Two young musicians tied for the Grand Prize awarded to a musician of “exceptional talent and musicianship,” at the 33rd annual Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts Instrumental Competition. Ten finalists, ages 17 – 23 competed for monetary prizes totaling $30,000 at the competition held January 12th in Barrett Hall at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music.
Clarinetist, Max Opferkuch and Trombone player, Connor Rowe tied for the Grand Prize. Opkerfuch, a 21 year-old student at USC is the principal clarinetist in the student-run USC Concerto Chamber Orchestra and was soloist for the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in 2018. He began playing the clarinet in middle school and plans a career that will “immerse him in music.” Rowe, age 21, attends the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He says he loves to compete and has been a PSHA Instrumental Competition winner before, taking second prize in both 2017 and 2018. He was also a finalist in the Frank Competition with the International Trombone Association in 2018.
Hannah Song, an 18 year old violinist was the First Prize winner. Ms. Song had a solo performance with the Seattle Symphony in 2018 and was awarded first prize in the Seattle Symphony Concerto Competion.
Wei Pan was the Second Prize winner in the winds category. The 21 year old clarinetist is pursuing a Bachelor of Music at the Colburn School and was a First Prize winner at the 2016 Buffett Crampton Clarinet Competition in Taiwan.
Second Prize in the strings category went to cellist, Dong Nyouk Sunrise Kim. The 23 year old attends the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He is the Principal Cello with the American Youth Symphony and Principal, Guest Soloist with the Colburn Orchestra.
Riley McGinn, an 18 year old bass trombone player took Second Prize in the brass category. He is a student at UCLA and was a finalist in the San Diego Rotary Club Youth Instrumental Competition. He has played with the SCBOA All-Southern Orchestra as well as the UCLA Philharmonic.
Martin Mangrum, a 21 year old student in the Bachelor Program at the Colburn Conservatory of Music received an Honorable Mention for his performance on the horn. He has performed as a substitute horn with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Montreal Symphony.
An Honorable Mention also went to Cellist, Stephen Perkyns, a 23 year old student pursuing a Master of Music at the Colburn School. He was the Second Prize winner at the Ruth Barr Instrumental Competition and received the Dot and Rick Nelson Award, Rice University Shepherd School of Music in 2017.
Zachary Brandon, a 20 year old violinist also receive an Honorable Mention. A student at the Colburn Conservatory of Music, he was the first place winner in numerous competitions and is an avid chamber musician.
The youngest of the finalists, 17 year old Jung An Kuo, received the Jack Smith Memorial Award for most promising talent. The flutist, is pursuing a Bachelor of Music at the Colburn School. She won the Fine Arts Award from the Interlochen Arts Camp in 2018.
PSHA has awarded nearly $600,000 in prizes to promising music students since the Pasadena Showcase House Instrumental Competition began in 1985. The prize monies are provided from the proceeds of the PSHA’s annual benefit, the Pasadena Showcase House of Design. To date, PSHA has donated over $23 million to music programs and to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including a $1 million donation to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
PSHA’s other musical programs include the Music Mobile for third graders and the Youth Concert for fourth graders. In addition, PSHA also awards gifts and grants to a diverse list of local and regional non-profit organizations in support of their efforts in the community. PSHA underwrites concerts to insure that the joy of live music is available to a broad range of audiences. Its support of non-profit organizations enriches the community and provides opportunities for a variety of groups, from students to seniors to learn, enjoy, and grow from their experiences in these programs. Additionally, PSHA has a longstanding history of supporting the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its community outreach programs.
The 2019 Pasadena Showcase House of Design will be open from April 21 through May 19, 2019. Golden tickets are currently on sale and individual tickets go on sale February 2019. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pasadenashowcase.org.