2017 IVC Winners

Congratulations to All Winners !

Grand – Featured soloist with the NY Tutti Ensemble (spring 2018)

Pinhua Zeng, (age 20) violin


Enako Matsumoto, violin (age 14) – $250 IVC award and alternate Grand Winner
Kento Hong, violin (age10) – $250 Main Violin award
Cheyoon Lee, cello (age 18) – $250 Main Violin award
Jeremiah Blacklow, violin (age 20) – $250 IVC award
Philina Zhang, piano (age 10) – $250 IVC award
Yan Li, piano (age 22) – $250 IVC award
Pui Yee Pearl Chan, harp (age 9)


Matthew Brand, piano
Nicole Izaguirre, piano
Sara Yamada, violin
Elizabeth Lee, violin
Phoebe Gardner, violin
Jeremy Cha, cello
Katherine Yoon, cello
Ian Maloney, cello


Anthony Gurunian, piano
Daniel Huh, piano
Anabelle Johnston, piano
Gretchen Kamm, violin
Aram Kim, violin
Dylan Hamme, violin
Mitsuru Yonezaki, violin
Alexandra Hong, viola
Laura Navasardian, cello

Honorable Mention

Jansen Wong, piano
Audrey Ang, violin
Nikita Zhang, violin
Jun Lin, violin
Dexter Doris, violin
Bernadatte Kim, violin
Erin Wong, cello
Irene Lee, cello
Kevin Won, cello

Joo Young Oh : Violin

Violinist Joo Young Oh joined the New York Philharmonic in November 2010. He earned an international recognition at the age of 14 when he won first prize at the 1996 Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. A native of Jinju, South Korea, he has made numerous solo appearances with orchestras worldwide, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Colorado and San Jose Symphonies, St. Petersburg and Czech Philharmonics, Hungarian Chamber Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony, Ukraine and Poland National Symphonies, Salzburger Kammer-Philharmonie, Tacoma Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival Orchestra, Los Angeles Theater Orchestra, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. He has appeared at New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Los Angeles’s Walt Disney Hall and the Performing Arts Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Prague’s Dvorák Hall, St. Petersburg’s Grand Hall, Tokyo Opera City Concert Hall, and many others.

Mr. Oh has also performed extensively in recital throughout the United States, with appearances in Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York, in addition to cities around the world. In 2003 he made his New York debut recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall.

Joo Young Oh began playing the violin at age five. He has studied with the late Dorothy DeLay, Zahkar Bron, Hyo Kang, Stephen Clapp, New York Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, and Lisa Kim, New York Philharmonic Associate Principal, Second Violin Group. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Juilliard School, and a degree in professional studies in orchestra performance from the Manhattan School of Music.

Julian Schwarz : Cello

Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991. Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity, and extraordinarily large color palate are hallmarks of his style.

In 2013 Mr Schwarz won 1st prize in the professional cello division of the Schoenfeld International String Competition in Hong Kong, and in 2016 won 1st prize at the Boulder International Chamber Music Competition’s “The Art of Duo” with Canadian pianist Marika Bournaki.

After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father, Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he has led an active career as soloist. Recent and upcoming debuts include the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonics, Camerata Chicago, Symphony Silicon Valley, and the Toledo, Jacksonville, Charleston, Tuscon, Amarillo, San Antonio, Des Moines, Charlotte, and West Virginia Symphonies. Return engagements include the Hartford and Springfield (MA) Symphonies, Northwest Sinfonietta, Lake Union Civic Orchestra, Symphoria (Syracuse NY), and the Boca Symphonia. Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony, his Mexican debuts with the Boca del Rio Symphony in Veracruz and the Mexico City Philharmonic with frequent collaborator Jorge Mester, and his Hong Kong debut at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Mozarteum, and the Verbier festival in Switzerland.

As a recitalist, he has performed at the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico, the Rosenegg Castle in Steyr Austria, on the Embassy Series in Washington DC, at the National Arts Club, and in Palm Springs, CA. Mr. Schwarz will embark on an extensive 10-recital tour of China in March 2017, and will make debuts for the Musical Club of Hartford and the University Club. An avid chamber musician, he is a member of the New York based Frisson Ensemble, the New York Classical Players, the Solisti Ensemble, and the Mile-End Trio with violinist Jeff Multer and pianist Marika Bournaki. He performs frequently at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, and has been the featured young artist at both the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and the Seattle Chamber Music Festival.

Julian Schwarz is an avid supporter of new music, and often commissions new, exciting works to enhance the cello repertoire. He has premiered concertos by Richard Danielpour, Samuel Jones (recorded with the All Star Orchestra for public television in 2012, subsequently released as a DVD on Naxos), and will give the world premiere of Lowell Liebermann’s first Cello Concerto with a consortium of five orchestras in the 17-18 season. Other premieres include the US Premiere of Dobrinka Tabakova’s Cello Concerto with the Urban Playground Chamber Orchestra, and recital works by Paul Frucht, Gavin Fraser, Ren Damin, and Gerard Schwarz. On record, the Schwarz-Bournaki duo has recorded Bright Sheng’s “Northern Lights” for Naxos, the complete cello/piano works by Ernest Bloch for the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, and will release a debut recital album in summer 2017.

A devoted teacher, Mr. Schwarz serves as Asst. Professor of Cello at Shenandoah Conservatory of Shenandoah University (Winchester, VA). Other faculty appointments include the Eastern Music Festival (Greensboro, NC), Lunenburg Academy of Music Performance (Nova Scotia, Canada), and faculty teaching assistant to Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School.

Mr. Schwarz studied at the Academy of Music Northwest, the Colburn School with Ronald Leonard, and received both BM and MM degrees from The Juilliard School where he studied with mentor Joel Krosnick. Other influential teachers include David Tonkonogui, Toby Saks, Lynn Harrell, Neal Cary, and chamber music studies with Andre Roy, Arnold Steinhardt, Jonathan Feldman, Toby Appel and Paul Coletti. Julian plays on a Neapolitan cello made by Gennaro Gagliano in 1743, is an active contributor to Strings Magazine’s Artist Blog, and sits on the music committee of the National Arts Club.


Blair McMillen : Piano

Blair McMillen has established himself as one of the most versatile and sought-after pianists today. He leads a multifarious musical life as soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and pedagogue. The New York Times has described him as “riveting,” “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and as one of the piano’s “brilliant stars.” Highlights from recent seasons include concertos with the American Symphony in Carnegie Hall, solo appearances with the St Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Albany Symphony, and a 3-week solo tour of Brazil sponsored by the US State Department.

Comfortable in an immense variety of musical styles, McMillen has delved into music well beyond the traditional classical canon. His concerts often include medieval keyboard manuscripts next to improvisation-based music, and Classical/Romantic-era solo piano repertoire with music of today’s younger composers. Blair is the co-director of the Rite of Summer Music Festival, an indie-classical concert series held on New York City’s Governors Island.

He lives in New York City, and has served on the music faculty at Bard College and Conservatory since 2005. In 2017-18 he will join the Piano Faculty at the Mannes School of Music.

Sonya Bach : Piano

Sonya Bach has won hearts of audiences and critics alike appearing on the most prestigious concert stages of Europe, North America and Asia.

Sonya Bach feels particularly honoured to have been invited to appear in a recital promoted by the Catalunya Government for the victims and survivors of Ravensbruck Women’s Concentration Camp and to be featured as the first classical musician to perform at the newly inaugurated Community Theatre and Arts Centre in Dubai, UAE under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum. In 2012, Ms. Bach has performed to commemorate the 50 Years Diplomatic Relations between Korea and Switzerland at the Swiss Residence in Seoul, Korea.

As a devoted performer of rarely performed repertoire, Ms. Bach made the Korean premiere of Turina’s Rapsodia Sinfonica with the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra.

Sonya Bach started playing the piano at the tender age of three, gave first public concert at age five and orchestra debut at age nine with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra in her native country. She received musical educations on full scholarships at the Juilliard School in New York and Accademia Pianistica “Incontri col Maestro” in Italy where she has been the youngest pupil of the late Lazar Berman.
A protégé of the late Alicia de Larrocha, she has earned Master in Spanish Music at the Academia Marshall in Barcelona, Spain.
Miss Bach is the recipient of the 1996 Gina Bachauer Memorial Award. As the youngest participant she has captured the Special Prize at the 12th Viotti-Valsesia International Music Competition in Italy, and top prizes at the St. Charles International Piano Competition in the U.S. and the ECO International Music Contest in Italy. Latest triumphant was the 1st Eugen d’Albert International Music Competition held in November 2012 in Lugano, Switzerland where she won the First and Grand Prize unanimously as well as the Eugen d’Albert Interpretation Award.

In the upcoming season, Sonya will perform in recitals and as a soloist with orchestras in such countries as France, Italy, Korea, Portugal, Singapore and the UK.

Sonya has recently recorded the complete Bach Keyboard Concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra which is due to release by the U.K. label Rubicon Classics in September this year.

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