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2017 Prizewinners

2017 Gold Medalists
Astera String Quartet

Hannah White, violin (Germantown, WI)
Ria Honda, violin (Wilmette, IL)
Kayla Cabrera, viola (Crete, IL)
Annamarie Wellems, cello (Lincolnshire, IL)

The Astera String Quartet is comprised of Hannah White and Ria Honda, violins; Kayla Cabrera, viola; and Annamarie Wellems, cello.  All four are merit scholarship recipients and Fellows at the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college training program for highly gifted musicians.  The quartet is coached by Roland Vamos and Sang Mee Lee. The award-winning Astera String Quartet recently received First Place at the 2017 ENKOR International Chamber Competition.  In addition, they have recently been invited to participate at the 2017 M-Prize International Chamber Competition and 2017 Fischoff Competition.  The quartet members individually have earned top prizes at local, regional, national and international competitions and have participated at numerous college residencies, music events and national and international festivals and have appeared in String Magazine, Strad Magazine, Al Jazeera Magazine, Bein and Fushi Magazine, ABC-7, WFMT, WCLV, WVIZ, Ideastream, NPR’s From the Top, and the Violin Channel. Astera String Quartet is unique in that it unites these talented young musicians from varied cultures and places.  Hannah, 17, lives in Germantown, WI and is African American and Vietnamese; From Japan, Ria, 16, is Japanese and currently lives in Wilmette, IL; Kayla, 18, lives in Crete, IL and is of Cuban and German descent; Annamarie, 18, lives in Lincolnshire, IL, and has a complex German and Polish heritage.  Their varied cultures embody the shining essence of the United States of American.  Astera is Latin for “like a Star”.

2017 Program Book

2017 Silver Medalists
Vieira String Quartet

Maya Buchanan, violin (Rapid City, SD)
Karisa Chiu, violin (Palatine, IL)
Steven Song, viola (Naperville, IL)
Nathan Mo, cello (Rolling Meadows, IL)

Vieira Quartet is comprised of violinists, Maya Anjali Buchanan (17) and Karisa Chiu (17), violist, Steven Song (18) and cellist, Nathan Mo (18). All four students are Fellow scholarship recipients at he Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a pre-college training program for gifted musicians. Maya and Karisa study with Almita Vamos, Steven with Geraldo Ribeiro and Nathan with Hans Jorgen Jensen. In addition to their individual achievements, they are enthusiastic chamber musicians. Vieira was awarded first prize at the 2017 Rembrandt Chamber Music Competition and will be competing as a semi-finalist in the 2017 M-Prize International Chamber Arts Competition, A.N. & Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Competition, and as finalists in the Saint Paul String Quartet Competition. The quartet is coached by and named in honor of violinist, Rodolfo Vieira, the founding member of the Botelho Vieira Piano Quartet and string faculty at MIC Academy. Portrayed in Botticelli’s most famous painting The Birth of Venus, “Vieira” represents the seashell on which Venus, goddess of Love, emerges from the sea and is of Spanish/Portuguese origin.

2017 Bronze Medalists
DAJJ Quartet

Daniel Tai, violin (Hilliard, OH)
Anna Linder, violin (Westerville, OH)
Julian Tugaoen, viola (Westerville, OH)
Jackson Tomsic, cello (Delaware, OH)

The DAJJ Quartet formed in Fall 2015 at the Chamber Music Connection (CMC), a not- for-profit chamber music organization led by artistic director Deborah Price based in Worthington, Ohio. The DAJJ Quartet consists of Daniel Tai (14) and Anna Linder (13), violins, Jackson Tomsic (16), cello, and Julian Tugaoen (14), viola. The name DAJJ arises by combining the first letters of each member’s first name. The DAJJ Quartet has had the opportunity to work with many guest artists at CMC including Jinjoo Cho, Neave Trio, Dmitry Kouzov, Calidore, Dover, Formosa, Cavani, KASA, and Doric String Quartets. They have performed in side-by-side residencies at CMC with the Neave Trio, Dover, Calidore, KASA, and Doric Quartets.  The DAJJ Quartet recently received 1st Prize (Piano and String open division) and the Overall Grand Prize (open division) at 2017 Discover National Chamber Music Competition. DAJJ also received an Honorable Mention at the 2017 Ohio String Teachers Association Chamber Music Competition and was 1 of 5 finalists at the 4th Coltman Chamber Music Competition in Austin, Texas this past March.

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