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2017 Young Artists Debut Application - Deadline 11/30/2016!

Are you (or do you know) a classical musician age 10 to 21?

MetroArts Inc. is holding the 23rd annual Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Competition & Concerto Concert to promote the performance of classical music by young people in our region.

Today through November 30, 2016, we are asking young classical instrumentalists and vocalists to enter our contest. All entrants will be notified if they will progress to the live audition round by December 14, 2016. Winners will be coached January - May by MetroArts Inc.’s Executive Artistic Director, Niel DePonte, who is also the Conductor for the Oregon Ballet Theater.   Following intensive coaching, winners will perform at a gala concert at the Lincoln Performance Hall at Portland State University on May 9, 2017.

Application Process:
–Email lyndsey@metroartsinc.org to notify of your intent to apply.
–Access, complete, sign, and submit the fillable application online here.
–Make a quality ten-minute AUDIO ONLY recording of a solo classical performance (or solo plus piano accompaniment) with no breaks or edits. Pianists: please do NOT use an accompanying piano reduction of the orchestra parts on this recording.
–Upload application recording (audio only) to YouTube and include an anonymized link to the URL in body of an email to Lyndsey@metroartsinc.org along with your required biography.
–Pay the $30 application fee via PayPal here.

Selection Process:
Applications are collected by MetroArt Inc.'s Administrative Staff who are not involved in the selection process. Applications are then anonymized to be presented for judging. The selection committee does not know age, gender, or teacher of applicants and bases selection for the live audition round purely on an artist's skill.

For those selected for the live audition round, to be held Saturday, January 7, 2017, artists are required to record his or her audition.  Be prepared to bring a small recorder or video camera.  This is mandatory.  Why?  This is an educational competition.  Please bring the recording to your teacher(s) after the competition over for review. 

Click here for answers to Frequently Asked Questions. If you are still have questions, please contact Lyndsey Bates, Administrative Assitant, at Lyndsey@metroartsinc.org or call (503) 245-4885.

The 2016 Winners Were..

The 22nd Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Competition & Concerto Concert winners made their debut on Friday, April 1st, at 7:30 PM at Lincoln Hall at Portland State University.

The nine soloists, ages 9-21, were selected from 34 semi-finalists at auditions held on January 9th at Lewis & Clark College. Winners performed with Niel DePonte, Executive Artistic Director for MetroArts Inc. and an orchestra drawn from the ranks of the Oregon Symphony and Oregon Ballet Theatre orchestras. The concert was broadcast live on All Classical Portland 89.9 FM. and streamed worldwide.

"This is a very special class chosen not only for their current level of artistry but also because our younger soloists show a musical gift that offers the promise of an amazing future in music for them," said DePonte, who also serves as the Music Director and Conductor for Oregon Ballet Theater. DePonte is also a Grammy Award nominated soloist.

Carlyle Cooney, age 15
Mezzo Soprano, Portland
Student of Lorraine Nubar, two-time Young Artists Debut! Competition & Concerto Concert winner.
Song selection to be determined.


Saori Erickson, age 21
Soprano, Portland
Junior at Portland State University, student of Pamela South.
Song selection to be determined.


Hanami Froom, age 9
Violin, Portland
4th grader at Oregon Virtual Academy, student of Carol Sindell. Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Movement 3.
Click here to view audition.

Aveek Ganguly, age 16
Piano, Portland
Sophomore at Westview High School, student of Mark Westcott, two-time Young Artists Debut! Competition & Concerto Concert winner.
St Saens 2nd Piano Concerto, 3rd movement.

Symphony Koss, age 14
Violin, Vancouver, WA, Freshman at Columbia River High School, student of Kathryn Gray.
Barber Violin Concerto, Movement 1.


Richard Lu, age 17
Cello, Camas, WA
Senior at Skyview High School, student of Marilyn de Oliveira.
Elgar Cello Concerto, Movement 4


Aaron Petit, age 18
Piano, Beaverton
Student of Mark Westcott. Chopin Piano Concerto No.1 E min, Movement 1.

Christine Wey, age 18,
Piano, Vancouver, WA
Senior at Union High School, student of Elizabeth Stern.
Beethoven 3rd Piano Concerto, Movement

Samuel Zacharia, age 16, Viola, Portland
Homeschooled Junior, student of Brian Quincy.
Stamitz Viola Concerto in D Major.

Each young artist will performed their concerto at the April 1st concert, and participated in three months of individualized coaching sessions with DePonte. At these sessions, winners not only discussed the interpretation of their concertos, but also how to solo with an orchestra, ways to approach repertoire, and what it takes to be a professional musician.

"These are incredibly talented young people. My goal is to challenge them to move towards even higher levels of performance and interpretive depth over three months," said DePonte. "Working with these kids is the most rewarding work I do every year."


Past Young Artists Debut! Winners

Some noteworthy former Young Artists Debut! Competition & Concerto Concert winners include former Miss America and vocalist Katie Harman, Principal Bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Keith Bunke, 2009, pianist and winner of Germany's prestigious ARD Competition Ben Kim, 2001, and violinist, and currently concertmaster at La Scala Opera House in Milan, Italy, Laura Marzadori, 2005.


Our sincerest gratitude to:
The Brookby Foundation
John Van Buren
Regional Arts and Culture Council

If you would like to support this effort, please donate to MetroArts Inc. today by clicking here.