2015 Competition Winners


Contact: Annette Conklin 651.450.1607


March 18, 2015, Saint Paul – The top winners in the fourth annual SPCO Youth Chamber Music Competition were announced on Sunday, March 15 at the Winners Recital held in the Music Room of the SPCO Center in St. Paul.

The competition’s First Prize of $1,000 was awarded to Ampere String Quartet: Sam Richman, (violin), age 14, a freshman at Southwest High School; Louisa Byron (violin), age 17, a junior at Waseca Junior/Senior High School; Paul Watkins (viola), age 15, a sophomore at St. Paul Academy; and Eliot Johnson (cello), age 15, a sophomore at Edina High School. The ensemble wins a cash prize of $1,000 and a performance on Friday, April 24 in Marzitelli Foyer of the Ordway Center, preceding a Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra concert.

Second Prize of $600 and the Top Wind award went to The Rustling Winds: Alexandra Hartlein (flute), age 18, a senior at Orono High School; Sarrah Bushara (oboe), age 16, PSEO program at the University of Minnesota; Miles Broske (clarinet), age 18, a senior at Northfield High School; Emily Green (French horn), age 18, a senior at Centennial High School; and Beck Rusley (bassoon), age 14, who attends Blake School.

Two Third prizes of $400 were awarded this year: to the Raxe Quartet: David Coltz (violin), age 16, and his sister, Sarah Coltz (violin), age 15, home-schooled; Eleni Sophocleus (cello), age 16, Southwest High School in Minneapolis; and Martha Mulcahy (viola), age 17, Great River School in St. Paul,

Also Trio in Sii, Vivian Murphy (violin), age 16, a sophomore at Queen of Heaven Academy, West St. Paul; Kajsa Johansson (cello), age15, a sophomore at Breck School; and Praveen Pallegar (piano), age 15, a junior enrolled in the PSEO program at the University of Minnesota.

Winner of Level B and a cash award of $100 was Quartetto Caffeinato, composed of 8th graders: Raef Eddins (violin), age 14, Murray Middle School; David Michaeli (violin) age 13, Nova Classical Academy, St. Paul; Maggie Liss (viola), age 14), Oakland Junior High; and Amelia Podolny (cello), age 13, Chippewa Middle School in Shoreview.

Judges were from The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the University of Minnesota, and the Bakken Trio. Emcee for the Finals was Alison Young of Classical Minnesota Public Radio.

Founded in 2011 by the Friends of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the chamber competition draws talented pre-college musicians from Minnesota. They can play any combination of strings, brass, winds, percussion and piano. Applicants to this year’s competition ranged in age from 11 to 18 and they represented 35 schools and 26 zip codes.

To learn more about the competition and to hear last year’s winners, visit the competition website: www.spco-ycmc.org

The competition is sponsored and coordinated by the Friends of the SPCO, the volunteer organization that supports The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra through educational, social and fundraising activities. 

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