2014 Concerto Competition first-place winners to perform with University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Two of the three first-place winners of the 2014 Concerto Competition will perform with the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 26 in Mandel Hall.

Forty musicians applied for the 2014 biennial Concerto Competition at the University. “The record number of applicants demonstrates the continually growing interest in musical performance on our campus,” said Schubert. “The level of preparation and artistry exhibited by this year’s auditioning students was extraordinary. The decisions were difficult to make!”

The 2014 recipients are Caroline Wong, Matthew Bloomfield and George Hyun. The panel of judges for the 2014 Concerto Competition included Barbara Schubert; Robert Whalen, conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra; Chip De Stefano, conductor of the University Wind Ensemble; and Steinway artist Gregory Brown, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist.

Flutist Wong will present Jacques Ibert’s virtuosic Flute Concerto and trumpet player Matthew Bloomfield will perform George Gershwin’s colorful Rhapsody in Blue, in the arrangement by Timofei Dokshizer, the famed principal trumpet player of the Bolshoi Ballet. Barbara Schubert, director of performance programs and conductor for the University Symphony Orchestra, will conduct the program.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Wong started playing the flute at age 7. She received her Bachelor of Music from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2012, where she was a student of Thomas Robertello. She also was a first-place winner of the James and Helen Pellerite Orchestral Excerpt Competition in 2012, and the Accent Music Festival Concerto Competition in 2009. She was selected as a live-round competitor in the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition in 2011. Wong is currently a first-year law student at the University of Chicago Law School and a member of the University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Bloomfield began playing trumpet at the age of 9, inspired by his parents’ big-band swing dance music. He focused on classical and orchestral music in high school, and earned the coveted position of Principal Trumpet in New York’s All-State Symphony Orchestra during his sophomore year. Matthew later studied trumpet performance at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of professor William Campbell, former Principal Trumpet in Zubin Mehta’s Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. He was a finalist in the National Trumpet Competition in 2011 and the International Trumpet Guild’s solo competition. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2012 and is currently a second-year graduate student at the Chicago Booth School of Business.

Hyun is in his third year at the University of Chicago studying mathematics. He has performed with the Magical Strings of Youth in Australia, Austria, S. Korea, France, Italy, the Vatican, Lincoln Center and Prague. At Prague castle, he was soloist in a ceremony for Prince Lobkowicz and Josef Suk. George attended the Music Academy at Schloss Ort, master classes at Chateau Champs sur Marne, Music in the Mountains, Aspen Music Festival and Summit Music Festivals. He has won awards at Musichorale, Chinese Fine Arts Society Confucius Competition, Trinity Music Competitions and the Sejong Cultural Society Music Competions.

He studied with Betty Haag-Kuhnke through high school, and at the University has received coaching from Aurelien Fort Pederzoli and Austin Wulliman of the Spektral Quartet. Hyun will perform the first movement of Aram Khachaturian's Violin Concerto for the University Symphony Orchestra’s Dec. 6 concert.

Admission to the concerto showcase is free, with donations accepted at the door ($10 general / $5 students). For more information, call 773-702-8069 or visit music.uchicago.edu. Mandel Hall is located at 1131 E. 57th St. A reception in Hutchinson Commons will follow the concert.

The 100-member University Symphony Orchestra presents an ambitious season of six major concerts per year. The Department of Music’s 13 performance program ensembles present more than 100 concerts each year.