WAMSO Young Artist Competition winners.
The competitions first prize was awarded to cellist Fedor Amosov. The 19-year-old native of Moscow is currently in the artist diploma program at Michigan State University, studying with Suren Bagratuni. Amosov received $7,500 in WAMSO awards, plus the $500 Vincent R. Bastien Memorial Cello Award. He has earned a performance with the Minnesota Orchestra and a solo recital performance with the Schubert Club of St. Paul, as well as a taped performance on McGraw Hill's Young Artist Showcase, WQXR in New York City. He also was the recipient of a $5,000 scholarship to the Aspen Music School in Aspen, Colorado.
Tubist Aubrey Foard, 25, won second prize. Foard, a native of Brookfield, Wisconsin, is currently a professional studies certificate candidate at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, working with Norm Pearson. He holds a master's degree from Rice University and a bachelor's degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music. The second prize includes a $4,000 award from WAMSO plus a taped performance on radio WQXR in New York City.
The $2,000 third prize went to pianist Ksenia Leletkina, 24, who recently completed her master's degrees in piano performance and collaborative piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Antonio PompaBaldi and Anita Pontremoli. Leletkina also received the $500 Mary Winston Smail Memorial Piano Award.
Cheng Chen, 25, piano, artist diploma candidate at Hamline University, won a performance with the St. Paul Civic Symphony. Jennise Hwang, 21, violin, a senior at Northwestern University, was awarded the $1,000 Twin Cities Musicians Union prize. Emma Steele, 17, a homeschooled student from Chicago, Illinois, won the $1,000 Elaine Lagerstrom Memorial Violin Award and a scholarship to the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp. And semifinalist, pianist Lindsay Garritson, 20, a senior at Principia College, won a scholarship to the Madeline Island Music Camp.
The Young Artist Competition is a collaborative effort between WAMSO-Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association and the Minnesota Orchestra. Musicians under age 26 compete for more than $15,000 in cash prizes, scholarships, performance opportunities and summer program scholarships. This year's finalists were drawn from an original field of 58 applicants; 14 contestants advanced to the semifinals.
Started in 1956, the competition now draws talented young musicians to the Twin Cities from all over the world who are legal residents of or enrolled in schools in 11 Midwestern states or the provinces of Manitoba or Ontario, Canada. WAMSO is in its 57th year of providing support for the Minnesota Orchestra and promoting music education throughout Minnesota.