Congratulations to our 2017 Winners!

View all of the winning performances on our YouTube channel.


Click above to view photos from the 2017 finalists' recital!


Click above to view photos from the 2017 semifinals round!

The SPCO Youth Chamber Music Competition is sponsored by the Friends of the SPCO. 

In partnership with:


Donovan Quintet playing at CAYO Fundraiser

The Donovan Quintet performed on April 12 at a fund-raiser to launch a cultural exchange program for Cuban and American musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 to study and perform together over the course of a month, beginning in the summer of 2018. The national program is called called CAYO - Cuban American Youth Orchestra. 

Winners of the 2017 competition

2017 SPCO YCMC Competition Winners

The top winners in the sixth annual SPCO Youth Chamber Music Competition were announced on Sunday, March 19 at the Finalists’ Recital held in Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University. Videos of all performances from this year’s Finalists’ Recital can be viewed on the organization’s YouTube channel.

Winning First Prize in Strings and the Grand Prize, which included a performance at the Ordway Center preceding a Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concert on Friday, April 28, was the Donovan Quintet: Nadine Manske (violin), Cate Carson (violin), Edwin Patrick Thatcher Donovan (viola), Christopher Kwon (cello), and Nicholas Sheel (cello).Their coach was Ray Shows of the Artaria Chamber Music School.

Taking Second Prize in Strings was the Abderian Quartet: Ava Figliuzzi (violin), Grace Gutierrez (violin), Liza Roberts (viola), and Dylan Kinneavy (cello).  Their coach was Tom Rosenberg of the Opus 1911 Music Studio and The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music.

The First Prize in Winds went to The Woodwinks Quintet: Claire Gunsbury (flute), Amelia Ryan (oboe), Susan Stewart (clarinet), Maggie Jokinen (bassoon), and Rachel Lauson (French horn). Their ensemble was self-coached.

The Second Prize in Winds was awarded to The Perfect Fourth: Claire Gunsbury (flute), Ivy Anderson (bassoon), Kaylee Nielsen (clarinet), and Kennan LeJeune (horn). Their coach was Nina Olsen of the MacPhail Center for Music.

Winner of Level B was the Bisc_it! Quartet: Benjamin Lenzmeier (violin), Sam Hanson (violin), Isadora White (viola), and Caelan Oxenham (cello). Their coach was Tom Rosenberg

Judges for the various levels of the competition were: Alicia McQuerrey, flutist with the SPCO; Daria Adams, violinist with the SPCO; Mina Fisher, curator of the Bakken Trio; Isla Hejny, clarinetist; Amir Kats, conductor of the St. Paul JCC’s Symphony; Janet Horvath, former associate principal cello with the Minnesota Orchestra; Michael Sutton, violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra; Julie Madura, oboist; and Tamas Strasser, former principal viola with the SPCO.


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