The Board of Directors of the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra has announced the winners of the 17th annual Young Artists Competition held recently at Callaway Auditorium on the campus of LaGrange College.
Nathan Cottrell, playing cello, won the first-place Dorothy Allen Turner Award. He is a native of Southern California and is currently serving as co-principal cellist for the University of Memphis where he is studying cello with Leonardo Altino and conducting with Pu-Qi Jiang.
Cottrell began his cello studies with Richard Naill at the Colburn School of Performing Arts where he was asked to play in honors recitals and was featured as part of KMZT’s Sunday’s Live broadcast at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree at Biola University under Marlin Owen and Andrew Shulman.
Competition judges praised Cottrell’s performance of Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo as powerful, rich and passionate. As first-place winner, Cottrell will receive $1,500 and perform as a featured soloist with the LaGrange Symphony during its November 2014 concert.
Sophie Wang won the second-place Max Kaplan Award on violin. She attends Columbus State University, where she has been studying violin performance since age 16 with Sergiu Schwartz at the Schwob School of Music.
Wang was selected by the New York String Orchestra Seminar in 2013 under the baton of Jaime Laredo. The orchestra performed in Carnegie Hall twice and was coached by Pamela Frank, Kurt Muroki, Bonnie Hampton and others. This prize carries a $1,000 cash award.
Tian Xu, violin, was the winner of the NOTE Award for third place and a $500 cash award. She attends Columbus State University, studying with Sergiu Schwartz at the Schwob School of Music, where she won the school’s 2013-2014 concerto competition. Xu has also studied at Bard College Conservatory of Music in New York and received a double degree in music performance and Asian studies in 2012.
This competition was open to participants in string instruments under age 26 from Georgia, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina or Tennessee. Next year’s competition will be limited to participants on piano.
Additional information about the LaGrange Symphony’s annual Young Artists Competition is available online at www.lagrangesymphony.org. Celebrating 25 years of enriching our community through music, the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra helps create memorable moments of music.