Announcing The Winners Of The 2018 CAG Competition
The 2018 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition culminated Wednesday evening, October 17, at CAG's Winners' Showcase Concert, featuring performances by the winners of the annual international competition.
The First Prize was awarded to pianist Yinuo Wang, 22. Management prizes were awarded to percussionist Dmitrii Nilov, 26 and multi-string quartet Invoke. Invoke was also designated as a New Music/New Places ensemble. All the artists will make their New York debuts during the 2019-20 concert season on the CAG Presents concert series.
The New Music/New Places prize is for an individual or ensemble that displays a particular strength and connection to new music and adventurous programming in both alternative and traditional venues, as well as a strong commitment to education and outreach into the community. New Music/New Places awards have been given to artists including Imani Winds, PUBLIQuartet and bassist Sam Suggs.
The winners were chosen through a rigorous selection process. Over 250 applicants to the 2018 Competition submitted recordings which were independently evaluated by two professional musicians. Based on these critiques, 75 applicants were invited to the semifinal round in New York. Seven panels of judges evaluated the semifinalists and selected 12 to advance to the Final Round, which took place at Merkin Hall on October 16. The members of the Jury for the Final Auditions were:
Phillip J. Bergmann
Head of Music and Film Programming, The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach (FL)
President and CEO, Washington Performing Arts (DC)
Violinist, Emerson String Quartet
Cellist; Chair, Cello Department, Juilliard School; Juilliard String Quartet (1974-2016)
Director of Artistic Planning, Baltimore Symphony (MD)
Conductor; Music Director, Allentown Symphony Orchestra (PA) and Garden State Philharmonic (NJ)
Director, Music Programming, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts (NY)
Chinese pianist Yinuo Wang was the First Prize Winner of the Wideman International Piano Competition in Louisiana in 2017, and received second prize at the Artist Recognition Scholarship Awards Competition at IKIF in New York City in 2018. She has performed in China, Ukraine, Spain, and the US, and has collaborated with artists including the Escher Quartet and cellist Andrés Diaz. Yinuo currently studies at The Juilliard School with Robert McDonald, and in 2018 obtained her Performer's Diploma at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, studying with Alessio Bax.
Russian percussionist Dmitrii Nilov's performance highlights include Alte Oper Frankfurt, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, the Mariinsky Theater Concert Hall, and the New World Center in Miami, FL. He was recently featured as a co-soloist with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, performing Avner Dorman's double percussion concerto. Dmitrii is an advocate for new music and has recently collaborated with composers including Hannah Lash, Lansing McLoskey, and Alejandro Viñao. He is a graduate of the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he studied with CAG alum Svet Stoyanov, and the Yale School of Music.
Described as "not classical...but not not classical," American multi-string quartet Invoke continues to successfully dodge the most valiant attempts at genre classification. The multi-instrumental band's influences encompass traditions from across America, including bluegrass, Appalachian fiddle tunes, jazz, and minimalism. Fueled by their passion for storytelling, Invoke weaves together all of these styles to form a unique contemporary repertoire, which features original works composed by and for the group. This passion also inspired Invoke's ongoing commissioning initiative "American Postcards," in which they draw on composers from all backgrounds to help tell the stories of America, piece by piece. In 2018, the ensemble won First Prize in the Open Category of the M-Prize international chamber arts competition in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and was recently awarded the John Lad Prize by the St. Lawrence String Quartet.
Founded in 1951, Concert Artists Guild helps young musicians launch concert careers. Winners of CAG's annual competition receive comprehensive management support, including a debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, concert bookings, opportunities through the CAG Commissioning Program and CAG Records label, marketing, publicity, and mentorship. Notable alumni artists include violinists Jennifer Koh, Joseph Lin (Juilliard Quartet), and Eugene Drucker (Emerson Quartet); pianists Barry Douglas, Michael Brown, and Daniel Hsu; clarinetists David Shifrin and David Krakauer; flutists Carol Wincenc, Marina Piccinini, and MacArthur Fellow Claire Chase; groundbreaking ensembles Imani Winds, the Brasil Guitar Duo, and Sybarite5; and Grammy-winning ensembles Pacifica and Parker String Quartets, Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and MacArthur Fellow Eighth Blackbird.