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January 20, 2012 > Fremont Symphony announces Young Artist Competition winners

Fremont Symphony announces Young Artist Competition winners

Submitted By Susan L. Rose

The Fremont Symphony is pleased to announce the winners of its 46th Annual Young Artist Competition which took place on January 7 and 8, 2012. Thirty-six students entered the competition for strings.

First prize of $1,000 and an opportunity to perform with the orchestra were awarded to cellist Connor Kim of Monte Sereno. Connor, who is 15, performed the Dvorak Cello Concerto in B minor. A sophomore at Los Gatos High School, he studies cello with Kyeong Hwa Kim. Connor has studied the cello for eight years and plays in the California Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and the Silicon Valley Volunteer Orchestra. Two years ago he won the Taghioff prize for students under the age of 16 and played at the Children's Concerts. Connor also enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and drawing. Connor will play with the Fremont Symphony in September at Opening Night.

Second prize of $500 went to 16-year-old violinist Ethan Tsai of Hillsborough who played the Paganini Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major. He attends Crystal Springs Uplands School and is in the San Francisco Youth Orchestra and the Mandala Quartet. He has studied violin for 10 years with Li Lin. He has played with the Guangshou Philharmonic in China and with the Hong Kong Youth Symphony.

Third prize of $250 was awarded to Deanna Bodizadegan, age 18, of San Francisco, who attends the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and studies with Jodi Levitz. She plays the viola and played the Bartok Viola Concerto. She has also completed her freshman year at Stanford.

The Nafisa Taghioff prize of $150 is reserved for contestants under 16 years of age who must perform only a single movement from a concerto. This year the award went to 15-year-old cellist Travis Chen of Palo Alto. Travis studies with Jonathan Koh. He also played the Dvorak Cello Concerto. In 2007, Travis won Honorable Mention in the Taghioff category and played at the Children's Concerts that year.

Violinists Joseph Wong, 11, from Cupertino and Andrew Chang, 14, from Fremont received Honorable Mention in the Taghioff category. Joseph will play one movement from the Mozart Violin Concerto #3 at the Fremont Symphony's Children's Concerts in March.

The judges were Fremont Symphony Conductor David Sloss, concertmaster Philip Santos, principal 2nd Violinist, Tatiana Freedland, and principal cellist Dan Reiter.

The Fremont Symphony Orchestra hosts a Young Artist Competition each January, open to students under 23 who live or study in any of the nine Bay Area counties. This year's competition was for string players; next year's will be for pianists. To find out more about the Fremont Symphony or the competitions, go to or call (510) 371-4860.

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