Music Students Win Annual Concerto Competition

The four winners will perform in the President's Concert in February.
Dec. 13, 2011
Extra Info: 

Admission: $11 general, $9 UA employees and seniors 55+, and $5 students.

Tickets are available at the UA Fine Arts Box Office (520-621-1162) or online at

Annual President's Concert
Saturday, Feb. 4, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 5, 3 p.m.
Crowder Hall, School of Music
Harpist Lauren Hayes
Harpist Lauren Hayes
Alex Van Duuren, trombone
Alex Van Duuren, trombone
Pianist Chia-Chun Ko
Pianist Chia-Chun Ko
Soprano Yunni Park
Soprano Yunni Park

The University of Arizona School of Music has named the four students who have won the 39th Annual Concerto Competition this year. Each year a student is selected from one of four performance areas: strings, winds and percussion, keyboard and voice.

The four will be featured in the President's Concert performing as soloists with the Arizona Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 5 at 3 p.m. in Crowder Hall.

Admission is $11 for the general public, $9 for UA employees and seniors 55+, and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the Fine Arts Box Office (520-621-1162) or can be purchased online.

The winning students and the works they will perform include:

Alex Van Duuren, trombone

Lars-Erik Larsson: Concertino for Trombone and String Orchestra, Op. 45 No. 7

Lauren Hayes, harp
Alberto Ginastera: Harp Concerto, Op. 25, third movement: Vivace

Yunnie Park, soprano
Gaetano Donizetti: "Regnava nel silenzio" from "Lucia di Lammermoor"

Chia-Chun Ko, piano
Sergei Rachmaninov: Concerto No. 2 in C-minor, Op. 18, third movement: Allegro scherzando

The competition for these performance slots is steep, often with 20 or more competitors in a given area. Panels of judges from outside the University hear the finalists and make the awards, which also come with a cash prize from the School of Music Advisory Board.

"To learn a concerto is a long process, a journey the student makes with the support and guidance of his or her major professor," said Thomas Cockrell, a professor and director of orchestral activities in the School of Music.

"They select a work that is appropriate for their level of development. Then begins the process of methodically learning the notes, refining the phrasing and other musical aspects and committing the work to memory. This involves hours and hours of solitary work in the practice room, shaping, clarifying, honing and polishing," Cockrell said.

"In the final ramp-up to the competition, a soloist often works with a collaborative pianist who performs a reduction of the orchestral accompaniment."

"Months, sometimes years, of work come together in the spotlight on the competition stage: the culmination of a long journey of learning, mentorship and performing," he said.

"While only four students are selected to perform with the Arizona Symphony, all are winners in that they have each made an ascent up a musical mountain, and are primed for the next challenging peak."