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

23 years old

Home: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

Thursday, May 29, 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Ima Hogg Competition Semi-Finals

Stude Concert Hall

Rice University

6100 Main

Houston, Texas 77005


Saturday, May 31, 7:00 PM

Ima Hogg Competition Finals

Stude Concert Hall

Rice University

6100 Main

Houston, Texas 77005

Tickets: $25


First Place

The Grace Woodson Memorial Award

Given by John and Tracy Dennis, in honor of his grandmother


Solo appearance with the Houston Symphony: Houston Chronicle Concert on July 12, 2014

Second Place


Solo appearance with the Houston Symphony: Miller Outdoor Theatre performance on June 28, 2014

Third Place


Fourth Place


Audience Choice


Artistic Encouragement


About the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition

Named and purposed after former Founder and President of the Houston Symphony Miss Ima Hogg, this competition identifies and rewards excellence in young musicians between the ages of 13 to 30, who are pursuing a career in music. The goal is consistent with the vision of Miss Ima Hogg, whose passions included fostering young talent and supporting the Houston Symphony. It's one of the few instrumental competitions that include all standard orchestral instruments. The Ima Hogg Competition is a definitive breeding ground for fine musicians. Past winners have won numerous national and international competitions, received principal posts with some of the world's major orchestras and even occupied seats within the Houston Symphony - Concertmaster Frank Huang and Principal Keyboardist Scott Holshouser are two such players.

About the Houston Symphony Leagues

The Houston Symphony League and the Houston Symphony League Bay Area are dedicated to supporting the Houston Symphony through volunteer efforts and fundraising. Symphony League members are involved with the Symphony's education programs through student music competitions and activities at Family Concerts, Student Concerts, Sounds Like Fun! concerts and Theater District Open House. Members from the Bay Area League promote music appreciation to elementary students in Clear Creek ISD through enrichment programs in the schools. Both Leagues contribute to the successful operation of the Houston Symphony League's Concerto Competition by providing volunteers for in-hall support and hospitality.

About the Houston Symphony

During the current 2013-14 Season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its 100th year as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. In the upcoming 2014-15 Season, the orchestra begins its next century under the direction of Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the organization's first Hispanic music director and 15th overall. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $30.7 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 286 performances for 300,000 people, including 82,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit or call 713-224-7575.