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RPL Announces 60th Young Artist Auditions Winners

March 26, 2015

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For Immediate Release:  March 26, 2015
Media Contact
:   Sally Cohen, 585-749-1795, sally@sallycohenpr.com
RPO Info
:  rpo.org, facebook.com/RochesterPhilharmonic, twitter.com/RochesterPhil, rochesterphilharmonic.blogspot.com
RPL Info
:  rpo.org/yaa, rpo.org/RPL


42 area teens competed Sunday for $4,500 in cash & scholarships
Pittsford 11th grader Vivian Yu wins chance to perform with the RPO

Rochester, NY – Founded in 1929 to support the education and outreach programs of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), the Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL) has held and funded its annual Young Artist Auditions for high school musicians since 1955. This year’s 60th competition, held at Eastman School of Music on Sunday, March 15, saw 42 talented 10th, 11th and 12th graders from nine counties compete for a total of $4,500 in cash awards and scholarships. 

Five cash awards of $500 were offered for male vocalist, female vocalist, strings, piano and instrumental (woodwind, brass, percussion, harp or guitar). Two $1,000 scholarships were also offered for high school seniors who plan to major in music at an accredited college or university in the 2015–16 academic year. A Special Award winner, chosen during a separate audition of the first-place winners in the five categories, has the opportunity to audition for a performance with the RPO at a later date.

Here are this year’s winners (name, instrument, school, grade, private teacher, and school):

Helen and George Greer Instrumental Award ($500)
Winner:  Catherine Caton, Harp, Grade 11, Nan Gullo Bassett, Spencerport H.S.

Runner-up:  Esther Joy Krasner, Marimba, Grade 12, Ruth Cahn, Brighton H.S.
Honorable Mention:  Grace Frarey, Alto Saxophone, Grade 11, Kristen Bayer, Canandaigua Academy

Mildred and Julius Ness Award for Piano ($500)
Winner:  Vivian Yu, Piano, Grade 11, Elier Suarez, Pittsford Mendon H.S.

Runner-up:  Kathryn Blaine, Piano, Grade 12, Harriet Zimmerman, Brighton H.S.

Ruth and Sidney Salzman Award for Strings ($500)
Winner:  Helen Wong, Violin, Grade 12, Oleh Krysa, Webster Schroeder H.S.

Runner-up:  Sarah Wager, Double Bass, Grade 10, Gaelen McCormick, Brighton H.S.

Nobel Hirsh Award for Male Vocalists ($500)
Winner:  Holden Turner, Baritone, Grade 12, Mario Martinez, Henrietta Sr. H.S.

Runner-up:  David Wentling, Baritone, Grade 12, Jane Gunter-McCoy, Webster Schroeder H.S.

Tessa Martin Award for Female Vocalists ($500)
Winner:  Megan Ormsbee, Alto, Grade 11, Jane Gunter-McCoy, Pittsford Sutherland H.S.

Runner-up:  Giuliana Bozza, Soprano, Grade 12, Judith Ranaletta, Greece Arcadia H.S.
Honorable Mention:  Katya Lyubomirsky, Soprano, Grade 11, Matthew Valverde, Pittsford Mendon H.S.

 Aldridge-Tinker Scholarship for Instrumentalists ($1000 to a senior who plans to major in music in college)
This year’s award is shared between:
David Steinhardt
, Guitar, Grade 12, Peter Kodzas, Pittsford Mendon H.S.
Helen Wong
, Violin, Grade 12, Oleh Krysa, Webster Schroeder H.S.

Jan DeGaetani Scholarship for Vocalists ($1000 to a senior who plans to major in music in college)
Holden Turner, Baritone, Grade 12,
Mario Martinez, Henrietta Sr. H.S.

Special Award (An opportunity to audition to perform with the RPO)
Vivian Yu, Piano, Grade 11,
Elier Suarez, Pittsford Mendon H.S.

 “Our Young Artist Auditions have a long history of being one of the most supportive and friendly competitions around,” says RPL President Eileen Ramos. “The camaraderie among contestants and their families is a very important part of this program.”

“Many of our winners have gone on to highly successful careers as performers, music educators, and professionals in other music-related fields,” adds YAA Chair Margaret-Anne Milne. “In addition, being judged by professionals is invaluable to these young musicians.”

Judges for 2015 included RPO Principal Keyboard Joseph Werner, Principal Flute Rebecca Gilbert, Principal Horn Peter Kurau, Percussionist Jillian Pritchard Fiandach, Principal Second Violin Thomas Rodgers, Violinist An-Chi Lin, and Cellist Christopher Haritatos.

“We’re extremely grateful to the members of the RPL, who have such a long and distinguished history of supporting one of the orchestra’s most important missions: the education of our children,” says RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “We’re also proud to recognize some of the most outstanding young musicians in the Rochester area, and to offer an opportunity for one of them each year to perform with this world-class orchestra.”

For the past several years, the Special Award winner has performed with the RPO at the Temple B’rith Kodesh summer concert. All award and scholarship winners are also invited to perform in a free, public recital in Kilbourn Hall during the summer. This year’s Young Artists in Concert - A Celebration of Winners is scheduled for Sunday, July 12 at 7:30 p.m.

The Rochester Philharmonic League (RPL) was founded in 1929 as a volunteer support group for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.  For more than 80 years, the two organizations have collaborated to further their common goal of providing great music and music education in the greater Rochester community. The League’s current activities focus on educating young people about music and the RPO, and on fostering the advancement of music talent in the community’s youth. 

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has been committed to enriching and inspiring our community through the art of music since its founding in 1922. The RPO presents approximately 150 concerts and broadcasts a year, serving up to 170,000 people through ticketed events, education and community engagement activities, and concerts in schools and community centers throughout the region. Recently appointed 12th Music Director Ward Stare joins the ranks of former notable RPO music directors, including Eugene Goossens, José Iturbi, Erich Leinsdorf, David Zinman and Conductor Laureate Christopher Seaman. Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik has earned a national reputation for excellence in pops programming during his 20-year tenure with the RPO. With Michael Butterman as Principal Conductor for Education and Community Engagement (The Louise and Henry Epstein Family Chair)—the first position of its kind in the country—the RPO reaches more than 13,000 children through its specific programs for school-aged children.


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