Final Forte 2020 Recap

On February 26th, of 2020, four Young Artists from Madison competed for top honors in the Bolz Young Artist Competition. With 2 scholarship awards of $2,000 for the 1st and 2nd Prize and 2 awards of $1,000 for the Honorable Mentions, this competition gives the soloists the opportunity to perform their piece with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in a live concert broadcasted on WPR from Overture Hall. 

The four finalists were pianist Michael Wu, pianist Jessica Jiang, violinist Emily Haur, and violinist Jonah Kartman. A senior from Sun Prairie High School, Michael Wu won 1st prize playing Liszt Totentanz. This piece was published in 1849 and expresses the views of death. Besides piano, Michael is also the Principal Clarinetist of his high school Wind Ensemble. Jessica Jiang, a junior from Memorial High School, was awarded 2nd place after her stunning performance of the 1st movement of the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3. Jessica started playing piano when she was four and currently studies with Bill Lutes. Jessica also participates in many activities at school as an artist and the Captain of Memorial High School’s Varsity Tennis Team. Emily Haur is a homeschooled senior from Appleton who received an honorable mention performing the 1st movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. She is in her fourth year with the Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra, and plays a leading role in her orchestra as the concertmaster. Lastly, Jonah Kartman, a homeschooled senior from Glendale, Wisconsin, was given an honorable mention after his performance of the 1st movement of the Saint-Saens Violin Concerto No. 3. This piece was written in 1880 in dedication to his friend, Pablo Sarasate, and you can hear his many influences through some virtuosic flares and singing melodies.

Ava Kenney and Qing Ng

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