Eleven Outstanding Musicians Selected in 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition

Mike Lawson • News • February 14, 2019

Eleven musicians have been named the winners of the 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artists (YYPA) Competition presented by the Band & Orchestral division of Yamaha Corporation of America. In addition to this year’s 11 winners, six individuals were awarded honorable mentions.

“For over 30 years, Yamaha has acknowledged remarkable, young, aspiring musicians and assisted in launching their careers through the YYPA program. We are committed to encouraging these musicians to share their passion with the world and move others with their sound,” said John Wittmann, director of artist relations and education, Yamaha Artist Services Indianapolis. “This year’s winners contribute to the legacy that the YYPA program has upheld and we are proud to shine a spotlight on these young men and women for the musical excellence they have accomplished so early in their careers.”

Each applicant submitted an audio/video audition and support materials, which were evaluated by an expert panel of Yamaha Performing Artists and national celebrity musicians. Winners of the competition demonstrated superior technical skill and artistry on brass, winds, strings, percussion instruments and piano.

The 2019 YYPA Winners include:

Alejandro Lombo – flute; Miramar, Florida; Curtis Institute of Music

Freya Spence – clarinet; London, England; Manhattan School of Music

Bhavani Kotha – oboe; Bellevue, Washington; DePaul University

Eric Zheng – saxophone; Tucson, Arizona; Northwestern University

Cade Gotthardt – trumpet; Long Beach, California; California State University, Long Beach

Dave Mosko – trombone; Marlton, New Jersey; Rutgers University

Connor Rowe – trombone; Lompoc, California; The Colburn School

Samuel Vargas – violin; Acarigua-Araure, Venezuela; Columbus State University

Austin Keck – percussion; Prosper, Texas; University of Rochester

Xinzhu Ma – piano; Shenyang, China; University of Michigan

Will Kjeer – piano; Saint Paul, Minnesota; California Institute of the Arts

The 2019 Yamaha Young Performing Artists will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the YYPA Celebration Weekend June 22 to 25, 2019, which will take place during the Music for All Summer Symposium, to be held at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, from June 22 to 29, 2019. The YYPA Celebration Weekend will culminate at the annual YYPA Concert, which will be held on Monday, June 24 at Emens Auditorium. 


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