Winners of the 2013 Jean L. Petitt Memorial Music Competition to Perform with the POPS Orchestra at Severance Hall, 3/15 and 5/30

Two grand prize winners of the 2013 Cleveland POPS Orchestra "Jean L. Petitt Memorial Music Competition," will be performing with the POPS Orchestra this spring at Severance Hall.

Thirteen-year-old pianist Lewis Zou, an 8th grader at Solon Middle School will perform during the Cleveland POPS "St. Patrick's Celebration" concert on Saturday, March 15, 2014. Zou began his formal musical education at the age of five at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 2010, 2011, and 2013 Lewis won first prize in the Ohio Music Teachers Association District Buckeye Piano Competition. In May of 2011 he made his debut as soloist with orchestra performing Haydn's Piano Concerto in D Major with the Lakeland Civic Orchestra as a result of winning the Lakeland Civic Orchestra's Young Artist Competition. In 2012 he was selected to participate in the Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition held in Salt Lake City in June of 2012. He also won the state Music Teachers National Association competition in October of 2012. His performance of the Tchaikovsky First Piano Concerto marks his debut with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra as a result of winning the 2013 Jean L. Petitt Memorial Music Scholarship Competition. Lewis currently studies piano with Gerardo Teissonnière in the Pre-College Piano Division at Cleveland Institute of Music.

Seventeen-year-old violinist Maria Beltavski, a preparatory student of David Updegraff at The Cleveland Institute of Music, will be making her Cleveland POPS Orchestra debut on Friday, May 30, 2014 during the orchestra's "14thAnnual Salute to the Armed Forces" performance. She is currently Concertmaster of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra (COYO) under the direction of Brett Mitchell. Now in her third year as a member of COYO, Maria rehearses and performs in Severance Hall and is coached by members of the Cleveland Orchestra. She participated in the 2012 European Tour performing in Prague, Vienna, and Salzburg. Miss Beltavski has performed side-by-side concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra - one of which was aired on PBS under the baton of Franz Welser-Möst and has also performed live with COYO on WCLV. Maria has held positions such as Principal Second Violin and Associate Concertmaster and had the privilege of working with conductor James Feddeck. A life-long home school student of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Home Study School, she is currently in her Senior Year and will receive her diploma in May 2014. Maria plans to pursue a degree in Violin Performance.

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by Peter Danish