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Three Young Virtuosos Named Winners of the 2013 Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition

April 18, 2013

Exceptional Young Musicians in Greater Philadelphia Region Win Solo Opportunities to perform with The Philadelphia Orchestra 

(Philadelphia, April 18, 2013)–Three young artists have won the 2013 Philadelphia Orchestra Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition and will appear with the Orchestra as soloists over the next year. Thirteen students performed during the final round of competition on March 26 before an audience in Perelman Theater at The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. 

The winners of the 2013 Greenfield Competition are Audrey Emata (flute, from Wallingford, PA) in the Children’s Division, Zeyu Victor Li (violin, from Philadelphia, PA) in the Junior Division, and Won Suk Lee (percussion, performing on marimba, from Philadelphia, PA) in the Senior Division. All winners receive monetary awards in addition to their solo engagements with the Orchestra. New this year, five young musicians received honorable mentions: April Lee (cello) in the Children’s Division, Sein An (violin) and Hyun Jae Lim (violin) in the Junior Division, and Lauren Frey (soprano) and Jeonghyoun Lee (cello) in the Senior Division. 

During the Competition finals, the winners performed such works as Franz Doppler’s Fantaisie pastorale hongroise, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, and Keiko Abe’s Prism Rhapsody for marimba and orchestra.

“It is always so inspiring to witness the passion and talent these students possess, and gratifying to have a way to reward them for their dedication and determination,” said Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore. “Encouraging the next generation of musicians is one of the most important things we can do as fellow artists, and we congratulate these three young virtuosos, as well as all who competed. We look forward to hearing the winners perform with the Orchestra on our home stage in Verizon Hall next year.”

Then-Music Director Leopold Stokowski first initiated a Philadelphia Orchestra Student Competition in 1933, later named in 1992 in recognition of a generous endowment gift from the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. This annual Competition is open to all vocalists, pianists, and instrumentalists who reside in, or study regularly with, a teacher who resides in the Greater Philadelphia area. Entrants are divided into

categories by age, and are adjudicated against a standard of excellence on the following merits: exceptional talent, virtuosity, artistic individuality, and projection as a performer. Since its inception, more than 400 winners have appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and many have established international solo careers, including soprano Benita Valente, pianists Eugene Istomin and André Watts, and violinist Hilary Hahn. Many current Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are also former winners of the Competition including violinists Richard Amoroso, Yayoi Numazawa, and Yumi Ninomiya Scott; violist Burchard Tang; bassoonist Mark Gigliotti (co-principal); bass trombone Blair Bollinger; and pianist Kiyoko Takeuti.

The Competition is one of many programs underscoring The Philadelphia Orchestra’s unwavering commitment to education and arts cultivation in youth and families with young children. Programs like School Concerts, eZseatU (an annual college student membership program), and the Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition impact over 17,000 elementary, middle, high school, and college students annually. In addition to its work with students, the Orchestra remains committed to engaging young families in the local community and the community at large, with interactive programs such as Sound All Around (for children ages 3-5) and Family Concerts (for children ages 6-12). Additionally, the Billy Joel School Concert Program—created through a generous gift from Billy Joel in 2008—provides financial and curricular support to over 80 city elementary and middle schools each year. The Orchestra also offers learning programs just for adults, including free PreConcert Conversations before every subscription concert, Lecture/Luncheons with guest speakers, and Post-Concert Conversations—offering an unparalleled opportunity for concertgoers to ask questions about the music they have just heard, and connect with the artists in a more intimate and personal way.

 

Audrey Emata

Audrey Emata, age 12, has been studying flute since the age of six with Rebecca Simon and studies in New York City with Dr. Bradley Garner. She has won first prizes at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair, the Philadelphia Flute Society, the Pocono Flute Festival, and the New York Flute Club competitions. She has performed at the Kennedy Center as a winner of the Asian American Music Society’s International Competition and has soloed with the Lansdowne and Ambler symphonies as a winner of their young artist competitions.

In 2011, Miss Emata was the recipient of a Yamaha Prize at the Julius Baker Master Classes in Danbury, CT, and in 2012 she received a scholarship to attend the Scottish International Flute Summer School in St. Andrews, where she studied with Wissam Boustany and Ruth Morley. She has performed in master classes for Carol Wincenc, Ian Clarke, Gary Schocker, Susan Hoeppner, Bradley Garner, Tadeu Coelho, and Lorna McGhee. 

Miss Emata is in the sixth grade at Strath Haven Middle School in Wallingford, PA, where she plays in the school band and sings in the select chorus. She is a member of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra and also enjoys playing piccolo and piano, as well as reading, tap dancing, sewing, and romping with her pugnacious pug, Lorelei.

 

Zeyu Victor Li

Zeyu Victor Li, age 16, was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music when he was 14 years old. He has studied with Aaron Rosand for over two years. In total, Mr. Li has studied violin for 11 years under the tutelage of Mr. Rosand and former teachers Zhu Qin Ling and Lei Feng.     

Mr. Li’s skill and innate musical talent came to fruition at the 2009 Qingdao Ninth National Youth Violin Competition, where he won the Junior Division Gold Award and was the only winner of the Chinese work performance prize. In 2012 he won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition New Creations Performance Award (Composer Prize). Also, in the summer of 2012 he was awarded first place in the Senior Division in the concerto competition of the Summit Music Festival in New York.     

In 2009 Mr. Li took his violin to Shanghai, where he participated in a gala concert held at the Shanghai Concert Hall. During that trip, renowned violinist Pinchas Zukerman praised him, saying, “You’re a genius. Your future is a bright future.” 

After Mr. Li entered Curtis, he performed at Carnegie Hall as well as at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. In 2012 he participated in the American Summer Music Festival at the Mann Center.

 

Won Suk Lee

Won Suk Lee, from Seoul, Korea, entered the Curtis Institute of Music in 2012 and studies timpani and percussion with Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Timpani Don Liuzzi, Robert van Sice, and Alan Abel. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full tuition scholarships, and Mr. Lee is the David H. Springman Memorial Fellow.

Mr. Lee has performed as a soloist with the Incheon Philharmonic (2010) and the Bucheon Philharmonic (2009). He was the youngest guest percussionist with the Seoul Philharmonic in 2012. He attended the Chosen Vale Percussion seminar in 2012 and the International Percussion Festival in Seoul 2010 and 2012. He also performed at Tongyeong International Music Festival in 2012.

Mr. Lee has received several awards and honors including the Colin Currie Scholarship at the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar and first prizes at the Music Journal National Competition and competitions at Yonsei University and Seoul National University. His previous teachers include Chang Tae Park, La Young Park, Jin Hee Cho, and Edward Choi.

 

The Philadelphia Orchestra

Renowned for its distinctive sound, beloved for its keen ability to capture the hearts and imaginations of audiences, and admired for an unrivaled legacy of “firsts” in music-making, The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of the preeminent orchestras in the world.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin became the eighth music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra beginning in the 2012-13 season and brings a vision that extends beyond symphonic music into the vivid world of opera and choral music. He follows an extraordinary history of artistic leaders in the Orchestra’s 112 seasons, including music directors Fritz Scheel, Carl Pohlig, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy, Riccardo Muti, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Christoph Eschenbach, and Charles Dutoit, who served as chief conductor from 2008 to 2012.

The Philadelphia Orchestra maintains a strong commitment to collaborations with cultural and community organizations on a regional and national level. Since Orchestra President and CEO Allison Vulgamore’s arrival in 2010 The Philadelphia Orchestra has reinvigorated or launched new partnerships with the Pennsylvania Ballet, Philadelphia Live Arts (Fringe Festival), Philadanco, the Curtis Institute of Music, the Marian Anderson Award, the Ridge Theater Company, and stage director James Alexander, among others.

Philadelphia is home and the Orchestra nurtures an important relationship not only with patrons who support the main season at the Kimmel Center but also those who enjoy the Orchestra’s other area performances at the Mann Center, Penn’s Landing, and other venues. The Philadelphia Orchestra Association also continues to own the Academy of Music, a National Historic Landmark.

Through concerts, tours, residencies, presentations, and recordings, the Orchestra is a global ambassador for Philadelphia and for the U.S. Having been the first American orchestra to perform in China, in 1973 at the request of President Nixon, today The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts a new partnership with the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing. The Orchestra annually performs at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center while also enjoying a three-week residency in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., and a strong partnership with the Bravo! Vail festival.

The ensemble recently joined with SpectiCast to deliver simulcasts of Orchestra concerts into theaters, schools, and performing arts centers. The Orchestra also recently announced a partnership with WRTI (90.1 FM) to broadcast pre-recorded versions of its subscription concerts from February through May 2013. The ensemble maintains an important Philadelphia tradition of presenting educational programs for students of all ages. Today the Orchestra executes a myriad of education and community partnership programs serving nearly 50,000 annually, including its Neighborhood Concert Series, Sound All Around and Family Concerts, and eZseatU. In February 2013 the Orchestra announced a recording project with Deutsche Grammophon, in which Yannick and the ensemble will record Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. For more information on The Philadelphia Orchestra, please visit www.philorch.org.