And the winner is…

Alice Haekyo Lee has carried off the first prize at this year’s Don Chrysler Concerto Competition. Saturday night at Philip Young Hall, at U Vic, she wowed the jury and the audience with a wonderful performance of Saint-Saens’ Violin Concerto No. 3.

Alice Haekyo Lee shows her stuff
Ethan Allers

Eehjoon Kwon

Andrew Kang

Nathan Bomans

The other four soloists were all so good that the jury had a hard time deciding who to choose as the second place winner – such a hard time that they awarded the second prize to all four!
They are:
• Eehjoon Kwon, violin, who played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto
• Ethan Allers, cello, who played Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto No. 1
• Nathan Bomans, violin, who played Khachaturian
• Andrew Kang, piano, playing the Grieg
For the first time, the audience also had the chance to voice its opinion. Ballots were handed out at the beginning of the evening, and collected while the jury deliberated. The five performers could be ranked first, second or third.
When the ballots were counted, Alice Haekyo Lee also proved to be the clear winner in the audience’s estimation. Bomans came second, Kang third, and the other two were close behind. Fully seven ballots of the total thirty-two cast declared that the listener was unable to decide.
As one audience member commented: This was the closest competition yet and the caliber of musicians just gets better and better.Here are a few comments about the soloists:
• Kwon: powerful, confident… solid performance
• Allers: rarely have I heard a cello made to weep so hauntingly
• Bomans: perfect blend of technique, timing, tempo, expression and passion
• Kang: amazing, strong – the music comes from inside him
• Haekyo Lee: WOW OMG the best!!!Eleven year-old Haekyo Lee takes lessons from Michael van der Sloot. She has been playing the violin for six and a half years and is home-schooled.
The jury this year consisted of Shoko Inoue, pianist; Mary Rannie, bass; and Robert Skelton, violin.
The Don Chrysler Concerto Competition has been running for seven years. The winner has the opportunity to play with the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Norman Nelson, in our Celebration of Young Artists concerts in the fall (Sooke: Oct. 27; Victoria: Oct. 28). The four second-place musicians will receive $100 each.
Our thanks to Long & McQuade, who donated the prize money.
A special thank you and congratulations has to go to Elfi Gleusteen, who accompanied four of the five young contestants.
And of course, thanks and congratulations to all five musicians who provided us with a memorable evening. We were so impressed by all of you!

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