendelssohn, F.: Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 – Mvt. 3 (student of Almita Vamos)
Honorable Mention with Distinction
Clark Snavely - Mendelssohn, F.: Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64 – Mvt. 3 (student of Almita Vamos)
Julia Perekhozhuk - Wieniawski, H.: Concerto No. 2 in D Minor, Op. 22 – Mvt. 1 (student of Sang Mee Lee)
Leo Zupko - Bruch, M.: Concerto No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 26 - Mvt. 2 (student of Sang Mee Lee)
More good news… Serge is also one of the semifinalists for the New Music School International Concerto Competition in Chicago (semifinals and finals are with orchestra). The semifinals are on Saturday, Jan. 21st. Stay tuned for more on this special event.
Arthur D. Montzka Young Artist Competition, Northern Illinois
Congratulations to violinist Neal Eisfeldt, awarded Runner-Up in the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra's Arthur D. Montzka Young Artists Concerto Competition. Arthur Dale Montzka was the conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years. During that time, the group expanded from a handful of amateur music-makers, practicing in church basements and high-school band rooms, to a full orchestra of more than 60 players performing a series of concerts for the public each year.
Mr. Montzka especially enjoyed working with young people, and he encouraged his private- and public-school students to join the orchestra. Knowing that there were many exceptionally talented young players in the area, he established the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Since its inception in 1985-86, with the first concerto-competition winner announced in the 1986-87 season, more than 150 musicians have auditioned to play with the orchestra and four dozen have been selected for that opportunity. Many of the concerto winners have gone on to prestigious schools of music and successful artistic careers.
Previous Academy Winners
- 2022 – Esme Arias-Kim, playing Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
- 2020 – Isabella Brown, playing Beethoven: Violin Concert in D Major, Op. 61
- 2019 – John Heo, playing Walton: Concerto in B minor for Violin and Orchestra
- 2017 – Maya Anjali Buchanan, playing Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
- 2016 – Karisa Chiu, playing Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47
- 2015 – Nathan Mo, playing Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107
- 2013 – Kelly Talim, playing Brahms: Concerto for Violin, Op. 77
- 2012 – Claire Bourg, playing Khachaturian: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
- 2011 – Laura Park, playing Prokofiev: Concerto for Violin in G Minor, Op.63.
- 2010 – Ryan Murphy, playing Sibelius: Concerto for Violin in D Minor, Op. 47
- 2008 – Mindy Park, playing Shostakovich: Concerto No. 1 for Cello in E-flat Major, Op. 107
- 2008 – Vincent Meklis, playing Ravel: Tzigane for Violin
- 2007 – Benjamin Lash, playing Hindemith: Concerto for Cello, 1940, 1st movement
Bolz Young Artist Competition, Madison Symphony Orchestra, Madison, WI
Update! Congratulations to cellists Amelia Zitoun, student of Hans Jensen, and Lucy Wu, student of Stefan Kartman, both ADVANCING TO THE FINAL FORTE!!
Amelia played the Barber Concerto and Lucy performed the Elgar Concerto.
Amelia and Lucy have advanced to the semifinal round of the competition where eight semifinalists were chosen from over 30 contestants. They return to Madison tonight to play for a new panel of judges, when four finalists will be chosen for the FINAL FORTE!
Hats off to the 2022 Final Four: Ellen Zhou (1st), Clark Snavely (2nd) and Zak Chen (runner up).
Three rounds of the competition:
- Preliminary Round: Saturday, January 7 and/or Sunday, January 8, 2023
- Semi-Final Round: Friday, January 13, 2023 (evening)
- Final Round (The Final Forte): Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at Overture Center for the Arts
About The Final Forte - The Bolz Young Artist Competition is a highly regarded statewide competition in which Wisconsin’s young musicians compete for scholarships and the opportunity to perform as soloists with the MSO. The competition is open to Wisconsin residents in grades 9-12. The four semi-finalists compete in The Final Forte, which will be broadcast on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio. Each winner receives a $2000 scholarship and the Marian Bolz Prize for Distinguished Musical Achievement or the Steenbock Youth Music Award. Up to two Honorable Mention scholarships of $1000 may also be awarded.
Violinist Tristan Zhu was named the winner of the 69th Annual DuPage Symphony Orchestra | Young Artists Audition.The DSO strives to encourage serious study and musical excellence among young musicians through its annual Young Artists Auditions. The audition experience is designed to be both educational and rewarding for the participants. Tristan will receive a cash award of $500 and the opportunity to appear as a soloist performing for 10-15 minutes with the DuPage Symphony Orchestra during the 2:00 PM & 4:00 PM “Our Talented Youth” concerts on Sunday, March 19, 2023.
The Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition
The Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition is a prestigious concerto competition for Illinois’ top young soloists. Applicants audition live at Symphony Center for a distinguished panel of judges. Following a preliminary round, four finalists are selected to perform in the final round in Orchestra Hall, accompanied by the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. The winner is featured on the following season as soloist with members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as part of CSO School and Family Concerts.
This year’s competition was open to strings. The final event is hosted by WFMT’s Robbie Ellis next Saturday, January 21, 2pm. Reserve tickets on the CSO website -general admission.
2023 Young Artists Competition
- Esme Arias-Kim, violin (Academy alum) - WINNER
- Jan Vargas-Nedvetsky, cello, Alternate Winner
- HONORABLE MENTIONS
- Emily Chen, violin
- Lauren Kim, violin
- 2022 - 1st Noah Kim, piano
- 2020 - 1st Isabella Brown, violin
- 1st Alternate Winner - Esme Arias-Kim, violin
- Finalist - Mia Wimbiscus, cello
- 2018 - 1st Yerin Yang, piano
- 2017 - 1st Maya Anjali Buchanan, violin
- 1st Alternate Winner Joshua Brown, violin
- Finalist - Thompson Wang, violin
- HM - Isabella Brown, violin
- 2015 - Finalist, David Hou, piano
- 2014 - 1st Gallia Kastner, violin
- 2012 - 1st Kyle Jannak-Huang, piano
- 2011 - 1st Johannes Gray, cello
- 2009 – 1st Adam Kim, piano
- 2008 – 1st Gabriel Cabezas, cello
26th Annual Sphinx Competition, Detroit, MI
2023 Junior Division Semi-Finalist - Jan Nedvetsky and Senior Division 2nd place winner--Alexandra Switala
The Sphinx Competition, held every year in Detroit (MI), is a national competition offering young Black and Latinx classical string players a chance to compete under the guidance of an internationally renowned panel of judges and to perform with and receive mentorship from established professional musicians. Cheer on Jan, January 25-28, 2023.
Exceptional young musicians from all corners of the country, competed in Midwest Young Artists Conservatory's Annual Walgreens National Concerto Competition at the end of December. Students from elementary through twelfth grades competed for more than $20,000 in scholarships and cash prizes in the MYAC Division and the Open Division, which were both further divided into the Junior Level (up to 8th grade) & Senior Level (grades 9-12). Watch for all MIC winners information posted to social media and the MIC website.
Congratulations to Clark and Neal, both string winners in their category, and to the following Academy students:
- SENIOR OPEN DIVISION
- Strings Winner: Clark Snavely, 17, violin student of Almita Vamos
- Simon Updegraff, 15, cello student of Avi Friedlander, Early Music Honorable Mention
- Jan Vargas Nedvetsky, 16, cello student of Hans Jensen, Early Music Honorable Mention
- Ethan Zheng, 16, piano student of Marta Aznavoorian, Piano Honorable Mention
- JUNIOR OPEN DIVISION
- Strings Winner: Neal Eisfeldt, 13, violin student of Almita Vamos and Injoo Choi
IMEA ALL-STATE FESTIVAL - Congratulations to piano students Noah Kim and Ethan Zheng, and cellist Simon Updegraff all attending the (Illinois Music Educators Assn. (IMEA) All-State Festival in Peoria at the end of the month. Simon, and our talented pianists (Noah, violin) and (Ethan, clarinet) in the honors orchestra.
Clark Snavely was the first runner up in the Concord Chamber Orchestra Competition on Saturday, December 10th at Nicolet High School in Glendale, WI. The competition offered scholarship prize money and a performance opportunity.