The winners of the Dr. Robert Stanger Young Artists Audition for 2017 have been announced by the Elmhurst Symphony Association. Held on February 11 at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, the competition showcased 25 outstanding high school musicians from many of the western suburbs. Special thanks go to this year's judges, Jean Hatmaker, Susan Merdinger and Dianne Ryan, who spent many hours listening to and critiquing these spectacular young performers, choosing four winners:
First Place: Aditi Prakash, Viola
Viola Concerto, Movement 1, by Walton
12th Grade, Naperville North High School
Teacher: Thomas Wermuth
Second Place: Jack Boettcher, Cello
Cello Concerto No.1 in E Flat Major, Op. 107 by Shostakovich
10th Grade, Naperville North High School
Teacher: Hans Jorgen Jensen
Third Place: Thomas Huang, Piano
Piano Concerto, Op. 38 by Barber
10th Grade, Barrington High School
Teacher: Dr. Soyoung Kee
Fourth Place: Nicole Weirui Tong, Violin
Violin Concerto, Op.14 by Barber
9th Grade, Naperville North High School
Teacher: Desiree Ruhstrat
Six performers received honorable mentions: Evelyn Capelli, piano, Oak Park River Forest High School; Christina D’Antonio, viola, Wheaton-Warrenville High School; Kaylin Liu, violin, Metea High School; Rebecca Moy, violin, Classical Consortium; Margaret O’Malley, violin, Glen Ellyn, home-schooled; and Isabella Spinelli, violin, Illinois Math and Science Academy.
Stanger Audition first-place winner Aditi Prakash will perform with the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra at a subscription concert during its 2017-18 season. Other winners will perform for Kiwanis and other local groups in the next few months.
Thanks go to Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church and staff for the use of the church and their able assistance and to the dedicated Symphony volunteers who made the event possible: Bruce Forbush, Mary Lou Saville, Cynthia Krainc, Rosie Klepper, Sarah Sabet, David Jackson, and Judy Nesladek. The Symphony is especially grateful to the Stanger Audition’s main sponsor, the Elmhurst Kiwanis Club, for its long-time support, to contributor Raita Vilnins, and to the Stanger Audition’s administrator, Becca Anderson, for organizing the event. Thanks also go to the Elmhurst Symphony Auxiliary’s Eunice B. Sidner Scholarship Fund for sponsoring the fourth-place winner. For more information, call the Symphony office at (630) 941-0202 or visit www.elmhurstsymphony.org.