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2017 Winners

Winners of the 2017 Concerto Competition for High School Students:


Ann Kuo
Flute Concerto in D major K. 314 3rd movement– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Colburn Music Academy, senior
Grand prize winner

Phoebe Cao
Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K.219 1st movement- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Tesoro High School, sophomore 

Amy Sze
Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K.216 1st movement -Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Crossroads High School, junior

Charles Lu Chen
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15 Ludwig Van Beethoven
Arcadia High School, freshman 

Picture of student performer Ann Kuo with her flute Ann Kuo

Ann Kuo is a 15-year-old flutist in Los Angeles, California. Originally from Taiwan, Ann came to US in the summer 2016. She started her flute journey in Taiwan when she was eight. Her first solo recital was held in Taipei when she was 14 years old, and she contributed her recital to the orphanage in Taiwan.

Recently, Ann won the grand prize in Mount Satin Mary’s University Concerto Competition. In the summer of 2017, Ann went to Interlochen Arts Center where she received the full scholarship. Ann has received remarkable awards from various international competition including 1st price in the Taipei Student Music Competition in Taiwan, 3rd prize in the San Diego Flute Guild Young Artist Competition, Finalists in the Mondavi Young Artist Competition in Davis, Semi-finalist in Biwako International Flute Competition in Japan, Honorable Mention in Culture Cup Competition, and Taipei Asia Cup Competition. She had master classes with artists such as Denis Bouriakov, Jeffery Khaner, Vincent Lucas, Emmanuel Pahud, and Seiya Ueno.

Ann is the principal flute in World Youth Symphony Orchestra and Colburn Youth Orchestra. Ann currently studies in the Colburn Music Academy with Professor Jim Walker. Beside the flute, Ann enjoys singing and playing piano as well.

Student performer Phoebe Cao with her violinPhoebe Cao  is 15 years old, a sophomore at Tesoro High School.  She has been playing violin since she was five, and is currently studying with Henryk Liao.  Phoebe was awarded the 1st place at the American Fine Arts Festival Romantic Music International Competition, and was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in June 2016. Phoebe also won the 1st place in Southwestern Youth Music Festival Open Baroque Competition consecutively in 2016 and 2017.  Phoebe was awarded the 1st place in Intermediate Violin at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Solo Competition for the Greater Los Angeles Area III in 2016, and was a winner in ASTA Greater Los Angeles Pre-College Final Solo Competition in 2017.  The other awards Phoebe received include Enkor International Music Competition Violin 2016, Violin Concerto and Baroque competitions at 2017 Lansum International Music Festival, MTAC South Bay’s Artists of the Future Competitions, and MTAC South Bay Scholarship Auditions.  Phoebe was selected to enter State final for MTAC Panel Advanced Level and won Panel Master Class award. Besides her activities in solo performance, Phoebe was also playing leading role at her school orchestra and performed as key player in prestigious youth orchestras. She was Concertmaster of 2016 All Southern California Middle School Honor Full Orchestra, and co-Concertmaster of 2017 All Southern California High School Honor Orchestra.  Besides music, Phoebe enjoys reading, writing, and drawing.  She won the Lion Award at Ladera Ranch Middle School in 2016 that was awarded to the top student of over 500 students of graduating class for her distinguished achievements in academics, leadership, and service.

Photo of student performer Amy Sze with her violin Amy Sze, 16, studies with Aimée Kreston at the Colburn School of Performing Arts where she is the recipient of the Richard D. Colburn Scholarship Award. She attends the Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences.

Amy was a semifinalist of the triennial Stradivarius International Violin Competition. She is also a 1st prize winner of the Young Muse Competition, Classics Alive Young Artists National Auditions and other competitions. Her string quartet, “Fuoco,” coached by Andrew Cook and Aimée Kreston was a semifinalist of the University of Michigan International M-Prize Chamber Music Competition and a bronze medalist of the National Chamber Music Competition of the Pasadena Conservatory.
Amy has performed as a soloist with the Eastern Sierra Symphony, the New World Baroque Orchestra, Palisades Symphony, Montecito International Music Festival Chamber Orchestra, Santa Maria Philharmonic, Antelope Valley Symphony, Santa Monica College Orchestra, and the San Luis Obispo Youth Symphony.

While attending the National Art Centre’s Young Artists Program in Ottawa, Amy was heard on CBC Radio one. 

Amy’s former teachers are Grace Seng and Randy Garacci.  Some of the other professionals Amy has studied with are Roland and Almita Vamos, Gilles Apap, and Alexander Treger. Her violin and bow are generously on loan from the Maestro Foundation.

Photo of concerto competition winner Charles Lu Chen Charles Lu Chen is a 14 year old pianist living in Arcadia, California. He attends Moscow Music, where he studies under Professor Esmiralda Roushanova. Charles started playing piano when he was 5, and started competitive competitions when he was 7. Charles has won numerous awards in the open categories from Southwestern Youth Music Festival (SYMF). He passed level ten of the Certificate of Merit when he was nine and passed level eight of ABRSM when he was ten. As well as winning in these competitions, he has also gone to Carnegie Hall in 2010 for a recital. As well as winning 1st in MTAC Sonata competition in 2012. He also placed 2nd in the MTAC 2015 Bach competition. Charles has also won 1st in the 2015 and 2nd place in 2016 in the Diamond Bar Performing Arts Competition (DPBAC). Other than piano he played percussion when he was in middle school last year. Aside from music, he also is really into sports and games. Right now in high school he is on the water polo team and will join the swimming team during spring season.