Monday, October 16, 2023 (Ann Arbor, MI) — The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A2SO) is delighted to announce violinist and Skyline High School student Minji Kim, 16, as the winner of its 2023 Young Artist Competition. Four finalists competed on Saturday, October 14 at Eastern Michigan University, with the winner receiving a $1,000 cash prize and the opportunity to perform at the A2SO’s Link Up youth concert, presented in partnership with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute.
Applications were open to students in grades 7-12 and who attended school in the state of Michigan. Cellist and Okemos High School Junior Kevin Baek was selected as runner-up, receiving a $500 cash prize. The competition jury was composed of A2SO orchestra members, and the panelists praised the outstanding level of performance demonstrated by all of the finalists.
A student at Skyline High School, Minji Kim began studying the violin at age 4 with her mother. She currently studies with Professor Aaron Berofsky at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance, and previously received instruction from Jeff Thayer, concertmaster of the San Diego Symphony. Winner of several competitions, Minji placed first at the Rosalie Edwards Youth Music Competition and has participated in the Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, Indiana University Strings Academy, and the World Youth Symphony Orchestra. A performer at a number of prestigious venues including Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York, Minji plays on a 2011 Douglas C. Cox violin, granted to her as a scholarship from the VIRTU Foundation. Outside of music, Minji assists teaching Korean language and culture to young children at the Korean School of Ann Arbor. She also enjoys school and spending time with her family.
Currently studying with Professor Amir Eldan at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater, and Dance, Kevin Baek began playing the cello at age 7. Previously a student of Marylin Kesler, Leo Singer, and Horacio Contreras, Kevin has participated in the Michigan Youth Symphony Orchestra, and various local ensembles. A winner of the Lansing Matinee Musicale Performing Arts Students String Competition, he also recently was awarded third place at the Michigan Music Teachers Association Concerto Competition. In his free time, Kevin loves to read, play basketball and hang out with friends.