• 17th Annual

    Cornell Concerto Competition

    Sunday, December 15, 2019

    Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


    One winner will perform with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra

    on Saturday, February 29, 2020.

  • Results of the 17th Annual

    Cornell Concerto Competition

    Flautist Joy Zhang, '21, won the 17th annual Cornell Concerto Competition on December 15th

    for her performance of Georges Hüe's Fantasie for Flute and Orchestra.

    Congratulations, Joy!!


    Other finalists include Julie Choe, '20 and Sarah Sun, '23.

    Joy Zhang is a Human Biology, Health and Society major who is also an accomplished flautist studying with Elizabeth Shuhan at Cornell. She has been selected as the winner of the Hochstein School of Music Merit Scholarship Competition and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the RPYO, on a live radio broadcast for WXXI-FM, and in Carnegie Hall. She has also played as the principal flautist in the Boston College Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, which she performed with in Taiwan on tour last winter.

  • Audition Information

    17th Annual Concerto Competition

    DATE Sunday, December 15, 2019

    PLACE Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

    TIME Participants will be scheduled for rehearsal times and will be notified by e-mail. Following drawing for performance order, the first round of the competition begins at 1 PM.

    ELIGIBILITY Students currently enrolled as an undergraduate student at Cornell University.

    REPERTOIRE One movement of a concerto with cadenza or piece of similar caliber for solo instrument + orchestra, not to exceed 15 minutes. Performance must be from memory (with the exception of works written after 1930) and played with piano accompaniment. Also, this year students are encouraged to explore repertoire by women composers. The Director of Orchestras reserves the right to exercise discretion upon receiving the application.

    ACCOMPANIST The department will provide an official accompanist. You will get one 40 minute rehearsal on Saturday, December 14. On the day of the performance, you will have 20 minutes. If you are selected for the final round, the accompanist will accompany you in the final round. anything above that you must compensate the accompanist. Please do not schedule extra sessions in Barnes Hall, If you do that will cause disqualification. *Students should leave physical copies of their music to in Andrew Zhou's mailbox in the office.

    AWARD One winner will perform with the Cornell University Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, February 29, 2020 (3 pm concert).

    APPLICATION Non-refundable entry fee of $20 must accompany the application form and delivered no later than 4:00 PM, Friday, December 6, 2019. Make check payable to Cornell Music Department, and send to 101 Lincoln Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Contestants will be notified by e-mail by Monday, December 9, 2019, and will audition on Sunday afternoon, December 15, 2019, in Barnes Hall, Ithaca, NY. The final round will be in Barnes Hall at 8pm on Sunday, December 15, 2019. Late applications will NOT be accepted.

    All Participants must submit a short (100 word - strict) biography and a jpeg photo of themselves as part of the application. Please email this bio and photo to Katherine Kilburn [katherinekilburn@gmail.com] by the given deadline. No other forms will be accepted. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.


    link to the application form

    ADDITIONAL On the date of the competition, each soloist will provide the judges with at least one copy of the score. Both rounds will be open to the public.
    Winners must be available to perform with the Cornell University Symphony on February 29, 2020, at Bailey Hall. Winners will perform the same concerto movement in competition and orchestral appearance. The decision of judges will be final. Application permits recording of competition and possible broadcast.

    First Round Information

    1:00 PM David Sheng

    1:16 PM Julie Choe

    1:33 PM Adam Ziccardi IV

    1:45 PM Gus Petito

    1:52 PM Gabriella Commisso

    2:00 PM Jeremy Wang

    2:40 PM Nicole Bradbury

    2:52 PM James Parker

    3:02 PM John Smith

    3:15 PM Rudy Peterson

    3:32 PM Amy Wang

    3:42 PM Joy Zhang

    3:52 PM Sarah Sun

  • Judging Panel

    Introducing our three judges for this year's Concerto Competition.

    Phiroze Mehta

    Phiroze Mehta is Professor Emeritus in the School of Music at Ithaca College, where he taught piano from 1976 until 2015. He has performed widely as recitalist, collaborative pianist, and with chamber music groups. He has presented master classes in the U.S., China, Taiwan, and India, and has also frequently served as adjudicator for regional and national piano competitions. He was named a Dana Teaching Fellow at Ithaca College in recognition of his excellence in teaching and service to the college. His educational background includes degrees in Piano Performance, Electrical Engineering and in Industrial and Systems Engineering. Prior to joining the music faculty at Ithaca College he taught piano at Western Michigan University and at Western Illinois University.

    Dr. Christin Schillinger

    Hailed as a “...force of nature” by The Double Reed, bassoonist Christin Schillinger specializes in the accessibility of the avant-garde, aiming to broaden the audience for both new music and bassoon. Schillinger works closely with living composers who remark on her “natural interpretation” and “perfect musical choices.” Her solo albums, Bassoon Unbounded (2018), Bassoon Transcended (2013) and Bassoon Surrounded (2009), produced for MSR Classics by Swineshead Productions, include world-premiere recordings of new repertoire for bassoon. To facilitate the demands of 21st-century compositions, Schillinger researches reed-making consistency. Her 2016 book, Bassoon Reed Making (Indiana University Press) details current and historic trends in this field. Schillinger’s groundbreaking research extends to guest lectures and residencies throughout the United States and Europe. Schillinger is an advocate for diversity in performance and programming. She is a founding member of Limitless Collective, an all-female ensemble featuring works by women, PoC, and the LGBTQ community. She is also the creator and organizer of the fEmpower social media network for bassoonists identifying as female. Schillinger publishes numerous articles and appears regularly as a performer and lecturer. In addition, Schillinger co-hosted the 2012 International Double Reed Society Annual Conference and inaugural IDRS Teen Camp. Schillinger is on faculty at Ithaca College in New York where she performs frequently with New Music and traditional orchestral ensembles. Previously, she has held positions with Miami University, the University of Nevada, and various orchestras throughout the west. Christin Schillinger holds degrees from Northwestern University (BMus), Michigan State University (MMus), and Arizona State University (DMA).

    Alexander Shuhan

    Alexander Shuhan, Professor of Horn, is also a founding member (1993) of Rhythm & Brass, an international touring, performing and recording ensemble. He is principal horn with the Binghamton Philharmonic and the Fort Smith (AR) Symphony and performs frequently with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival. He also previously served as principal horn of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. Recently, Shuhan has begun specialized teacher training that will certify him to be the first Suzuki Horn teacher in the world. He has studied at Southern Methodist University with Greg Hustis, the Eastman School of Music with Verne Reynolds, and the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School with Harry Berv. Other teachers include Marvin Howe, Nancy Cochran, John Jacobsen and Henry Babcock. Shuhan is also an accomplished composer and arranger, having written a number of works for Rhythm & Brass. His composition "Awakenings" is featured on the most recent Rhythm & Brass recording entitled "Inside The Blue Suitcase."

  • Participants

    Introducing our participants for this year's Concerto Competition.

    David Sheng

    History and Government '22

    Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, Mvmts 1 and 2

    William Walton

    David Sheng is currently a second year student in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a Bachelor's degree in history and government. He is a student of John Haines-Eitzen.

    Rudy Peterson

    Computer Science and Physics '20

    Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra

    Aaron Copland

    From Long Beach, CA, clarinetist Rudy Peterson is a Computer Science and Physics major in the College of Arts and Sciences. Rudy is currently a member of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra and studies clarinet with Lenora Schneller. He previously was a member of the Cornell Wind Symphony where he participated in the 2017 tour to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

    Gabriella Commisso

    Environment and Sustainability '23

    Concerto No. 1 for Horn and Piano, Mvmt 3

    Richard Strauss

    A freshman Environment and Sustainability major, Gabriella, from Rochester, NY, has been playing the horn for over five years. She participated in various All-County and All-State groups throughout high school and played in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra from 2017 to 2019, as principal horn for her last season. Currently she studies under Ilze Brink at Cornell University. In the summer, she works on a small, sustainable farm, and is also interested in entomology and marine biology.

    Amy Wang

    Computer Science '22

    Butterfly Lovers (adagio cantabile, allegro, adagio assai doloroso)

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->He Zhanhao, Chen Gang

    Amy Wang is currently a sophomore majoring in computer science and studying flute with Liz Shuhan. In her free time, she enjoys fluting and graphic design.

    James Parker

    Computer Science '21

    ​Bassoon Concerto in F Major, Op. 75, J. 127: I. Allegro ma non troppo

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Carl Maria von Weber

    James is a junior and the principal bassoonist of the Cornell Silver Wind Symphony. While studying computer science at Cornell, James has performed with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Winds, and was featured in Jonathan Rainous’ graduate thesis recording for Ithaca College. In high school, James attended the 2015 and 2016 NYSSMA Conference All-State, received the John Philip Sousa Band Award, performed at the Rockwell Museum in the 2016 OSFL chamber series, and was the 2016 winner of the YOSFL Concerto Competition. James has studied under Arthur Carichner and Martha Weber, and he currently studies under Daniel Hane.

    Julie Choe

    Human Development '20

    Violin Concerto in D Minor, 1st Mvmt

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Jean Sibelius

    Julie Choe, 21 years old, serves as concertmaster in the Cornell Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Katherine Kilburn and currently studies with Ariana Kim, associate professor. As one of the youngest members, Choe became concertmaster of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra at age 13. She has won 1st place at the Pittsburgh Philharmonic's Young Artist Competition and was featured as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Philharmonic. Choe was named a gold prize winner of the National Young Musicians Showcase Competition, and the 1st place winner of the International American Protégé Concerto Competition where she performed her solos at Carnegie Music Hall in New York City. Choe is currently a senior at Cornell University.

    Nicole Bradbury

    Linguistics and French '20

    Concerto for Horn and Strings, Movement 1

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Gordon Jacob

    Nicole is a Linguistics and French double major who comes from Rochester, New York. Since coming to Cornell, she has been an active member of the Cornell Wind Symphony, participating in their 2017 and 2019 tours to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Outside of academics and music, Nicole loves to bake with friends and is a member of the club Knit with Care. In addition to thanking her friends and family, Nicole would like to thank her instructor Ilze, whose encouragement has helped her become a more confident person—both in rehearsal and in daily life.

    Jeremy Wang

    Biological Engineering '21

    Piano Concerto No. 1 in B♭ minor, Op. 23 Movement 1

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    A junior biological engineering major, Jeremy has been exploring the piano since he was five years old. He is currently with Andrew Zhou, a visiting lecturer in Cornell. He was previously taught by Eugenia Glivinski for six years in the Mannes Preparatory Division, where he also studied related disciplines like violin for seven years and conducting for four years. As a high school senior, he performed the first movement of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in his high school concerto competition. He previously played piano as part of a winner in the Young Musicians Program in the Lincoln Chamber Music Society.

    John Smith

    Statistical Science and Chemistry & Chemical Biology '21

    Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Opus 18 (3rd Mvmt.)

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Sergei Rachmaninoff

    A Los Angeles native, John Smith is a junior double majoring in Chemistry & Chemical Biology and Statistical Science. Before enrolling at Cornell, he studied under Dr. Sarkis Baltaian and participated in the John Perry Academy of Music, where he was instructed by Professor John Perry, Mrs. Mina Perry, Dr. Wojciech Kocyan, and Dr. Andrew Park, among others. He started his classical piano training at the age of five and has podiumed in every competition he has participated in. John is also an entrepreneur, a rock climber, and an audiophile.

    Gus Petito

    Computer Science and Math '23

    Horn Concertino Op. 45, Movements 1 and 3

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Lars-Erik Larsson

    Gus Petito is a freshman undergraduate student at Cornell University majoring in computer science/math and is currently a member of the Cornell Symphony Orchestra horn section. He’s been playing french horn since he was ten, joining numerous ensembles including symphonic bands, chamber orchestras, and symphony orchestras, as well as participating in solo festivals. He was born in San Francisco, CA but spent his childhood in Chicago, IL. He’s grateful for all his wonderful music instructors during his time at high school and Cornell, as well as everybody who encouraged and incentivized him to keep playing.

    Adam Ziccardi

    Religious Studies '21

    Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, Mvt. V: Nocturne

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->John Williams

    Adam Ziccardi is blessed to have been in CU Winds since his freshman spring, and is currently the section leader of its wonderful French Horn section.
    HIs love of music was inspired early in life by his musical mother and father, and by the worship band at his home church. The generous investments in him by his teachers and parents rewarded him with the opportunities to perform in the NYS All-State Symphonic Band, the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, the Music Academy International in San Martino di Castrozza, Italy, and presently for the Cornell University Silver Wind Symphony.

    Joy Zhang

    Human Biology, Health, and Society '21

    Fantasie for Flute

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Georges Hüe

    Joy Zhang is a Human Biology, Health and Society major who is also an accomplished flautist studying with Elizabeth Shuhan at Cornell. She has been selected as the winner of the Hochstein School of Music Merit Scholarship Competition and the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. She has performed as a soloist with the RPYO, on a live radio broadcast for WXXI-FM, and in Carnegie Hall. She has also played as the principal flautist in the Boston College Symphony Orchestra and the Cornell Symphony Orchestra, which she performed with in Taiwan on tour last winter.

    Sarah Sun

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->AEM '23

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Concerto No. 2 in C Minor Op. 18 Mvt. 1

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}--><!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Sergei Rachmaninoff

    <!--td {border: 1px solid #ccc;}br {mso-data-placement:same-cell;}-->Sarah Sun is a freshman in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Sarah has performed as a soloist with the Utah Symphony, Henan Provincial Symphony Orchestra, Hubei Provincial Symphony Orchestra, Anhui Symphony Orchestra, American Fork Symphony, Southwest Symphony, and three times with the Orchestra of Southern Utah. She received second place in the Great Composers Global Competition Series and the American Protege International Concerto Competition, which offered her the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall. Sarah placed 3rd in the Distinguished Young Women of America competition and received national awards for her academic, public speaking, and performing abilities.

  • Accompanist

    Introducing our piano accompanist for this year's Concerto Competition.

    Andrew Zhou

    A pianist always striving for adventurous, thoughtful, and challenging programming, Andrew Zhou has concertized in major venues in Los Angeles, Boston, and Paris. He has collaborated with the Callithumpian Consort, Discovery Ensemble, and the Quatuor Diotima, and has worked with composers Unsuk Chin, Tristan Murail, Roberto Sierra, Christopher Stark, and Christian Wolff. Highlights include working closely with Chin as a soloist in the Austrian premiere of her “Double Concerto” for prepared piano and percussion as part of the Klangspuren Schwaz festival, and performing Messiaen’s “Turangalîla-Symphonie” as part of the Lucerne Festival Academy. Finalist and winner of four special prizes at the 2012 Concours International de Piano d’Orléans in France, Andrew studied with Bruce Brubaker at New England Conservatory, where he received the Beneficent Society Scholarship, and Thomas Schultz at Stanford University, where he studied, in addition to music, international relations (with a focus on African studies) and modern languages. He has also participated in coachings and lessons with, among others, Emanuel Ax, Stephen Drury, Ursula Oppens, Jacques Rouvier, Peter Serkin, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, and members of the St. Lawrence and Borromeo String Quartets, as well as members of Ensemble Modern and Ensemble InterContemporain. He is currently in the Doctor of Musical Arts program in Critical Keyboard Studies at Cornell, studying with Xak Bjerken. He has worked closely at Cornell with the graduate composers and co-curated of a symposium at Cornell in April 2013 with Walter Zimmermann as composer-in-residence. He was the recipient of the Manon Michels Einaudi Grant as well as a Don Randel Fellowship, which allowed him to create and execute an undergraduate seminar on the subject of music and diplomacy in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His current dissertation unites and counterpoints sound studies, disability studies, recording technologies and histories, performance practice, and changing conceptions of the “undomesticated ‘piano sound'” as they relate to the social and artistic standings of the instrument in the past hundred years. He has recently released a CD entited “Vienne et après” (Tessitures label) with works by Schoenberg, Lachenmann, Stockhausen, Zimmermann, Matthias Pintscher, and Olga Neuwirth, with works by the last two receiving their first studio recordings.