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Two Academy Ensembles Tie In Chicago International Music Competition

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More than 400 musicians in 22 countries applied to the virtual competition.

Two Academy Ensembles Tie In Chicago International Music Competition

Two student ensembles from the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy for gifted pre-college pianists and string players have tied for the Grand Prize in the Amateur Division 2020 Chicago International Music Competition. More than 400 musicians in 22 countries applied to the virtual competition.

Trio Primavera, coached by Rodolfo Vieira and Mark George, featured:

  • Jan Vargas Nedvetsky (Wilmette, Illinois), age 14, cello
  • Esme Arias-Kim (Hoffman Estates, Illinois), age 14, violin
  • Yerin Yang, (Mount Prospect, Illinois), age 17, studying piano performance in the studio of Matti Raekallio at The Juilliard School.

Dasani String Quartet, coached by Mathias Tacke, featured:

  • Isabella Brown (Gurnee, Illinois), age 17, violin
  • Katya Moeller (Coralville, Iowa), age 16, violin
  • Zechariah Mo (Rolling Meadows, Illinois), age 18, studying viola performance in the studio of Paul Coletti at The Colburn School
  • Brandon Cheng (Chicago, Illinois), age 17, cello

Music Institute of Chicago Academy alumni have gone on to prestigious careers, among them soloist and chamber musician Matthew Lipman, a violist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and Ryan Meehan, a violinist with the award-winning Calidore String Quartet. In addition to the two graduates in the winning ensembles, other graduates from the past year are studying at Carnegie Mellon University, DePaul University School of Music, and The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. In addition, graduate Colin Song is attending Emory University as a Woodruff Music Scholar, majoring in neuroscience and behavioral biology and music and studying piano performance in the studio of Elena Cholakova.

The Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, led by Director James Setapen, is a nationally recognized training center for gifted pre-college pianists and string players that provides a comprehensive music education for students who aspire to be professional musicians. Faculty, staff, and students come together for an intensive 30-week program that includes private lessons with Academy artist faculty, a rigorous chamber music component, a stimulating chamber orchestra experience, and accelerated music theory classes. Pianists additionally study keyboard history and literature, improvisation, and keyboard skills in an intimate group setting. A hallmark of the Academy is the weekly master class when students perform for and observe acclaimed musicians and educators who share their knowledge. The Academy faculty, who teach at some of the country's most prestigious conservatories and music schools, have a passion for developing young talent and an established track record of student achievement.



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