Three talented young local musicians won top honors at the Sammamish Symphony’s 2019 Youth Concerto Competition held May 18 in Bellevue. Sandy Huang, a 15-year-old sophomore at Skyline High School, took first place with her performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 “Emperor”, in E-flat major, Op. 73. Sandy began studying piano at the age of six and is currently a student of international pianist Michi Hirata North. She has been the top prize winner at many local competitions and most recently won first prize in both the Solo and Concerto divisions of the 2019 Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside and was the recipient of the 2019 Mary McShane Memorial scholarship awarded by the Eastside Music Teachers Association competition. In addition to piano, Sandy also plays violin with the Evergreen Philharmonic, and in her spare time, she enjoys swimming, dancing, skiing, baking, volunteering with community groups, and being the piano accompanist for her brother’s cello recitals. As the Youth Concert Competition winner, Sandy will perform as a soloist with the Sammamish Symphony during one of their 2019-2020 season concerts.
The competition’s second and third place finishers were clarinetist Bram Schenck and cellist Charlie Lee, respectively. Bram currently plays principal clarinet in the Seattle Youth Symphony and studies with Emil Khudyev, Mary Kantor and piano collaborator Nozomi Khudyev. He has been a finalist in many competitions such as Seattle Young Artists Music Festival, Bushell and Interlochen, and has also performed with the Tanglewood Young Artists Orchestra. Charlie, an 11-year-old fifth grader at Lakeside School, started studying the cello at the age of four and has received many awards for his playing. He participates in both his school orchestra and the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and studies with Eric Han and Sounglim Lee.
The symphony’s annual Youth Concerto Competition recognizes and encourages outstanding young musicians by offering them the opportunity to showcase their talents and participate in a competitive musical process. The Sammamish Symphony, led by conductor and music director Adam Stern, has a long history of promoting involvement in the arts for young musicians, and this year’s competition marks the event’s 14th anniversary. For more information about the competition, this year’s winners and the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra, please visit SammamishSymphony.org.
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