First Place – Hikaru Yonezaki (violin)
Second Place – Phoebe Gardner (violin)/ Rannveig Marta Sarc (violin)
Third Place – Ning Zhang (Clarinet)
Sean Yu (Cello)
Runner -up: Chelsie Lim (cello)
Enrique Rodrigues (violin)
Runner-up: Sarah Ma (violin)
Sophia Steger (violin)
Runner-up: Abigel Kralik (violin)
Chelsie Lim Cello
Junior Division Runner -up
Chelsie Lim, age 14, was born in Melbourne, Australia in 2004. She moved to the United States at the age of
Chelsie is the 1st prize winner of numerous competitions, including the New York International Music Competition (2014), the YWCA of Queens New York Music Competition (2015), and the Camerata Artists International Concerto Competition, in which she debuted with an orchestra (2017), among others. She is a Gold Medalist of the Bravura Philharmonic’s 10th annual Young Artists Concerto Competition, and a finalist of the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Goldwasser Concerto Competition, which she received the 3rd place award. She was a semi-finalist of the 2017 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Astana, Kazakhstan. Chelsie was awarded a scholarship to the HeifetzPEG program of the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia (2017) and was chosen to perform in their Stars of Tomorrow concert series. She was a participant of the Morningside Music Bridge summer festival, a full-scholarship program, in Warsaw, Poland (2018). This summer (2019), Chelsie will be attending the Perlman Music Program.
Chelsie was awarded performances at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall, and has participated in master classes with cellists Colin Carr, Steven Doane, Yu Wei, Kirill Rodin, and Zvi Plesser, and Laurence Lesser. Orchestrally, in 2018, she was a principal cellist of the Pre-College Symphony.
Sean Yu Cello
Junior Division Winner
Sean Yu is a 14-year-old cellist, who is in his 5th year at The Juilliard School Pre-College division. He has been studying with Minhye Clara Kim since the age of nine.
Sean won the 4th prize at the 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Astana, Kazakhstan and performed as a soloist with the Eurasian Symphony Orchestra of KazNUA at Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall in June 2017.
Selected to appear on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” with Host Christopher O’Riley, he performed at NEC’s Jordan Hall in 2016. “From the Top” featured a video of Sean and posted it on their Facebook page and their YouTube channel.
At the age of 12, Sean was accepted into the Perlman Music Program, where he spent 7 weeks of his summer intensively studying chamber music, solo performance, and orchestral music under the tutelage of Merry Peckham, Areta Zhulla, Astrid Schween, Zvi Plesser, and Itzhak Perlman. He also performed at the Neue Galerie in New York City for the Perlman Music Program.
Sean has been featured as a soloist with the Sinfonietta Nova Orchestra, New York Chamber Players Orchestra, Camerata Orchestra, and St. Thomas Orchestra as a result of winning numerous competitions. These competitions include the Young Concert Artists Competition, the Camerata Artists International Competition, the New York Chamber Players Concerto Competition, and many more.
Sean performed at the Merkin Concert Hall after winning the grand prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition and the first prize at the International Grande Music Competition. In addition, he was also awarded the 1st prize at the 17th New York Music Competition and performed at the Weill Recital Hall.
Enrique Rodrigues Violin
Senior Division Winner
Enrique Rodrigues is a student at Fair Lawn High School and is honored to be the first recipient for dual outstanding achievements in academics and music by the New Jersey Department of Education.
Enrique was selected to travel to Miami as a 2019 National YoungArts Foundation Winner and engage in a week of masterclasses and performances with many of the nation’s most renowned artists. In addition, Enrique was invited to perform in Los Angeles on the National Public Radio’s From the Top radio show, and to record at the acclaimed Hollywood Studios in LA. He has been awarded top prizes at the Juilliard Concerto Competition, New Jersey ASTA Solo Strings Competition, NJMTA Young Musicians Competition, Shining Stars Debut Soloists & the Golden Key Music Festival. In 2015 and 2017, Enrique was invited as a recognized artist of the Juilliard Starling Delay Violin Symposium. In the summer of 2017, he studied at the Morningside Music Bridge Festival, receiving full scholarship.
Enrique has given performances in prestigious venues at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Jordan Hall, New World Center, Merkin Hall, Paul Hall, Morse Hall, and the Kaufman Dance Studio at the Juilliard School as well as internationally at P.I Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Russia, and The University of Music, in Germany. Maestro Zubin Mehta, Joshua Bell, and Midori Goto are a few among the illustrious musicians Enrique has had the immense opportunity to perform for.
In addition to formal concerts, Enrique is the NJ Regional Director of the “Back to BACH” Project, an international initiative to encourage school students to learn to play an instrument and show the value of hard work and passion. The project has partnerships with the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as well as collaborations with acclaimed organizations such as Boston Symphony’s Project STEP and Baltimore Symphony OrchKids.
Sarah Ma Violin
Senior Division Runner-up
Sarah Ma, 16, is currently studying at the Juilliard Pre-College Division with Masao Kawasaki as a recipient of the Beggs-Dethier Scholarship. Previously a full-scholarship student of Elizabeth Faidley at the Manhattan School of Music, she was the youngest winner of both the Symphony and Philharmonic divisions of MSM’s Concerto Competition in the school’s history, as well as sitting principal second violin or concertmaster of the orchestras every year. As a top prize-winner in countless competitions, Sarah has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the entire Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Bergen Philharmonic and the entire Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, among several others. In her performance with the MSM Symphony Orchestra and the New York Chamber Players Orchestra, Sarah performed on the 1742 ex-David Guarneri del Gesu kindly loaned to her from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins. She also used this violin in the summer of 2016 when she traveled to Italy to compete and perform with orchestra in the Il Piccolo Violino Magico Competition, receiving the prize for best virtuoso performance. Sarah was also accepted as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Cooper International and Blount-Slawson National Violin Competitions in 2017. She was given the honor to perform the National Anthem at Washington Nationals Stadium in a 2017 Cubs vs. Nats game, as well as playing on WHSV TV representing the Heifetz International Music Institute, where she studied with David and Linda Cerone and Ani Kavafian, among others. In November 2017, Sarah participated in the Heifetz On Tour opening ensemble group for the 2017-18 season. In 2018 she studied with Robert Lipsett at Aspen Music Festival. Sarah has performed in masterclasses for Ray Chen, Donald Weilerstein, Sarah Chang, Stefan Jackiw, Aaron
Ning Zhang Clarinet
Third Place Winner
Clarinetist Ning Zhang is pursuing her Bachelor and Masters of Music at The Juilliard School, through the highly selective Accelerated BM/MM Program, under the celebrated clarinetist, Charles Neidich. As a young orchestral clarinetist, Ms. Zhang has performed with many ensembles at The Juilliard School, including the Juilliard Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Opera, New Juilliard Ensemble and Axiom, always bringing joy to the music. During the past summers, Ms. Zhang has participated in the National Orchestral Institute and Festival (2018), National Youth Orchestra of China (2017), and Verbier Music Festival (2014,2016).
Ms. Zhang started playing the clarinet at the age of 14, and with her talent and enthusiasm for music, just two years later, she was awarded the First Prize of the National Wind Competition of China, which is one the most authoritative competitions for youth in the country. In recent years, she has continued her success in solo competitions, including winning the first prize in the Vandoren Emerging Artist Competition (Classical Clarinet), first prize in the Crescendo International Competition, second prize in the National Society of Arts and Letters Competition (New York Chapter) as well as in Qingdao International Clarinet Festival Concerto Competition. Due to these achievements, her reputation as a rising young solo clarinetist is being recognized by more and more people, both in her home country, China, and in the US.
In addition to her appearances on the stage, she is also committed to teaching. In fall 2017, Ms. Zhang was awarded the position of Teaching Fellow, a two-year fellowship program at the Juilliard School, becoming the first Chinese undergraduate student to receive the honor.
As an international student, Ms. Zhang endeavors to promote communication across cultures. During the past years, she has been invited as a translator for many master classes of celebrated musicians from all over the world, including Robert Diaz, Ayako Oshima, Eddy Vanoosthuyse and Richard Hawkins. In addition, her Chinese translation of Dr. Kornel Wolak’s “Articulation Types, Clarinet Booklet” has been published and used in conservatories, such as ZheJiang Conservatory in China.
Abigel Kralik Violin
Abigel Kralik Violin
College Division Runner-up
American-born, Hungarian violinist, 20 year old Abigel Kralik began violin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at the age of four, and continued her studies for three years in Dublin, Ireland before moving to Hungary. As a student of Eva Acsne Szily, she won numerous first-place awards, including a first and grand prize at the national Koncz János competition in 2010. She entered the Liszt Academy of Music’s Young Talents Program in 2011; soon thereafter she was accepted into the Perlman Music Program. In spring 2012, Abigel won first place at the international competition Talents for Europe, in Dolny Kubin, Slovakia. In 2013, she began studying under Kristóf Baráti. Abigel has performed as a soloist with several orchestras throughout the world, most recently with the Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra. She has performed with acclaimed musicians such as Vilde Frang, Nicholas Altstaedt and Maxim Rysanov. Her most recent accomplishments include winning first prize at the New York International Artists Association, joining the artist roster of Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and being invited as an Academy Artist at the Verbier Festival. In the fall of 2018, Abigel made her Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist. She now studies at The Juilliard school under the tutelage of Itzhak Perlman and Laurie Smukler where she is a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship.
Hikaru Yonezaki Violin
First Place Winner
Praised by the Boston Globe for her “silky tone,” violinist Hikaru Yonezaki is passionately committed to connecting to the world around her, having already been heard in Europe and South America, as well as the United States and Canada.
A special part of her latest tour included bringing music to less fortunate communities. As part of her commitment to the community, she worked with younger musicians to encourage their love for music in South America and arranged short programs for nursing facilities in Asia.
Her most recent international appearance was as a selected Young Artist at the Rome Chamber Music Festival in Italy, where she gave concerts at the Palazzo Barberini. She has spent several summers in Austria as a student of Michael Frischenschlager, where she has had the pleasure of collaborating with pianists Veronika Kopjova and Aki Maeda. She has performed for many galas, including the Fritz Kreisler Gala in Vienna and the Boston Philharmonic Rising Stars Gala.
At the age of 15, Hikaru served as the youngest concertmistress in the 48-year history of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at New England Conservatory Preparatory School, participating in a tour of Europe that ended with Mahler’s Symphony no. 9 in Vienna’s legendary Musikverein.
Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree at The Juilliard School, she is pursuing her master’s degree with Masao Kawasaki. She has performed in masterclasses for Pamela Frank and Frans Helmerson while at Juilliard, where she is also a member of the orchestra. Carrying a deep admiration for collaboration, she has a strong affinity to double concertos and chamber music works.
Phoebe Gardner Violin
Co-Second Place Winner
Recently a recipient of the Nora Goodridge Young Artist Award from the Australian Music Foundation after her performance at Wigmore Hall, Phoebe Gardner is a student at The Juilliard School where she studies with Itzhak Perlman and Catherine Cho. She is supported by a Dorothy DeLay scholarship. Since moving to NYC, Phoebe has performed as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician in concerts throughout the USA, and in London, Germany, Israel and Australia. Phoebe has been a part of the Perlman Music Program since 2013, where she has attended the summer programs, residencies in Israel and the Chamber Music Workshop. Phoebe has also been awarded fellowships to attend the Aspen Music Festival and Summer school, studying with Donald Weilerstein and Paul Kantor, the Fontainebleau Music Festival in Paris and the Valdres Music Festival in Norway.
Sophia Steger Violin
College Division Winner
Violinist Sophia Steger (19) is a student of Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School as a recipient of the Dorothy Starling Scholarship and Dorothy DeLay Scholarship. She has been awarded top prizes in numerous New York-area competitions and has performed as soloist with orchestras including the New York Chamber Players, Seniors Orchestral Society of New York, Manhattan School of Music Precollege Symphony, and the New York International Chamber Orchestra, and performed Vivaldi’s Winter from
The Four Seasons as soloist with the Aizuri Quartet. Sophia previously studied with Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege where she was awarded performance scholarships for eight consecutive years and has attended the Aspen Music Festival and School as an orchestral fellow, Heifetz International Music Institute, and Castleman Quartet Program. Her chamber ensembles have been mentored by members of the Emerson, Shanghai, Juilliard, and Kronos quartets. As the first violinist of the Pannonia Quartet, she performed at Carnegie Hall for the Kronos Quartet’s 40th Anniversary Concert, at WQXR’s The Greene Space, the Queens Museum, at Hilary Hahn’s CD release event for her album ”In 27 Pieces” by invitation of Nico Muhly, and other venues across New York. Sophia is an advocate for humanitarian and environmental causes, and frequently organizes and performs recitals to benefit organizations such as SOIL (a program working to solve the humanitarian and ecological crisis in Haiti), educational sustainability projects for Something Good in the World, and is currently a member of a string trio partnering with 350NYC. Sophia has also led volunteer children’s
performances incorporating folk stories and folk music from around the world and gave a performance/discussion for teen Central American refugees and “youth at risk” from a local shelter. In her spare time, Sophia enjoys reading Agatha Christie stories, playing duos with her younger sister (a flutist), and studying archaeology.
Rannveig Marta Sarc Violin
Co Second Place Winner
Icelandic-Slovenian violinist, Rannveig Marta
A passionate chamber musician, Rannveig has performed in venues such as Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in New York and she frequently performs with Camerarctica- Chamber Music Society of Iceland.
In 2016-2017, she was a member of the Kahlo Quartet, as part of Juilliard’s Honors Chamber Music Program. Rannveig has appeared in music festivals such as Taos School of Music, IMS Prussia Cove, Kneisel Hall, Sarasota and Aspen.
Rannveig graduated with a Bachelor of Music from The Juilliard School in 2018 under the tutelage of Laurie Smukler. She is now pursuing her Master of Music at Juilliard as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship, studying with Donald Weilerstein and Catherine Cho.