Chapel Hill Philharmonia

Past Winners of the Young Artist Concerto Competition
Read about the history of the Concerto Competition

Bio information given below is from the year of the winning performance. Since then, many of the soloists attended leading universities and conservatories, and some have won international music prizes.

2019: Andy Dai, piano and Tim Rinehart, bass
Andy Dai

Andy Dai, a sophomore from East Chapel Hill high school, NC, has been studying piano since age 5. Andy received his early training under teachers Julia Yu and Zena Ilyashov in Missouri, where he won first prize multiple times in MMTA and top honors in other regional and state competitions.

After moving to North Carolina in 2015, Andy has studied piano with Greg McCallum and Margaret Evans and is currently taught by Teddy Robie. In North Carolina, Andy has won many prizes - some of which include: first prize and lyrical award of Nakarai/Withers Piano Competition, first prizes in the UNC-School of the Arts Classical Competition, in both King and Prince divisions of the Young Artist Auditions (YAA), in the East Carolina University Young Artist Competition, in Chapel Hill Philharmonia's Concerto Competition, and top prizes throughout the years in MTNA and the Steinway Jr. Competition. In 2016, Andy performed at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall as a winner of the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition. In addition to music, Andy likes science, reading, and video games.

Tim Rinehart

Tim Rinehart has been an active orchestral musician since 2013 when he began attending the Duke University String School (DUSS), in which he is currently bass section leader in the Youth Symphony. Tim began playing piano at the age of 5 and double bass at 11 and currently studies bass with Mr. Leonid Finkelshteyn, Principal Bass of the North Carolina Symphony.

He was selected as principal bass of the 2017 and 2018 North Carolina All-State Honors Orchestra, as well as third chair at the All-National Honor Ensembles Symphony Orchestra of 2018. He attended the Eastern Music Festival in the summer of 2018 and has been accepted into the National Youth Orchestra for the summer of 2019 where he will attend a three week residency in New York followed by a one week tour of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and Germany.

Tim won the 2017 DUSS Concerto Competition and performed the Dragonetti Bass Concerto with the Duke Youth Symphony. He has advanced to the semi-finals of the International Society of Bassists (ISB) 15-18 Division Competition where he will perform and compete at Indiana University in June at the 2019 ISB convention.

Equally adept at jazz, Tim studies improvisation with Jason Foureman and is a member of Raleigh’s Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble (TYJE) which will compete for the fourth time at the 2019 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition in New York City In May. TYJE is one of 15 high school bands from around the country to be selected from a competitive pool of 112 bands after submitting recordings of three tunes performed from the Essentially Ellington Library.

Tim's interests extend beyond music. He is a competitive speedcuber and is currently ranked second in North Carolina for the 3x3 Rubik’s Cube single solve with a time of 7.29 seconds. He is also the president and founder of the Cubing Club at his high school.

A junior at Chapel Hill High School, Tim enjoys studying math and science and plans to continue his academic studies in college in addition to music.

2018: Caroline Jesalva, violin
Caroline Jesalva

Caroline Jesalva is a homeschooled high school junior from Cary, NC. She began violin lessons at age 4 with Margaret Garriss of Meredith College, and currently studies with Eric Pritchard, the first violinist of Duke University’s quartet-in-residence, the Ciompi Quartet. For 2018, Caroline was the winner of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia Young Artist Concerto Competition, the Philharmonic Association Concerto Competition, and the North Carolina Women’s Club Arts Festival Music Competition.

In 2017, she placed 1st in the Raleigh Music Club competition taking the Wieniawski Prize, and won 2nd place in Winston-Salem Symphony’s Peter Perret Talent Competition. Caroline has been actively involved in Triangle-area youth orchestras for 9 years, and is presently the Concertmaster of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic.

She has been performing chamber music for 5 years, playing with groups from the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute and the Mallarme Youth Chamber Orchestra. Caroline attended the Meadowmount Music School in the summer of 2017 studying under Sally Thomas from the Juilliard School. She also attended the Brevard Music School as a scholarship recipient of the National Federation of Music Clubs. Caroline is also a jazz vocalist for the award-winning Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble. In addition to music, Caroline enjoys reading philosophy and the classics and writing poetry.

2017: Andrew Zhen, piano
Andrew Zhen

Andrew Zhen, winner of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia’s 2017 Young Artist Concerto Competition, is fourteen years old and an eighth-grade student at Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill. He began to play piano when he was seven and currently studies with Dr. Karen Allred. Andrew has won top honors in local and state piano competitions sponsored by the Chapel Hill Music Teachers Association and the North Carolina Music Teachers Association. Tonight marks Andrew’s frst public performance of a concerto.

Andrew is an academic all-rounder and a member of the National Junior Honor Society. He particularly loves math and science, and recently captained his school’s team to a third place finish in the North Carolina State MathCounts competition.

Andrew also enjoys sports. He played on his school’s junior varsity basketball team and varsity Ultimate Frisbee team.

2016: Aram Lindroth, piano
Aram Lindroth

Aram Lindroth, winner of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia 2016 Young Artist Concerto Competition, is fourteen years old and an eighth-grade student at Duke School, Durham, NC. He studies piano with Susan Greenberg. Aram has played in the Mallarmé Youth Chamber Orchestra chamber groups for two years and attended a MYCO summer workshop and the Point Counterpoint music camp in Vermont. His other interests include participating in Model United Nations and learning mathematics, programming, photography, and Farsi. This evening Aram performs the opening movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

In his words:

Before I even started learning this concerto, I loved to listen to its third movement. I was delighted when I heard that my piano teacher wanted me play this particular concerto, and it has become one of the classical works that I like best. Apart from Beethoven, who is possibly my favorite composer, I enjoy playing and listening to Bach, particularly the Well-Tempered Clavier, and Debussy.

2015: Jane Zhao, piano
Jane Zhao

Our soloist in the Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1, native North Carolinian Jane Zhao, age 16, is the winner of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia’s annual Student Concerto Competition. Jane began formal study at the age of 8 with Florence Ko. She has won numerous competitions and scholarships across the state, most recently placing first in the Fayetteville Symphony’s Harlan Duenow Young Artist Concerto Competition. She also won second place in the Winston-Salem Symphony Peter Perret Youth Talent Search. Jane is home-schooled in Cary, where she volunteers for child care and piano accompaniment at her church. Her personal interests include speech/debate, cooking/baking, and photography.

2014: Carolyn Chang, violin
Carolyn Chang

The soloist in tonight’s performance of the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto is Carolyn Chang, winner of the CHP’s 2014 Young Artist Concerto Competition. She also earned an Honorable Mention in this year’s Concerto Competition of the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra. Carolyn is a senior at East Chapel Hill High School. She began studying the violin in 2003 with Dorothy Kitchen. Her current teacher is Eric Pritchard of the Ciompi Quartet. Carolyn has played in the Duke University String School, Eastern Regional Orchestra, and North Carolina All-State Honors Orchestra. For two years she was concertmistress of the Mallarmé Youth Chamber Orchestra (MYCO). She particularly enjoys playing chamber music. In the summer of 2012, Carolyn participated in the Instrumental Music program at the Governor’s School of North Carolina and the Cary Cross Currents Music Festival. Her extra-musical interests include photography, travel, tennis, and Duke basketball. This fall Carolyn will enter Duke University.

2013: Jonah Krolik, cello
Jonah Krolik

Our soloist in the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto, native North Carolinian Jonah Krolik, age 16, is a junior at East Chapel Hill High School. He began playing the cello at age 6 with Leslie Alperin and for the past 5 years has studied with Bonnie Thron, Principal Cello of the NC Symphony Orchestra. This spring Jonah was a finalist in both the Win- ston-Salem Symphony Peter Perret Youth Talent Search and the Durham Symphony concerto competition. He has performed in cello master classes for Johannes Moser and Zuill Bailey.

His orchestral career includes membership in the NC Symphony Youth Sinfonietta, the NC All-State Orchestras, and the Mallarme Youth Chamber Orchestra (MYCO). Jonah particularly enjoys playing chamber music. During the past two summers he participated in the Music at Port Milford chamber music camp in Canada. In the MYCO chamber music program Jonah collaborates with pianist Ethan Chu and violinist Yong-hun Kim in the Piedmont Piano Trio, which was coached by the late Professor Richard Luby of UNC-Chapel Hill. The Piedmont Trio has been invited to compete in the final rounds of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Com- petition, to be held at Notre Dame University later this spring. This summer Jonah will attend the Greenwood Chamber Music Camp in Massachusetts. Besides music, he enjoys basketball, golf, and playing with his dog Shosty.

2012: Jake Beerel, flute
Jake Beerel

Jake Beerel, age 18, winner of the 2012 Chapel Hill Philharmonia Young Artist Concerto Competition, is a high school senior homeschooled in Wake Forest, NC. He began playing the flute in 2003 and performed with the Lighthouse Christian Homeschool Band for five years. Jake’s first flute teacher was Melissa Kerstetter and he has studied with his current teacher, Rosene Rohrer, for almost six years. He won the Most Valuable Player award from the Trunote Bank Camp of 2005 and was presented with his first openhole flute as a gift from the Altus Flute company in 2007. He has won several annual flute contests and obtained a ranking of Superior from the Raleigh Area Flute Association, and has placed in the top three at All-District and All-State competitions.

Jake currently performs with the Triangle Youth Philharmonic under the direction of Hugh Partridge, and with the Richland Creek Community Church Orchestra. His most recent accomplishment is participation in the Brevard Music Center’s 2011 Summer Festival under the instruction of Keith Lockhart, Marianne Gedigian, and Dilshad Posnock.

2011: Aria Cheregosha, viola
Aria Cheregosha

Sixteen-year-old Aria Cheregosha is the principal violist in three youth orchestras in North Carolina. A gifted violist, Aria won the following top awards: the 2011 Wendell Irish Viola Award for both the State and Southeastern region of the United States; first prize for the Chapel Hill Philharmonia’s 2011 Young Artist Concerto Competition; and second prize for the North Carolina Symphony’s 2011 Concerto Competition in the junior division. Aria studies viola and chamber music with Shelley Livingston at the Duke University String School.

Aria is also a pianist, a violinist, an award-winning composer, and a remarkably talented chamber musician. Her piano trio, “Talla Trio,” was chosen as first prize winner for the 2011 Alexander & Buono International Competition, the 2008 American Fine Arts Festival Competition, and the American Fine Arts Festival’s 5th Anniversary Competition. The “Talla Trio” has performed at Carnegie Hall and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

2010: Cissy Yu, piano

Young Artist Concerto Competition winner Cissy Yu, age 15, is a freshman at East Chapel Hill High. She began playing piano at age 4 and now studies with UNC-CH Music Department faculty member Wonmin Kim. Her previous teachers included Tien Hsieh, Natsuki Fukawasa, and Richard Cionco. Cissy won top prizes in the US Open Music Competition in California in 2005, and recently attended the Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. She also excels academically and plays violin in her high school orchestra and in the Mallarmé Youth Chamber Orchestra.

2009: Andrew Zhou, piano
Andrew Zhou

Andrew Zhou, winner of the CHP’s annual student concerto competition, is 13 years old and a 7th grader at Ligon Middle School in Raleigh. A straight-A student, Andrew participates in Mathcounts and Science Olympiad. He studies piano with Dr. Margaret Evans at Meredith College and has won numerous awards at the city and district levels, a Junior Pianist scholarship from the Raleigh Music Club, and second place in the Peter Perret Youth Talent Search of the Winston-Salem Symphony. About the work he performs this evening, Andrew writes: “I think that throughout this inspired piano concerto, Edvard Grieg is painting a portrait of his beloved homeland. Grieg’s music describes Norway’s fresh cold air, running waters, and beautiful snow-capped mountains. The piano’s light trills and passagework represent the movement of frigid waters, while the grand chords represent the mountains and fjords. This concerto is also heavily influenced by Norwegian folklore, which involves elves, trolls, and dwarfs. We hear Norwegian folk tunes, or folk-inspired tunes. The music really makes me want to visit the country that Grieg is so proud of.”

2008: Melissa Chan, piano
Melissa Chan

Melissa Chan is a freshman at Enloe High School in Wake County. She has studied piano with Karen Ng, Brenda Bruce, and John Ruggero. Her current teacher is Mayron Tsong of the UNC-Chapel Hill Music Department faculty.

Melissa has earned numerous awards including first place prizes in the Hong Kong School Music Festival, and in local and NC state competitions, and won a scholarship from the Eastern Music Festival Summer Camp. She participated in the 2007 Franz Liszt Summer Piano Academy in Sopron, Hungary, and gave recitals in Sopron and Vienna, Austria. She has been accepted to the 2008 Schlern International Music Festival in Italy.

Melissa also excels in academics and enjoys drawing, painting, and photography. She recently organized and hosted a benefit concert by sixteen young artists as part of the Kids-helping-Kids Concert Series. She believes that music can touch people’s hearts and motivate them, and that children in hardship deserve warmth and hope.

2007: William Clark, clarinet

William Clark is a senior at Durham School of the Arts. He has studied clarinet with Professor Donald Oehler since the 8th grade. William has attended the Interlochen Center for the Arts program in Interlochen, MI for the past three summers.

William is currently a member of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic and the Duke University String School Orchestra. Prior music accomplishments include:
- 1st chair, North Carolina All-State Orchestra, 2006
- 1st chair, North Carolina All-State Band, 2006

William is a National Merit Scholar Finalist and an AP Scholar. He will attend UNC Chapel Hill in the fall of 2007.

2006: Audrey Low, piano

Audrey Low Sixteen year-old Audrey Ann Low, winner of the 2006 Chapel Hill Philharmonia Concerto Competition, lives in Chapel Hill and studies piano with John Ruggero in Raleigh. She began music studies in Vancouver Canada at age six and continued in the Pre-College program at the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Audrey has performed widely in the local area, including solo appearances at the Eastern Music Festival and with the Durham Symphony, Raleigh Symphony, Raleigh Civic Symphony, Tar River Orchestra, Mallarme Youth Orchestra, Cary Academy Orchestra, and Winston-Salem Symphony. She was the North Carolina state winner of both junior and senior high school piano competitions of the Music Teachers National Association. Audrey also has founded an animal rescue and advocacy organization and trains therapy dogs. She plans to enroll at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall.

2005: Hattie Chung, piano

Hattie Chung Hae Rhee (Hattie) Chung began to play piano as a four year-old in Seoul, Korea. Now sixteen, she is a sophomore at East Chapel Hill High School. Hattie studies piano with John Ruggero. She attended the Eastern Music Festival in 2002 and 2003. Hattie has won a number of Music Teachers Association Competition awards and the Campbell University Piano Competition for high school students. In the past year she has performed with the Durham Symphony and the Raleigh Symphony as winner of their concerto competitions. Hattie also plays the violin and participated in the Eastern Regional All-State Orchestra.

2004: Andrew Tyson, piano

Andrew Tyson Seventeen year-old Andrew Tyson, winner of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia’s 2004 Concerto Competition, is a junior at Durham Academy. He currently studies with Thomas Otten of the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Music, and studied previously with Mary Turner and Barbara Davis. Andrew has won concerto competitions and performed with the Raleigh Symphony, the Durham Symphony, and the Guilford Symphony Orchestra at the Eastern Music Festival. He has presented solo recitals at Carolina Meadows and The Forest at Duke. Andrew is a long time member of the Duke University String School, where he has played in a variety of chamber music ensembles.

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