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FESTIVAL Concerto Competition

2019 Winners

We are excited to announce the 2019 Festival Concerto Competition Winners! Hear the winners play at the final Festival concert on Saturday, August 3 at 7:00 pm in Yardley Hall, at Johnson County Community College's, Carlsen Center​.


1st Place

Julia Luyten and Willem Luyten, Denver Colorado


2nd Place

Ying Zhang, Shanghai, China


3rd Place

Kevork Esmeryan, Bulgaria


Honorable Mention

Nicole Parker, Columbia, MO


Julia Luyten, 1st Place - Julia has studied the violin since 2005. She won her division of the Colorado MTNA twice and was Western Division alternate last year. Julia is a merit scholarship roster member for the Colorado Young Musicians’ Foundation. She won the Colorado Stillman-Kelley Competitions in 2017 and went on to be the Western Division winner for the Stillman-Kelley competition in 2017. Julia won the Loveland Young Artists’ Competition, the Colorado Bach Ensemble Young Artists’ Competition, and the Colorado Young Sinfonia Concerto Competition, and has appeared with those orchestras as soloist. Julia has won her division multiple times at the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs Competitive Festival and was a first prize winner at the Colorado Rising Stars Competition in 2018 and the EOP String Competition in Denver in 2016.


Willem Luyten, 1st Place - Willem has studied violin since age three. Willem is a merit scholarship roster member of the Young Musicians’ Foundation of Colorado. He is the recipient of the Colorado MTNA, the Boulder Bach Young Artists’ Competition, the Stillman-Kelley Competition, the Loveland Symphony Orchestra Young Artists’ Competition, the Broomfield Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the Colorado Bach Ensemble Young Artists’ Competition, and the Colorado Young Sinfonia Young Artists’ Competition. Willem was selected to attend the tuition-free Brian Lewis Young Artists’ Program, where he soloed with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra. In addition, Willem was invited to perform as soloist with the Pikes Peak Philharmonic and has been invited to solo again next year with that orchestra.


Ying Zhang, 2nd Place - Ying Zhang received her Bachelor’s degree from Shanghai Conservatory of Music in Shanghai, China, and her Master’s degree from Roosevelt University in Chicago. She was a member of Chicago Civic Orchestra, and was a full scholarship recipient at the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival (Germany), and Asian Youth Orchestra (Hong Kong). Prior to her move to Las Vegas, Zhang was the concert soloist and orchestra musician with the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra in Shenzhen, China. Currently, Ying Zhang is pursuing her DMA degree at the UNLV. She is enrolled in the violin studio under Weiwei Le and Ambroise Aubrun.


Kevork Esmeryan, 3rd Place - Kevork began studying violin at the age of 6 in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. He finished his undergraduate studies in the National Academy of Music in Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied with Stoika Milanova. Kevork has performed with various chamber groups and has won second prize in the International Chamber Music Competition 2015 in Svoge, Bulgaria, as well as a second place finish in the fourth Academic Chamber Music competition in Sofia. He is also a prizewinner of the 8th edition of the Academic Violin Competition in Sofia. Currently Kevork studies with Dr. Miroslav Hristov at the University of Tennessee.


Nicole Parker, Honorable Mention - Nicole is now a sophomore at Hickman High School in Columbia, MO. She has been playing the cello since she was seven years old. She has been a member of the Missouri Symphony Conservatory in Columbia for five years in which she participates in the Young Artist Philharmonic and the Chamber Players ensemble, and performs at many local and community events in the Cloud 9 quartet.. Nicole qualified for the Missouri All-State Orchestra during the 2018-2019 school year as a freshman. She currently studies with Eli Lara, the professor of cello at the University of Missouri. Nicole plans to major in music when she goes to college.

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