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2019 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition

The 2019 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition offers the $10,000 Founders' Prize to cellists age 18-22.

The $2,000 Young Artists Prize is offered to California-resident pianists and instrumentalists age 12-17.


Announcing the 2019 Young Artists Competition Finalists!

Founders Division

Elena Ariza
Sterling Elliott
James Hettinga
Derek Louie
Caroline Paulsen
Lydia Rhea
William Suh

YA Pianist Division

Solomon Ge
Jessica Li
Justin Wahby​

YA Instrumentalist Division

Alexander Fried
Jung An Kuo
Abigail Leong​
Sean Mori
Conor Padmanabhan​
Andy Park
Jacob Reed
John Robert Santiago


Friday, April 26 - 8pm | Vanderhoef Studio Theatre:
Finalists Showcase:  How To Make Holes In The Sky

The Young Artists Competition weekend kicks off with a very special opportunity to meet the 2019 Founders’ Division cello finalists, selected through nationwide live auditions. The seven finalists will join in a curated showcase and conversation on themes of inspiration and collaboration with YAC Director Lara Downes and Jury Chair Melissa Kraut.

The seven finalists will perform in a curated showcase and master class led by master teacher Melissa Kraut.

Saturday, April 27 - 11am | Jackson Hall:
Competition Finals

The talented young cellists, pianists and instrumentalists from across the U.S. take the stage before an internationally renowned panel of judges to compete for cash scholarships and a spot in the Young Artists Competition Winners Concert. This year the competition focuses on repertoire by female composers, featuring music by award-winning composers Julia Adolphe, Reena Esmail, Angelica Negron and Paola Prestini.

Saturday, April 27 - 8pm | Vanderhoef Studio Theatre:
Winners Concert

Lara Downes hosts the celebratory concert featuring the newly-announced laureates of the 15th annual Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition. The competition, held by live auditions in cities throughout the U.S., is juried by a panel of internationally renowned musicians, with winners in multiple instrumental categories.

About the Competition

At the Mondavi Center Young Artists National Competition, we are proud to support young artists in the early stages of their careers, providing scholarships to support their musical studies as well as valuable performance opportunities to encourage their artistic growth. The Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, UC Davis is one of the premier performance venues on the West Coast, featuring an annual concert season that includes many of the world’s greatest soloists, orchestras and chamber ensembles.

The competition occurs annually, and offers the Founders’ Prize ($10,000) in rotating instrumental categories, as well as the Young Artists Prize ($2000) in both Piano and Instrumental divisions to musicians age 12-17.


Individual support for the Young Artists Competition is generously provided by founding sponsors Barbara K. Jackson, Mary B. Horton and John and Lois Crowe.


For more information:

YAC on Facebook


Registration deadline is November 26.
Apply here:

Six young immigrants, including 2017 Young Artists winner, Javier Morales-Martinez, perform `This Land/Your Land'.

This Land/Our Land: Young musicians with immigrant stories perform Christopher O'Riley's new piece