Young Artist Competition

2018 Young Artist Competition


Sponsored by


Open to Strings, Winds, Brass, and Piano

Application deadline for the 2018 competition is DECEMBER 1, 2017

First Prize $300
and an opportunity to perform with Nova Vista Symphony

Second Prize $200

Third Prize $100

Contest Eligibility Rules

  • Age requirements: Must be 13 to 19 years of age on the date of the competition to qualify.
  • Each contestant is to prepare a complete concerto of 3 (or more) movements from the standard 18th-20th century orchestral repertoire or comparable piece for solo with orchestra. Adjudicators may request to hear any portion(s) for the audition.
  • During the 2017-18 concert season Nova Vista Symphony presented the Barber and Mozart No. 25 Piano and the Brahms Violin Concerti. All 2018 Young Artist Concerto Competition candidates are advised to select concerto repertoire other than these three works.
  • The competition is open to strings, woodwinds, brass and piano.
  • The first place winner has the opportunity to perform the competition composition with Nova Vista Symphony in a regularly scheduled subscription concert.
  • Three copies of the composition must be provided for the judges.
  • Contestants must provide his/her own accompanist.
  • Scheduled auditions will be approximately 10 to 15 minutes long.
  • Contestants are expected to perform by memory.
  • A maximum of 25 contestants will be accepted, based upon the date and time the application is received by Nova Vista. Entrants will be notified by email of their application/audition status by December 5, 2017.
  • Application entry fee is $25 (non-refundable).
  • Winners will be notified of their status by email within one week after the competition.

Click here for Full Contest Eligibility Rules


To fill out and SUBMIT an APPLICATION FORM, please CLICK HERE.


For more information, please send an email to


Past Competitions

2016-2017 Competition

Our 2016-2017 competition was held December 4, 2016. The winner, Kevin Sung, will perform Brahms Violin Concerto with Nova Vista Symphony at the Apr 22, 2018 concert.

2015-2016 Competition

Our 2015-2016 competition was held December 6, 2015. The winner, Leyla Kabuli, performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Nova Vista Symphony at the Apr 22, 2017 concert.

2014-2015 Competition

Our 2014-2015 competition was held December 13, 2014. The winner, Robert Chien, performed Sarasate's Carmen Fantasy with Nova Vista Symphony at the Apr 23, 2016 concert.

2013-2014 Competition

Our 2013-2014 competition was held February 23, 2014. The winner, Oliver Herbert, performed Haydn's Concerto No. 2 for Cello with Nova Vista Symphony at the Apr 25, 2015 concert.

2012-2013 Competition

Our 2012-2013 competition was held April 27-28, 2013. The winner, Gloria Liou, performed Sibelius' Violin Concerto with Nova Vista Symphony at the Feb 22, 2014 concert.


Past Competition Winners

2011: Angela The, violin and, Tessera Chin, viola

2010: Yujin Ariza, violin. Yujin is a senior at Menlo High School and the Concertmaster of San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra. Yujin made his Carnegie Hall debut in May 2008.

2009: Will Chow, cello. Will Chow is a scholarship student in the Preparatory Division of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studies the cello with Sieun Lin. Will won his first competition, the Chinese Music Teacher Association of Northern California Competition, in 2004 when he was ten years old.

2008: Olena Komirenko, violin. Olena, a native of the Ukraine, studies with Jenny Rudin in the Bay Area while she pursues undergraduate degree in Anthropology at UC Berkeley.

2007: Yale Blomberg, violin. Yale attends the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Collegiate Division. She has performed as a chamber musician in programs including the San Francisco Conservatory and the ECYS Chamber Music Program.

2006: David Southorn, violin. David received a bachelor's degree in May 2007 from the San Francisco Conservatory. He is a member of the Symphony Silicon Valley,and has also played with the Marin, Santa Cruz, and Monterey symphonies.

2005: Julie Chen, violin. A graduate of Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, she plans to attend Oberlin College and Conservatory, pursuing a double major in violin and psychology. She has participated in a number of volunteer community projects and won awards in public speaking.

2004: Alex Shiozaki, violin. He is a sophomore at Harvard, concentrating in German and music.

2003: Gugene Kang, cello. Gugene is a junior at Palo Alto High School. He toured Europe as a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra in 2004 and with the El Camino Youth Symphony in 2003.

2002: Jennifer Wey, violin. A junior at Saratoga High School, where she was concertmaster of the school orchestra for the past year, she hopes for a career as a concert violinist.

2001: Albert Hwang, cello. He is a junior at UCLA this year and plans to study medicine.

2000: No competition was held due to the Nova Vista's search for a new conductor.

1999: Gigi Chow, cello. She studied with Bonnie Hampton and Jean-Michel Fonteneau at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and went on to study music and psychology at Yale.

1998: Mark Oshida, violin. A 2003 graduate of the Brigham Young School of Music in Provo Utah, he played principal second violin with the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, and has also performed as soloist with the Catholic University Orchestra of Parana, Brazil.

1997: Iris Otani, violin. A pianist as well, she studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and played with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.

1996: Rieko Kawabata, violin. A native of Tokyo, she graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and joined the Ensemble du Monde in New York City, a small chamber group founded in 2000.

1995: Hegun Song, violin. She attended Oberlin Conservatory of Music, graduated from the Juilliard School in May 2003, and went on to pursue a graduate program at Yale University.

1994: Anita Stoneham, violin. A 1996 graduate of Princeton, where she majored in political science with a minor in music, she works in the advertising department of Viacom in New York City.

1993: Maria Shim, violin. She graduated from Harvard with a degree in finance.

1992: Eugene Chung, violin. Unknown.

1991: Kajim Lin, violin. She attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, graduated from the Juilliard School in 1995, and returned to Korea to pursue her career.

1990: Julian Hersh, cello. A graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, he has toured the U.S., Europe and the Far East as a soloist and with chamber music groups and has appeared on television with cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

1989: William Lai, violin. He earned a Ph.D. in biochemistry at the University of Pennsylvanie where he was also principal violist in the university's orchestra. He is now a medical device company executive and plays with the Philadelphia Doctors' Chamber Orchestra.

1988: Daniel Ching, violin. He graduated from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and now lives in Pasadena, CA, where he teaches, conducts, and plays in a string quartet.

1987: Christopher Whiting, violin. He moved to Zurich, Switzerland, and went on to play in the Tonhalle Orchester, teach at the Hochschule Musik und Theater, conduct the Orchesterverein in Wiedikon and play in a string quartet.

1979 - 1986 No competitions were held.

1978: Sally Gibbons, flute. She studied at UCLA and Harvard, received a Ph.D. in philosophy at Oxford, and became an academic administrator at UCLA.

1977: Wendy Sharp, violin. She went on to teach violin and chamber music at Yale.

1976: Joshua Koestenbaum, cello. He graduated from Stanford, earned a master's degree in music at Yale, and moved to Minneapolis to become associate principal cello with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.

1975: Carolyn Mortarotti, cello. Daughter of former conductor John Mortarotti, she moved to Los Angeles and became principal cellist of the Rio Hondo Symphony in Orange County.

1974: Steven Olsen, cello. He took a job in Sacramento with the State of California.

1973: Gregory Colburn, cello. He became an oncologist at O'Connor Hospital in San Jose and joined the Bohemian Club orchestra in San Francisco.

1972: Donald Benham, trombone. He played in the Oakland Symphony before its demise and went on to perform and freelance with several East Bay orchestras.

1971: Kathy Edwards, French horn. Unknown.

1970: Timothy Bach, cello. A pianist as well, he graduated from Stanford, earned a doctorate in music at USC, and went on to head the accompanying department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

1969: Jonathon Mack, horn. He switched to vocal music and joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles to teach singing.

1968: Kelleen West, cello. She was reported to be teaching cello in the East Bay.

1967: Camille Churchfield, flute. Named principal flutist of the Vancouver, B.C., Symphony, in 1975, she has performed concertos frequently with her own and other Canadian orchestras, played in several chamber ensembles, and toured with the Toronto Symphony.