Two-time Ima Hogg Semifinalist And Texas Residents Among This Year's Contestants

Two-time Ima Hogg Semifinalist And Texas Residents Among This Year's ContestantsThe Houston Symphony and Houston Symphony League announced today the 10 semifinalists of the 43rd annual Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition, one of the few nationwide competitions open to all standard orchestral instruments and piano. The semifinalists will compete for the $25,000 Grace Woodson Memorial Award, which includes the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony.

Named to honor the memory of Miss Ima Hogg, a co-founder of the Houston Symphony, this prestigious competition is designed to support young instrumentalists, ages 16-26, in their pursuit of careers in music. The Ima Hogg Competition has helped catapult the careers of several young musicians, with past winners earning national and international recognition as well as prestigious positions in major orchestras. 2014 Ima Hogg second place winner Yekwon Sunwoo recently won gold at the prominent 2017 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and has appeared in prestigious concert halls in Hamburg, Brussels Copenhagen, Istanbul, Madrid, Helsingborg and across Germany.

Chaired by Barbara McCelvey, a governing director of the Symphony's board and an active member of the Houston Symphony League, this year's competition features the following 10 young and accomplished musicians: Michael Ferri, Ania Filochowska, Daniel Hass, Alexander Hersh, Graeme Steele Johnson, Ji Su Jung, Hyun Jae Lim, Ayana Terauchi, Joey Tkach and Cherry Choi Tung Yeung.

The Semifinalists

In addition to citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico, foreign students currently enrolled at a U.S. college, university or conservatory are eligible to participate. Half of this year's semifinalists are foreign students enrolled at prestigious institutions such as the Shepherd School of Music, the Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, and the Yale University of Music. All semifinalists, whose ages range from 19-25, have performed in prestigious concert halls and appeared in various competitions and festivals around the world, including the Luigi Zanuccoli International Violin Competition, Juilliard Brahms Violin Competition, Summit International Music Festival Concerto Competition and Boston Pops/NEC Concerto Competition. Ferri and Terauchi have appeared on NPR's broadcast program "From the Top," which showcases top young classical musicians across the United States. Semifinalist Jung has won the grand prize in both the CBS Youth Music Competition and the CBS Music Competition.

Additionally, four of the semifinalists have either completed or are currently pursuing graduate degrees in music. Ferri, a two-time Ima Hogg Competition semifinalist, is currently pursuing a music degree from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music; while Texas residents Johnson and Jung are currently pursuing master's degrees in music at the Yale School of Music.

On Thursday, May 31, the semifinalists will perform up to two of their pre-selected concertos in front of a judging panel and a live audience with the hopes of advancing to the finals. On Saturday, June 2, four finalists will move on to the final round of the competition where they will perform a concerto alongside the Houston Symphony. The finals concert, held in Stude Concert Hall at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, will be broadcast live on Houston Public Media's News 88.7. For more information about the semifinalists, visit: https://www.houstonsymphony.org/2018-ima-hogg-competition-semi-finalists/. For tickets, go to houstonsymphony.org.

First and Second Place Prizes

The winner of The Grace Woodson Memorial Award will receive a $25,000 prize and the coveted opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony at Jones Hall Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

The recipient of the Second Prize, The Houston Symphony League Award - presented by the Houston Symphony League in recognition of Jerry Priest, founding chair of the competition and member of the Houston Symphony League - will receive a $10,000 prize and will also earn the opportunity to perform with the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre Saturday, June 30, 2018.

Air travel for the semifinalists is generously provided by United Airlines, the official airline of the Houston Symphony. The partnership with Rice University allows the Symphony to host the competition at the Shepherd School of Music's Stude Concert Hall year after year. Accommodations for the competitors are graciously provided by Houston Symphony volunteer host families. Underwriting support of this prestigious annual event is led by Honorary Chair, Mr. John Neighbors. Additional support is provided by generous sponsors, including Northern Trust Bank, John and Lindy Rydman, Spec's Wines, Spirits & Finer Foods/Spec's Charitable Foundation, Northern Trust and members of the Ima 105 giving circle.

2018 HOUSTON SYMPHONY IMA HOGG COMPETITION SEMIFINALISTS

Michael Ferri, 22, violin

Nationality: Italian

Current residence: Houston, Texas

Ania Filochowska, 24, violin

Nationality: Polish

Current residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Daniel Hass, 20, cello

Nationality: Canadian

Current residence: New York, New York

Alexander Hersh, 24 years old, cello

Nationality: American

Current residence: Chicago, Illinois

Graeme Steele Johnson, 25, clarinet

Nationality: American

Current residence: New Haven, Connecticut

Ji Su Jung, 25, marimba

Nationality: Korean

Current residence: New Haven, Connecticut

Hyun Jae Lim, 20, violin

Nationality: Korean

Current residence: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Ayana Terauchi, 19, flute

Nationality: American

Current residence: Bay City, Michigan

Joey Tkach, 20, trumpet

Nationality: American

Current residence: Leander, Texas

Cherry Choi Tung Yeung, 21, violin

Nationality: Chinese

Current residence: New York, New York

2018 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition Prizes

FIRST PRIZE
The Grace Woodson Memorial Award
$25,000
Solo performance with the Houston Symphony at the Donor and Subscriber Appreciation Concert Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

SECOND PRIZE
The Houston Symphony League Award
Given by the Houston Symphony League in recognition of Jerry Priest, founding chair of the competition and in honor of the Houston Symphony League
$10,000
Solo performance with the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre Saturday, 30, 2018.

THIRD PRIZE
The Selma Neumann Memorial Award
Presented by the Houston Symphony League Bay Area in memory of Selma Neumann, founding president of the Houston Symphony League Bay Area
$5,000

FOURTH PRIZE
The Jean Whitbread Kucera Award
Given by Lilly and Thurmon Andress in loving memory of Lilly's mother, Jean Whitbread Kucera
$2,500

ARTISTIC ENCOURAGEMENT
The Robert and Nancy Peiser Award for Artistic Encouragement
Given by the Houston Symphony's former Board President Bob Peiser and his wife Nancy to provide encouragement to one of the finalists - and selected by the musicians of the Houston Symphony
$1,000

AUDIENCE CHOICE
The Herman Shoss Audience Choice Award
Given by Diane and Harry Gendel in loving memory of Diane's father, Herman Shoss, a former violinist in the Houston Symphony
$1,000

2018 Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition EVENTS

Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition Semifinals Concert

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Stude Concert Hall

Rice University's Shepherd School of Music

6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005

Free Admission

Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition Finals Concert

7 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Daniel Hege, conductor

Stude Concert Hall

Rice University's Shepherd School of Music

6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005

Tickets from $25

About the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition

Named and purposed after former founder and President of the Houston Symphony, Miss Ima Hogg, this prestigious competition is designed to identify outstanding young instrumentalists between the ages of 16 and 26 to support their pursuit of careers 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 is one of the few instrumental competitions worldwide that includes all standard orchestral instruments.

The Houston Symphony 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 - former Concertmaster Frank Huang, Principal Keyboardist Scott Holshouser, and Principal Harpist Megan Conley are three such players, all former prize winners of the competition. For more information, visit houstonsymphony.org/community/young/ima-hogg-competition.

About the Houston Symphony League

The Houston Symphony League and the Houston Symphony League Bay Area are dedicated to supporting the Houston Symphony through volunteer efforts and fundraising. League members are involved with the Symphony's education programs to support Family Concerts, Student Concerts, Summer Community Concerts and the Theater District Open House, among other initiatives. 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 Ima Hogg Competition by providing volunteers for in-hall support, logistics and hospitality.

About the Houston Symphony

During the 2017-18 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fourth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada and continues its second century as one of America's leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony's four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label Pentatone. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg's Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.



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