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February 13, 2007 > Music competition winners announced

Music competition winners announced

The Fremont Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of its 41st Young Artist Competition on January 13 and 14, 2007 at Ohlone College. This year's competition was for string players, and 22 violinists and 16 cellists applied. Ages ranged from 9 to 21. First prize is $1,000 and an opportunity to perform with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra. Second prize is $500 and third prize is $250. Contestants perform and entire concerto from memory. The Nafisa Taghioff Award for applicants under 16 years of age is $150. Contestants in this category perform a single movement from a concerto. Of the 38 applicants, 25 were in the Taghioff category.

First prize was awarded to Mr. David Southorn, age 21, violin. He has studied violin for 15 years, currently with Ian Swenson. A senior at the SF Conservatory of Music, David plays in the Conservatory orchestra and sings in the conservatory chorus. He is also a member of the Symphony Silicon Valley and substitute violinist in the Marin Symphony. He won the Metropolitan Youth Symphony concerto competition in 2003 and the Nova Vista Symphony Young Artist Competition in 2006. David performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major.

Second Prize was awarded to Tao Zhang, age 20, violin. He has studied violin for 16 years, currently with Ian Swenson. A native of Sichaun, China, he is a freshman at the SF conservatory of Music. Tao performed the Brahms violin concerto in D major.

Third Prize was awarded to Jennifer Wey, age 17, violin. She has studied violin for 13 years, currently with Pat Burnham. Jennifer is a junior at Saratoga High School and is a member of the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Perlman Music Program. She has performed as soloist with the Nova Vista and Peninsula Symphonies. Jennifer performed the Prokofiev Violin concerto No. 2 in G minor.

The Nafisa Taghioff Endowed Prize was won by Stephen Waarts, age 10, violin. Stephen has studied violin for 5 years, currently with Li Lin. A 5th grader at the School for Independent Learners in Los Altos, Stephen played in Music@Menlo's 2006 Summer Institute where he was first violinist in an ensemble.

Two Honorable Mentions were awarded in the Taghioff category. Travis Chen, 10, cello, received Honorable Mention. Travis has studied cello four years, currently with Sieun Lin. He is a fifth grader at Hoover Elementary School in Palo Alto. Clark Pang, 11, cello, also received Honorable Mention. Clark has studied cello five years, currently with Jonathan Koh. A sixth-grader from Orinda, he appeared at Carnegie Hall last September after winning a competition for the PBS show "From the Top," and in 2005 performed as soloist with the Diablo Regional Youth Symphony.

Judges were Philip Santos, concertmaster, Can Reiter, principal cellist, and David Sloss, conductor and Music Director of the Fremont Symphony. The competitions are sponsored by the Harriet and Dwight Thornburg, Jane Kanzler Lancefield, and Wallace & Rosaline Pond Memorial Funds, and the Nafisa Taghioff Endowed Prize for musicians under 16.

The 2008 Young Artist competition will be for pianists and the following year for brass, woodwinds and percussion.

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