Donald Sinta Quartet Wins 2013 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition
The 2013 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition culminated last night, Wednesday evening, October 23, 2013 with the announcement of three winners of the annual international CAG Competition: the Donald Sinta Quartet, an American saxophone foursome; American violinist Alexi Kenney; and Korean pianist Ko-Eun Lee. All three join the CAG artist roster and receive two-year management contracts.
At the end of a concert at The Greene Space featuring the winners, Concert Artists Guild President Richard Weinert announced to a lively crowd of CAG supporters and industry professionals that the distinguished jury had awarded First Prize to the Donald Sinta Quartet, which carries with it The Victor and Sono Elmaleh Award of $5,000. The Donald Sinta Quartet also received a Chamber Music America Showcase Performance and the Victor Elmaleh Piano Prize went to pianist Ko-Eun Lee.
Since its formation in 2010, the Donald Sinta Quartet, comprised of Dan Graser, soprano saxophone; Zach Stern, alto saxophone; Joe Girard, tenor saxophone; and Danny Hawthorne-Foss, baritone saxophone, has achieved international renown for its recitals, concerto performances, and championing of cutting-edge new repertoire. DSQ was the featured soloist with The University of Michigan Symphony Band during its 2011 tour through China and Los Angeles. Active on the competition circuit, DSQ was awarded the Alice Coleman Grand Prize at the 2013 Coleman International Chamber Competition as well as the First Prize at the North American Saxophone Alliance Quartet Competition. Recent performances include recitals in Scotland and Greece, and at the Paris Conservatory, Versailles Conservatory, Selmer Paris Showroom, and Shanghai Conservatory.
Born in Palo Alto, California, 19-year-old violinist Alexi Kenney is already the recipient of several awards, including
Third Prize at the 2012 Yehudi Menuhin International Competition and the Manfred Grommek Prize at the 2013 Kronberg Academy Masterclasses. He has appeared as a soloist with the China Philharmonic Orchestra and in recital and quartet performances at Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Jordan Hall, the Kennedy Center, and the Mondavi Center. Alexi has performed at festivals including Caramoor's "Rising Stars," Music@Menlo and its Winter Residency, the Ravinia Festival's Steans Institute, and Yellow Barn. Alexi currently attends the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston where he studies with Donald Weilerstein on the Richard Elias Scholarship, having previously studied with Wei He, Jenny Rudin, and Natasha Fong.
Pianist Ko-Eun Lee has performed as soloist with the Boston Symphony, Barcelona Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, and the Aspen Concert Orchestra. Ko-Eun was a Top Prize winner in the World Piano Competition, Widemann Competition, Kosciuzko Foundation Chopin Competition, and E-Competition, performing at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall, the Chicago Cultural Center, and the Phillips Gallery in Washington, DC. Born in Seoul, Korea, she graduated with Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where she studied with noted pianist and pedagogue Jerome Lowenthal. She completed her Professional Studies at the Manhattan School of Music and is pursuing her Doctoral of Musical Arts at Stony Brook University.