Young Artists Perform for $43,000 in The 39th Annual Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition This Weekend

Young Artists Perform for $43,000 in The 39th Annual Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition This Weekend

As the cap to an extraordinary Centennial Season, the 39th annual Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition, hosted by the Houston Symphony League, will take place today, May 29 and Saturday, May 31 in Stude Concert Hall at Rice University. Ten Semi-Finalists from across the globe will compete for not only a chance at a much-coveted monetary prize but also a chance to perform with the Houston Symphony in the solo spotlight.

Continuing last year's exciting new tradition, the emerging musicians will compete for the Gold Medal prize of $25,000 given by Symphony patrons John and Tracy Dennis in honor of his grandmother. In total, this year's competition has $43,000 in monetary prizes. In an exciting weeklong experience, the selected musicians, representing a wide variety of instruments and nationalities, will have airfare provided by the Symphony's airline sponsor, United Airlines, in addition to being hosted in the homes of Symphony volunteers. These perks help alleviate out-of-pocket expenses and create an inviting environment for world-class emerging artists to not only compete but to come and explore the culture of Houston.

On Thursday, May 29, each of the Semi-Finalists will perform two concertos from memory with piano accompaniment for a panel of judges who will select four finalists to perform live with the Symphony. The four finalists will then perform one of their concertos again on Saturday, May 31 accompanied by the Houston Symphony in front of a live audience at Stude Concert Hall. The Finals Concert will also be broadcast live on Houston's Classical 91.7 FM. The First Place winner will earn a performance opportunity with the Houston Symphony at its second annual Day of Music celebration on July 12, and the Second Place winner will have the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony at a Miller Outdoor Theatre concert on June 28.

The Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition, unique in that it is not instrument specific in its selection, has a reputation of being a launch pad for young musicians and their future careers as performing artists. Past winners have gone on to win numerous national and international awards, receive positions throughout orchestras all over the world, and appear with the Houston Symphony as guest artists and members.

2014 Ima Hogg Competition Semi-Finalists

Fedor Amosov, cello

26 years old

Home: Moscow, Russia

Current: Cleveland, OH - Cleveland Institute of Music

Maria Chlebus, marimba

23 years old

Home: Warsaw, Poland

Current: Miami, FL - Frost School of Music at University of Miami

Fangyue He, violin

27 years old

Home: Shanghai, China

Current: New York, NY - Manhattan School of Music

Nadir Kashimov, violin

23 years old

Home: Atlanta, Georgia

Current: Cleveland, OH - Curtis Institute of Music

Brian Yuebing Lin, piano

22 years old

Home: Shenzhen, China

Current: New York, NY - The Julliard School

Lin Ma, clarinet

24 years old

Home: Hunan, China

Current: Houston, TX - The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University

Charles Seo, cello

18 years old

Home: Houston, TX

Current: Houston, TX - High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA)

Jiuming Shen, piano

22 years old

Home: Dalian, China

Current: Los Angeles, CA - The Colburn School of Music

Yekwon Sunwoo, piano

25 years old

Home: Anyang, China

Current: New York, NY - Mannes College The New School for Music

Josué Valdepeñas, cello