Violinist Michael Sigal, Receives First Prize at the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s 46th Young Artists Competition

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra congratulates the winners of the 46th Young Artists Competition (YAC). Five musicians from around Connecticut competed in the YAC Finals and were able to perform with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, May 19, 2024, on the stage of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts. The finalists included: Eli Gold (percussion/marimba), Jackson Hill (viola), Matthew Li (French horn), Max Salzinger (cello), and Michael Sigal (violin).

Violinist Michael Sigal, of Southport, CT and a senior at Fairfield Ludlowe High School, took the day’s top prize. Michael has been studying violin for 12 years with Teri Einfeldt at The Hartt School and has been a violinist with the Apollo Quartet since 2016. In 2021, 2022, and 2023, he participated in the CMEA Western Regional Orchestras and CMEA All State Orchestras and was accepted into the 2021 All-Nationals Festival. Michael has been a member of the Greater Connecticut Youth Orchestras since 2022 and is concertmaster of their principal orchestra for the 2023/24 season. In 2024, he won first place at the GCTYO Concerto Competition.

At his school, Michael is the concertmaster of the FLHS Chamber and Philharmonic Orchestras, the recently elected president of Tri-M (Music Honor Society) and a baritone leader in the FLHS Chamber Choir and acapella. In 2022, Michael was awarded the Abraham Huang and Eastman music awards and scholarships. Outside of music, he is the editor-in-chief of the FLHS Prospect Newspaper and enjoys reading and writing in his free time.

Michael will attend Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in the Fall to pursue a double major in International Affairs and Violin Performance.

Other winners include first runner up, Eli Gold (percussion/marimba) of Simsbury, and second runner up, Jackson Hill (viola) of West Hartford.

HSO Board Vice Chair, and Chair of Education and Community Engagement, Diane Whitney said, “Once again the young finalists in the HSO’s Young Artist Competition thrill us all with their skill and dedication to the music we love. The future of classical music seems to be in very good hands with Connecticut’s superb young students. We all celebrate their achievements.”

To be eligible, students had to be Connecticut residents in grades 9-12 during the 2023-2024 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.

The 46th Young Artists Competition is made possible by our leading sponsors The Richard P. Garmany Fund at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, and Nancy and Jeffrey Hoffman, with additional support from: Donna Collins, Hollis Dorman, Wendy M. Haller, Jerry and Barbara Hess, Helen and Don Hughlett, Mary and Frank Petras, Diane and Gary Whitney, Claire and Jan Kennedy, and Laura Harris and Joe Solodow.

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