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Eastern Music Festival Announces 2019 Young Artists Concerto Competition Winners

Eastern Music Festival (EMF), a nationally recognized music festival and summer educational program based in the heart of North Carolina, announces five young musical artist winners of the annual Concerto Competition. Over 90 students competed in the Festival's annual competition, and the five winners will perform their respective concertos on Thursday, July 25, at 8 p.m. in Dana Auditorium at Guilford College.

"Each season, I am impressed by the talent of these young artists in our annual concerto competition," said EMF resident conductor José-Luis Novo. "This year, the level of the numerous finalists was particularly high, which made it much harder for the jury to narrow it down to a handful of winners. In the end, witnessing these young musicians rising to the solo appearance they have so skillfully earned, accompanied by all of their EMF student colleagues, is incredibly inspiring!"

This year's winners are:

Nathaniel Hoyt, 21, performing the Dvo?ák Cello Concerto in B minor, op.104 (mvt. I), began his cello studies at the age of seven and has performed with numerous youth symphonies in West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C. He is a rising senior pursuing a degree in cello performance at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music in Washington, D.C., where he won the 2018 Concerto Competition. Hoyt is principal cellist with the Catholic University Symphony Orchestra and is an EMF alum (2018 - cello). Hoyt has been studying with faculty artist Neal Cary at EMF this summer.

Ariel Wang, 15, performing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, op.18 (mvt. I), started studying the piano at the age of two, and at the age of 10, she performed her first solo recital in her hometown of Vancouver, B.C. At 10, winning First Prize the American Protégé International Competition 2014, she performed at Carnegie Hall and won the Judges' Distinction Award as the youngest on stage. At 13, she won the Shanghai International Piano Festival and Institute Competition in the 16 & under category. Wang attends Phillips Academy in Boston, studies piano at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, and is a member of the New England Conservatory Youth Repertory Orchestra, the Phillips Academy Chamber Orchestra, and the Phillips Academy Symphony Orchestra. Wang has been studying with faculty artist William Wolfram this summer at EMF.

Elise Kim, 19, performing the Devienne Flute Concerto No. 7 in E minor (mvt. I), is pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Washington. She won first place in the UW Concerto Competition, Central Ohio Flute Association Competition, Sewanee Summer Music Festival Concerto Competition, Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition and Washington State Solo and Ensemble Competition. Elise is also a two-time prizewinner of the Music Teacher National Association Woodwind Competition. In 2016, by national audition, Elise performed as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States at Carnegie Hall and across Europe. Kim is an EMF alum (flute - 2018). Kim has been studying with faculty artist Ann Choomack this summer at EMF.

Fong Ho Man, 23, performing the Lalo Cello Concerto in D minor (mvt. I), is studying cello performance and music at Hong Kong Baptist University. Fong is principal cellist with the Hong Kong Baptist University Orchestra and Collegium Musicum Hong Kong. Previously, Fong was a member of the Asian Youth Orchestra, and in 2018 was a member of the only Hong Kong ensemble participating in the prestigious Princess Galyani Vadhana International Ensemble Competition in Thailand. Fong has been studying with faculty artist Julian Schwarz this summer at EMF.

Clara Saïtkoulov, 20, performing the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor, op.47 (mvt. I), is from Paris, France, and started to play the violin at the age of six. The following year, she won the First Prize of Vatelot-Rampal International Competition for Young Artist in Paris. In 2019, she earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Munich University of Performing Arts and this fall will pursue a master's degree studies at the Mannes School of Music in New York. Saïtkoulov is a 2019 prize winner of the New York International Artists Association (NYIAA) International Artists Competition and will make her Carnegie Hall debut in October 2019 at the Weill Recital Hall. Saïtkoulov has been studying with faculty artist Netaniel Draiblate this summer at EMF.

The annual Concerto Competition performance is a highlight of the EMF season. Resident conductors Grant Cooper and José-Luis Novo will lead the two Young Artists Orchestra's in the evening's celebratory concert. For tickets and performances details, visit

Eastern Music Festival continues through Saturday, July 27. EMF's 58th season features over 65 performances by three symphonies, multiple chamber ensembles, and signature guest artists performances at its home location at Guilford College and other locations in Greensboro, the Triad, and Boone, North Carolina. Tickets available online at or by calling the Triad Stage Box Office at 336-272-0160.

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