MORRISTOWN, NJ - The Baroque Orchestra is pleased to announce finalists for the 2016 Pearl and Julius Young Competition for young instrumental artists, ages 16-22.  

First Prize is $1000. The First Prize winner will perform a concerto movement at the BONJ Summer Music Festival in August, 2016. Second prize is $500.  Third prize is $250.  Two $100 honorable mention prizes will be awarded. Judges will include principal musicians from the orchestra and guest artists.

The competition will be held Sunday March 13, 2016 at NOON. Dolan Hall, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, New Jersey.   Admission to this unforgettable afternoon of great music is FREE!

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John Franek, piano, is a Sophomore at Westminster Choir College, double majoring in Theory & Composition as well as Piano Performance.  John’s main instrument is piano but he is also capable of playing the organ and harpsichord.  John won first place in Westminster’s Freshmen Piano Competition in May of 2015.  John also plays the carillon, giving a concert every Sunday during the school year in Princeton’s Cleveland Tower and every Sunday during the summer at St. Peter’s Tower in Morristown.  John has composed symphonic, solo piano, electroacoustic and concerto works; various of which have been performed; and is a published composer.  John stays busy performing, composing and playing the carillon.

Annamaria Vasmatzidis, violin,  is an 18-year-old violinist who currently studies under the New York City Ballet’s concertmaster, Kurt Nikkanen. She began her violin studies at the age of 5 with Mrs. Trish Gruswitz. She was the principal second of the Montclair State University Preparatory Orchestra. She was the principal and co-concertmaster at the OSTE and Sinfonia of the New Jersey Youth Symphony. She is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division, where she studied for six years, and is currently taking a gap year. She has previously attended the Greenwood Music Camp for chamber music for three summers and has attended the Heifetz International Institute for two summers. Her quintet, where she served as first violin, received first prize in the chamber division of the 2015 International Grande Music Competition. 

Ania Filochowska, violin, currently studies at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with renowned violinists Pamela Frank and Aaron Rosand. She began playing the violin at age 6 in a music school in Warsaw, and later continued in Poznan with Prof. Jadwiga Kaliszewska. At the age of 11, she was accepted at the Juilliard Pre-College, and was invited by Itzhak Perlman to attend "The Perlman Music Program.” She studied under Itzhak Perlman at Juilliard for four years as his youngest student.    Prior to coming to New York, she won top prizes in most national violin competitions in Poland and several children’s international violin competitions in Europe. Recently, she won 1st Prize in the Queens Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloist Competition (2012), 1st Prize in the International Summit Music Festival Concerto Competition (2011), an award from the National Foundation for Advancement in Arts in Miami (2011 YoungArts Program), 1st Prize in the Goldblatt Competition (2009), an award for artistic achievements from the Polish Minister of Culture (2006 and 2012), and was accepted as one of 18 semi-finalists to participate in the 2015 Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand.

Chase Park, cello, began his musical training at the age of 4 with Madeleine Golz at the Thurnauer School of Music in Kaplen JCC on the Palisades. Chase has been studying with Clara Kim at the Juilliard Pre-College Program since fall of 2010.  In 2009, Chase performed Saint-Saën’s The Swan at Merkin Hall as a guest artist for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 2010, Chase performed his first solo recital at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music and since then has given 4 solo recitals as Juilliard-Pre-College student at Juilliard School  of Music. Chase has been part of The Perlman Music Program in their intensive year-round program since 2010. He has been performing in Itzhak Perlman’s concert series at the Neue Gallery in NYC since fall of 2010.   On Saturday, December 13, 2014, From the Top at Peak Performances  featured Chase performing the Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 in G Major accompanied by Christopher O’Riley. He also performed with the Shanghai Quartet, a movement from Johannes Brahms' String Sextet in G major.

Thomas Kurtz, saxophone, attends Montclair State University, studying with Stacy Wilson. Thomas has been an active member of the Montclair State Wind Symphony for two years, and is currently the soprano player in the "Tangent Quartet". Thomas loves performing and enjoys premiering new works. He will be premiering "Quiver" by Kevin Cummines at the North American Saxophone Alliance 2016 Conference. 

Carlos Bedoya, guitar, is a senior pursuing degrees in Music Education and Classical Guitar performance at Rowan University. While studying at Rowan with guitarists Joseph Mayes and Kathleen Mayes, Carlos has also studied with Grammy award winner Jason Vieaux. Some of his music highlights include being a finalist in national competitions such as Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition and the Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society competition. Carlos has also won the Rowan University concerto competition and was selected as a grand winner of the 2014 NLPA music competition which prize allowed him to perform in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.  Besides being an active church musician, Carlos is an accomplished composer.

Daniel Hamin Go, cello, began his cello studies in Toronto, Canada at the age of 13. An avid chamber musician, he has worked closely with members of the Juilliard and American String Quartets, and is currently studying chamber music with David Geber. Daniel is a winner of the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition at Manhattan School of Music. Additionally, he was awarded first prize at the Kiwanis Music Festival competition and second prize at the OMFA competition as a member of the Aurelius String Quartet. He has performed in major venues across North America such as Carnegie, Roy Thomson, and Koerner Halls, and has performed under the baton of conductors such as Jaime Laredo, Peter Oundjian, and Duilio Dobrin. Daniel graduated from the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy where he was a member of the ‘DownBeat’ award winning Academy Orchestra. Daniel has worked with prominent musicians such as David Geringas, Torleif Thedeen, and Bonnie Hampton, and has participated in master classes at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Festival engagements include Summit Music Festival, Interlochen Cello Institute, and the New York String Orchestra Seminar. Daniel is currently pursuing a Bachelor's degree at the Manhattan School of Music studying with Julia Lichten. He plays a cello generously loaned by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.

Di Cao, flute, is from AnHui, China  She has played flute since she started studying as an 11-year-old. She studied at The Music Middle School attached to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Since September, 2014, she has studied with Linda Chesis at The Manhattan School of Music towards her BM.

Kenta Nomura, violin, has been playing from the age of four.  He currently studies with Dr. Ann Setzer and Mr. Khullip Jeung of The Juilliard School, where hehas served as orchestra concertmaster. Kenta has won competitions such as 1st Prize winner of the NY Music Competition, Morgan Park Music Competition, LIU Concerto Competition, COS Senior Discovery Concerto Competition, Concert Festival Competition, and National Young Artist Concerto Competition. Last year he won the International Virtuoso Competition and 92nd Y Concerto Competition. Last fall, he won Gold Prize in the 2015 New York International Music Competition and was a featured soloist with the NYIMC Chamber Orchestra in Carnegie Hall.  Most recently he won the first prize of Camerata International Competition and performed Waxman’s Carmen Fantasy with CNJ orchestra at Merkin Hall.  During the spring of 2012, he performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the New Britain Symphony, and that summer he performed the Carmen Fantasy by Sarasate with the Festival Orchestra at Tilles Center. In 2013, he played the Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 at Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center. In 2014, he played the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Mid Atlantic Chamber Orchestra.  Last year he was selected to become a quarterfinalist of Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Musicians and performed in Novosibirsk of Siberia.

Yeri Roh, violin, started her professional music studies at the age of 8. She graduated from Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School which are well-known prestigious schools for young promising artists in Seoul, Korea. She has received awards from Music Journal Compeition, Strad Concours, Korea-Germany Brahms Association Competition, and American Protege International Piano & String Competition. She has attended Asago International Music Festival (Osaka, Japan), Academia Internacional de Musica de Solsona (Solsona, Spain) where her live performance in the final concert was broadcasted on Catalunya Radio, and Heifetz International Music Institute. She has shared stage as a chamber musician with Mark Kaplan, Robert Vernon, Ralph Kirshbaum, and Oliver Kern. She also has appeared as soloist and orchestra player in Carnegie Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and was invited as Young Guest Artist presented by New York Piano Society at Baruch Performing Arts Center. She is currently pursuing Bachelor of Music degree at the Juilliard School under Hyo Kang.

Julie NahKyung Lee, flute, was born in Seoul, Korea where she started her flute studies at the age of 8.  While she attended Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School, she has won top prizes in numerous competitions including Seoul National University Competition, Music Association of Korea Competition and Universal Music Competition. She also has participated as performer for world renown flutist such as Walter Auer, Jeanne Baxtresser and Robert Langevin. Currently attending  Manhattan School of Music as a Sophomore, she was a runner up in Eisenberg Fried Woodwind Concerto Competition during her Freshman year. Also outside the school, she has been playing in NewYork Youth Symphony. Her major teachers include Linda Chesis, Soo-Kyung Park, Yun Hwa Song and Young Mi Kim

William McGregor, bass, began his double bass studies at age 2, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Derek Weller. In 2009, William was accepted into The Juilliard School Pre-College, where he began his studies with Albert Laszlo.  In 2005 and 2006, William was invited to perform in aolo recital at American Suzuki Institute-Stevens Point.  Since 2010, William has been a member of the World Youth Alliance Chamber Orchestra in New York City.  In 2011, William became a Fellowship scholarship student at the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he was the youngest full-time student at the Festival.  In 2012, William won the Juilliard School Pre-College Open Concerto Competition, and performed with the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony at Peter J. Sharpe Theater at Lincoln Center.  Additionally, William won the grand prize at the Ensemble 212 Young Artist Competition in 2012, and performed his solo concerto with Ensemble 212 at The Kaufman Center’s Merkin Concert Hall in New York City.  In November, 2012, William made his Carnegie Hall debut, performing Paganini's Mose in Egitto.  In 2015, William was invited to solo with the Allentown Symphony, under the baton of maestro Diane Wittry. In January, 2016, William won, for the second time, the Juilliard Pre-College Open Competition and will be performing in solo with the Pre-College Orchestra in February, 2016.

Hyunjin Cho (BONJ Accompanist) began her piano lessons at the age of five. She continued her studies at Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul where she received her Bachelor’s degree as a full scholarship student.   Her appearances have included solo performances at The Juilliard School and in the New Jersey area supported by the Westerhoff Foundation as well as chamber music performances at the Shepard Hall, the Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Bruno Walter Hall at Lincoln Center and NV Hall. She has played in the Echo Music Festival in the summer 2012 and 2013 as an accompanist and coach. She has been on the piano faculty at the Westerhoff school of music and arts since 2003.  Ms. Cho received her Master’s degree and professional studies certificate from Manhattan School of Music as a partial scholarship student with Marc Silverman.