Concerto Competition Winners Take Center Stage in April, May

March 29, 2018

By Erich Burnett

2018 Oberlin Concerto Competition winners
2018 Concerto Competition winners: Violinist Zheyang Xiong, pianists Hyeonseo Lee and Yimu Wang, and clarinetist Silvio Guitian (from left).
Photo credit: Tanya Rosen-Jones '97

Four instrumentalists to perform with Oberlin orchestras in Finney Chapel.

Four standout musicians will take center stage in upcoming large ensemble concerts under the direction of Raphael Jiménez this spring. Each is a winner of the 2018 Senior Concerto Competition, which was held during fall semester. The annual competition is open to all senior performance majors.

All concertos will be performed as part of 8 p.m. programs in Finney Chapel.

Pianist Yimu Wang opens the concerto season with a performance of Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Minor with the Oberlin Orchestra Saturday, April 7. The program will also feature Tchaikovsky’s Suite from Swan Lake and the world premiere of …innumerable stars, scattered in clusters by faculty composer Jesse Jones.

On Saturday, April 14, pianist Hyeonseo Lee will perform Lutoslawski’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. The concert also includes Voices of Angels, a 2005 work by composer-in-residence Billy Childs that will feature a pair of vocal soloists, teacher of jazz voice La Tanya Hall and student Celine Opdycke.

The solo appearances resume Tuesday, May 8, when clarinetist Silvio Guitian performs Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra as part of a program that also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major.

On Friday, May 11, violinist Zheyang "Jerry" Xiong performs Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in B Major with the Oberlin Orchestra. The concert also includes Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, also known as the Organ Symphony.


Yimu Wang photo
(photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97)

Born in Chengdu, China, Yimu Wang studied piano under Mai Wang at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music from 2008-14, taking part in master classes with Theresa Bogard, Tianshu Wang, Robert Garcia, Boaz Sharon, and others during that time. In high school, Wang began accompanying younger students—an experience that laid the first stone for much more accompanying. Over winter term 2016, she participated in a music festival held in China where she studied with Bruce Brubaker and Chu Fang Huang. Wang is a student of Robert Shannon.

Hyeonseo Lee photo
(photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97)

Pianist Hyeonseo Lee was born in Gwacheon, South Korea, and began her studies at age 13, graduating from the Yewon School and Seoul Arts High School. She earned top prizes from national competitions including the Korean Piano Duo, Nanpa Music Competition, the Music Education News Competition, National Scholarship Competition at Bucheon and Incheon, Eumyun Piano Competition, and the Guri Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a student of Haewon Song.

Silvio Guitian photo
(photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97)

Clarinetist Silvio Guitian grew up in Baltimore and attended the Baltimore School for the Arts, where he studied with David Drosinos and won first place in its concerto competition. As a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A., he took part in a coast-to-coast tour with David Robertson and Gil Shaham and was E-flat clarinetist for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas on its tour through South America in 2017. Guitian has attended the National Orchestral Institute over the past two summers and will be a member of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, this July. He has been involved in orchestral recording projects for Naxos, Orchid Classics, and the Oberlin Music label, and has performed as a soloist on NPR’s From the Top. Guitian enjoys teaching clarinet students at Oberlin and coaching sectionals for Northern Ohio Youth Orchestras. He spent two winter terms teaching woodwind sectionals and master classes at the Asociación Nacional de Conciertos in Panama. In addition to his studies with Richard Hawkins, Guitian has studied recorder at Oberlin and sings in the early music vocal ensemble Collegium Musicum. He will continue his studies at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music in fall 2018.

Jerry Xiong photo
(photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones '97)

Born in Guangzhou, China, violinist Zheyang "Jerry" Xiong began playing violin at age 4, studying with Yinglong Gu and Wei Wei. Initially a chemistry major at Oberlin, he later entered the studio of Marilyn McDonald in pursuit of a double degree. Xiong was awarded the opportunity to perform on Oberlin’s Danenberg Honors Recital, and he appeared with pianist Alessandro Deljavan in Schubert’s C-major Fantasy. He was a semifinalist in the 2018 Ann & Charles Eisemann International Young Artist Competition and has been concertmaster of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival Orchestra and the Oberlin Orchestra. In addition to violin, Xiong studies Baroque violin with McDonald and has appeared as a soloist with the Oberlin Baroque Orchestra. He has performed in many master classes, including two at Oberlin with Jennifer Koh and Christian Tetzlaff.

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