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Bryan Youth Concerto Competition Winners

North Carolina Symphony Announces 2012 Bryan Youth Concerto Competition Winners

Senior Division, First Prize:
Clarinetist Sara Aratake, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Junior Division, First Prize:
Violinist Dustin Wilkes-Kim, Winston-Salem, N.C.

North Carolina Symphony Youth concerto Competition

Clarinetist Sara Aratake

The North Carolina Symphony today announced the four remarkable young musicians who have won the 2012 Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition, the state’s premier competition for young instrumentalists.

The finals of this rigorous, two-round audition were held in Raleigh on June 3. Judges Grant Llewellyn, North Carolina Symphony Music Director, and William Henry Curry, North Carolina Symphony Resident Conductor, awarded Chapel Hill-native Sara Aratake, 18, with top honors in the competition’s senior division (16 to 21 years old).

Aratake’s exemplary performance of Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major has earned her the opportunity to perform as a featured soloist with the North Carolina Symphony at a future concert. She also receives a $500 cash prize.

A sophomore next school year at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in Flushing, N.Y., where she studies with Charles Neidich, Aratake began studying the clarinet at the age of eleven. She received a merit award from YoungArts and has performed on NPR’s From the Top radio show. In addition, she attended master classes at Domaine Forget International Music and Dance Academy in Quebec, Canada, and was a member of Tanglewood’s Young Artist Orchestra. She served as principal clarinet in the North Carolina Symphony Youth Sinfonietta in 2009 and 2010.

Winston-Salem-based violinist Dustin Wilkes-Kim, who recently turned 16 years old, claimed the top prize in the competition’s junior division (ten to 15 years old). A student at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, where he studies with Sarah Johnson, Wilkes-Kim’s performance of Tchaikovsky’s demanding Violin Concerto in D Major earned him a $300 cash prize.

Wilkes-Kim made his solo debut with the Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra in 2008 and has since performed as a featured soloist with the Salisbury (N.C.) and Danville (Va.) Symphony Orchestras. He is also a multiple winner of North Carolina Music Teachers Association competitions and won both the senior and junior divisions of the Winston-Salem Symphony Youth Talent Search. He has attended the Aspen Music Festival during the past two summers, where he studied with Paul Kantor of the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Also receiving recognition was senior division second-place honoree Chambers Loomis, 17, of Asheville, N.C., who performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major. A junior at Asheville’s Christ School who studies with Suzan L. Fehr, Loomis will receive a $250 cash prize.

Second place in the junior division went to violinist Taisuke Yasuda, 15, of Chapel Hill. A junior at East Chapel Hill High School who studies with Richard Luby, he received a $150 cash prize in honor of his stellar performance of Dvořák’s Violin Concerto in A minor, Op. 53.

The annual Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition provides an opportunity for young artists of North Carolina to gain recognition and perform alongside the finest musicians in the state. Open to instrumentalists between ten and 21 years of age, the competition highlights North Carolina residents and students enrolled full-time in a North Carolina school.

More than 50 students took part in this year’s competition. The preliminary rounds were held at the Wainwright Music Building at Meredith College in Raleigh on Saturday, May 9. Soloists were asked to perform from memory one movement from any concerto of their choosing.

Eleven performers advanced to the final round, held in the Brown-McPherson Music Building at William Peace University in Raleigh on Saturday, June 3. Cash prizes are awarded to each first- and second-place honoree, with the winner of the senior division invited to perform with the Symphony.

The Youth Concerto Competition receives support from the Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Fund, created in 1971 to support North Carolina Symphony initiatives that promote young artists in their quest to become professional musicians.

For complete information on the Symphony’s education programs, including how to attend or schedule an education concert in your area, visit or contact Jessica Nalbone at or 919.789.5461.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks.

Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington—as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year—and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

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