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Young Performers Competition

Island Symphony Orchestra

About Our Young Performers Competition

Each year the ISO sponsors a “Young Performers Competition” in which music students across Long Island vie for the opportunity for a scholarship award and to perform a full classical concerto as a soloist with the orchestra.

This competition provides young musicians with much needed experience that prepares them for the challenges of a future career in music.  Since this program began, the ISO has granted more than 25 performance opportunities to our First and Second Prize winners.

The competition is now OPEN to applications as of November 1, 2020(Click here to start the application process.)  All submissions must be received by January 1, 2021. One winner will be announced on February 1, 2021. Honorable mentions may be awarded to select musicians. The performance opportunity for the winner will generally occur in May or June at the ISO’s annual spring community concert. This year the performance opportunity is limited due to COVID-19.

2020 Winner

Dylan Shih Wu

Dylan Shih Wu is a 15 year old who began his cello studies at age three. At age 9, he was admitted to the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School in New York City.

In December 2015 at age 11, Dylan was awarded the Silver Medal and Laureate in the Cello Section at the 9th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Novosibirsk, Russia. In May 2017 he was invited back to Moscow to perform in the first Tchaikovsky Spring Festival by the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars.
Dylan’s accomplishments include placing first in various competitions, including the Juilliard Pre-College String Ensemble Cello Competition, the Golden Key Music Competition, the Rising Stars Grandprix in Berlin, the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, and the YWCA of Queens NY Music Competition. In 2015 he was chosen as the grand prize winner of the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition and the International Virtuoso Competition.
At age 10, Dylan debuted as a soloist with his first orchestra – the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra playing Saint-Saën’s Cello Concerto No.1. Since then, he has been featured as a soloist with several orchestras in the United States, Russia, and Taiwan.
In June of 2015, Dylan was invited to perform on NPR’s “From the Top” radio program, hosted by Christopher O’Riley. In October, he was invited again to record a music video with trio Time for Three and has been featured in their Gala Performance in Boston. In July of 2017 he was invited to shoot a cover of Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” with critically acclaimed Joshua Bell and From the Top.
Dylan is a student of Minhye Clara Kim at the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division. During his free time he enjoys playing for seniors through Concerts in Motion, and recently was featured in their annual Gala concert at Merkin Concert Hall. He is also a co-founder of a cello quartet Ponticelli which raises money for non-profit organizations and various causes.
Dylan Shih Wu is a 15 year old Island Symphony Orchestra Winner

Caroline Hsu

2nd Prize

15-year-old pianist from Woodbury

George Wolfe-McGuire

Honorable Mention

15-year-old cellist from Amityville

Young Performers

Competition Rules and Guidelines

This competition is open to all musicians, 18 years old or younger, currently residing in Nassau or Suffolk County New York, and studying with a private teacher.

To apply, the following application materials must be submitted to us electronically.  CLICK ON THIS SUBMISSION LINK TO BEGIN THE APPLICATION PROCESS:

Entrants are eligible to participate on musical instruments including, but not limited to: flute, piccolo, oboe, english horn, clarinet, bassoon, french horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, percussion, piano, guitar, violin, viola, cello, bass, and voice.

In order to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, submissions for the 2021 Young Performers’ Competition will be accepted by VIDEO ONLY.

Participants may submit a video performance of a concerto, sonata, or solo unaccompanied work. There are no length requirements for your piece. Judges reserve the right to determine what is an appropriate piece for the competition. Generally speaking, your selection should appear as a Level 6 in the current NYSSMA Manual or ABRSM Grade 8.

Please contact us with any questions regarding the appropriateness of your selections:

In addition to completing this electronic form, a hard copy submission of a confidential Letter of Recommendation must be mailed, no later than December 31, 2020 to:

Island Symphony Orchestra Young Performers’ Competition
P.O. Box 2185
Brentwood, NY 11717

All submissions must be received by January 1, 2021.

One winner will be announced on February 1, 2021. Honorable mentions may be awarded to select musicians.

All of the Young Performers’ Competition committee’s deliberations are confidential, and all decisions are final.

Previous First Prize winners of the Young Performers’ Competition are not eligible to enter.

For more information, please send all inquiries, including questions related to the Young Performers’ Competition, to:

Thank You

Our sincerest thanks to Peter Horvath for his many years of underwriting scholarships to our competition winners.

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