This annual competition is open to talented student musicians.
Auditions will be on January 13, 2024.
Application forms and rules can be downloaded from this website.
The Young Artist Scholarship is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Greater Rochester.
The winner is chosen by audition, earns scholarship funds, and has the opportunity to perform with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. For additional information, call Rita May, 248-652-9154.
Recipients of the Award
WINNER OF THE 2024 COMPETITION
The Rochester Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is proud to announce that violinist Matt Xu is the recipient of the 2024 Young Artist Competition award.
Matt is from Rockville, Maryland, and a sophomore at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, pursuing dual degrees in Computer Science and Violin Performance.
He studies the violin on scholarship under the tutelage of Aaron Berofsky, Professor of Violin with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and Concert Master of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra.
Before enrolling at the University of Michigan, Matt studied the violin privately with Jennifer Shannon in College Park, Maryland from the age of ten.
In the summer of 2022, Matt served as Concert Master of the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute which is held annually at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Additionally, Matt has appeared in masterclasses featuring violinists Gil Shaham and Ryan Meehan of the Calidore String Quartet.
Currently, at school, he plays in the University Symphony Orchestra and in a string quartet as well.
Outside of his musical pursuits, Matt enjoys playing volleyball and exploring restaurants in the Ann Arbor area.
WINNER OF THE 2023 COMPETITION
The Rochester Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is proud to announce that pianist Shaun Lee is the recipient of the 2023 Young Artist Competition award.
In addition to this award, Lee has won many others including first place in the Junior division of Piano Day competition at Oakland University; first place at the National North American Invitational Championship Classical Piano Qualification; and second place in the Michigan Music Teachers Association State Piano Competition Finals..
Lee is a Junior at Troy High School and started playing piano at the age of 5. He has been playing in the Troy High School Symphony Orchestra since his Sophomore year, and currently serves as the president of the Troy High School Symphony Orchestra Council.
He currently studies piano under Dr. Nai-Wen Wang. He also has taken Masterclasses with Dr. Tian Tian, Associate Professor of Piano at Oakland University and Dr. Christopher Harding, Chair of Piano and Professor of Music at University of Michigan.
In addition to being an accomplished pianist, Lee is a violinist who has also been studying the violin from a young age.
Shaun’s passion for music expands beyond piano and violin. In his free time, he enjoys composing music and playing the bass guitar, which are self-taught. Shaun also enjoys swimming.
Bethlehem (Betti) Kelley
WINNER OF THE 2022 COMPETITION
The RSO is proud to announce that Violinist Bethlehem (Betti) Kelley is the 2022 RSO Young Artist Competition award recipient. Kelley, an Ethiopian American from Lenexa, Kansas, is a sophomore at the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, where she studies violin performance with Danielle Belen, associate professor of Violin with the School of Music, Theatre & Dance.
As winner of the 2022 Young Artist Competition, Kelley will receive $1,000 and the opportunity to perform with the RSO at the “Fountain of Inspiration” concert on Friday, May 20.
WINNER OF THE 2021 COMPETITION
The Rochester Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is proud to announce that Violinist Madeline Cha is the recipient of the 2021 Young Artist Competition award.
In addition to this award, Cha has won many others: in 2018, she received an honorable mention in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, in 2019 Cha was the category winner of the Open Strings Junior Division in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, in 2018 and 2019 she was named the state winner and nationals alternate for the competition held by MTNA (Music Teachers National Association), and in 2019 Cha won the Royal Oak Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition.
She is a ninth grade student at HH Dow High School In Midland. She made her debut in Weill Recital Hall in New York in 2018, and shortly after her debut, she began winning awards for her talents.
WINNER OF THE 2019 COMPETITION
Shuheng Zhang, 16, a pianist and student at Washtenaw International High School, captured the title this year. He is a proud young scholar of The Lang Lang International Foundation, and joined the Young Scholar Program, which offers mentorship and unique opportunities for performance to exceptionally talented young pianists from around the world.
The young pianist has won top prizes in many competitions including Thousand Islands International Competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, Lee University International Piano Competition, and MTNA and MMTA competitions. He has been featured as a soloist, and performed concerts with orchestras from Alfred, New York to Saarlouis, Germany. Chicago Music Report lauded Zhang’s performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 with Midwest Young Artists Orchestra as “invigorating, incisive and note-perfect.”
WINNER OF THE 2018 COMPETITION
Jubilee Wang is 16 years old and a sophomore in North Farmington High School. She started studying piano at the age of 6. Since she began to study with Mary Siciliano in 2009, she has participated in many competitions around the area. In 2016, she performed with the Dearborn Symphony Orchestra as the winner of the Young Artists Solo Competition. In addition, she won first prize in the MMTA Concerto Competition Junior Division in 2017, and in Albion College Piano Festival in 2016 and MMTA SAT State Finals Junior Division in 2014. She received Honorable Mention in the MTNA State Competition Junior Division in 2015-16 & 2016-17.
Jubilee also plays the violin and is concert mistress of her school’s Philharmonic orchestra. Apart from piano, she enjoys art and loves to draw and write.
WINNER OF THE 2017 COMPETITION
Maple Xu is currently a senior at Troy High School. Born in Windsor, Ontario in 1999, Maple began his piano study at the age of six. In Canada, Maple was introduced to the basics of music theory and began learning the nuances of music and expression. Later in the summer of 2011, Maple joined the piano studio of his current teacher, Ms. Faye Mao. She has inspired in Maple not only a love for music and the instrument, but has also opened him up to a wider and deeper experience of piano performance.
In his first few years of study, Maple competed at the local Kiwanis Festival and also attended the Canadian Music Competition twice. Since moving to Ms. Mao’s studio, he has competed around the country, performing in venues ranging from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles. In July 2015, Maple received second prize at the LA Young Musicians International Competition and first prize a few months later at the US Virtuoso International Piano Competition. In addition, Maple has been named the winner of Albion College’s Piano Festival for four years and Schoolcraft College’s Honors Competition Winner for two years in a row.
During his free time, Maple enjoys programming and reading as well as playing the violin. He currently participates in his school’s Symphony Orchestra and is also a member of the Troy Country Fiddlers.