Scottsdale musicians among those to perform at MIM Winter Festival

Arizona Musicfest, the acclaimed Winter Festival has partnered with the Musical Instrument Museum to host its annual Young Musicians Concert Series.

Young artistsThe Concert Series is part of the festival’s mission to provide unique music education programs and youth performance opportunities to children, schools and audiences throughout the Valley and beyond.

Young Musicians Concerts will be held in the Music Theater at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix,  2 p.m. Jan. 11 and the 2015 Competition Winners Concert held 1 p.m. May 3.

Tickets are $10 and are on sale at

The Jan. 11 concert will showcase 12 inspiring young violinists, violists, pianists as well as an accomplished flautist, oboist and spectacular string quartet.

The young performers, many of whom are from Scottsdale, are comprised of past winners and top competitors of several different competitions including the Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition.

Each year Arizona Musicfest identifies top classical music talent through juried competitions, and subsequently provides many of these extraordinary young musicians with valuable public performance opportunities.

Past participants in the Arizona Musicfest young musician competitions, have gone on to attend the prestigious Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music and many other distinguished conservatories and collegiate music programs.

Additionally, the young artists have been featured performing on NPR’s nationally syndicated radio program, “From The Top,” as well as locally through KBAQ broadcasts of the annual Arizona Musicfest finals competition.

Arizona Musicfest’s young musicians have been featured as soloists with the Phoenix Symphony and with many other professional ensembles, and have also been presented in recital programs throughout the country, including at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Scheduled to perform at the winter concert on Jan. 11:

  • Lily Kwak, piano. Lily Kwak, age 11, is a 6th grader at Kyrene Altadena. She has studied piano with Ms. Hong Zhu since she was six years old. Lily has won many competitions, including the 2011 and 2013 DVMTA Piano Competition, 1st place in the 2013 EVMTA Piano Competition, 2nd place in the 2013 Avanti Future Stars Steinway Piano Competition, and performed in the Honors Recital for the 2012 Arizona State Music Teachers Association.  Lily also enjoys ice skating, gymnastics, reading books, and doing crafts.
  • Belle Wang, violin. Belle Wang, age 13, is an 8th grader at Mesa Academy for Advanced Studies.  She began learning the violin at seven years of age and has been a member of Phoenix Youth Symphony Orchestra since 2011. Belle was a winner of the 2014 Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition, Division I. She participated in the 2014 InterHarmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Tuscany, Italy, where she performed with highly selected outstanding young musicians from around the world.  Belle currently studies violin with ASU professor, Danwen Jiang.
  • Kathleen Wu, flute, of Scottsdale. Kathleen Wu, age 16, is a Junior at BASIS Scottsdale.  She won 2nd place at the 2014 Arizona Musicfest’s Youth Musicians Competition, Division II.  Kathleen was the principal flutist of the 2014 National Association for Music Education All-National Honor Orchestra, the 2014 All-State Orchestra, and the 2014 North Central Regional Orchestra.
  • Alicia Wu, viola, of Scottsdale. Alicia Wu, age 13, is an 8th grader at BASIS Scottsdale and studies viola with Ms. Susanne Rothaar. In 2013, Alicia won 2nd Place in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition and 3rd Place in their Piano and Strings Competition and as a result, she made her Carnegie Hall solo debut in 2014.
  • Linda Han, violin, of Phoenix. Linda Han, age 17, is a 12th grader at Desert Vista High School and studies violin with Ms. Susanne Rothaar.  Linda was a finalist in the 2011 and 2012 Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition.
  • Bobby Nunes, oboe, of Mesa. Bobby Nunes, age 16, is a junior at Highland High School.  He has been playing the oboe for four years along with many other woodwind instruments.  He has won numerous awards, including first prize in the 2013 Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition, Division II and a scholarship winner of the 2012 Phoenix Youth Symphony Concerto Competition.
  • Bobae Johnson, violin, of Ahwatukee. Bobae Johnson, age 15, is a sophomore at Desert Vista High School and studies violin with Dr. Jonathan Swartz at Arizona State University. She has been a member of the Phoenix Youth Symphony since 2011 where she has served as Principal 2nd Violin and as Concertmaster.
  • Eric Lin, piano, of Tempe. Eric Lin, age 17, is a senior at Corona del Sol High School in Tempe, Arizona.  He has been playing piano since age of six, studying with Ms. Hong Zhu at the New Century Conservatory. Eric was the first place winner of the 2013 and 2012 Arizona Musicfest Young Musician Competitions, Division II.
  • Stretto Quartet — Kimberly Schneider, violin, Mitchel Wang, violin, Eric Frankel, viola, Christina Wang, cello. The Stretto Quartet made a notable debut by capturing second place in the ensemble division of the 2014 Arizona Musicfest Young Musicians Competition after only five months of playing together. The ensemble is comprised of Kimberly Schneider (first violin, 7th grade), Mitchel Wang (second violin, 6th grade), Eric Frankel (viola, 9th grade), and Christina Wang (cello, 9th grade), and all of them perform with the Phoenix Youth Symphony as members of the Symphonette Orchestra.

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