3rd annual Young Artists Competition Results


Prizewinners in the Third Annual Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition have been announced!

Grand Prize: Stephen Waarts, violin
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Violin Concerto No. 5 in A minor, Op 37; Henri Vieuxtemps; 1st movement: Allegro non troppo (including Cadenza)

Piano Prize: Daniel Hsu
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Chopin Berceuse, Op. 57

Instrumental Prize: Clark Pang, cello
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Bach Unaccompanied Suite #2 in d minor, BMV 1008; Prelude

Grand Prize: Jason Zhang, piano
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Mephisto Waltz by Liszt

Piano Prize: Christine Kim
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Beethoven: Mvt 1: Sonata in d minor op. 31

Instrumental Prize: Evie Chen, violin
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Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending

Vocal Prize:
(Ms. Brent and Ms. Raynor will split the prize evenly)
Amber Brent, mezzo soprano
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The Cherry Tree: Armstrong Gibbs

Nicole Raynor, soprano
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Dearest Mama (Ballad of Baby Doe): Douglas Moore

No prizes were awarded in the Ensemble category.

Contestant Biographies

Stephen Waarts, age 11, studies violin with Li Lin of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Recent awards include first place in the 2008 Young Artist Competition of Diablo Symphony Orchestra,  winner of the Taghioff Prize, the 2007 Fremont Symphony Young Artist Competition,  and the 2007 Menuhin - Dowling Young Musicians' String Competition.

Stephen was selected to perform in the 2007 Junior Bach Festival and the  Music at Menlo 2006 and 2007 Summer Institutes, where he performed in various ensembles. In 2004 he participated in Soesterberg International Music Festival in the Netherlands and was chosen to play in the Festival Showcase recital. In his free time Stephen likes reading, math, gymnastics, biking, drawing and playing with his twin brother and his younger sister.

Daniel Hsu, age 10, is currently a student of Professor Hans Boepple. He started piano at age 6 with Larisa Kagan and has also studied with Olya Katsman. Most recently, Daniel was the winner of the 2007 Menuhin-Dowling Young Artist Competition. He has also performed Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2 with the El Camino Youth Symphony (ECYS) Sinfonietta Orchestra in March after winning the ECYS Piano Concerto Competition. In 2006, Daniel was the 1st place winner of the All-State Music Teachers' Association of California (MTAC) Piano Concerto Competition playing Mozart Piano Concerto No. 17. Daniel was also the first place winner of CAPMT All-State Bartok and Contemporary Music competition. He was the winner of the Taghioff Prize of Fremont Symphony Concerto Competition (for age group 16 and under) and has performed with the Fremont Symphony twice. Daniel was selected to perform the Bach Concerto in f minor with Golden Gate Philharmonic Orchestra in the Junior Bach Concert in March. He was also a winner of Mozart Festival Piano Concerto Competition and has performed with Castro Valley Chamber Orchestra to celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday. In 2005, Daniel received many awards: 1st Place winner of San Francisco Chopin Competition; and Winner of Fremont Cultural Arts Young Artist Showcase. Daniel enjoys reading and collecting toy cars. He loves to play piano duo and duet with his brother and sister. When he grows up, Daniel wants to become a concert pianist.

Clark Pang, age 12, made his Carnegie Hall debut at age 10, televised on PBS nationwide. As state representative for MTNA's national divisionals, he performs in New Mexico and will tour Ukraine performing as soloist with orchestra and recitals as first place winner of Individualis International Competition. Clark appeared on The Martha Stewart Show and will perform Elgar Concerto as soloist with Oakland East Bay Symphony Fall 2008 as winner of their Young Artist Competition. Clark is a student of Jonathan Koh at San Francisco Conservatory, Prep Division and a 7th grader at Orinda Intermediate School.

Jason Zhang, age 17, is a student of  Ms. Erna Gulabyan at the San Francisco Conservatory of  Music, Prep Division. Jason made his concerto debut with the Danbury Symphony at age 10. He has won numerous awards, including the 4th prize of the Los Angeles International Liszt Piano Competition and 1st prize of the Music Teachers Association of California State Piano Solo Competition. He is a winner of El Camino Youth Symphony Concerto Competition and performed as a soloist with the Symphony in 2005. Jason is currently a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School in Palo Alto. Besides piano, Jason enjoys playing basketball and creates rap music.

Christine Kim, age 16, is a student of John McCarthy at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She began playing the piano at age 5 and made her concerto debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony at age 11. She has received numerous awards, including 3rd prize in the 2007 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition, grand prize in the Korea Times Competition and 1st prizes in the Olympiad of Arts, Chopin Foundation of San Francisco and Ross McKee piano competitions. In addition to her commitment to the piano, Christine is a cellist, enjoys reading, and running cross-country with her friends.

Evie Chen, 16, is a junior at Palo Alto Hiugh School. She began studying the violin at age 4 and is currently a student of Jenny Rudin. Evie has already gained national attention and has received numerous awards, including the American String Teachers Association Solo and State competitions 2001, 2002, 2006 and 2007. In November 2002, Evie was invited to appear as a featured artist on "Inside Art", a television program about gifted children. In 2004 she was a featured artist with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and also gave solo and chamber performances at the Soestenberg International Music Festival in Holland. Evie performed the Bach Triple Violin Concerto with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra in 2006 and will be a featured soloist with PACO again this season, performing Vaughn William's "The Lark Ascending".

Amber Brent was born in 1992 in Redwood City, CA. She is a sophomore at Granite Bay High School and participates in the school's award-winning choir. She enjoys studying cello and piano, and currently studies voice with Robin Fisher and CSUS.

Nicole Raynor, age 16, is a student in the Young Musicians Program at UC Berkeley, where she studies with David Tigner. She has performed at the White House as a recipient of the 2007 Coming Up Taller Awards, and was a first place winner of the National Association of Negro Musicians in 2007 as well as the 2007 Junior Bach Festival. She plans to attend a music conservatory upon graduation. Nicole is in the 9th grade at the Maybeck School.