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June 3, 2009 > Historic prize for symphony soloist

Historic prize for symphony soloist

Submitted By Susan L. Rose

At the reception following the Fremont Symphony Orchestra concert on May 9, patron Art Kimber presented piano soloist Roy Bogas with a gold medallion of the Kimber Prize, which Mr. Bogas had won in 1952. The prize was established by Art's father, John Kimber, and Roy Bogas was its first winner. Initially the medallion was not made of gold, but as John Kimber's business improved over the years, he presented winners with gold medallions. Art had the medallion recast for Roy, who was thrilled to receive it, as memories of his win flooded back.

John Kimber established the Kimber prize to help gifted young pianists and sting players continue their music education. At the time it was one of the major competitions in the country, held alternately in the Bay Area and Los Angeles with a cash prize of $2,000. Other noted winners included Pulitzer Prize winning pianist/composer David Del Tredici and New York Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Dicterow. In 1925 John had started Kimber Farms, an advanced poultry genetics facility in Fremont that developed genetically improved chickens with computerized breeding records. An accomplished pianist and conductor with degrees in both agricultural science and music education, John also initiated a band program at Washington High School as his business was getting started. When he built his home above Mission Boulevard, in included a large room suitable for concerts.

Art and his wife, Joan, have continued the Kimber interest in the music scene, supporting the Fremont Symphony and Fremont Opera and hosting many recitals and rehearsals in their home. They were excited to renew their acquaintance with Roy Bogas at the May concert.

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