The Fremont Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition will be held on January 6-7 at First United Methodist Church in Fremont.  Please read the guidelines carefully, as some may have changed.

You can download the application forms and guidelines here:





Nine soloists and one duet were chosen as winners of the 2017 Young Recitalist Competition, which took place on April 22:

  • Allison Chang, flute:  Mozart Concerto No. 1, Allegro
  • Andrew Choi, violin:  Vieuxtemps Concerto No. 5, First Movement
  • Sora Corro, piano:  Gillock Capriccietto
  • Irene Geng, piano:  Prokofiev The Young Juliet
  • Shawn Hsu, cello:  Bach Suite No. 3, Prelude and Gigue
  • Anthony Lee, flute: Borne Carmen Fantasy
  • Isabel Liu, and Brooke Zheng, piano duet:  Schubert Marche Caracteristiques No. 2
  • Katherine Miao, piano:  Toch Der Jongleur
  • Anna Wu, piano:  Schubert Impromptu, Op. 90, No. 4
  • Alex Yang, piano: Liszt Au bord d’une source

Judges were Fremont Symphony Conductor Emeritus David Sloss, Principal Flutist Leslie Chin, and distinguished pianist Carmencita Aspiras.

The winners will perform at First United Methodist Church on Sunday, May 7 at 3pm.  The concert is open to the public, and tickets (Adults-$25, Students-$10) are available at the door or by contacting Merna Morse at mmherstory@comcast.net or 510-656-8763.

The Young Recitalist Competition is open to instrumentalists up to 18 years of age who reside in Fremont and surrounding communities, and who are able to play a solo piece demonstrating artistic nuance, technical skill and musicality.

“We congratulate all of the winners on their stunning musicianship,” said Nick Burdick, Executive Director at the Fremont Symphony.  “This competition and recital help shape the performers of the future, and everyone was impressed by the students’ preparation and passion.”

Drawing for the Guild Raffle prizes will be held immediately after the recital. You need not be present to win.


The 2018 Young Artist Competition will be for violin, viola, cello and bass. It is open to music students under 23 years of age who live or attend school in one of the nine Bay Area counties (Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano or Sonoma), and who can perform from memory an entire concerto or single major work for solo instrument and orchestra of at least 15 minutes’ duration. Those competing for the Nafisa Taghioff Award can perform a single movement.

The competition will be held in January. Application forms and guidelines will be available soon.

Fremont Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Annual Young Artist Competition

The Fremont Symphony Orchestra held its 50th annual Young Artist Competition on Saturday, January 7, 2017 at First United Methodist Church in Fremont. The competition was open to woodwinds, brass, percussion, harp and piano.

First Place, the Phyllis Merrifield Prize of $1000, was awarded to 21-year-old Michael Peng, a senior at UC Berkeley, who studies piano with Kaichi Zhu. Michael played Saint-Saëns’ Second Piano Concerto, and will perform that work with the Fremont Symphony next season.

Second Prize of $500 went to 11-year-old Vivian Wang, a fifth-grader at Redwood Middle School in Saratoga, who studies piano with Sandra Shen. Vivian performed Bach’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor.

Third Prize of $250 was awarded to 19-year-old Yuzhe Chen, a sophomore at San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studies piano with Sharon Mann. Yuzhe performed Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto.

The Nafisa Taghioff Award of $150, reserved for contestants under 16 years of age, was won by 15-year-old Joey Zhu, a sophomore at California High School in San Ramon, who studies piano with Jed Galant. Joey played the first movement of Schumann’s Piano Concerto in A minor.

Honorable Mention in the Taghioff category went to 11-year-old Feng Yang Ju, a seventh-grader at Crespi Middle School in El Sobrante, who studies oboe with Ming Jia Liu. Feng Yang played he first movement of Haydn’s Oboe Concerto in C Major.

Initiated in 1966, the competitions provide an opportunity for serious music students to compete for cash prizes, recognition, and a chance to perform with the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at a regular subscription concert. Over the years, many of our competition winners—such as such pianists Jon Nakamatsu, Hélène Wickett, Donna Stoering and Aileen Chanco, violinists Robin Sharp and Stephen Waarts, and cellists Pamela Highbaugh, Paul Tobias and David Requiro—have gone on to highly successful professional careers.

Judges for the 2017 competition were pianist Hélène Wickett, trumpeter Carole Klein, and percussionist Norman Peck, all of whom are musicians in the Fremont Symphony Orchestra.

For details, contact the Fremont Symphony Orchestra at 510-371-4860 or visit the Symphony website, www.fremontsymphony.org.

2016 Young Artist Competition for String Players

Finals were held January 10, 2016 with violinist Ellie Kanayama and violist Meredith Kufchak competing for First Prize. Violinists Valery Breshears and Eunha Kim, and cellists Angeline Kiang, Jessica Kuo and Theresa Lee competed for the Nafisa Taghioff Award.

Meredith Kufchak won First Prize, Ellie Kanayama won Second Prize and Valery Breshears won the Taghioff Award.

2016 Young Recitalist Competition

The following were selected to perform in the May 22,2016 recital:

Amy Aramaki , piano, Brahms Rhapsody in G minor
April Chen , piano, Liszt Rigoletto Paraphrase
Abigail Leong , cello, Popper Hungarian Rhapsody
Isabel Liu & Brooke Zheng, piano duet, Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 2
Katherine Miao, piano, Schubert Impromptu
Victoria Miao , piano, Grieg Wedding Day at Troldhaugen
Carly Yang, piano, Nicole Yun, violin, & Woojin Nam, cello, Clara Schumann Trio
Annie Wen, piano, Grieg Notturno, Op. 54, No. 4
Annie Wu, piano, Copland The Cat and the Mouse

2015 Young Recitalist Competition

The following were selected to perform in the May 3, 2015 recital:

Wilson Chen,piano
Jiho Choi, cello
Anna Fang, violin
Irene Geng, piano
Joshua Hart, piano
Isabel Liu, piano
Katherine Miao, piano
Victoria Miao, piano
Tejas Venkateswaran, tabla
Brooke Zheng, piano

2014 Young Artist Competition Winners

1st Prize: Alice Zhu (16) – Phyllis Merrifield Award
Concerto No.1 in Em, op. 11 – Frederic Chopin

2nd Prize: Hugo Kitano (18)
Concerto No.1 in Em, op. 11 – Frederic Chopin

3rd Prize: Agata Sorotokin (16)
Concerto No.3 in C Maj, op. 26 – Serge Prokofiev

Honorable Mention:
Misha Galant (16)
Concerto No.2 in Cm, op. 18 – Sergei Rachmaninoff

Taghioff Award:
Khoi Le (10) Allegro assai from Concerto in D, op. 21 – Franz Joseph Haydn

Taghioff Award Honorable Mention

Elliot Wuu (14) – 1st movement of Saint-Saëns’ Piano Concerto No. 2.
Kyle Fang (14) – 1st movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No.3