Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces Winners of the 2015 Competition for Strings: $24,000 Awarded To Seven Contestants; Seven young and gifted string musicians from around the state won prestigious recognition and thousands of dollars in prize money in this annual competition

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Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces

Winners of the 2015 Competition for Strings:

$24,000 Awarded To Seven Contestants

Seven young and gifted string musicians from around the state won prestigious recognition and thousands of dollars in prize money in this annual competition.

 

(Sarasota-Manatee) Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota announces the winners of the 2015 Competition for Strings. The competition rotates each year between voice, piano, or string instruments and is open to talented young musicians who are residents of Florida. The event was April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. A total of $24,000 was awarded to seven contestants.

This year, 13 young string musicians, eight in the Scholarship Level and five in the Performance Level, competed in the semi-final round. Of these, four in the Scholarship Level and three in the Performance Level continued to the final round. The finalists were then presented in an evening public performance and judged by a panel of distinguished musicians and educators. This year’s finalist judges were the celebrated violinist and educator Linda Cerone; the acclaimed violinist and conductor Joseph Silverstein; and double bassist, composer and lecturer Roger Ruggeri.

Four Scholarship Level prizes were awarded to students who are between the ages 14 and 19. Violinist Erin Liana Branscome, 17, Palm Beach Gardens, was awarded the Jerold and Lee Dougherty Ross Scholarship (funded by Artist Series Concerts Friends) of $3,000 as first-prize winner in the Scholarship Level. Violinist Xiaonan Huang, 19, Boca Raton, was awarded the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s Scholarship of $2,500 as second-prize winner in the Scholarship Level. Cellist Erica Ogihara, 17, Pinecrest, was awarded the Herb and Edie Winston Scholarship Award of $2,000 as third-prize winner in the Scholarship Level. Violist Cameren Anai Williams, 15, West Palm Beach, was awarded a Judges Special Award of $1,500, also provided by Edith Winston in loving memory of Herb Winston.

Three Performance Level prizes were awarded to students who are between the ages 20 and 25. Violinist Ryan Meehan, 25, St. Petersburg, was awarded the Virginia B. Toulmin Award of $6,000 as first-prize winner in the Performance Level. Cellist Ye Young Yoo, 21, Sarasota, was awarded $5,000 (funded by Artist Series Concerts Friends) as second-prize winner in the Performance Level. Violinist Likai He, 25, Jacksonville, was awarded the Mary Thienes-Schunemann Award (endowed by Dr. R. Lawrence Thienes) of $4,000 as third-prize winner in the Performance Level.

Now in its 13th year, the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Scholarship Program sponsors one of the most prestigious competitions in Florida. Under the guidance of Joy McIntyre, the program developed in size and quality and has resulted in substantial awards funded by supporters of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. According to McIntyre, past winners often go on to major music schools and pursue successful music careers. She says that in selecting the  semi-finalists, judges look for “accuracy, artistry and technique.”

“Our adjudicators are all brilliant music educators and musicians,” says McIntyre. “Their participation raises the bar to a whole new level. Being judged and counseled by such celebrated educators is exciting and an honor that will stay with the performers their whole lives.”

“One of the primary goals of the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota is to take an active role in building the next generation of professional musicians by providing support to promising young musicians,” says John Fischer, executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. “In the past decade we’ve raised $199,250 to 66 winners gifted young musicians. Our focus is the future. The support we get to present this competition makes that future possible.”

Since 1996, Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota has presented an ever-expanding annual season of concerts by globally renowned and celebrated emerging artists. The 2014-2015 season runs through May  and includes six concerts in its “Classical Recital Series,” four concerts in its “Pop Series,” three special concerts and the inaugural North Port concert series. Three “Lunch, Look and Listen” events were also scheduled. For more information about the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s 2014-2015 season, visit www.artistseriesconcerts.org or call 941-306-1202.

 

Photo captions:

  • Photo 01: (Left to right) John Fischer (executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota), cellist Ye Young Yoo (21; Sarasota), violinist Xiaonan Huang (19; Boca Raton), violist Cameren Anai Williams (15; West Palm Beach), cellist Erica Ogihara (17; Pinecrest), violinist Erin Liana Branscome (17; Palm Beach Gardens), violinist Likai He (25; Jacksonville), violinist Ryan Meehan (25; St. Petersburg), and Lee Dougherty Ross (artistic director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota) at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
  • Photo 02: (Left to right) Olivia Swaan (ASC board member), John Fischer (executive director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota), Jane Riggin (ASC board member), Edie Winston (ASC donor), Katherine Lauder (ASC donor); Joy McIntyre (director and coordinator of the 2015 Competition for Strings); and Lee Dougherty Ross (artistic director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota) at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
  • Photo 03: (Left to right) Performance level winners: Violinist Likai He (25; Jacksonville), cellist Ye Young Yoo (21; Sarasota) and violinist Ryan Meehan (25; St. Petersburg) at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
  • Photo 04: (Left to right) Cellist Erica Ogihara, Edie Winston (ASC donor), and violist Cameren Anai Williams at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
  • Photo 05: (Left to right) Lee Dougherty Ross (artistic director of Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota) and violinist Erin Liana Branscome at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
  • Photo 08: (Left to right) Scholarship level winners: Violinist Erin Liana Branscome (17; Palm Beach Gardens), cellist Erica Ogihara (17; Pinecrest) and violinist Xiaonan Huang (19; Boca Raton) at the 2015 Competition for Strings on April 11 at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center in Sarasota. Photo by Rod Millington.
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