The following five finalists have been selected to compete at the Grand Finals of the Young Artists Concerto Competition with Orchestra at the Redlands Bowl on June 26, 2018:
Carey Byron, Piano
Carey Byron, 13, studies piano under the tutelage of Ory Shihor at the Colburn Music Academy. She has won top prizes at local, state, and international competitions including first prize at the Los Angeles Young Musicians International Competition and the Los Angeles Franz Liszt International Competition. In 2017, she was the California State Finals winner at the CAPMT Concerto Competition. She was the winner for two consecutive years at the Georgia Music Teachers Association’s 3-round competition as well as the Atlanta Romantic and Impressionistic piano competition.
In 2015, she was chosen as a prodigy by the Atlanta Steinway Society and was featured in Atlanta’s Young Artist series at the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta. She has performed solo recitals across the country including performances in Zipper Concert Hall, Thayer Recital Hall, Richard Nixon Presidential Library, Warner Concert Hall and Carnegie Hall. In 2017, she performed alongside world-renowned concert pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. At the age of 12, she had her orchestral debut in Italy with the Brunesis Virtuosi Orchestra under Maestro Uri Segal. Carey has been selected as a 2018-2020 Young Scholar by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation.
Sarah Lonsert, Soprano
Coloratura Soprano, Sarah Lonsert, began her singing as a form of therapy for her High-functioning Autism. Starting therapy at the age of 9, Sarah found the ability to work through hardships with music as her aid. Musical theatre was her voice for many years, then she branched out into acting, songwriting, and recording. Sarah has written 2 studio albums, and has won many awards, most notably; USA Song Writing Competition, the L.A. Music Awards, and multiple songs on Grammy ballots.
After deciding to go to school to train in classical voice, many new opportunities opened up for her to sing with major ensembles and classical performers such as: Andrea Bocelli, The Los Angeles Symphony, and recording with John Williams. She was the winner of the Vo-Cal Competition, 2nd at NATS, and semi finalist in the Classical Singer competition. Sarah has sung all over the world, with performances in: Rome, Paris, France at the Eglise Notre-Dame des Blancs-Manteaux and in Trossingen, Germany at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen, The Glinka Cappella in Russia, The Rock Church in Finland, and many more. Sarah’s most recent achievement is graduating Cum Laude from California State University Fullerton with her BM in Vocal Performance. Currently, Sarah continues to study classical voice under the tutelage of Dubravka Zubovic and sings in the Pacific Chorale under Maestro Robert Istad.
Oliver Moore, Piano
Oliver Moore, 17, from Chico, CA, has been playing the piano since the age of 6. As a pianist, accompanist, arranger, and entertainer, he has performed at various venues throughout California. Oliver is primarily a classical pianist, but is well-versed in the jazz and ragtime standards of the 20th century. He takes inspiration from the great composers, such as Beethoven, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff, as well as great jazz innovators, such as Gershwin and Art Tatum. Oliver maintains a busy schedule playing gigs, accompanying various productions, singers, and instrumentalists, and playing the upright bass and piano in various orchestras throughout the north state.
Oliver is currently a volunteer in Enloe Hospital’s Music for Healing program and is a junior at Inspire School of Arts and Sciences. He has won 1st place at the Classical Masters Piano Competition, the West Coast Ragtime Competition, the CAPMT North Concerto Competition, the Paradise Symphony Young Artists Audition, and took 2nd place at the World Old-Time Piano Playing Contest in Oxford, Mississippi. Oliver will be making his debut as a soloist with an orchestra in May with the Paradise Symphony Orchestra.
Hector Manuel Noriega-Othon, Clarinet
Twenty-year-old Mexican clarinetist Hector Manuel Noriega-Othon won the first prize at the 2016 Zukovsky Clarinet Competition and was a finalist in the International Clarinet Association’s 2015 High School Competition. He has performed with Orquesta Filarmónica de Sonora and Orquesta Filarmónica de la UNAM, both in Mexico.
Last summer, Hector toured South America with YOA Orchestra of the Americas, where he worked with conductors and soloists such as Paolo Bortolameolli, Gautier Capuçon, Gabriela Montero, and Carlos Miguel Prieto, performing in such venues as Teatro Colón (Argentina) ,Teatro del Lago (Chile), and Sala São Paulo (Brazil).
As a chamber musician, he has performed with members of The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Noriega recently collaborated with world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, performing the Poulenc Clarinet Sonata at Zipper Hall in Los Angeles.
He has taken master classes with clarinetists such as Philippe Berrod, Burt Hara, Andrew Marriner, Manuel Hernandez, Socrates Villegas and Michele Zukovsky. A former student of Luis Miguel Balseca, in 2018 Hector received a Music Academy diploma from The Colburn School, where he studied with Yehuda Gilad. He will continue his studies with Jon Manasse at The Juilliard School, where he was awarded a Kovner Fellowship, beginning in Fall 2018.
Christina Park, Cello
Christina Park, age 16, has studied the cello for nine years under the guidance of Mrs. In-Kyu Lee. As a sophomore at South Torrance High School, she has won appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras, such as the Beach Cities Symphony Orchestra, the Bellflower Symphony Orchestra, the Palos Verdes Regional Symphony Orchestra, and the SYMF Festival Orchestra.
Most notable of Christina’s accomplishments include winning countless first place awards at SYMF, the Grand Prize at the Junior Korean Times Competition, winner of the 2013 Beach Cities Symphony Middle School Scholarship Competition, and winner of the MTAC Artists of the Future Concerto Competition. Moreover, she was the first place recipient of the MTAC Scholarship Audition in 2013 and 2015. Also, Christina was the Alternate at the Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA) State Competition, won first place in the Young Cellist Category at SYMF, and became a scholarship student of the Santa Monica Dream Orchestra. Last year, Christina won first place at the ASTA LA Finals and first place at VOCE Regionals, advancing to state finals in both competitions. This year and last year, Christina became recipient of the CM Panel Master Class.
Ever since freshman year, Christina is continuing to volunteer in the Healing Music Program at Kaiser Permanente. Other than playing the cello, Christina is an active member of her school math team, as well as the Science Olympiad Team.