Eastern Music Festival Announces Six Young Artist Winners of the 2022 Concerto Competition | New

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GREENSBORO, NC – Eastern Music Festival (EMF), a nationally acclaimed music festival and summer educational program based in the heart of North Carolina, announces six young musical artists as winners of the 2022 Concerto Competition. More than 60 students took part in the Festival’s annual competition. The six winners will perform their respective concertos on Thursday, July 28 at 8 p.m. in the Dana Auditorium at Guilford College.

This year’s winners performing their competition concertos on July 28 are:

Victoria Bramble, 19 (West Palm Beach, FL), will perform the Sibelius Violin Concerto, (mvt. 1). Bramble is currently studying at the Lynn Conservatory of Music with Elmar Oliveira. She grew up listening to her mother play the violin at home and started her own musical journey at the age of four. She was twice invited to work with Itzhak Perlman alongside members of the Perlman Music Program as part of their winter residency and performed in the Florida All-State Orchestra for 5 years. An avid orchestral performer, Victoria has performed in side-by-side ensembles with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra and New World Symphony, and served as concertmaster while at Dreyfoos School of the Arts. Previous summers have taken her to the Sphinx Performance Academy at Curtis Summerfest, the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute and the National Orchestral Institute. In chamber music, Victoria won first place at the Florida Federation of Music Clubs Junior Festival 2017-2019 and first place at the Lynn Conservatory of Music 2021 Chamber Music Competition. Bramble studied with teaching artist Avi Nagin at EMF this summer.

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Jonathan Decker, 22 (Falmouth, MA), will perform the complete Copland Clarinet Concerto. Decker is a clarinetist currently studying at the University of Massachusetts Amherst under Romie de Guise-Langlois. He has previously studied with Bixby Kennedy and David Shea, among others. He participated in and was principal clarinet of the University of Massachusetts Wind Ensemble and the University of Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, he is actively involved in chamber music. He has participated in masterclasses with teachers such as David Shifrin, Charles Neidich, Mark Dover and the US Army Clarinet Quartet. Decker studied with faculty artist Shannon Scott at EMF this summer.

Ann Gao, 17 (Maumelle, AZ) will perform Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (mvt. 1). Gao is currently attending Little Rock Central High School. She studied piano with Dr. Naoki Hakutani (University of Arkansas at Little Rock). She won the grand prize at the 2021 Stella Boyle Smith Young Artist Competition and has performed as a soloist with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. She was also the Arkansas winner of the National Association of Music Teachers Competition (Senior Piano Division). Gao also plays the flute and is the principal flutist of the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Arkansas All State Orchestra. Gao studied with William Wolfram at EMF this summer.

Grace O’Connell, 20 (Madison, WI), will perform the Böhme: Trumpet Concerto, (mvt. 1). O’Connell is currently completing a degree in trumpet performance at Middle Tennessee State University. She is a diverse musician who performs with the Southern Stars Symphonic Brass Band and is a regular addition to the trumpet section of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. Grace has also performed with Blueprint Music Ensemble, La Musica Lirica and the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet. She was twice named the winner of the National Trumpet Competition, winning the undergraduate solo division in 2022 and three years prior, winning the high school solo division (2019). Last spring, she won first place in the Young Artist Division of the National Association of Music Teachers Solo Competition, semi-finalist in the Roger Voisin Memorial Trumpet Competition, and second place in the International Women’s Brass Competition. As a freshman in college, Grace was co-winner of the 2020 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition as the only finalist from the United States. O’Connell studied with faculty artists Michael Bluntman and Paul Randall at EMF this summer.

Andrew Reveno, 16 (Atlanta, GA), will perform Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor (mvt. 1). Reveno is a 16-year-old classical pianist who will be attending Interlochen Arts Academy for Grade 11 in the fall. He was born in California and later moved to Oregon where he started playing the piano at the age of 9 with Professor Martin Nolan. In 2016 Andrew moved again with his family to Atlanta where he studied regularly with Dr. Laura Gordy of Emory University (retired) and later with Dr. Yakov Kasman of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (1997 Van Cliburn Silver Medalist). Accompanied by Dr. Laura Gordy, Andrew placed 2nd in the 2022 Georgia Music Teachers Association Pre-College Piano Concerto Competition. He also received the “Artistry” award at the 2021 Decatur Music Teachers Fall Festival and the “Outstanding Performer” at the 2021 Atlanta Music Teachers Association Romantic-Impressionist Piano Competition. Reveno studied with faculty artist Santiago Rodriguez at EMF this summer.

Brooke Walden, 19 (Westfield, NJ), will perform Hüe Fantasy. Walden recently completed her second year at the Eastman School of Music under the mentorship of Bonita Boyd and Anne Harrow, where she held principal positions in the Eastman Symphony Orchestra, Wind Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, the OSSIA New Music and the Opera Theatre. Walden previously studied with Zara Lawler at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege, where she was Principal Flute and Piccolo in the Philharmonic Orchestra. As the winner of the 6th Annual Westfield HS Bands Concerto Competition, she made her solo debut performing Doppler’s Hungarian Pastoral Fantasy. In high school, Walden was selected on both flute and piccolo to perform with the NAFME All Eastern Honors Orchestra and the NJMEA All State High School Wind Ensemble & Orchestra. Walden has spent his summers at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival, Linda Chesis Virtual Flute Retreat 2020, and ARIA International Summer Academy. Walden studied with faculty artist Jake Fridkis at EMF this summer.

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

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