Second Annual Young Artists Competition

in Partnership with Florian Leonhard Fine Violins

Saturday, January 20, 2018
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 1.5 hours.

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Seven outstanding young string players between ages 13-18 compete in our Second 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 19th concert where he or she will perform on a fine instrument courtesy of Florian Leonhard. 

The finalists were selected through a pre-screening process and blind live semi-final round.  Each finalist will perform a movement of their chosen concerto accompanied by piano. Our distinguished panel of judges for the finals this year includes violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, cellist Ashley Bathgate, and cellist Terry Batts.

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. 

2018 Finalists 

Sofia Gilchenok
Bartok: Concerto for Viola and Orchestra 

Jonah Kernis
Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in Eb, Op. 107 

Andrea Kim
Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 

Jun Lin
Wieniawski: Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 22

Abigail Nishiwaki
Vieuxtemps: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Minor, Op. 37

Ian Maloney
Haydn: Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major, Hob. VIIb/1

Sebastian Stöger
Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104, B. 191

About the finalists

Violist Sofia Gilchenok, 15, is a student of Hsin-Yun Huang, Molly Carr, and Yi-Fang Huang in the Juilliard School’s Pre-college Program which she has attended since 2013. She has performed Paganini’s La Campanella with the Ocala Symphony and has also appeared as soloist with the Willimantic Symphony. This year Sofia was awarded 1st place in the Musical Club of Hartford’s High School Competition, and in 2016 she was chosen as the winner of the American Viola Society’s Solo Competition, Junior Division. Sofia was the recipient of the NFMC’s 2015 National Wendell Irish Viola Award, Northeastern Division, and was a finalist in the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition. Her former teachers include Heidi Castleman, Steve Larson, Melinda Daetsch, and Kathy Almquist.

Cellist Jonah Kernis, 14, has been studying with Yari Bond for nine years, and currently attends the Professional Children’s School in ninth grade.  He has performed in major venues in New York City, including Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall and Carnegie Hall with the Kronos Quartet. Most recently he won First Place (Gold Prize) in his age category at the 2017-18 Vivo International Music Competition. Jonah has been a member of the New York Youth Symphony since 2016 and also participates in the NYYS Chamber Music program as cellist of the HaWK Piano Trio. Jonah also enjoys tap dancing, baseball, listening to jazz music, Game of Thrones and playing video games.

Andrea Kim, 17, is a senior at Tappan Zee High School and has been playing the cello for eight years. She studied with Carole Tilson for six years and and Madeleine Golz for two years. Andrea has been in the New York Youth Symphony Orchestra Program since freshman year to now and the chamber program from eighth to tenth grade. She has also attended the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College in junior grade and the Meadowmount School of Music during the past two summers. Andrea has recently been named a Merit Scholar from the National YoungArts foundation. In addition to playing cello, Andrea loves to bake.

2017 Elaine and Stephen Stamas New York Philharmonic Scholarship Fund recipient, Jun Lin, 15, is a 10th grader at Collegiate School in New York City and a violin major at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. He started his violin studies at age 4 with his father, Li Lin, and currently is a student of Catherine Cho. Jun is the winner of Grand Prize and House of Representatives Award of New York International Music Concour, First Prize and Bronze Medal Award of Vivo International Music Competition, First Prize of Salzburg Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition, First Prize of Golden Classical Awards International Competition, and Gold Prize of Osaka International Music Competition Junior Course Division. Currently, he is a member at Collegiate Orchestra and Juilliard Pre College Symphony. Besides musical achievements, Jun holds numerous academic honors such as Award for High Honors from The Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth, Harker Honor Roll of Academics, Effort and Citizenship, Harker Mission of School Award, Harker Love of Learning Award, and Challenger Certificate of Exceptional Academic Performance.

Violinist Abigail Nishiwaki, 16, lives in Westchester, NY and studies at Manhattan School of Music Precollege with Elizabeth Faidley. Abigail is the current concertmaster of the Manhattan School of Music Pre-college Division Philharmonic Orchestra and previously served as the principal second violinist of the New York Youth Symphony. Additionally, she played in an ensemble at the NY Public Theater’s Production of The Odyssey. Abigail is participating in masterclasses with Katie Lansdale and Lisa Batiashvilli in the spring of 2018. Most recently, Abigail placed first at the Elite Music Competition and was a finalist at the West Shore Symphony Orchestra Competition. 

Cellist Ian Maloney, 13, is a student of Madeleine Golz at the Pre-college Division of the Manhattan School of Music. He is a national and international competition award-winner including the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition, International Virtuoso Competition, Lyra Youth Music Competition, Manhattan School of Music Concerto and Chamber Music Competitions, American Protégé International Concerto Competition, New York International Artists Cello Competition, among others, and soloist with numerous orchestras including the New York Chamber Players, Ensemble 212, NJCU Orchestra, and New York Concerti Sinfonietta at Carnegie Hall. Ian has been featured on NPR’s From the Top, and in From the Top music videos on YouTube, with Project Trio performing the Grammy award-winning song “Stressed Out,” and with Joshua Bell performing the Beatles “Here Comes The Sun.” During the summer, Ian studies chamber music at the Music@Menlo Festival in Atherton, California.

Cellist Sebastian Stöger, 18, was born in New York City and is of Austrian-American descent.  In 2017, Sebastian entered the Juilliard School college division, and he started working on a BM degree in cello performance as a member of Joel Krosnick’s cello studio.  Sebastian was a student at the Perlman Music Program from 2012-2017. He received the Oarte Grant from PMP from 2014-2017, and the Jack Kent Cooke Artist Award in 2012 through his solo performance at From the Top.  Sebastian was chosen to be the featured soloist of Juilliard Open Studios in 2016 performing the Elgar cello concerto. JOS is a subscription based software application that brings the Juilliard experience to the arts enthusiasts from around the globe through interactive audio-visual content.