Introducing our participants for this year's Concerto Competition, and congratulations to Nanor Seraydarian '24 for winning!
Computer Science and Music, '25
Concerto for Horn and Strings, 1st Movement
Yao Wu is a freshman in Ilze Brink-Button’s horn studio. She started playing the horn when she was 9. Previously, she was the principal horn of her high school band and symphony orchestra and the Vancouver Academy of Music Symphony Orchestra. She also secured a paid position to perform with the Vancouver Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. After entering Cornell, Yao joined the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and performed Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 as the principal horn. She also studied piano and composition.
Violinist Nanor Seraydarian began her musical journey at the age of 4 in Aleppo, Syria. She moved to the US in 2012 as a refugee and was accepted into the studio of Prof. Henry Gronnier at the Colburn School where she received the Herbert Zipper Scholarship. Alongside performances, Nanor has appeared in masterclasses with Marilyn McDonald and Miriam Fried. She has also participated in summer festivals, including MIMF, Apple Hill Center for Chamber Music, and Ed and Mari Edelman Chamber Music Summer Intensive. In 2018, she performed at 2 of UN’s fundraising banquets directed towards providing education for impoverished children.
Biological Sciences, '25
Violin Concerto No. 2 in g minor, 2nd Movement
Dean Zhang, from Newton, MA, began his violin journey at the age of four. Currently, he is part of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra as a freshman studying Biological Sciences and Computer Science in the college of Arts and Sciences. He has been a violinist in the Boston Youth Symphony, a finalist in the Boston Youth Symphony’s Concerto Competition, and concertmaster of the MMEA Eastern Junior District’s Festival. Moreover, he’s participated in MMEA Eastern Senior District’s festivals and the All State Conference. Aside from music, in his spare time, he enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and spending time with friends.
Physics & Music, '22
Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314: 1: Allegro Aperto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Timothy Eng is a senior oboist, conductor, and pianist double majoring in Physics & Music. The vice president and principal oboist of the Cornell Orchestras, he has performed with them for three years. He is currently a candidate for music honors. Before attending Cornell, he was a member of Mannes Prep Pre-College, was principal oboist of the Greater Westchester Youth Symphony and Hoff-Barthelson Festival Orchestra, attended Kinhaven Music School, was a winner of the 2015 American Fine Arts Festival, and performed at both Carnegie Hall and the former Avery Fisher Hall. He is currently an oboe student of Emily DiAngelo.
Biological Sciences, '24
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 III. Allegro Scherzando
Brian Wang is a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Biological Sciences. He lives in New York City, where he studied piano at the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. He now studies with Professor Xak Bjerken at Cornell. He also enjoys chamber music; he was featured as a finalist in the Lincoln Center Young Musicians Concert and continues to play chamber music at Cornell. In his free time, he also enjoys playing the violin as well as indoor gardening.
Information Science, Systems, and Technology, '23
Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, 1st Movement
Tanvi Athavale is a violinist and junior at Cornell University, where she is studying Information Science, Systems, and Technology with minors in Business and Music. Since starting the violin at age 4, music continues to be a huge part of Tanvi’s life. She currently serves as concertmistress of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, plays in a quartet, and studies privately with Ariana Kim and Rebecca Anderson. Tanvi’s favorite part of playing the violin is playing with others, performing cool repertoire, and traveling and meeting new people. She looks forward to continuing her musical experiences during her time at Cornell.
Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, 1st Movement
Lydia Knecht is a second-year Architecture student in the College of AAP at Cornell University. Presently she performs in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra as principal viola. In high school, she served as principal viola in Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra. Lydia has attended many music festivals including: Madeline Island Chamber Festival, IU Summer String Academy, Center Stage Strings and Interlochen. Her chamber group, Quartet Frederick, won first prize in the 2020 MASTA Chamber Music Competition. Other awards have included: First place in the Michigan Wendall Irish Viola Competition, and Finalist in Michigan Youth Art Festival Concerto Competition and Dexter Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.
Horn Concerto 2, 1st Movement
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Oliva Penick began playing Horn in middle school and has since attended a Horn camp at Interlochen, done ILMEA district and state bands, and participated in various honors and community bands in her area as well as being part of a youth orchestra.
2021-22 Concerto Competition Registration Information:
Past Concerto Competition Results
First Annual Festival of Solo Repertoire by Underrepresented Composers
with 16th Annual Cornell Concerto winner Joy Zhang ‘21, flute
HÜE Fantaisie for Flute and Piano
with 15th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Aditya Deshpande '22, piano
LISZT Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
with 14th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Andy Sheng '20, piano
L. van BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 4, mvt 1
with 13th Annual Cornell Concerto Competition Winner Irene Jeong '19, cello
DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH Cello Concerto No. 1 (mvt 1, 2)
with 12th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Yujin Stacy Joo '16, piano
SERGEI PROKOFIEV Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 26, Mvt. 1
with 11th Cornell Concerto competition Student winner Paul Huang, violin
EDUARDO LALO Symphonie Espagnole, 1st Movement
ERICH KORNGOLD Violin Concerto with Ji Min Yang
ANTONIN DVORAK Cello Concerto with Daniel Cho
Vikram Potdar, Barber Piano Concerto
Eric Tan, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4
Emily Choi, Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto
Aaron Wexler, Pablo de Sarasate's "Zigeunerweisen."
Adrianne Ngam, Ginastera Pampeana No. 2 for cello and orchestra
Jian Liu, Prokofiev violin concerto No. 1
Charlene Kluegel, Sibelius Violin concerto
Sarah Rice, Lalo Cello concerto
Julie Moon, Grieg Piano concerto
© 2021 CUOrchestras