Doublestop Foundation

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Kyungha Ko | 201.724.1617



[New York, New York] – On Sunday, August 28, 2016, at NYU’s Frederick Loewe Theatre, Room 303, Doublestop Foundation presented ‘The Finalists’ program, part of the fourth annual Instrument Loan Competition. 13 deserving musicians from across the country traveled to New York City in pursuit of a fine stringed instrument loan from the Foundation. The Finalists, ages ranging from 17 to 26, train at top music institutions across the United States, including Boston University, Colburn Conservatory, The Juilliard School, Lynn University, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, New World Symphony, Rice, and Yale. The judging committee included the Foundation’s leadership Michelle Kim, artistic director (assistant concertmaster, New York Philharmonic) and Matthew Way, executive director; as well as guest judges Stephanie Baer, Director of Strings Studies at NYU; Joseph Lee, cello, New York City Ballet Orchestra; and Max Zeugner, associate principal bass, New York Philharmonic. The Finalists were invited to participate in the annual Audience Choice Award contest. Each participant promoted their one favorite (of three) audition video online, the Competition and Foundation on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. The participant with the most video ‘likes’ (not views) after 30 days received a $500 cash prize.

The 2016 Ambassadors

Elena Ariza

Elena Ariza was recently featured as both a soloist and a chamber musician on NPR’s “From the Top” show. In 2016, she competed in the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition as a member of the Cambiata Quartet. In 2015, Elena made her solo debut with the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) at Davies Symphony Hall. She was a member of SFSYO from 2011-2016, and as principal cello since 2014. Elena has won several solo competitions, including Music Teachers National Association’s California State Competition, Pacific Musical Society Competition, each age category at the International Youth Music Competition, Mondavi Young Artists Competition, and has performed with the Palo Alto Philharmonic Orchestra, South Valley Symphony, and Diablo Valley Orchestra.

Elena performs on a bow made by the Frenchman Nicolas Maline in Mirecourt, a loan made possible with the generous support of Mrs. Taejia Kim Lee and Dr. Howard Lee, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

David BenderDavid Bender began cello studies at the age of five with Anne Hall Williams. He was principal cello with the Curb Youth Orchestra, and received the Suzuki David Mazanec Scholarship, Wachs Scholarship, and Myra Jackson Blair Senior Scholarship during his training at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music. David won the Curb Youth Symphony 2015 Concerto Competition and a competition at the Tennessee Cello Workshop. He attended the Sewanee, Madeline Island, and Montecito International Music Festivals, and the Brevard Music Center. Last summer, he toured throughout Europe with the National Youth Orchestra of the United States. David will begin his undergraduate studies this fall with Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School.

David performs on a gold mounted bow made by British bow maker Garner Wilson, a loan made possible with the generous support of Mrs. Taejia Kim Lee and Dr. Howard Lee, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

Michael FullerMichael Fuller is a second-year bass fellow at New World Symphony. Michael received full-tuition scholarships to study at Eastman School of Music (BM, 2013) and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music (MM, 2015). He received training from bassists John Hood, James VanDemark, Timothy Pitts and Paul Ellison. Michael’s recent performances include Bottesini’s Grande Allegro di Concerto “Alla Mendelssohn,” Hindemith’s Sonata for Double Bass and Piano, Anderson’s Four Short Pieces for Solo Double Bass, and Schnittke’s Hymns II for Violoncello and Double Bass.

Michael performs on a “Luigi Chiericato” model bass constructed by Barrie Kolstein in 2008, a loan made possible with the generous support of Mr. Kolstein, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

Fang HanBorn in Zhengzhou, China, Fang Han began her musical studies on violin at the age of eight. In 2009, she enrolled at Peking University to study Chinese Language and Literature. During that time she explored interests ranging from philosophy to architecture, and while continuing her pursuit and passion for violin. Fang transitioned to viola in 2013, and studied with Shmuel Katz and Stephanie Baer. She was a participant in the 2014 New York String Orchestra Seminar under the direction of Jaime Laredo, and named the winner of the 2015 NYU Concerto Competition. She enters the Professional Studies program at Manhattan School of Music this fall to study with Karen Ritscher.

Fang performs on a viola made by Mark T. Womack in 1995 and a G.A. Paulus bow, a loan made possible with the generous support of Diana and Peter Hemmenway, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

Qianru HeBorn in Guangzhou, China, Qianru Elaine He is a merit scholarship recipient at Mannes School of Music where she studies with Lewis Kaplan. She began violin training at the age of five with Guozhu Zhang and Qiang Zhang. Qianru studied at the preparatory music school affiliated with Shanghai Conservatory. In 2014, she received a scholarship to study with Ann Setzer at the Meadowmount School of Music, and won their annual chamber music competition. In 2015 and 2016, Qianru attended Canada’s Morningside Music Bridge Festival with a full-tuition scholarship. In November 2015, Qianru was named as an honorable winner of the National YoungArts Foundation.

Qianru performs on a violin made by Emilio Celani in Ascoli Piceno, Italy in 1885, a loan is made possible with the generous support of Mrs. Taejia Kim Lee and Dr. Howard Lee, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

Michael MarksMichael Marks was named the Arizona Opera’s principal bass in 2013. At that time, he became the youngest rostered musician in the organization’s 44 year history. Michael completed his bachelor’s degree in 2016 while studying with Peter Lloyd at the Colburn Conservatory of Music. He is a substitute musician with the Phoenix Symphony, Los Angeles Opera, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Michael was the third place winner at the 2015 International Society of Bassists’ orchestral competition. He will continue double bass studies this fall with Timothy Pitts at Rice University.

Michael performs on a bass attributed to Santagiuliana from Venice, Italy, a loan made possible with the generous support of Timothy Goplerud, and for winning Doublestop Foundation’s 2016 Instrument Loan Competition.

2016 Audience Choice Award Winner

Jeremias Sergiani VelazquezHailed as “accomplished in mechanism and style” (Buenos Aires Herald), Argentinean violinist Jeremías Sergiani-Velázquez was awarded First Prize at the Argentinean Hebrew Foundation Competition and at the 2012-13 and 2013-14 New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble Competitions. He has performed with the renowned Orpheus Chamber Orchestra at Carnegie Hall and at Germany’s Dresden Frauenkirche, as well as in Canada and throughout the US, serving as principal second in several occasions. Most recently he has performed at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, New York along with Miranda Cuckson. Jeremías completed his bachelor’s degree at New England Conservatory under Miriam Fried, and recently finished a master’s degree at The Juilliard School with Sylvia Rosenberg and Ronald Copes. In addition to winning the 2016 Audience Choice Award, the Foundation also provided Jeremías a one-year loan, a violin loaned to the Foundation from Cho-Liang Lin, made by Terry Borman Mollans sur Ouveze in 1990.
For a link to Jeremías’s award winning YouTube video performance please click HERE.

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