Music students invited to enter Youth Concerto Competition

TUCSON, AZ – Talented young musicians age 13 to 18 are invited to apply for the 2017 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra. The deadline is Feb. 11.

Prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded, along with season tickets to the orchestra. In addition, the judges may present one Performance Award—an opportunity to solo with the orchestra in concerts on March 17, 18 and 19.

The eighth annual competition is open to high school students who play any orchestral instrument, including piano. This includes public, private or home school students. The competition will be held in Tucson on Feb. 25 and 26.

To enter, students should complete an online application and prepare to perform one movement from a standard concerto for solo instrument and orchestra. Music should be memorized. Students under age 13 may apply if recommended by their teacher. Submit applications online at For questions, call (520) 308-6226.

This competition is named for longtime arts patron Dorothy Vanek. It is designed to recognize and support outstanding young musicians in the community, encouraging them to polish performance skills and build real-life experience. Vanek is SASO’s longtime season sponsor. One of her passions is nurturing the next generation of classical musicians.

Last year’s first prize winner and soloist was 15-year-old violinist Tiffany Chang, who lives in Chandler. The previous winner was 15-year-old violinist Bobae Johnson of Phoenix. Two pianists have won—pianist Rebecca Shiao of Tucson in 2014 and Joyce Yang of Phoenix in 2012. Three cellists from University High School in Tucson have won the competition—Benjamin Nead in 2013, Sara Page in 2011 and Nicholas Mariscal in 2010.

SASO is a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a passion for music. Founded in 1979, this orchestra presents world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and classical favorites. Artistic Director Linus Lerner has led SASO in local performances since 2008, plus two tours of China; three trips to Oaxaca, Mexico; one to Brazil, and most recently to the San Luis Potosí Opera Festival in Mexico. For more information, visit or call (520) 308-6226.

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