Pianist, Violinist, Harpist Win SASO Youth Concerto Competition

TUCSON, AZ – Pianist Rebecca Shiao won the 2014 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition and will perform the first movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra on April 5 and 6.

Shiao is a senior at Catalina Foothills High School and studies piano with Susan Chu. She won the first prize of $1,000 in the fifth annual youth competition sponsored by the orchestra.

The second place winner is violinist Carissa Powe, who won $500. She is home schooled and studies violin with Wynne Rife. Harpist Claire Thai won third and $25. Also home schooled, she studies with Christine Vivona.

SASO Vice President Tim Secomb said, “The judges were impressed with the high quality of the performances in the competition. Selecting the winners was a difficult task. This competition clearly demonstrates that there are many talented young players in our community.”

Shiao will perform with SASO on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the DesertView Performing Arts Center in SaddleBrooke and on Sunday, April 6 at 3 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 7575 N. Paseo Del Norte in northwest Tucson.

Named for longtime arts patron Dorothy Vanek, the concerto competition is open to high school students. It is designed to recognize and support outstanding young musicians, encouraging them to polish performance skills and build real-life experience. Vanek is SASO’s 2013-2014 season sponsor.

Previous first-place winners of the SASO youth competition are cellist Benjamin Nead, pianist Joyce Yang of Phoenix, cellist Sara Page and cellist Nicholas Mariscal.

Founded in 1979, SASO has grown into a vital community resource that unites performers and audiences through a mutual love of music. The orchestra presents a wide range of compositions, including world premieres, seldom-performed treasures and popular classics. SASO brings together student, amateur and professional musicians with exceptional soloists, composers and conductors. Under the baton of Music Director Linus Lerner, this local community orchestra has twice toured China and performed at the inaugural Oaxaca Opera Festival in Mexico last summer. SASO presents five concerts each season in two locations, plus special events. For more information, visit www.sasomusic.org or call 308-6226.

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