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March 12, 2013 > Young Artist Competition showcases local talent

Young Artist Competition showcases local talent

By Julie Grabowski

Many long for a chance at the spotlight, an opportunity to rise to a challenge and share their abilities with the world. Each year the San Jose Youth Symphony (SJYS) provides just that.

Founded in 1951 as part of the former San Jose Symphony, SJYS has been operating as a non-profit organization since 2002, dedicated to instilling a love of music in young people through quality education and performance opportunities. SJYS is comprised of the Prelude and Intermezzo String Ensembles, Percussion Ensemble, Concert Winds Ensemble, Avant Flute Choir, Concert Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, and Philharmonic Orchestra. Participants range in age from eight to 21 and come from all over the Bay Area and beyond to sharpen their talents, from local areas such as Fremont and Milpitas, to Cupertino, Mountain View, and Palo Alto, further north into Concord, Pleasanton, and Livermore, to the southern reaches of Gilroy, Santa Cruz, and Monterey.

Sponsored by the San Jose Symphony Foundation, the Young Artist Competition is held every year for members of the Philharmonic Orchestra with the chance to be a featured solo musician at an upcoming concert as well as win monetary prizes. Musicians must submit a recording of a concerto of their choice, memorized in its entirety, in order to qualify for the competition. Those who are accepted attend the competition in spring, where they perform before a panel of three judges with piano accompaniment. Winners are chosen and announced at the close of the competition.

The 2012 Young Artist Competition winners were: First Place, Alexander Ascencio, cello; Second Place, Cheryl Chang, flute; and Third Place, Anish Srinivasan, flute. They will perform with the Philharmonic Orchestra in a special concert on Saturday, March 16. With Music Director and Conductor Yair Samet at the helm, the program will include Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's "Fantasie on Serbian Themes" and Gabriel Faure's "Elegie for Cello and Orchestra" featuring Alexander Ascencio on the cello, Bernhard Romberg's "Concerto for Flute and Orchesta in B Minor" featuring Cheryl Chang on flute, and Cecile Chaminade's "Concertino for Flute and Orchestra" featuring Anish Srinivasan on flute. The afternoon will also include Bedrich Smetana's "Dances from the Bartered Bride."

The 2013 Young Artists Competition will be held Saturday, March 23 at 3 p.m. at the Los Gatos United Methodist Church. The public is welcome to attend. SJYS is also holding general auditions for the 2013-2014 Season. For those with musical children, this is a great opportunity to foster their talent and enrich their music education with one of the oldest and well-regarded youth orchestras on the West Coast. For more information, visit

Tickets for the Philharmonic Orchestra Concert are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students, and $5 for kids 12 and under. They can be purchased by calling (408) 885-9220, online at, or at the box office one hour before the concert.

SJYS's Philharmonic Orchestra Concert
Featuring Young Artist Competition Winners
Saturday, Mar 16
2:30 p.m.
California Theatre
345 S. First St., San Jose
(408) 885-9220
Tickets: $5 - $15

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