Aspiring musicians take the stage for concert

Young instrumental artists will perform with the Fort Dodge Area Symphony Sunday at the Fort Dodge Middle School auditorium during the annual Rising Stars Young Artists Concert.

Three soloists were selected through an audition process conducted in January. They are violinist David Bernat, of Iowa City, pianist Tzu-Han Hsu, of Ames, and pianist Jacob Wang, of Ankeny. Violinist Luke Most, of Des Moines, received an honorable mention, as did YiJuSeo, of Iowa City.

Bernat will perform Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, a Mozart piece also known by the nickname Turkish.

A senior at West High School in Iowa City, Bernat studies violin and piano with Katie Wolfe and Ksenia Nosikova at the University of Iowa. He recently performed at the Coralville Performing Arts Center, Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York, JCP Atrium and at the Old Iowa Capitol Museum as a part of the Piano Sundays concert series. Additionally, he won the 2013 IMTA District Competition and took second place in the Iowa MTNA Competition.

During the summers, Bernat participated in Piano Summer at New Paltz, as well as the ARIA International Music Academy, Young Artists World Piano Festival, Brevard Music Festival, and the Interlochen Music Festival, where he was third chair in the prestigious World Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has played under conductors Keith Lockhart, Andreas Delfs, Jung-Ho Pak, and Ken Lam, and worked with artists such as Vladimir Feltsman, James Buswell, Alexander Korsantia, Jerome Lowenthal, Martin Chalifour, OlehKrysa, Greg Fulkerson, Susan Starr, and Paul Ostrovsky and members of the Harlem Quartet.

Wang will perform Piano Concerto in A minor, third movement, by Edvard Grieg.

Wang, 14, began his piano studies at the age of 6 and currently studies piano with Dr. Dmitri Vorobiev at University of Northern Iowa. His previous musical accomplishments include multiple awards from the Iowa Music Teachers Association and Music Teacher National Association. In 2010, Jacob won third place in the 22nd Starr Young Artist Competition in Arkansas. In 2012, he was a Sprout Champion in the Bill Riley Talent Search at the Iowa State Fair. This year, Jacob was the State Winner for MTNA Piano Junior Division and winner of Central Iowa Symphony Young Artist Competition.

Wang attends eighth grade at Northview Middle School in Ankeny and participates in his school’s Show Choir. He also plays trumpet in school band and serves as a pianist in the jazz band.

Hsu will perform Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1, first movement.

Born in Taiwan in 1994, Hsu started studying piano and violin at the age of 9. Last year, she earned the top rank in the National Music University Entrance Exam for the piano department. Though accepted by a prestigious music college in Taiwan, Hsu decided instead to study music abroad and arrived in the United States in 2013. She now lives in Ames and studies piano with Dr. Mei-Hsuan Huang, a pianist at Iowa State University.

Since her arrival, she has taken a master class with the Korean pianist Soyeon Kate Lee and this year won the Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has also participated in several recitals as a soloist, as well as accompanying a lot of different kinds of instrument players for concerts or exams, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.

Among the other notable pieces that will be performed during the concert are Beethoven’s Overture to Fidelio and two selections from Firebird, the work that first drew serious attention to a young Igor Stavinsky. In addition, selected soloists from the Youth Honors Recital held April 11 will play at 2:30 p.m., prior to the symphony’s concert.

The Young Artists program has been offered by the Fort Dodge Area Symphony since 1966. It is unique among other programs in that all of the young musicians who place during the auditions perform with the orchestra. Other symphonies provide for only the student who finishes first to perform with them. As of this season, there have been 187 Young Artist soloists who have taken the stage with the Fort Dodge symphony.