National Winners Crowned at Prestigious Yamaha Young Performing Artists Celebration

7/20/2011 [Music Education]

Violinist Natalie Yu Selected as Overall Winner from Pool of Talented Students

2011 YYPA Winner Natalie Yu

 

INDIANAPOLIS—Ten accomplished young musicians have been selected to participate in the 2011 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program (YYPA). Violinist Natalie Yu took the top prize as Overall Winner.

Every year since 1989, when the competition began, Yamaha Corporation of America’s Band & Orchestral Division has honored talented young artists under the auspices of the YYPA program, an annual competition for performers between the ages of 16 and 21. Instrument categories include winds, brass, strings, concert percussion, drum set and piano.

More than 100 applicants submit their credentials to Yamaha each year and undergo a rigorous taped audition process judged by a panel of national celebrity musicians. This year, the panel selected 10 winners and six honorable mention recipients. Since the program’s inception, many past winners have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or are playing professionally with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.

Winners receive an all-expense paid trip to the weekend awards ceremony, where they enjoy a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, social events, special awards concerts and workshops focusing on how to establish a career in music. They also participate in the prestigious concert and receive a recording and photos of their performance, along with the benefits of being selected as a Yamaha Young Performing Artist.

 “Yamaha’s commitment to education and to nurturing young musicians at every level of development is unwavering,” said John Wittmann, Director, Artist Relations, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis, “To that end, YYPA has helped the next generation of professional musicians get their first taste of success on a national level.”

For the first time, this year’s YYPA celebration took place at Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Coinciding with the Music for All (MFA) Summer Symposium, the YYPA awards program served as the symposium’s kick-off concert.

Former YYPA winners have gone on to enjoy successful music careers, with highlights that include playing with world-renowned musicians, winning international competitions and releasing recordings. Previous YYPA winners include Ricardo Morales (1990) Principal Clarinet of the New York Philharmonic; Otis Murphy (1994) saxophonist and faculty at Indiana University School of Music; Jasmine Choi (2004) Associate Principal Flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; Aaron Parks (2000) jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist; Kenneth Tse (1994) saxophonist and faculty at the University of Iowa; and Kevin Bobo (1994) percussionist and faculty at Indiana University School of Music.

The 2011 winners include Jasper Dutz (jazz saxophone), Thomas English (bassoon), Jonathan Heim (trumpet), Lucas Hopkins (classical Saxophone), Grant Jameson (euphonium), Austin Larson (horn), Min Hee Kim (flute), Yesse Kim (piano), Kevin Schaffter, (clarinet) and Natalie Yu (violin).

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, Attn: Jennifer Vierling, 39 West Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225; e-mail jvierling@yamaha.com; or visit http://usa.yamaha.com/music_education/yypa/.

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