2004 YYPA Winner
|Hailed by The Philadelphia Inquirer as "a major talent with a robust tone" and "the rising star we have to watch" (Gramophone Korea), flutist Jasmine Choi is the Associate Principal Flute in the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the music director Paavo Jarvi.
Jasmine Choi has appeared as a soloist with The Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Salzburg Mozarteum, Czech Philharmonic Chamber, North Czech Philharmonic, Vienna Mozart Orchestra, Vienna Classical Players, Mozart Collegium Vienna, Haddonfield Symphony, Juilliard Symphony, KBS (Korean Broadcast System) Symphony Orchestra, Euro-Asian Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Pusan Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Symphony Orchestra, Daejon Philharmonic, Chongju Philharmonic, as well as giving numerous recitals and masterclasses throughout the United States, Europe and Korea.
When 16, Jasmine Choi was accepted at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She was nominated by the "Symphony" magazine, as one of America's Emerging Artists 2006 and 2007. She joined the roster of the Astral Artistic Services in 2004, which subsequently presented her in their "Rising Star" series at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall. Also she has performed at the Musikverein Golden Hall, Konzerthaus Mozart Hall and Schubert Hall in Vienna, Dvorak Hall and Smetana Hall in Prague, Disney Hall in LA, as well as Academy of Music and Kimmel Center's Verizon Hall in Philadelphia. Among her numerous competition honors are first prizes in the 2005 Juilliard School's Concerto Competition, the 2004 Yamaha Young Artist Competition and the 2002 Concerto Competition of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
She was invited for the Austrian Flute Festival in 2005, where her solo recital and concerto performance received great critical acclaim. An avid chamber musician, Jasmine Choi is a member of the Astral Winds and the Trio Morisot. She has participated in major festivals such as the Marlboro Music, Pacific Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, and the Carnegie Hall's Professional Workshop with Michael Tilson Thomas.
Jasmine Choi holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Julius Baker and Jeffrey Khaner. She also holds a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Her recording of the Mozart Flute Concertos was released in the summer of 2006, on the Sony/BMG label.
2000 YYPA Winner
|Pianist Aaron Parks performs internationally with the Terence Blanchard Quintet, has recorded four solo CDs with Keynote Records, and was named a Cole Porter Fellow by the American Pianists Association after winning the 5th American Jazz Piano Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. Despite his youth, Parks is garnering critical acclaim as an emerging jazz pianist of significant talent and promise. In December 1999, Aaron was selected as a Clifford Brown/Stan Getz Fellow by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA).
As an NFAA award recipient, Aaron was invited to perform at Artsweek 2000 in Miami and at the International Association of Jazz Educators in New Orleans in January, 2000.After his performance in Miami, he was awarded the top Level I award of $3,000 and was designated a Presidential Scholar in the Arts by the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars. Joining nineteen other Presidential Scholars in the Arts, Aaron flew to Washington D.C. in June, received a Presidential Medallion in a ceremony with President Clinton, and performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
In January 2000, his combo was named "Northwest Emerging Artist of the Year" by Seattle's Earshot Jazz. The same month, he was selected by the Grammy Foundation to perform in the 2000 Grammy Combo. Aaron was one of 24 jazz performers/composers selected for the prestigious Betty Carter Jazz Ahead residency program at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In the summer of 2000, Aaron was one of ten semi-finalists from around the world and only two from the U.S. invited to perform in the 2000 Jas Hennessy Piano Solo Competition held at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. At the competition, he was selected for the finals and was awarded Third Prize.
Aaron has also been featured in numerous newspaper and magazine articles. On the airwaves, Aaron made his debut in November 1999, with a guest appearance on KBCS-91.3 FM. His trio has also performed live in the studios of KUOW Weekday (94.9 FM) with Dave Beck. His music can also be heard regularly on KPLU-88.5 FM. Aaron has four CDs out—The Promise, his first album, features two of Parks' original compositions, First Romance is a collection of mostly live performances around the Seattle area, The Wizard was recorded with a quartet of emerging and established musicians and contains all original compositions, and Shadows includes four original compositions as well as jazz standards.
1999 YYPA Winner
|Dominick Farinacci is currently enrolled in the Institute for Jazz Studies at The Juilliard School. Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, he was one of eighteen musicians selected to be part of the inaugural Jazz Studies program. While at The Juilliard School, Dominick has recorded three records for M & I Jazz (produced by Todd Barkan and Makoto Kimata), has toured Japan with his quartet and has had a considerable amount of accomplishments both in the U.S. and Japan.
Yamaha Young Performing Artist Award (1998)
First place honors: 2003 Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Competition ($10,000)
Received the International New Star Award in Japan from Swing Journal Magazine
Received a Gold Disc Award (record of the month) from Swing Journal Magazine for his 2nd recording as a leader, Say It (2003).
Received a Gold Disc Award from Swing Journal Magazine for his 3rd record as a leader, Besame Mucho (2004)
Received Best Engineering Award from Swing Journal Magazine for Besame Mucho (2005)
Performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra as a featured student in a Louis Armstrong tribute PBS broadcast, Live From Lincoln Center. ( December 2000) Night of the Cookers: A Tribute to Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. This was a Jazz @ Lincoln Center Production at the Kaplan Penthouse featuring four "young lions" of the trumpet (2001) Performed with Tony Bennett at the Cleveland Palace Theatre (2002) Performed at the Mellon Jazz Festival in Harrisburg with Ira Sullivan and Joe Lovano (2002, 2003) Performed at the Detroit International Jazz Festival with Marcus Belgrave's Trumpet Summit (2003) Two-week tour with his quartet in Japan performing at clubs in and outside of Tokyo Performed with the following jazz artists: Wynton Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Ira Sullivan, Joey Defrancesco, Warren Vache, Reene Rosnes, Mulgrew Miller
Besame Mucho (Dominick Farinacci Quartet)
Manhattan Dreams (Dominick Farinacci Quartet)
Say It (Dominick Farinacci Quartet)
The Music of Ernie Krivda, Vol. 1 & 2 (Cadence/CIMP Records)
Ira Sullivan/Dominick Farinacci Live At Nighttown (Independent)
Mitsuko with J-Yorkers, Blue Canary Tour (Venus Records)
The Toshio Osumi Quartet featuring Dominick Farinacci (M&I Records)
Dominick has recorded with Cornetist Warren Vache on an educational record/video which will be released on DVD in 2004
Dominick has recorded with country legend Ronnie Milsap on a Grammy-Nominated record at Capitol Studios.
Dominick recorded his fourth record as a leader for M&I in December 2004. He is currently studying with Wynton Marsalis at the Juilliard School (his final semester) working toward his B.A. in Jazz Studies/Composition.
1997 YYPA Winner
|Michelle Perry, Hornist of the internationally acclaimed Empire Brass, began her musical studies on piano at the age of six, and presented her first solo recital at the age of seven. A native of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, she has traveled extensively, presenting hundreds of concerts across the United States, South-East Asia, Europe, South America, and the Far East.
Equally at home as a soloist, chamber, and orchestral, musician, Ms. Perry has made solo appearances with several orchestras and performed solo recitals around the United States and internationally. She recently appeared as a guest artist at the St. Barths Music Festival, and as a soloist at the Oklahoma Music Educator's Convention.
Thoughts on the YYPA competition: "My greatest memories of my YYPA experience are meeting many great performers - both seasoned professionals, and young performers on the brink of the launching of their professional life."
Ms. Perry's orchestral engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops, Milwaukee Symphony, Honolulu Symphony, New World Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Oslo Radio Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic, among others, and in Carnegie Hall under the direction of Pierre Boulez.
She has performed at numerous conventions and festivals, including many performances at the renowned Tanglewood Music Festival, where she performed as solo horn in Mahler's Symphony No. 5 under the direction of James Conlon in Seji Ozawa Hall. In addition, she has been a guest artist at the Aspen Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, several International and Regional Horn Workshops, International Brassfests, and Music Educator's National Conventions. The winner of numerous solo competitions and awards, she has also been involved in several group commissions and world premieres of new works. A J. William Fulbright Scholar and alumnus of Arizona State University, her principal teachers include Frøydis Ree Wekre, Thomas Bacon, and Bruce Heim.
A winner in the Houston Symphony's prestigious 2000 Ima Hogg International Solo Competition, she was a member of the New World Symphony, playing Principal Horn under the direction of Michael Tilson-Thomas, and recently served as Principal Horn of the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ms. Perry currently also freelances in the Boston area, with her most recent engagements including performances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops, a tour of Greece with the new music ensemble, Alea III, and tours of the Far East and South America with the Empire Brass. Ms. Perry can be heard on Summit Records, RCA Victor, and Telarc Records. Michelle Perry is a Yamaha Artist.
1994 YYPA Winner
|Otis Murphy joined the faculty of the Indiana University School of Music in 2001 at the age of 28, becoming one of the youngest faculty members in the history of the IU School of Music. His primary teachers include Jean-Yves Fourmeau, Eugene Rousseau, and Kenneth Fischer. Murphy holds the Prix de Perfectionnement (by a unanimous decision of the jury) from the Conservatoire National Regional de Musique, Cergy-Pontoise, France; the Master of Music degree from Indiana University, graduating with the Performer's Certificate, the highest honor given to a performer at this institution; and the Bachelor of Music Education degree, graduating Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Georgia. Murphy has won numerous awards and prizes that include 2nd Prize in the Adolphe Sax International Saxophone Competition (1998) in Belgium, 3rd Prize in the Jean-Marie Londeix International Saxophone Competition (1996) in France, 1st Prize in the Heida Hermanns Young Artist Competition, 2nd Prize in the Saint Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition, and the J. William Fulbright Grant that allowed saxophone study in France.
Otis Murphy is an active saxophone soloist and clinician who is in great demand throughout the world. In addition to his frequent solo appearances throughout the United States, he has also performed and given saxophone classes in France, Switzerland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Belgium, and Italy. Murphy has appeared at some of the most prestigious saxophone events in the world, performing as a concerto soloist at the Ravenna Music Festival in Italy, the 12th and 13th World Saxophone Congresses in Montreal, Quebec, and Minneapolis, Minnesota; a guest soloist with the U.S. Navy Band at the 26th Navy Band International Saxophone Symposium in Washington, D.C.; an invited soloist at the 7th British Saxophone Congress in Wales and at the 2003 New England Saxophone Symposium; and as a professor at the 2003 Faenza International Saxophone Festival of Italy. Murphy makes frequent appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and performs actively with wind ensembles and orchestras throughout the world. Murphy makes frequent appearances with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and performs actively with wind ensembles and orchestras throughout the world. His debut as guest soloist with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra during the 2004-2005 season, performing Darius Milhaud's Scaramouche:Suite for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra, was a well-received by all. Indianapolis Star wrote about the performance, "Murphy played with the sweetest tone imaginable in the opening perpetual-motion movement, then practically blew the roof off in the concluding rumba."
Otis has been the featured artist in numerous publications that include Saxophone Journal Yamaha's Backstage Pass, the United Kingdom's Clarinet and Saxophone magazine, Japan's Pipers magazine for wind players, and The Sax, one of Japan's leading saxophone magazines. Memories of Dinant, Murphy's debut compact disc recording with his wife, Haruko, on piano, has received critical acclaim and has sold out. His second solo compact disc was be released in 2004 on the Arizona University Recordings label. Otis Murphy is a Yamaha Performing Artist and a Vandoren Diamond Performing Artist.
1994 YYPA Winner
|Kenneth Tse – Recognized as one of the leading saxophonists in the world, Kenneth Tse has been called "a brilliant saxophonist…worthy of any stage in the world" by his former teacher, world-renowned saxophonist and pedagogue, Eugene Rousseau. French saxophone master Jean-Marie Londeix praised him, saying, "I appreciate particularly the quality of the tone, the perfect tuning, and the musical intelligence…"
Thoughts on the YYPA competition: "The YYPA competition is certainly a unique, prestigious, and worthy educational and professional experience for young musicians; it gives them the opportunity and direction for their future."
As a Yamaha and Vandoren Performing Artist, Tse is sought after the world over as a performer, adjudicator, and clinician; he has been invited to many parts of Asia, Europe, and the United States. He has appeared as a soloist with the Des Moines Symphony, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong Wind Philharmonia, Indiana University Wind Ensemble, Baylor University Wind Ensemble, Emory University Wind Ensemble, Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony, University of Iowa Symphony Band and Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has also given clinics, master classes and lectures at major conferences, such as the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, and universities around the globe.
An advocate for new music, Tse has had many works dedicated to him. They include saxophone concertos, sonatas, solo works, and chamber music by David DeBoor Canfield, John Cheetham, David Froom, Perry Goldstein, Ketty Nez, and Leonard Mark Lewis. Tse has also premiered solo and chamber works by the famed Czech composer, Jindrich Feld and also researched on his music.
An active recording artist, Tse has released several critically acclaimed commercial solo recordings under Crystal Records, RIAX Records, Enharmonic Records, and Arizona University Recordings. Paul Wagner, a critic of his recordings, wrote, "Kenneth Tse has established himself to be an outstanding saxophone artist. His control over the instrument is incredible allowing material that seems impossible to sound like child's play… the staccato notes are clear and clean points of sound and never sound rushed regardless of the tempo. The most exciting aspect of Kenneth Tse is the level of intensity he maintains throughout the performance. He takes the notes and creates a musical fantasy that engulfs the listener's imagination for the duration of the performance."
Kenneth Tse has received numerous awards and grants including the prestigious Hong Kong Jockey Club scholarship, New York Music Performance Trust Fund, University of Missouri Research Council Grant, University of Iowa AHI Grant, and Indiana University Marcel Mule Scholarship, as well as an honorary life membership from the Contemporary Record Society. As a winner of the New York Artists International Competition, Tse gave his successful debut recital at the Carnegie Hall. He made another appearance at Carnegie after receiving the Alex Award from the National Alliance for Excellence.
Tse is currently the professor of saxophone at the University of Iowa and also serves as the Membership Director for the North American Saxophone Alliance.
He holds degrees from the University of Illinois, Champaign—Urbana (D.M.A.); additional study is with Debra Richtmeyer, Indiana University (B.M., M.M. and Artist Diploma) and Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. He was the first saxophonist to receive the prestigious Artist Diploma from the Indiana University School of Music, and was the youngest winner of the IU saxophone concerto competition. His articles have been featured in the Saxophone Journal, Saxophone Symposium, Iowa Bandmaster Association Journal and Yamaha Education Series.
1990 YYPA Winner
|Walter Blanding (Tenor and Soprano Saxophones, Clarinet) was born on August 14, 1971 in Cleveland, Ohio to a musical family and began playing the saxophone at age six. In 1981, he moved with his family to New York City, and by age 16, he was performing regularly with his parents at the Village Gate. Mr. Blanding attended LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and the Performing Arts and continued his studies at the New School for Social Research.
Mr. Blanding lived in Israel for 4 years, where he had a major impact on the music scene, inviting great artists such as Louis Hayes, Eric Reed and others to perform. He also taught in several Israeli schools and toured the country with his ensemble. During this period, Newsweek described him as "Jazz's Ambassador to Israel." His first recording, Tough Young Tenors, was acclaimed as one of the best jazz albums of 1991. Since then, he has performed or recorded with many artists, including Cab Calloway, the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Marcus Roberts, Illinois Jacquet, Eric Reed, Roy Hargrove and others. His latest release, The Olive Tree, features fellow members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.