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Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA Announces 2021 Young Artist Competition Winners


Vancouver Symphony Orchestra USA Announces  2021 Young Artist Competition Winners

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra announces violinist Ezekiel Sokoloff (11th Grade, Homeschooled), flautist Nikka Gershman-Pepper (8th Grade, Colburn Music Academy), and pianist David Choi (8th Grade, Stanford Online High School) as the Gold Medalists of its 27th Young Artist Competition following an outstanding display of artistry from all nine finalists.

Gold medal winners in each category will receive the opportunity to perform with the VSO under the baton of Maestro Salvador Brotons on January 22 and 23, 2022 at Skyview Concert Hall. Silver Medalists were violinist Jonathan Okseniuk, pianist Alyssa Gabrilovich, and a tie between saxophonist Spencer Cox and flautist Erica Wang. Bronze Medalists were cellist Adrian Hsieh and pianist Dora-Ziyan Chen.

Open to submissions nationwide for the first time, nine of the nation's finest young musicians competed in three categories: piano, strings, and winds/brass. These talented students were chosen from over 100 applicants for their remarkable musical ability and virtuosity.

"The artistry on display this year was incredible," says VSO Music Director & Conductor, Salvador Brotons. "It is an honor to host this annual gathering of talent and we look forward to welcoming our Gold Medalists to the stage for their VSO debuts in January." All finalists receive generous cash prizes. Gold Medalists are awarded $5,000 each; Silver Medalists, $2,000 each; Bronze Medalists, $1,000 each.

The final round of the competition was judged by an extraordinary panel of five renowned performers and educators including:

• Maestro Salvador Brotons­ - VSO Music Director and Conductor
Zuill Bailey - GRAMMY award-winning cellist
• Pedro Díaz - Principal English horn for the Metropolitan Opera's orchestra
• Dr. Igal Kesselman - Artistic Director of Kaufman Music Center International Piano Competition
• Dr. Stephen Shepherd - VSO and Portland Columbia Symphony Associate Concertmaster

Prior to the competition, VSO held their "Distinguished Speaker Series: Panel Discussion" featuring four judges - Bailey, Díaz, Dr. Kesselman, and Dr. Shepherd. Free and open to the public, the discussion was met with enthusiasm throughout the community as the VSO continues to share the indomitable spirit of music.

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