Doublestop Foundation

doublestop foundation

News Release
September 9, 2013 201-724-1617;

Doublestop Foundation names six Ambassadors and awards them fine instruments and bows

New York, NY – Doublestop Foundation (DF) named six Ambassadors and awarded them loans of five fine instruments and four bows on Saturday, September 7, 2013 at the shop of Tarisio Fine Instruments and Bows.

Doublestop Foundation hosts the annual Instrument Loan Competition, which gives deserving musicians a competitive performance edge in the classical music by supplying them with no-cost loans of fine string instruments and bows. Ambassadors are given access to the Foundation’s network of professional mentors and sponsors, which both provide assistance to help these musicians accelerate their artistry. The inaugural Competition was held earlier in 2013, and each named Ambassador was awarded a $1,000 prize. The 2013 Ambassadors are Michael Chung, Geneva Lewis, Clara Neubauer, Oliver Neubauer, Jeremy Tai and Qiyun Zhao.

The Ambassadors

Michael Chung, cello
Michael is a 16 year-old high school junior from Cupertino, California. He was introduced to the cello at the age of 8. He began private lessons with teacher Lu-Yan Guo shortly before moving to the Bay Area. Michael currently studies with Jonathan Koh, under whose excellent tutelage he has really begun to blossom as a musician. He has performed with the California Youth Symphony and is currently principal cellist of the El Camino Youth Senior Symphony, with whom he has performed both the Elgar and Barber cello concertos. He will perform the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the orchestra during his senior year.

Michael is the winner of both the 2013 Mondavi Young Artists Competition Instrumentalists division and the 2013 MTNA String Performance National Prize in the senior division. Michael also studies chamber music in the preparatory division of the San Francisco Conservatory and hopes to learn conducting as well. He recently returned from the El Camino Youth Symphony’s 50th Anniversary tour of Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Michael has an infectious enthusiasm and passion for communicating classical music to a wider audience and should be a tremendous asset to the foundation.

Tarisio Fine Instruments and Bows has lended Michael a late 18th-century cello made by William Forster. Instrument Sponsors, Mrs. Taeja Kim Lee and Dr. Howard S. Lee have provided Michael with a gold-mounted bow made by the Englishman Garner Wilson.

Geneva Lewis, violin
Geneva is a native of Auckland, New Zealand, is a merit scholarship student at the Colburn School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. In 2005 she began studying with violinist and teacher Aimee Kreston. She is also an accomplished pianist and studies with David Dunford at The Pioneer School of Music. Geneva made her orchestral debut at age 11 and has since blossomed into an exceptional violinist. Her powerful performances have earned for her first prize in various competitions, including the Brentwood and Parness concerto competitions, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, and American Protégé International Music Talent Competition. She was also awarded the ‘Discovery Prize’ in the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Concerto Competition. As a soloist, Geneva has performed with the Pasadena Pops and the Brentwood-Westwood, Antelope Valley, and Culver City symphonies at such venues as the Colburn School, the Salzburg Mozarteum, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. In 2012 she was cast alongside Mariette Hartley as the young virtuoso violinist Erica Morina in the LA Times Critics Choice play The Morini Strad. In her free time Geneva enjoys practicing ballet, lyrical and modern dance, reading, and playing with her pug, Serena.

Sponsor Mr. Cho-Liang Lin is lending Geneva a violin made by Terry Borman in 1991.

Clara Neubauer, violin
Clara began playing the violin at the age of three. She made her Lincoln Center debut in May 2013 in the Chamber Music Society’s Young Ensembles Concert Series.  In 2012, Clara was invited to Music@Menlo as a guest “Young Performer.” She and her brother, Oliver, appeared as guest soloists with the National Repertory Orchestra at the Bravo! Vail Music Festival where their performances of the Bach and Vivaldi double violin concertos were broadcast on public radio.  This past summer she returned to Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Music@Menlo. As a soloist and chamber musician, Clara has performed at the New York Philharmonic’s Young People’s Concerts Kidzone, Music@Menlo, New York Piano Society, the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, OK Mozart Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Opus Mediterraneo Cruise at the Agriturismo Rechsteiner in Venice, Italy, and Art in Avila in Curaçao, Netherland Antilles. Clara has also performed at the Fetes Musicales de Savoie Festival in Valmorel, France and from 2009-11 was a junior member with the Jeunes Virtuoses de New York.

Clara currently studies with violinist Kristin Lee. She is a 6th grade student at The Dalton School and member of the high school orchestra as well as the Mannes Pre-College Symphony. In her free time she loves reading, math competitions, singing and playing ping-pong and chess. Clara has won numerous chess tournaments and is ranked amongst the United States Chess Federation’s top 100 girls, aged 11-13.

Mrs. Taeja Kim Lee & Dr. Howard Lee are providing Clara with a violin made in 1798 by the Italian maker Antonio Gragnani and a bow made by J.J. Martin.

Oliver Neubauer, violin
At 13 years old, Violinist Oliver Neubauer has been performing as a soloist and chamber musician for the last ten years. Oliver and his younger sister Clara, another DF Ambassador, performed the Bach and Vivaldi double violin concertos with the National Repertory Orchestra at Bravo! Vail Music Festival in 2012, which were broadcast over public radio. Oliver also made his conducting debut during this concert. Last summer, he returned to perform at Bravo! Vail Music Festival and Music@Menlo. Oliver has been a featured soloist and chamber musician at the New York Philharmonic and Young People’s Concerts Kidzone, New York Piano Society and Brooklyn Chamber Music Society, Mostly Music Series, OK Mozart Festival, Chamber Music Northwest, Music from Angel Fire, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Opus Mediterraneo Cruise, Agriturismo Rechsteiner in Venice, Italy and Art in Avila in Curaçao, Netherland Antilles.  Oliver also performed at the Fetes Musicales de Savoie Festival in Valmorel, France and from 2009-11 was a junior member of the Jeunes Virtuoses de New York. Last May, he made his Lincoln Center debut in the Chamber Music Society’s Young Ensembles Concert. Oliver is concertmaster of the Pre-College Symphony at Mannes College, where he studies with Kristin Lee. He also plays first violin in the high school orchestra at The Dalton School, where he is a student.

Oliver has won numerous math competitions and chess tournaments and was presented the 2013 Scholastic Art & Writing Silver Key Award for his short story Have a Nice Day. Oliver also enjoys theatre and has appeared in numerous productions, including Fiddler on the Roof, Romeo and Juliet, The Music Man, Bye Bye Birdie, and Seussical!

Mrs. Taeja Kim Lee & Dr. Howard Lee provide Oliver with a violin built in 1885 by the Italian maker Emilio Celani.

Jeremy Tai, cello
Fourteen year-old Jeremy Tai has studied cello with Jonathan Koh at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music since 2006. He was a national winner at the Music Teacher’s National Association Performance Competition, first place winner at the American Fine Art Festival International Competition, and a semifinalist at the Stulberg International String Competition in 2012. Jeremy was the grand prize award winner at the 2011 Mondavi Center Young Artist Competition for his performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto, which resulted in his debut concerto performance with the UC Davis Symphony Orchestra. Other top prizes include first place at the 2010 Music Teachers Association of California VOCE State Competition, first place at the 2009 Chinese Music Teachers Association of Northern California Competition, and second place at the Pacific Musical Society. When Jeremy isn’t playing cello he enjoys reading, playing table tennis, chess, video games, and piano. He is currently a freshman at Monta Vista High School in Cupertino.

Mrs. Taeja Kim Lee & Dr. Howard Lee sponsor Jeremy with a bow made by the Frenchman Nicolas Maline.

Qiyun Zhao, viola
Qiyun, of Baoding, China, is a graduate of Beijing Central Conservatory of Music’s high school program. She moved to USA in 2009 upon receiving a full scholarship to the University of Michigan. Qiyun was also given full scholarships to attend the New York String Orchestra Seminar and the Chautauqua Institution Music Festival. Qiyun is currently working on her bachelor’s of music degree from The Juilliard School where she studies with the New York Philharmonic’s former principal violist, Paul Neubauer. Her other professors have included Yizhak Schotten, Changhai Wang and Xiaozhi Huang. She has performed with various ensembles, including the Mannes and University of Michigan Symphony Orchestras and the China Youth Symphony Orchestra. Qiyun fascinated by different genres of music and styles of expression and is particularly intrigued by traditional Chinese folk music. She is also a passionate and devoted singer, violinist and dancer.

Mr. Cho-Liang Lin is sponsoring Qiyun with a viola built in 1993 by Terry Boreman. Mrs. Taeja Kim Lee and Dr. Howard Lee are sponsoring her with a bow made by Finkel.


Doublestop Foundation provides stringed instruments to deserving musicians who cannot afford to make such a donation on their own accord. The Foundation hosts the annual Instrument Loan Competition and provides winners with a fine stringed instrument loan for the duration of three years. Reaching out to the broader community, The Regrant Project pinpoints underserved public schools and community organizations that cannot afford to rebuild or establish a new string program for their institution. With assistance from strategic partnerships, The Regrant Project donates high-quality student stringed instruments, bows, cases, and accessories to these deserving organizations.

Doublestop Foundation
Michelle Kim, President & Artistic Director | Matthew Way, Executive Director
96 Linwood Plaza, #119, Fort Lee, NJ 07024-3701
Phone: 888.501.6105 | Web: