Music Students Invited to Enter Youth Concerto Competition

TUCSON, AZ – Talented young musicians age 13 to 18 are invited to apply for the 2016 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra. The deadline is Feb. 14.

Prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 will be awarded. In addition, the judges may present one Performance Award – an opportunity to solo with the orchestra in concerts on April 1, 2 and 3.

The seventh 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 March 6.

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 15-year-old Bobae Johnson won the competition, the first violinist to do so. She attends Desert Vista High School in Phoenix. The 2014 winner was pianist Rebecca Shiao, a senior at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson. Prior winners include pianist Joyce Yang, also a Desert View High School student from Phoenix, who won 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.

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