La Jolla, Calif. (February 4, 2011) — The La Jolla Symphony " Chorus (LJS"C) announces the winners of its 51st annual Young Artists Competition, which was held on January 29, 2011, on the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) campus. Thirty (30) contestants ages 14 to 28 from San Diego County and Baja California competed for eight (8) cash prizes in vocal and instrumental categories.
Horn player Nicolee Kuester, 23, of La Jolla was awarded first place in the instrumental category. Nicolee is a graduate of Oberlin Conservatory and currently studies music at UCSD on a full-tuition graduate fellowship. She is a member of the new music ensemble Palimpsest and recently joined the LJS&C’s horn section.
First-place vocal prize went to 24-year-old soprano Jessica Aszodi of La Jolla. Jessica is a graduate student in music at UCSD and recent transplant from Australia where she has performed as a soloist with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, and Victorian Opera among others.
First-place winners receive an award of $1,500 each along with an opportunity to perform as soloist with the LJS&C on a future concert season. In total, $6,500 in cash prizes was awarded to the eight winners. Other award-winners are:
2nd Place: Curt Miller, clarinet, age 23, resident of La Jolla
3rd Place: Ayaka Ozaki, marimba, age 23, resident of San Diego
Most Promising: Won-Ji Lee, cello, age 16, resident of Poway (Poway High School)
2nd Place: Michael Blinco, baritone, age 24, resident of San Diego
3rd Place: Elisa Jordan, soprano, age 21, resident of San Diego
Most Promising: Kylena Parks, soprano, age 19, resident of Lakeside
Judges for this year’s competition were pianist Timothy Dukovic, director of keyboard studies at Long Beach City College; Marshall T. Fulbright III, music director/conductor of the Long Beach Community College Orchestra; Susan Kane, voice teacher at California State University, Los Angeles; and Alvin Brightbill, retired chairman of the music department and director of choral and vocal studies at Saddleback College.
The performances take place February 5-6, 2011 in Mandeville Auditorium at UCSD. Concert times are 8:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. (Please note the Sunday matinee is at 1:00 p.m. for this performance only.) Individual tickets are $29 general, $26 senior, and $15 student. Group discounts are available. Parking is free. A pre-concert lecture is offered one hour prior to concert times. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the LJS&C at (858) 534-4637.
The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, San Diego’s oldest and largest community orchestra and chorus, is a non-profit musical performing group dedicated to inspiring San Diego with the joy of music. Its 110-person orchestra and 130-person chorus perform groundbreaking orchestral and choral music along with traditional favorites from the classical repertoire. During the 55th season, maestro Steven Schick shares the podium with Choral Director David Chase.