Young Artists Award Recipients

MUSIC DREAMS REALIZED….Over $25,000 in prizes have been awarded by CME’s grant program, the International Performing Arts Grant, formerly the Birte Moller Young Artists Award.  The grant was established to support young artists and help them achieve a dream project, originally created in honor of Birte Moller as a celebration of her life and love of music.

BRANNON CHO performing arts grant winner

Brannon Cho (USA)

Born in 1994, Brannon began playing the cello at age 7 with Marnie Kaller. His notable prizes include the Second Prize at the 2015 Naumburg International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Minnesota Orchestra Young Artists Competition, Third Prize at the 2013 Cassadó International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2012 Johansen International Cello Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Mondavi Center Founders Competition, First Prize at the 2015 Skokie Valley Symphony Young Artists Competition, the Silver Medal at the 2012 Stulberg International Competition, the Silver Medal from the National YoungArts Foundation in 2013, and the Grand Prize at the 2010 ASTA National Solo Competition. He recently took part in the prestigious Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow.

Brannon will make his Carnegie Hall debut in September 2017, presented by CME.

Alessandro Mazzamuto (Italy)

Pianist Alessandro Mazzamuto is “one of the most inspiring, extraordinary pianists that I have had the joy to hear” writes Martha Argerich. He is “no virtuoso of show, no ruthless technician, but a pianist absorbed in the music who plays with as much spontaneity as poetry,” claims Pizzicato Magazine. winner of International Classical Music Awards’ 2013 Young Instrumental Artist of the Year, the 26-year-old Sicilian pianist has won more than 60 national and international competitions.

Alessandro made his stirring New York debut as the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on June 29, 2015.

Jiayan Sun of China, winner of CME Performing Art Grant, Piano

Reed Tetzloff, CME Performing Arts Grant Winner

Reed Tetzloff (USA)

Young American pianist Reed Tetzloff has distinguished himself as one of the brightest stars of a new generation of musicians. He enthralls audiences with his “magical tone” (The Cincinnati Enquirer) and “ebullient” virtuosity (Grammophone Magazine). His rhetorical approach to the music he performs, along with a warmly charismatic stage presence, are trademarks of his communication with an audience.

Reed made his Lincoln Center debut with the Mannes Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall, and his New York solo recital debut at Merkin Hall, both in 2012. He has also performed concerti with the Cincinnati Symphony, the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, the Queens Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Tbilisi Symphony, and the Wayzata Symphony.

At the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition in 2015, Reed Tetzloff’s career was given a major boost after being named one of twelve semi-finalists. His performances were widely acclaimed in Russian media, which dubbed him “the lyric hero of the competition”, and noted by music connoisseurs across the globe. He has also won prizes from competitions such as the American Protege, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, Bradshaw and Buono, Cincinnati World Piano Competition, Cleveland International Piano Competition, Five Towns Music and Art Foundation, Schimmel, and the Tbilisi International Piano Competition. At Mannes College the New School for Music, he won the two largest awards available to pianists: the Concerto Competition and the Nadia Reisenberg Competition. He was honored as a winner of the 2014 CME International Performing Arts Grant, and joined the roster of CME Young Artists.

His 2016-17 season includes a major multi-city tour of Belgium, as well as recitals at The Chopin Foundation of the United States, the Drozdoff Society’s Impromptu Classical Music Series, The Young Musicians’ Forum of Schenectady, and as guest artist for the Minnesota Music Teacher’s Association Annual State Convention. He also looks forward to the release of his debut recording, Sounds of Transcendence, on the Romeo Records label.


 Jiayan Sun (China)

Praised for his “technically flawless, poetically inspired and immenseley assured playing” (Toronto Star), pianist Jiyan Sun performs extensively in North American and China. Born in Yantai, Shadong Province, China, Jiyan studied at the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, then at the Julliard School earning the achievement award in the school’s Pre-College division, Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees. Equally interested in the art of composition, his works have been performed in concerts at Julliard where he was recently accepted as a doctoral candidate.

CME’s grant will allow Jiayan to present a series of lecture concerts with an all C.P.E. Bach program commemorating the 300th Anniversary of C.P.E. Bach’s birth in 2014. His detailed proposal, unquestionable talent and achievements, vision and effort to rejuvenate the interests of musicians and general public for C.P.E. Bach as a man and one of the greatest composers earned strong support from the selection committee.


Jiayan Sun of China, winner of CME Performing Art Grant, Piano

VIJAY VENKATESH cme performing arts grant winner

Vijay Venkatesh (USA)

A native of Orange County, California, pianist Vijay Venkatesh has been hailed in concert review for his “sublime phrasing, tremendous and powerful virtuosity, beautiful lyricism, and mature and sensitive interpretation” in performances “equaling that of Radu Lupu, Itzhak Perlman, and Andres Segovia.” At age 14, he made his orchestral debut with the South Coast Symphony. In addition, he has performed with the Symphony Orchestras of Vienna, Roanoke, Eastern Connecticut, YMF Debut, Pasadena, Rio Hondo, Transylvania, Brevard Festival and the Brevard Music Center. He has collaborated with such celebrated conductors as David Stewart Wiley, Toshiyuki Shimada, Ken Lam, Robert Lehrbaumer, Kimo Furumoto, Vijay enthusiastically shares his love of music as an avid outreach performer and fundraiser. He has performed in a variety of schools throughout California to spread awareness of classical music and raised over $15,000 to benefit school music programs and charities.

Vijay recently won Grand Prize in the 2016 Classics Alive Artists Competition in Los Angeles and has joined the roster of Classics Alive Artists.

Nicholas Young (Australia)

Nicholas Young is emerging as one of Australia’s most versatile young musicians. Currently based in Salzburg, Nicholas is working on the Masters study at the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. A Young Steinway Artist, Nicholas has performed in prominent musical venues including the Sydney Opera House, Mozarteum Weiner Saal and many others. While maintaining an intense study of classical repertory, he has an equally strong interest in promoting the music of today. With his change of base from Australia to Austria, Nicholas looks forward to engaging further with composers and performers in Europe in the discovery, creation and realization of new masterworks.

Nicholas Young will perform in his Australian debut at the Sydney Opera House in February 2017.

Jiayan Sun of China, winner of CME Performing Art Grant, Piano

Stay tuned for more information about 2017!

2015 was for pianists, 2016 for strings! It may be your turn next! Look for the opportunity to share with us your dream projects and goals, and maybe find your name on this page with our past winners!

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