Class of 2022-2023 Accolades and Achievements




Congratulations across the globe to Lily Sullivan (and teacher Grigory Kalinovsky), who placed third in the International LOUIS SPOHR Competition for Young Violinists. This year, the competition received 113 applications across three age categories — of those, 60 candidates from 20 countries worldwide performed in Weimar for the event. Students in the final round performed the Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1, G minor op. 26, with the Orchestra of the University of Music FRANZ LISZT Weimar, with conductor Nicolás Pasquet. The competition is named for Louis Spohr (1784-1859), who was a masterful violinist, conductor, pedagogue, music festival organizer, and composer of almost 300 works including violin concertos, symphonies, string quartets, and operas. 

1st Prize: Anton Carus - USA
2nd Prize: Elza Siliņa - Latvia
3rd Prize: Lily Sullivan – USA


Congratulations too, to Emily Chen, student of Almita Vamos and Injoo Choi, who was also accepted and participated in the international competition in Germany.


Sejong Competition - The goals of the Sejong Music Competition are to discover talented young musicians and encourage them in their studies, and to also introduce traditional Korean music expressed through Western media. Through this competition we hope to increase the awareness and understanding of Korea’s cultural heritage amongst the younger generations growing up in the United States to promote harmony among people of various ethnic backgrounds and bridge Asian and Western cultures. Visit the MIC website to see the full list of MIC winners. 


Violin Junior Division Winner & Best Interpretation of a Korean Piece – Neal Eisfeldt, student of Almita Vamos and Injoo Choi

Violin Senior Division – 3rd place – Lauren Kim, student of Almita Vamos and Injoo Choi

Piano Senior Division Best Interpretation of a Korean Piece – Ethan Zheng, student of Marta Aznavoorian

To watch the winning performances online:


Kudos to Serge Kalinovsky, cellist in the Heifetz Ensemble in Residence. As the Heifetz Institute prepares for the next Heifetz Hear & Now Concert on Nov. 6, at Mary Baldwin University’s Francis Auditorium in Staunton, Virginia, they are showcasing the exceptional young musicians of the Heifetz Ensemble in Residence, who will perform alongside legendry violinist Ani Kavafian. Serge will play Schumann Romances, some of the Dohnányi String Trio with other students, and the complete Dvorak Piano Quintet with Ani Kavafian. Serge is a member of the Heifetz Ensemble in Residence with violinist Carlos Martinez Arroyo and violist Joseph Skerik. Serge studies with Susan Moses.


Here is Academy cellist Serge Kalinovsky, performing "Prayer," the first movement of composer Ernest Bloch's triptych "From Jewish Life," at the 2022 Heifetz Festival of Concerts.




Cellist Jan Nedvetsky, student of Hans Jorgen Jensen, will perform the Haydn Cello Concerto in D Major with Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Mina Zikri, at the Holtschneider Performance Center of DePaul University on Sept. 18, 2022.

Please see attached information.


Jan has been accepted into the masterclasses program at the Kronberg Academy in Kronberg, Germany, September 25th until October 3rd.  Kronberg Academy hosts cello masterclasses every two or three years, and it is an opportunity to meet the best of the world cello pedagogues as well as young cellists of ages up to 30 years of age. This is a particularly momentous year, as the masterclass schedule was interrupted by Covid, and because this event will coincide with the opening of Pablo Casals Concert Hall at Kronberg, where leading cellists will perform a series of concerts and masterclasses this year. Jan will be playing for Jans Peter Mainz, a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts and a renowned soloist.


Hats off to violinist Neal Eisfeldt, student of Almita Vamos, who had a busy end of summer! Neal composed his first solo violin piece in collaboration with “Chicago, From Scratch”, a composition project with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He called it “Ukrainian Dream and Cradle”.  Over the 8-week course of the program students learned about extended composition techniques, dove into an overview of non-traditional notational styles, and ultimately wrote a solo or duo piece of their own. Neal completed the studio recording of his piece in August, and will share the link once available.


Neal auditioned for NPR’s From the Top (FTT) program and has been selected as a Fellow. As a 2022-23 Fellow, Neal will record a performance and an interview on Sept 14 in Chicago’s WFMT studio, with host Peter Duggan - to be featured on the NPR radio show (date TBD). A critical element of being a FTT fellow is participating in the FTT Learning and Media Lab — a 7-part series of programs that includes workshops, community engagement, media content creation sessions, and learning events such as The Artist’s Life.




Violinists Esme Arias-Kim and Sameer Agrawal competed at the Cooper International Competition earlier this month. The Thomas & Evon Cooper International Competition is a piano or violin competition held annually at the Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. Both students performed their programs for grateful audiences at The Merion and Westminster Place, local senior communities, before they headed to OH. Competing with outstanding musicians from across the globe, Sameer, advanced to the final round of the competition, and claimed Second Prize. Bravo, Sameer! Sameer studies with Sang Mee Lee and is also a member of CMPI.


Piano  student Zachary Guo wrote a piece performed on July 16 by Ensemble Dal Niente as a part of a DePaul summer program. Congratulations, Zach!

In addition, Zach created The Chicago Youth Contemporary Ensemble, a student-led group of musicians dedicated to performing lesser-known and played music, with a focus on works written in the 20th and 21st century. Rehearsals began this week at Deerfield High School. Please contact Zach if you want more information.