Young Artists Program
The Manchester Music Festival (MMF) Young Artists Program is a full scholarship, five-week intensive chamber music festival for string players and pianists, ages 18-26. Close to 200 applications are received from over 20 countries around the globe to fill just 17 spots.
Occurring annually every summer in scenic Manchester, Vermont, the 2020 Young Artists Program will take place from July 6 to August 9, 2020.
Young Artists live in the Manchester Music Festival House and receive daily coaching sessions, participate in weekly Masterclasses, and have the opportunity to take one-on-one lessons with a faculty composed of world-renowned artists and pedagogues. They perform every Sunday in our Young Artists Concerts held at the Manchester Community Library.
2019 Young Artists
Sarah Grace Bindrim completed her Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance at East Carolina University in 2018. Studying under Ara Gregorian, Sarah Grace won the 2015-16 ECU School of Music Concerto Competition and has been a concertmaster of the ECU Symphony Orchestra since her sophomore year. Through the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, she has been selected to collaborate with artists such as Colin Carr, Zvi Plesser, Ara Gregorian, Hye-Jin Kim, Emanuel Gruber, Kwan Yi, and Xiao-Dong Wang. She has performed in masterclasses for Miriam Fried, Zvi Plesser, Axel Strauss, Ida and Ani Kavafian, Maria Lambros, Kristopher Tong, Nicholas DiEuginio, Bella Hristova, Michael Kannen, Ari Streisfeld, Ara Gregorian, Ani Kavafian, Axel Strauss, Brooklyn Rider String Quartet, Xiao-Dong Wang, and Arianna String Quartet. Sarah Grace has attended Madeline Island Chamber Music, ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute, the Luby Violin Symposium, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, and the Heifetz International Institute of Music.
Described as “mesmerizing” by The Burlington Hawkeye Times, 21-year-old American violist Keoni Bolding has already established a career across the U.S. and Europe. Recently named artist-in-residence of the Southeast Iowa Symphony, Keoni has performed as a soloist in major American venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and at the U.S. Capitol as well as international venues with the Rome Chamber Music Festival. As an orchestral musician, Keoni has played with the New World and Charleston Symphonies and has been featured on the Emmy-nominated show SongCraft Presents. Keoni recently graduated from the Robert McDuffie Center for Strings and is now pursuing his masters at The Juilliard School as a proud recipient of the Kovner Fellowship. He lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia where he helps his family care for their small dairy farm.
Ismael Ariel Guerrero Bombut is a cellist from Havana, Cuba. He began his cello studies at the age of eight. While in Cuba, he won several competitions and participated in masterclasses from renowned cellists such as Carlos Prieto, Clemen Hagens, and Leidi Litschauer. He is now in his third year of his undergraduate studies at The Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, which he attends on full scholarship, studying with Amit Peled. He has performed with Heifetz On Tour in Exton, PA and Staunton, VA after attending the Heifetz International Music Institute in 2017 on full scholarship. Ismael was one of the eight semifinalists in the Artist Series National String Competition in 2018. Last summer, he attended Keshet Eilon in Israel, where he won the concerto competition which allowed him to perform as a soloist with the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble in The Opera House of the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center. He has also performed in Mexico, Cape Cod, North Carolina, Florida, Baltimore and Washington D.C. He has been invited on several occasions to join the Mount Vernon Virtuosi and the Peabody Peled Cello Gang, with whom he recorded a CD.
A native of Milwaukee, WI, Andrew Cannestra is a rising senior pursuing a Bachelor of Music in piano performance at St. Olaf College, studying with Kent McWilliams. He has won numerous piano competitions, including the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Performance Competition Minnesota division, the Civic Music Association Young Artist Scholarship, and the Marilyn Caldwell Piano Solo award. For several years, he has served as the pianist and celestist for the St. Olaf Orchestra, including several tours highlighted by a performance in Carnegie Hall. He also collaborates extensively as both a chamber musician and with soloists, and has worked as a collaborative pianist for the International Cello Institute. Equally accomplished as a composer, Andrew currently studies with Timothy Mahr. Notable performers of his work include the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the St. Olaf Orchestra (including several performances on their June 2019 tour of Norway), the St. Olaf Philharmonia, the Artaria String Quartet, and the University of Minnesota Symphonic Band. His music has also been featured in Peter Nelson’s award-winning animated film, Intruder Man. Outside of music, Andrew enjoys fishing, hiking, stargazing, and is a passionate baseball fan.
Christopher Cho is a cellist based in Los Angeles, CA and Bloomington, IN. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he studied with Peter Stumpf. Chris has been featured on Los Angeles' premier classical radio station KUSC both as a soloist and chamber musician. He has had a wide variety of orchestral experience, serving as principal of numerous Indiana University Orchestras and Colburn Youth Orchestras. In January 2018, Chris was appointed as the principal cellist of the IU Chamber Orchestra, which included performances of Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos for IU Opera. Chris has also performed extensively outside of the classical genre from a young age, playing in venues such as Nokia LA Live (now the Microsoft Theater), and the Ford Amphitheater. He has collaborated and shared stages with artists such as Megan Lee, JustKiddingFilms, Run River North, Clara Chung, and Priscilla Ahn.
Katelyn Emery began her violin studies at the age of three. At age nine Katharine Rapoport, of the University of Toronto, welcomed Katelyn into her studio. Concurrently she studied at The Phil and Eli Taylor Academy for Young Artists at The Royal Conservatory of Music from the ages of 12 to 15. Katelyn has been concertmaster or held principal positions in the McGill Symphony Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. She has worked as a substitute violinist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and has also played with the McGill Chamber Orchestra as a part of their mentorship program. Katelyn has spent summers attending the Music Academy of the West, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, Castleman Quartet Program, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Madeline Island Chamber Music Festival, Domaine Forget, and the Orford Arts Academy. Katelyn is currently completing a Master of Music degree on a Graduate Excellence Fellowship at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University where she studies with Professor Andrew Wan, concertmaster of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Prior to pursuing her Master’s degree, Katelyn completed her Bachelor of Music at McGill under the tutelage of Professor Axel Strauss, graduating with Outstanding Achievement in Violin.
American born Italian-Shanghainese pianist, Rossina Grieco was born into a musical family. Surrounded by the influence of opera, orchestral works, and chamber music, Rossina began her musical studies with St. Petersburg pedagogue, Luba Ugorski, at four years old. Rossina made her debut at Copley Hall with the San Diego Symphony at eight years old. She has appeared as soloist with the Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Xiamen Symphonies, Shanghai Philharmonic, and the China Philharmonic. Rossina has been invited as a guest artist to the Beijing International Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society, and Antheneum Concert Series, as well as performed numerous private recitals across San Diego, Toronto, Leeds, and New York. Upon receiving recommendation from Gary Graffman, she continued her studies at The Juilliard School. Rossina has also attended the Shanghai Theatre Academy, where she was formally trained in dramatic arts, film, and television acting. Rossina received an undergraduate degree from The Glenn Gould School at The Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto and is currently in her first year of an Artist Diploma program. She is also the only recipient of the Ihnatowycz Prize, one of the highest, and most prestigious artistic awards offered in Canada.
Sasha Kandybin currently attends Cleveland Institute of Music where he studies with Philip Setzer. He has had the privilege of performing in major music halls around the world, such as Carnegie Hall, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Musicverein, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and others. He is a recipient of many competition awards, including from the New Jersey Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, Cremona International Strings Competition, and Manhattan School of Music Precollege Concerto Competition. His experiences with summer festivals include Manhattan in the Mountains, Music in the Mountains festival, Philadelphia International Music Festival, Pinchas Zukerman’s NAC YAP program in Canada, and MUSIC@MENLO where he performed as a soloist, chamber musician, and concertmaster. He has been part of the New Jersey Youth Symphony since he was ten, and has been a concertmaster, soloist, and member of the NJYS String Quartet. At Manhattan School of Music, he was part of an award-winning piano quintet and also studied conducting.
Violinist MinJi Kim is an aspiring solo and chamber musician performing throughout the U.S. and South Korea. MinJi earned her Bachelor’s degree with honors in Violin Performance under violinist Kyung Sun Lee, as well as a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Seoul National University. In 2016, MinJi moved to Indiana to earn a Master’s degree and is currently pursuing a Doctorate with Mark Kaplan at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University. MinJi has had the opportunity to be coached by Stephen Wyrczynski and the Pacifica Quartet, along with multiple masterclasses from talented musicians such as Augustin Hadelich, Menahem Pressler, Svetlin Roussev, and Pamela Frank. MinJi loves returning her talents to the community and volunteered as a music teacher with Teach for Korea as an undergraduate. Currently, MinJi volunteers at the Bell Trace Community in Bloomington, IN. MinJi plays a 2010 Peter Greiner violin.
Born in Yilan, Taiwan. Zi-Yun Luo is currently pursuing a Performance diploma at Texas Christian University under the tutelage of Dr. Castro-Balbi and Ms. Jennifer Humphreys of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Previously, she studied with principal cellist of The Cleveland Orchestra, Mark Kosower, at the Cleveland Institute of Music. There, she earned her Professional Studies Diploma and finished her training of Suzuki Pedagogy. Zi-Yun has participated in several cello masterclasses, including by Rhonda Rider, Eric Kim, Alisa Weilerstein, Maja Bogdanovic, Reiner Hochmuth, and Reiner Ginzel. She has also studied chamber music with the Ariel String Quartet, Cavani String Quartet, Emerson String Quartet, and Julliard String Quartet. During her spare time, Zi-Yun enjoys physical fitness and playing board games with friends.
Toronto-born violinist Julia Mirzoev is currently pursuing her Master of Music degree on full scholarship at the Yale School of Music, studying with Ani Kavafian. She previously completed her Bachelor’s degree studying with Jonathan Crow at the University of Toronto. She has been featured as one of CBC’s “Top 30 Classical Musicians Under 30”, on CBC radio 94.1, and on classical 96.3 FM. A winner of multiple first prizes across national and provincial competitions, including the grand prize at the Canadian Music Competition, Julia was granted the University of Toronto Concerto Competition prize, the Orchestra Toronto Concerto Competition first prize, and the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra concerto competition first prize, after which she performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Julia has also performed solo with the Scarborough Philharmonic, Sinfonia Toronto, and the Canadian Sinfonietta, and as a soloist in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. A participant in international music festivals, Julia has been a part of the Toronto, Sarasota, Aspen, and Orford summer music festivals. Most recently, Julia was awarded third prize as well as the Weiss prize for Best performance of the commissioned work at the Klein International Strings Competition.
Ruoying Pan was born in 1996 in Urumqi, Xinjiang, China and she began learning the violin at the age of five. In 2009, she entered the China Conservatory and studied with Professor Jin Hui. She is currently a student of Professor Keng-Yuen Tseng in the Bachelor of Music program at The Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University. In 2012, she won sixth prize in the Qing Dao National Violin Competition and second prize in the Hong Kong International Violin Competition. In May 2013, she went to Stockholm and performed as an invited soloist at the Swedish Lila Music School. That year, she won first prize at the Thomas-Kumba Cup International Violin Competition, China Region and attended the Baroque Chamber Music Week in Shanghai. In October 2014, she was the only violin soloist to perform at the 50th anniversary concert of the middle school of China Conservatory of Music, and last year, she won second prize in the Marbury Competition.
Ji Eun Park attended Yewon Music School in Seoul, Korea under the instruction of Professor Sang Jin Kim. She also studied at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division and at The Colburn School Music Academy in Los Angeles under Professor Helen Callus. Currently, she is a third year student at The Juilliard School under professor Toby Appel. Ji Eun has attended the Great Mountains Music Festival, Perlman Music Program, and the Colorado College Summer Music Festival. Ji Eun has won first prize at a number of competitions including the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition, Haneum Music Competition, and Haneum Philharmonic Orchestra Concours. She also received honorable mention at the Alexander & Buono International String Competition. She has played with the Guri Orchestra and in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. For community service, Ji Eun has been playing viola at the Ictus Youth Orchestra in Seoul for seven years and at fundraising concerts to aid disability organizations and the construction of a free hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Portuguese cellist Mafalda Santos brings to the U.S. her engaging personality and desire to share music and stories with audiences all over the world. She has won over 20 prizes from prestigious competitions, the most recent being the Yale Gordon Competition (2018). She has performed in venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and Berliner Philharmoniker, and in concert series such as Shriver Hall and “Thursdays at 7,” the last one broadcasted by the Portuguese National Radio. She has played with orchestras in both the U.S. and in Europe. Since 2017, Mafalda has studied with Amit Peled at the Peabody Conservatory on a full scholarship. She performs on a 1790 William Forster cello.
Otoha Tabata won first prize in The North International Music Competition in 2018 and was also awarded the Promotion Prize from the International Anton Rubinstein Competition in 2018. In addition, she was a semi-finalist in the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition. Otoha was accepted to the Yehudi Menuhin School at age ten and has studied the violin with Akiko Ono and since 2016, the viola with Boris Kucharsky. She has attended the Four Seasons Music Festival Winter Workshop and IMS Prussia Cove. She has also participated in masterclasses by Lars Anders Tomter, Bruno Giuranna, Thomas Riebl, Máté Szücs, and Paul Coker. Currently, she is studying at the Royal College of Music London with Professor Andriy Viytovych, where she gained a full scholarship as a Soirée d’Or Scholar, kindly supported by the Ladies of the Soirée d’Or Committee. Otoha performs on a Charles Boullangier viola lent by the Royal College of Music.
Known for “great imagination and extraordinary musicality” (Shantou Daily) in his playing, classical pianist Lam Wong made his debut with Liszt: 12 Études d'exécution transcendante at the age of 14. He has since appeared in Beijing Concert Hall, Ningbo Concert Hall, and other concert venues in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chicago, and New York. Recently, he attended and performed in festivals including the Sarasota Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, and Aspen Music Festival. He has participated in masterclasses with renowned musicians, including Arie Vardi, Robert Levin, Marc-André Hamelin, Richard Goode, and Boris Berman. Wong earned his Bachelor of Music at Manhattan School of Music and Master of Music at Yale School of Music. His teachers include Peter Frankl, Hung-Kuan Chen, and Christopher Elton. He is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts in piano performance and pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, studying with James Giles.
2019 Faculty & Guest Artists
Emily Daggett Smith
Amy Schwartz Moretti
Tara Helen O’Connor
Ariel String Quartet
Alexandra Kazovsky, violin
Gershon Gerchikov, violin
Jan Grüning, viola
Amit Even-Tov, cello
Randall Scarlata, baritone