WEB ONLY: GSO has 8th under-23 Concerto contest May 2

The Guelph Symphony Orchestra will hold the finals of its eighth annual under-23 concerto competition on Saturday May 2, from 2:30 to 5:30pm at Westminster-St. Pauls Church, 206 Victoria Road North.

In 2002, the GSO initiated the competition, to offer talent­ed young musicians the opportunity to perform with a quality orchestra in front of a live audience. Each year, a different instrument category is offered, “ piano, strings, and wind. The age was selected to be open to students who are working on or have completed their undergraduate studies. The public is welcome to attend the finals and listen to four rising stars perform. Admission is free.

“We have been very impressed with the outstanding musical abilities of our winners€ said  Simon Irving, artistic director of the GSO. “Clearly many of these players are destined for suc­cess, and its exciting for us that we can contribute to develop­ing their professional careers.”

The four finalists are:

– 2:30pm, Christopher Hwang, Guelph, Shostakovich Cello Concerto;

– 3:15 Katya Poplyansky, Toronto, Mozart No. 4 or Prokofiev No 2 Violin Con­cer­to;

– 4pm Brian Yoon, Ottawa,- Dvorak Cello Concerto; and

– 4:45 Amir Safavi, Toronto, Shostakovich Violin Concerto.

In the spring of 2002 the first competition was won by Sarah Choi (piano), who played a brilliant performance of the Schumann Concerto in October.

The 2008 winner was Benjamin Chapman (piano).