First Annual Young Artists Competition

in Partnership with Florian Leonhard Fine Violins

Saturday, January 21, 2017
Fort Washington Collegiate Church
729 W. 181st St., New York, NY 10033

Thank you to our competition sponsor, Florian Leonhard.


This concert will last approximately two hours including intermission.


Eight outstanding young string players between ages 13-18 compete in our First Annual Young Artists Competition in Partnership with Florian Leonhard Fine Violins! 

The Grand Prize Winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship and will be WHCO's featured guest soloist at our May 20th concert where he or she will perform on a fine instrument courtesy of Florian Leonhard.  

Our distinguished panel of judges includes violist Sam Rhodes, violinist Hanna Lachert, and composer Philip Lasser.  The eight finalists were selected through a blind pre-screening process and live semi-final round.  Each finalist will perform a movement of their chosen concerto accompanied by piano.

In addition to our 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, we will award an audience prize!  Come cheer on these fantastic young musicians, and vote for your favorite performance!  

Free and open to all ages. 


Cameron Chase, violin
Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

Holly Kim, cello
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto in E-flat major, Op. 107

Coco Mi, violin
                 Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47

Alexander Rohatyn, cello
Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104

Maia Schmidt, violin
                 Glazunov: Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 82

Sophia Steger, violin
                 Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35

Alexandra Woroniecka, violin
Wieniawski: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22

Chelsea Xia, violin
                  Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 5, Op. 37

Meet the Finalists

Cameron Chaseviolin
Cameron Chase, 16, started playing violin when he was 5; currently he studies with Hyo Kang and I-Hao Lee at The Juilliard Pre-College Program and has also studied with Regi Papa. In 2016 he played Vieuxtemps Violin Concerto No. 5 with the Norwalk Symphony
Orchestra and in 2014 he won the American Chamber Orchestra
Concerto Competition in Fairfield, CT. With Penny Lane Players he
has acted in seven Shakespearean productions, most recently as
Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and in 2015 in the title role of
Macbeth. He lives in Stratford, CT and is a homeschooler.

Holly Kimcello
Holly Kim is a seventeen-year-old cellist from New York studying with Ms. Stinson at Juilliard Pre-college. She has performed in numerous venues including Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie, Tilles Center for Performing Arts, Hewlett-Woodmere Library, Merkin Concert Hall at Lincoln Center, and with an orchestra at the Suffolk Community College and the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra Headquarters. Holly has also attended other music programs includingC.W. Post Music Festival,  Greenwood Music Camp, and the International Music Festival in Germany. She is the founder of Spring Hill Ensemble which consists of young musicians who provide music concerts to the community very actively. Besides playing the cello, Holly trains for triathlons and has an interest in the sciences.

Coco Mi, violin
Sixteen year old Coco Mi attends the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Program, she studies with Elizabeth Faidley and is the recipient of the Carl Owen Memorial Scholarship. She has performed in masterclasses with well-known violinists such as Sarah Chang, Ray Chen, and Jennifer Koh, among others.  When not playing the violin, Coco is a junior at Princeton High School in Princeton, NJ. She is also the leader of a community service program, “Music Therapy”, which focuses on doing musical activities with special needs students at her school.

Alexander Rohatyncello
Alexander Rohatyn is a seventeen-year-old New Yorker, currently in 11th grade at Trinity School.  He is in his seventh year in the pre-College program at Manhattan School of Music, where he studies with Pedagogue Marion Feldman.  Alexander has been playing cello since the age of four, and has attended the Aspen Music Festival and Manhattan in the Mountains music camp in recent summers.  Other than playing Cello, Alexander enjoys running, guitar, and spending time with family and close friends.               

Maia Schmidtviolin
Maia Schmidt is eighteen years old and a student of Elizabeth Faidley at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division where she is a recipient of the Dianne Danese Flagello Scholarship Fund. In February 2016, Maia had her New York City solo recital debut as a part of the 92Y Young Concert Artists Series and in 2014, her debut with orchestra with the Manhattan String Orchestra. Maia has won awards as a soloist in competitions such as American Protege International, NLPA Concerto and Showcase Competitions, Vivo International, Rondo Vanguard, East Coast International, and Golden Classical Music Awards. Maia has also performed in masterclasses with Ruben Blundell, Katie Lansdale, Kurt Nikkanen, Anna Rabinova, Tao Chang Yu, Peter Winograd, Stefan Jackiw, and Ray Chen. Outside of her musical studies, Maia interns as an assistant violin teacher at the local El-Sistema music program and enjoys traveling with her family.

Sophia Stegerviolin
Violinist Sophia Steger (17) is a student of Patinka Kopec at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege, where she is honored to be the recipient of the Patinka Kopec Precollege Violin Scholarship Award, and where she also studies piano with Nina Svetlanova.   She has been a top prize winner in numerous competitions, recently winning Grand Prize in the East Coast International Competition, and has performed as soloist with orchestras including the New York Chamber Players, Seniors Orchestral Society of New York, New York Concerti Sinfonietta, Manhattan School of Music Precollege Symphony, Face the Music Orchestra, and others.  Her chamber groups have studied and performed at the Castleman Quartet Program, Heifetz International Music Institute, Greenwood Music Camp, New York Youth Symphony Chamber Program, Kronos At Kaufman Quartet Program, MSM Precollege, and her groups have received mentoring from the Emerson, Shanghai, and Kronos Quartets.  As first violinist of the Pannonia String Quartet (from 2013-2015), she performed at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium for the Kronos Quartet’s 40th Anniversary Concert, as well as at WQXR’s The Greene Space, the Queens Museum, at Hilary Hahn’s CD release event for her album “In 27 Pieces” on invitation from Nico Muhly, and many other venues in New York.  Sophia has played in orchestras continuously since the age of seven, has had the opportunity to work with conductors David Robertson, Michael Stern, and Michael Tilson Thomas, and she is currently concertmaster of the MSM Precollege Philharmonic. 

Alexandra Woronieckaviolin
Alexandra began studying the violin at 4 years of age, and by the age of 10 had her solo debut with Island Symphony Orchestra. She has served as concertmaster of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra; Nassau Concert Orchestra, Long Island String Festival Orchestra, and was a recipient of the Educational Grant from Concert Festival, Inc, and The Paul Rudoff Award and scholarship. She was selected to perform at 2015 Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Young Musicians Concert, and was featured as the Next Generation Artist in 2013, 2014, and 2016 Omega Ensemble, Long Island performance series. Alexandra was a co-founder of The Paderewski Quartet; the group that had performed in a number of New York City landmark cultural institutions and concert venues and charity fundraising events organized by The Children's Smile Foundation, and The Polish Gift of Life Foundation. Besides violin she loves to sing, take photos and play with her two dogs.

Chelsea Xiaviolin
Chelsea Xia, 14 years old, is a freshman at Hunter College High School and at the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college, where she studies with Elizabeth Faidley.  Chelsea won the 2016-2017 Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and will perform Vieuxtemps' 5th Violin Concerto in May.   Chelsea also performed the Vieuxtemps' Concerto with the New York Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in November, 2016.  Chelsea is a guest artist artist of the Riverside Symphony Orchestra and will perform the Mendelssohn Concerto in March, 2017.  Chelsea has also placed first in the American Protege International Competition, the Vivo International Music Competition, and the Alexander and Buono International String Competition.  She has appeared in masterclasses with Sarah Chang, Ray Chen, Charlie Siem, and Jennifer Koh.