Award winning teen musicians accompany Moscow Ballet Ballerina in cities nationwide
“Musical Wunderkind” youth musicians accompany Moscow Ballet principal ballerinas in Saint Saen’s “Dying Swan” from Carnival of the Animals, now commonly known as the influence for Odette’s movements in Swan Lake, in many cities on the national tour. The Wunderkind, each in their respective cities, rehearse with the principal ballerina and open the Great Russian Nutcracker in a duo of musician and ballerina to the delight of audiences.
Moscow Ballet’s cross discipline program, “Musical Wunderkind,” is a acknowledges the talent of pre-professional Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition winners across the country and is an unprecedented live performance opportunity. The live experience develops young musicians’ interpretation skills in a way practice cannot. This program is one example of Moscow Ballet executing its mission to provide art enrichment for the local communities in which it performs.
2018 “Musical Wunderkind – Strings”
Birmingham’s Emily Turner, 13, started playing violin at the age of six. She currently studies with Jeffrey Flaniken, Associate Professor for Violin and Music Theory at Samford University. She is a member of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, the official youth orchestra of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra, and regularly performs in community events. She has been a member of the Alabama All-State Orchestra and Fiddle Frenzy, a Nashville-based performing group that has traveled as far as Scotland
Carrollton's Amartya Kallingal is a teenage classical violinist who began playing the violin at the age of 5. Within a few years, he appeared for the Royal Schools of Music Grade 5 with Distinction. Amartya has been playing in youth orchestras since the age of 10, including the Metro Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO), the All State Middle School Orchestra (GMEA), and currently, the Atlanta Junior Chamber Orchestra (AJCO). He is currently taught by Nadir Khashimov, a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and an accomplished soloist. Amartya is an 8th grader at Pace Academy, where he was a recipient of the Arts Laureate, and plays Saxophone for the School Marching Band (and most recently, the Middle School Band Festival at UGA). Amartya is a high performing student and a Duke TIP scholar.
Cleveland’s Mikel Rollet, 17, is a violist in the Cleveland Institute of Music Young Artists Program, where he studies with Jeffrey Irvine. He has served as Principal Violist of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the Young Artists Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Florida Youth Orchestra and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra at Interlochen. This summer he attended the Heifetz International Music Institute. An alumnus of A.W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida, he most recently won first place, as well as the Bach prize, in the high school division of the Ohio Viola Society Competition at Oberlin Conservatory.
Next year, he will be playing the first movement of the Bartok Viola Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra at Severance Hall for the Martin Luther King Jr. Concert!
Cupertino's Donghyun Koo is a 17-year-old cellist and the assistant principal for the Palo Alto-based California Youth Symphony conducted by Leo Eylar, Conductor and Music Director since 1990. Donghyun was selected as a California All-State musician for California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC), an event for high school and college students interested in the choral music profession. He is an award-winning musician, placing second in the Contra Costa String Music Competition and was a finalist at the United State International Music Competition, a competition organized by the United States International Music Foundation to provide young musicians the opportunity to exhibit their talent and encourage a cross-cultural appreciation of music.
Detroit’s Kelly Deng has been playing the violin since the age of six and is currently studying under Jacob Robbins, former concertmaster of the American Philharmonic Orchestra. Kelly has served as Concertmaster for both the Detroit Metropolitan Youth Symphony, one of the oldest youth symphonies in the state of Michigan, and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp’s Symphony Orchestra in Twin Lake, Michigan. Kelly is also a prizewinner in both the Tuesday Musicale Student League Concerto Competition where she is an active member, and the Madonna University Honors Competition.
Jennifer Di Nino, of Alexandria, Virginia, is a 2018 graduate of George Mason University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and studied violin with Dr. Peter Wilson and June Huang. During her two years at George Mason University she served as Assistant Concertmaster of the George Mason Symphony Orchestra and was a key member of various chamber ensembles including the Baroque Ensemble and String Quartets. Di Nino is currently a freelance musician in the Washington D.C. area, and a violin instructor with Music for Life, a nonprofit organization that operates an after-school music and mentoring program for at-risk and underserved populations who otherwise cannot afford the opportunity. Her previous teachers include Nadine Moehlenkamp, Vernon Summers, and Paula Elliott. In addition to her Bachelor of Arts in Music, Di Nino received a Bachelor of Science in Operations Research and Computer Analysis from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, and a Master of Arts in Defense and Strategic Studies from the U.S. Naval War College. She is currently serving as a U.S. Coast Guard Reservist, following seven years of active duty service, while fulfilling a lifelong aspiration of studying music and teaching violin.
Jacksonville's Maxwell van Hoeij is 15-years-old and is concertmaster with the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra’s (JSYO) Philharmonic. He also performs with the JSYO Honors Quartet. In 2018, Maxwell won the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artist Competition. Maxwell performed as concertmaster for North Florida All Districts (2017). He is a student of Dr. Shannon Thomas, professor of violin, at Florida State University. Under the baton of Itzhak Perlman, Maxwell is the only Perlman Music Program Super Strings performer that has performed with them consecutively for 5 years (2013 -2018).
Kamloops' Eilidh Nicol is a fourteen-year-old student at Kamloops School of the Arts. Eilidh started her musical journey at the age of three through the Music for Young Children program. After playing the piano for a year, she took up the violin at age four. Eilidh studies under Cvetozar Vutev, Concertmaster of the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra (KSO). KSO Concertmaster, Cvetozar Vutev, describes her as “a very talented young violinist. She is not just a very hard working violin student but an active and successful music performer in Kamloops and in the BC Interior.” Eilidh played her first concert with the Kamloops Brandenburg Orchestra at age twelve and has continued playing with the group since then. She started playing the bassoon with her school band at age eleven and is now principal bassoon of the SD73 District Honour Band for the second year in the row. Eilidh achieved her Royal Conservatory Grade Eight in June 2018 and is working towards her Grade Nine in June of 2019. Eilidh lives with her parents, sister, and grandmother in Heffley Creek, along with her two dogs and cat.
Little Rock's Keenan Peet is a violinist who has played violin for nine years under the direction of Christie Bonds in school orchestra. In 2017, he started studying privately with Geoffrey Robson, Associate Conductor of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensembles. In the summer of 2016, Keenan attended Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan where he was awarded the opportunity to study with world-renowned faculty. He played as a section violinist with the Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra for two years and participated in the Arkansas School Band and Orchestra Association’s (ASBOA) All-Region Junior High Orchestra in 2015 and 2016. He has been playing with the senior high orchestra as of 2017, and this year he played first violin in the ASBOA All-State Orchestra.
Violinist Clayton Hancock currently resides in Memphis and performs in concerts and recitals around the United States. He started playing violin at just four years old, studying under his father who is trained in the Suzuki Method. In 2012, Clay began studying with soloist Christina Castelli and has performed in masterclasses for Midori, Tomo Keller, Charles Yang and Annie Fullard. Competition successes have led to performances with the Germantown Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Youth Symphony and The Beethoven Club. His past summer festivals have included Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, The Meadowmount School of Music in New York and the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado.
Vladimir Zeleny is a life long musician from the Berkshires, MA. He has performed music at historic and leading venues across the county: Koussevitzky Music Shed and Ozawa Hall at Tanglewood in Lenox MA, The ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance in Williamstown MA, The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield MA, The Unicorn Theatre in Stockbridge MA, Katherine M. Elfers Hall in Lakeville CT, and many, many, more. Vladimir is a tenor voice and board member of Berkshire Lyric, as well as programs manager at Rock On Young Musician’s Workshop. Vladimir has performed with John Madeski of Medeski Martin & Wood, opened for James Taylor, jammed with Guthrie family members, and has met with iconic artists of all genres from Yo-Yo Ma to Trey Anastasio. Vladimir is currently working as assistant stage manager on tour with the Moscow Ballet, and provides a unique cultural crossover by performing the Dying Swan on acoustic guitar at the home of country music, Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.
Oklahoma City's Sylvan Zhang, 15, violinist since the age of 5 and current student of Dr. Gregory Lee at the University of Oklahoma. At the age of 7, he performed his first concert solo at Oklahoma State University. In 2012, nine-year-old Sylvan had already given three performances at Carnegie Hall as a First Place Winner and Judges Award Winner of American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition and Grand Winner of National Young Musicians Showcase Competition. In 2018, Sylvan placed as the violin and overall winner at the Oklahoma City Orchestra League Buttram Competition and the winner of the Jacqueline Avent Concerto Competition at Sewanee Sumer Music Festival. Sylvan has served as the concertmaster of Oklahoma State University Youth Orchestra, Oklahoma North Central Honor Orchestra, Sewanee Cumberland Orchestra, and is currently playing with the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra.
Rochester's Elizabeth (Liza) Sommers began her musical studies on the violin at age 8 with Alice Kanack of the Kanack School of Musical Artistry, and took up the viola about six years later. Her musical interests range widely beyond the standard classical repertory; in addition to being a violist in the Rochester Philharmonic Youth Orchestra for two years, she plays in the Eastman School of Music's Schola Cantorum, an ensemble directed by Stephen Kennedy, offering weekly historically-informed performances of Gregorian plainchant and Renaissance and Baroque motets. Liza is also in a band, playing fiddle for the Rochester Contra Dance several times per year. She is currently studying the Baroque violin with Boel Gidholm, violinist and co-director of Publick Musick, a Rochester-based early music ensemble. A high school senior this year, Liza plans to pursue historical performance on the Baroque violin.
Josephine Kim is a 15-year-old cellist from San Diego. She studies under Laszlo Mezo, an adjunct professor in cello at Chapman University and Saddleback College in California. Josephine is positioned first stand in the cello section of the New Youth Orchestra and rehearses with her quartet each week. She has been a member of the CODA All-State Orchestra for the past two years. Josephine has won first place in many competitions including American Protégé International Competitions, where she played at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall and the NYO Solo Competition, performing her solo with the orchestra.