• 2021 - 2022 Concerto Competition

    Date: Sunday, December 12, 2021

    Place: Barnes Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca NY


    View our participants below!

  • Participants

    Introducing our participants for this year's Concerto Competition, and congratulations to Nanor Seraydarian '24 for winning!

    Yao Wu

    Computer Science and Music, '25

    Concerto for Horn and Strings, 1st Movement

    Gordon Jacob

    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.

    Nanor Seraydarian


    Music, '24


    Ernest Chausson

    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.

    Dean Zhang

    Biological Sciences, '25

    Violin Concerto No. 2 in g minor, 2nd Movement

    Sergei Prokofiev

    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.

    Timothy Eng

    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.

    Brian Wang

    Biological Sciences, '24

    Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 III. Allegro Scherzando

    Sergei Rachmaninoff

    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.

    Tanvi Athavale

    Information Science, Systems, and Technology, '23

    Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major, 1st Movement

    Sergei Prokofiev

    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.

    Lydia Knecht

    Architecture, '25

    Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, 1st Movement

    William Walton

    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.

    Olivia Penick

    Psychology, '25

    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:

    Time: Participants will be scheduled for rehearsal times and will be notified by e-mail. Following drawing for performance order, the competition will begin 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 and 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 11. If you are selected for the final round, the accompanist will accompany you in the final round. For anything above that, you must compensate the accompanist. Please do not schedule extra sessions in Barnes Hall; if you do, you will be disqualified.
    Award: One winner will perform with the Cornell University Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, March 5, 2022 (3 pm concert)
    Application: Non-refundable entry fee of $20 (cash or check) must accompany the application form and be delivered no later than 4:00 PM, Friday, December 3, 2021. Make checks payable to Cornell Music Department, and send to 101 Lincoln Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853. Contestants will be notified by e-mail by Monday, December 6, 2021 and will audition on Sunday afternoon, December 12, 2021, in Barnes Hall. The final round will be in Barnes Hall at 8pm on Sunday, December 12, 2021. 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. Submit these items in the form below. No other forms will be accepted. Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
    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 March 5, 2022, at Bailey Hall. Winners will perform the same concerto movement in competition and orchestra appearance
    The decision of judges will be final. Application permits recording of competition and possible broadcast.
    DISCLAIMER: In the event that we exceed our maximum capacity for the first round, all applications may not be accepted.
    COVID-19 GUIDELINES: All musicians will be required to wear a mask. Woodwinds and brass players are required to wear an instrument mask as well as a bell cover. Puppy pads will be provided to discharge any condensation in the instrument.
    (All information in this section is available on the application form as well for reference)

    Application form: https://forms.gle/iRW6ESLxfhKamW8W7

    Good luck to all participants!
  • 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