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The Philadelphia Orchestra Names Three Winners in its Annual Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition

April 29, 2016

Three Honorable Mentions also acknowledged

 

(Philadelphia, April 29, 2016)—The Philadelphia Orchestra is proud to announce the winners of its annual Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition, held Tuesday, March 29, 2016: pianist Yijia Wang (Senior Division), flutist Emma Resmini (Junior Division), and pianist Harmony Zhu (Children’s Division). Three honorable mentions were also awarded: cellist Jean Kim (Senior Division), violinist Danny Jin (Junior Division), and violinist Yeyeong Jin (Children’s Division). The young musicians competed for the coveted opportunity to perform with the Orchestra during its upcoming 2016-17 season.

Throughout Greenfield’s preliminary auditions, competitors in the three divisions—Senior, Junior, and Children’s—performed, resulting in nine finalists. The finalists went on to audition on the stage of Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center in front of a live audience and a panel of judges, made up of some of the most established, talented teachers and musicians in the Philadelphia area, including members of The Philadelphia Orchestra and professors from local schools.

Then-Music Director Leopold Stokowski first initiated a Philadelphia Orchestra Student Competition in 1933, later named in 1992 in recognition of a generous endowment gift from the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation. This annual Competition is open to young vocalists, pianists, and instrumentalists who reside in, or study regularly with, a teacher who lives in Greater Philadelphia. Entrants are divided into categories by age, and are adjudicated against a standard of excellence on the following merits: exceptional talent, virtuosity, artistic individuality, and projection as a performer. Since its inception, more than 400 winners have appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and many have established international solo careers, including sopranos Judith Blegen and Benita Valente, and mezzo-soprano Florence Quivar; pianists André Watts, Richard Goode, and Eugene Istomin; and violinists Hilary Hahn, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, and Arnold Steinhardt. Many current Philadelphia Orchestra musicians are also former winners of the Competition, including violinists Juliette Kang (first associate concertmaster), Richard Amoroso, Yayoi Numazawa, and Yumi Ninomiya Scott; violist Burchard Tang; bassoonist Mark Gigliotti (co-principal); bass trombone Blair Bollinger; and pianist Kiyoko Takeuti.

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a decades-long tradition of presenting learning and community engagement opportunities for listeners of all ages across the Delaware Valley. In April 2016, the Orchestra announced HEAR, a series of collaborative learning initiatives that represent the most comprehensive and dynamic community engagement in the Orchestra’s recent history. Spanning four categories—Health, Education, Access, and Research—HEAR is a portfolio of programs that promotes wellness, champions music education, eliminates barriers to accessing the Orchestra, and maximizes impact through research, all throughout the Philadelphia region.

For more information about the Albert M. Greenfield Student Competition, please visit philorch.org.

 

About Yijia Wang
At the age of 20, Yijia Wang has already established herself as an international soloist with deeply expressive interpretations of new and old works, and an innate ability to communicate with audiences. Solo performances have included appearances with the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Beijing Philharmonic, Orchestra Atelier Ostinato, and New Millennium Orchestra. She has performed throughout the world in Japan, Korea, Germany, France, and China, and has worked with conductor/pianist Jian Li, Zhong Xu, conductor Yongji Wang, Xincao Li, and Francesco Milioto. Ms. Wang has performed in many celebrated concert halls including Chicago Symphony Center, Carnegie Hall, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Shanghai Symphony Hall, Shanghai Concert Hall, Shanghai Oriental Art Center, Shanghai He Luting Concert Hall, and Paris Salle Gaveau. Ms. Wang has also performed at music festivals including Shanghai International Piano Master Class Series, Hotchkiss Summer Portals, and Aspen Music Festival. This summer, she plans to attend the Music Academy of the West.

She is a recipient of numerous prizes in national and international competitions, including second prize and prize for the youngest of the Fifth International Frederick Chopin Competition for Young Pianists, fourth prize of the 2008 Gina Bachauer International Junior Piano Competition, first prize of the 2012 MTNA national competition, second prize of the 2015 EDR Foundation International Young Artist Piano Concerto Competition, and other competitions in China.

Born in Shanghai, Ms. Wang began studying piano at the age of eight and entered the Shanghai Conservatory studying under Jia Xie. In 2011, she moved to New York and further pursued her musical education at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division under Victoria Mushkatkol. Ms. Wang currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music under Meng-Chieh Liu.

About Emma Resmini
The New York Times calls flutist Emma Resmini “a bright, young prodigy.”  She has soloed with the Dallas Symphony, National Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and McLean Orchestra. She was the first prize winner of the 2015 National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition and will perform again as a soloist with the NSO during its 2016-17 season. Additional recent engagements include the Penn Composers Guild, National Flute Association Convention, New York Flute Club Concert Series, Music for Food, Odeon Chamber Music Series, Pathway Foundation Young Artist Series, Rock Creek Chamber Players Series, Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival, and Music at Penn Alps. Ms. Resmini is a fierce advocate of new music. Her performances have included premieres of works by William K. Brehm, Peter Thorne, Sean William Calhoun, Kai-Young Chan, René Samson, Russell Nadel, Alyssa Weinberg, Aiyana Tedi Braun, Andrew Davis, and Michael Jon Bennett.

With a worldwide following, Ms. Resmini’s classical flute videos have millions of views across social media. Her music is frequently played on Performance Today, and in May 2016, she will be its Young Artist in Residence. She is the featured artist on the Candlewood Media recording of works for flute and piano by William K. Brehm. She attends the Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Jeffrey Khaner, principal flute of The Philadelphia Orchestra. She was the youngest member ever accepted to the National Symphony Orchestra Youth Fellowship, and was a long-time student of NSO flutist Alice Kogan Weinreb.

About Harmony Zhu
Ten-year-old Harmony Zhu has been featured on CBC News, NPR’s From the Top, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show many times for her exceptional talents in piano, composition, and chess. She has performed extensively in international music festivals and concert series in Europe, Asia, and North America, in venues such as Koerner Hall, Jordan Hall, Harris Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Peter Jay Sharp Theater. Ms. Zhu demonstrated an innate musical maturity and astounding technical abilities from an early age, consistently winning first prizes in piano competitions from older age categories. Ms. Zhu distinguished herself by being the only one to win the National First Place of the Canadian Music Competition from older age categories for three years in a row. She was named one of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30” when she was eight, as the youngest in history. At age nine, she won the Grand Prize at the VI Chopin International Competition in Connecticut, setting records in being its youngest winner and earning the highest mark ever at 99.8. She started studying at Juilliard with Dr. Yoheved Kaplinsky when she was eight, and won the Juilliard Pre-college Concerto Competition during her first year as the youngest winner ever. Later in the same year, Ms. Zhu became the youngest student to give a solo recital at Juilliard. She also studies composition at Juilliard and has recently been invited to perform her own compositions in the Florida Keys Concert series. As a chess prodigy, she won the title of World Champion of her age group in 2013 and was awarded the title of Woman Candidate Master at age seven.  

 

 

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