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The Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of the 44th Young Artists Competition

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra announces the winners of the 44th Young Artists Competition

Headshots of YAC FinalistsThe Hartford Symphony Orchestra is thrilled to announce the finalists of the 44th Young Artists Competition (YAC). Five musicians from around Connecticut will perform in the YAC Finals with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at 2 p.m. at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.  This final round is open to the public, with tickets available through the HSO Box Office for $10.

Finalists include:

Christopher Hill, cello, Concerto in e minor Op. 85
Samantha Kramer, violin, Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64
Vien Le, cello, Tchaikovsky, Variations on a Rococo Theme
Tyler Ngai, cello, Dvorak, Concerto in B minor, Op.104
Braeden Shizume, piano, Mendelssohn, Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor

To be eligible, students had to be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2021-2022 academic year, could not be a previous first place winner of the HSO’s Young Artists Competition and must play one of the following instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, saxophone, percussion, harp, piano, violin, viola, cello, bass, or guitar.

“This year’s Young Artists Competition, our first live competition since 2019, features some of the state’s most talented high school musicians,” said Timothy Brown, Director of Learning & Social Impact at the HSO.  “It’s both inspiring and humbling to hear them play. After a challenging past couple of years, it gives me great confidence in the future of classical music.”

The 44th Young Artists Competition is made possible by our leading sponsors Richard P. Garmany Find at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Ron & Nancy Compton, and Dara Ribicoff, with additional support from: Acorn Alcinda Foundation, Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, Helen & Don Hughlett, Diane Whitney, Alan & Joan Reiskin, Irene J. Loretto, Joseph Spada, Ruth Ann C. Davis, Lois A. Muraro & Carl J. Elsishans, Wendy Haller, Arnold Greenberg, Laura Harris, Hollis Dorman, Rona Gollob, Robert Connell & Michelle Duffy, Katherine Papathanasis, Adam Winstanley, Lois Koteen, Jerry & Barbara Hess, Donna A. Collins, Frank & Mary Petras, Andrew T. and Feather Spearman.

About the Winners

Christopher Hill is a Junior at Conard High School in West Hartford, CT. He is Principal Cello of the sleeve West Hartford High School Chamber Orchestra I Giovanni Solisti under the direction of Emmett Drake, and Principal Cello of the Connecticut Youth Symphony. Christopher has been a finalist in multiple years at the Danbury Music School Concerto Competition and was also selected as a finalist in February 2020 for the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. In addition, he was awarded Second Place at The Musical Club of Hartford High School competition, and co-winner of the CT Youth Symphony’s annual concerto competition for which he was featured in the May 2021 concert.

Samantha Kramer is a senior at Conard High School in West Hartford. She has been studying violin in Teri Einfedlt’s studio since the age of 5. Samantha is a member of the Connecticut Youth Symphony and I Giovani Solisti and has participated in the Connecticut All-State Orchestra throughout high school. Samantha’s previous accomplishments include winning the 2022 Young Musicians Concerto Competition with the Hamden Symphony, being a Finalist in the 2019 CT-ASTA String Competition and winning the 2019 Hartt School Honors Chamber Music Competition with her quartet. She will be attending Oberlin in the fall to pursue a dual degree in Violin Performance and Neuroscience.

Vien Le is a junior at Canton High School. She began studying cello at the age of 4 and piano at the age of 6 through the Hartt School Community Division. She studied cello with Carmen Irons and Eric Dahlin, and currently studies with Blake Brasch. She studies piano with Malgosia Lis. Vien has regularly participated in Suzuki string orchestras with conductor Emmett Drake, and various chamber groups including her current trio as a cellist and duo as a pianist. She is currently in the Connecticut Youth Symphony at Hartt, and she also is a percussionist and singer at her high school.

Tyler Ngai, a junior at Conard High School in West Hartford, Connecticut, has been studying the cello for the past twelve years and is currently studying with Blake Brasch through the Suzuki Program at the Hartt School Community Division. Tyler has been a regular member of the Community Division’s Suzuki orchestras and chamber music program and is presently a member of the Connecticut Youth Symphony as well as the select West Hartford High School Chamber Orchestra I Giovani Solisiti. As a participant in the Cincinnati Young Artist Summer Cello Academy and the International Cello Institute, he has been given the opportunity to play for artists and teachers that include Richard Aaron, Jens Peter Maintz, Colin Carr, Pablo Ferrández, Brant Taylor, Hans Jørgen Jensen, and Hannah Roberts

Braeden Shizume is a 10th grade student at Nathan Hale Ray High School in East Haddam, CT. He is a member of the Tri M Music Honor Society, as well as a high honor roll student. He has been studying the piano for seven years. He is currently under the tutelage of Dr. Marie Jureit-Beamish. In the past several years, he has won numerous awards, including the CSMTA Karen Nelson Scholarship in 2018, honorable mention at the Connecticut MTNA State competition in 2020, 1st place at the Opus Music Competition (state level) in 2021, the Rachmaninoff Award at the URI Piano Extravaganza in 2022, and is a semi-finalist in the Hartford Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition (2022). He will be studying at the Adamant Music School in Vermont during the summer, under the instruction of the acclaimed pianist Roberta Rust. He is a percussionist in his High School band, and also a member of the school chess team and math team.

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©2018 Hartford Symphony Orchestra
The Bushnell: 166 Capitol Ave. Hartford, CT 06106