2019 EMF Concerto Competition Winners

Winners of the 2019 Concerto Competition for Eastern Music Festival are (from left) Nathaniel Hoyt, Ariel Wang, Clara Saïtkoulov, Elise Kim and Fong Ho Man.

GREENSBORO — An Eastern Music Festival audience will watch top students solo with the Young Artist Orchestras in the July 25 Concerto Competition winners’ concert.

More than 90 students competed, with five students declared winners: two cellists, a violinist, a pianist and a flutist.

“Each season, I am impressed by the musicianship and talent of these young artists in our annual concerto competition,” EMF resident conductor José-Luis Novo said in a news release.

“This year was a record-high number of interested artists participating,” Novo said. “Their artistry, mature sounds and genuine passion for their craft continue to inspire me and the whole festival.”

Resident conductors Novo and Grant Cooper will lead the two student orchestras in the evening’s celebratory concert.

  • Nathaniel Hoyt, 21, will perform the first movement of the Dvorák Cello Concerto. This marks Hoyt’s second summer at EMF. He began his cello studies at age 7 and has performed with youth symphonies in West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. He is a rising senior at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music in Washington, where he won the 2018 Concerto Competition.
  • Ariel Wang, 15, will play the first movement of the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. She began studying piano at age 2 and, at 10, performed her first solo recital in her hometown of Vancouver, B.C. At 10, she won first prize in the American Protégé International Competition 2014. She performed at Carnegie Hall and won the Judges’ Distinction Award as the youngest on stage. Wang studies piano at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.
  • Elise Kim, 19, will play the first movement of the Devienne Flute Concerto No. 7. This marks Kim’s second summer at EMF. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Washington. She won first place in its concerto competition, in the Central Ohio Flute Association Competition, Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition and Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competition.
  • Fong Ho Man, 23, will play the first movement of the Lalo Cello Concerto. He studies cello performance at Hong Kong Baptist University. Fong is principal cellist with the Hong Kong Baptist University Orchestra and Collegium Musicum Hong Kong.
  • Clara Saïtkoulov, 20, will perform the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. She is from Paris, France, and started to play the violin at 6. The following year, she won first prize in the Vatelot-Rampal International Competition for Young Artists. In 2019, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Munich University of Performing Arts and will pursue a master’s degree at the Mannes School of Music in New York.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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