For 66 years, YPSCA has held a Young People's Concerto Competition for advanced student musicians in grades 7-12. The winner of the top prize is invited to perform with the Minnesota Orchestra in a set of Young People’s Concerts. Cash prizes, donated by individuals and music-related businesses, are awarded to all Finalists.
Each contestant prepares a portion of a major work, such as a concerto movement, to perform from memory. Performances are judged by professional musicians specializing in strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion and keyboard. For the Finals, held on the Orchestra Hall stage, YPSCA welcomes members of the public to attend and to witness the riveting performances of these extraordinary young musicians.
2024 Concerto Competition
YPSCA’s 67th Annual Concerto Competition will be held in February 2024. The Preliminary Round will be held virtually via students’ video submissions and remote adjudication. The Final Round will be held on Sunday, February 25, 2024 at Orchestra Hall. Additional information and application materials will be posted on this page in early summer 2023.
Izaiah Cheeran takes top honors at YPSCA’s 66th Annual Concerto Competition
Twenty-eight students competed in the virtual Preliminary Round of YPSCA’s Concerto Competition by submitting performance videos which were adjudicated remotely by a panel of eight judges. Twelve of those students advanced to the Final Round on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at Orchestra Hall, although one withdrew.
Oboist Izaiah Cheeran, age 17, won the Competition with a stunning performance of the second movement of Bohuslav Martinu’s Concerto for Oboe. His top prize award includes a performance with the Minnesota Orchestra at a future Young People’s Concert, and a cash prize of $2,000 from the Edwin and Edith Norberg Fund. Izaiah, who is from Apple Valley, Minnesota, studies oboe with Philippe Tondre at The Curtis Institute of Music while studying academics through Minnesota Connections Academy.
In addition to the top honor won by Izaiah Cheeran, each Finalist received at least one award:
- Ruth Conry, 18, violin, won the Edwin Norberg Award and the Claire Givens Violins Award
- Gaia Daniel, 12, piano, won the Edith Norberg Award and the Paul Winberg Award in Memory of Leah Harding
- Sophia Alexander, 15, cello, won a Norberg Award
- Clara Belle Wrolstad, 16, piano, won a Norberg Award
- Jacob Taggart, 16, piano, won the Schmitt Music Award
- Grace Weitzel, 17, violin, won the Margaret Ankeny Award
- Qing Ng, 18, violin, won the Bonnie and Donn McLellan Award
- Vladimir Tsiper, 16, violin, won the Mariellen Jacobson Award
- Christian Garner, 14, trumpet, won the Katie Berg Award
- Jane Story, 16, violin, won the Judith and David Ranheim Award
Please join us in congratulating all of the Finalists, and in thanking the generous donors of this year’s awards, which collectively totaled $10,600. We also thank our judges for the Final Round: Cecilia Belcher, Jean DeVere, Roma Duncan, and Ivan Konev; and for the Preliminary Round: Michele Frisch, Jennifer Gerth, Mark Kosower, Brian Krinke, Hanna Landrum, Timothy Lovelace, Magdalena Müllerperth, and Jessica Thompson.