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Young Artist Concerto & Aria Competition Winner Announced

On February 13 the final round of competition in the Young Artist Concerto & Aria Competition took place at Nichols Concert Hall in downtown Evanston.  This competition, a Music Institute of Chicago collaboration with the Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra, the Lake Forest Symphony, and Maestro Alan Heatherington is open to Music Institute students only.


Congratulations to winner Gallia Kastner, 16, Academy violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos.  Gallia will perform the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Lake Forest Symphony on March 15 and 16.

Also advancing to the final round of competition from an original field of 17 competitors were Rebecca Benjamin, 18, Academy violin student of Almita and Roland Vamos, and Jackie Tso, 16 Community Music School student of Almita and Roland Vamos.


More About Gallia Kastner


Gallia Kastner, 15, attends the Music Institute of Chicago’s prestigious Academy program for gifted pre-college musicians where she studies violin with artist faculty members Almita and Roland Vamos, and is the recipient of the 2012 Susan and Richard Kiphart Academy Fellowship. Gallia is winner of numerous competitions, locally, nationally, and internationally.  In addition to her Young Artist Concerto & Aria Competition win this February, she won first place in the 2013 Blount Slawson Young Artists Competition.  As the First Prize winner, she earns a performance with the Montgomery Symphony at the Davis Theater this April, a substantial cash prize and education award and an appearance on the nationally broadcasted From The Top Radio Show hosted by Christopher O’Riley.


In 2012, she won First Place in the Violin Division of The 6th Triennial Johansen International Competition, held in Washington DC, The Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra Competition, and The Society of American Musicians. In 2011, Gallia won multiple competitions such as The Walgreens National Concerto Competition, Sejong Cultural Society, Chinese Fine Arts Society, and The District 214 Concerto/Aria Competition. Gallia’s broadcast performances include several appearances on WFMT 98.7/Introductions, WTTW Channel 11, and Today’s Show appearance with Rachel Barton Pine. Other stage appearances include concerts in Millennium Park in Chicago, Ravinia, Kloster Schontal and Schwabish Hall Kultursiftung in Germany, Lincoln Center, The Highland Park Strings, The Highland Park Pilgrims Chamber concert series, Music in the Loft, and The Northshore Chamber Orchestra concert series.


She has had the privilege of participating in master classes with Rachel Barton Pine, Vadim Gluzman, Arkady Fomin, Joseph Silverstein, Ida Kavafian, Ivry Gitlis, Sherry Kloss, and Milan Vitek.She is a sophomore at the John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights and participates in the High School Orchestra. She also participates in the youth choir and is a violinist for the St. James Youth Music Ministry. Currently, she performs on a copy of the “Ex-Soldat” Guarneri del Gesu, by Peter Seman, 2008, on a generous loan from Rachel Elizabeth Barton Foundation.


Teacher Spotlight on Gretchen Rebar, violin
Teacher Spotlight on Gretchen Rebar, violin

"I love teaching Go Tell Aunt Rhody. In fact, it was played during my wedding ceremony!"