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2016 finalists (l-r): Audrianna Wu, Liam Mayo, Tabby Rhee, Robert Rockman

First Place: Robert Rockman, marimba
Second Place: Tabby Rhee, violin
Honorable Mentions: Audrianna Wu, piano and Liam Mayo, piano
Robert Rockman, marimba
Fantasy on Japanese Woodprints, Op. 211 (Alan Hovhaness)
Age: 16
Homeschool – Sun Prairie
Robert Rockman, 16, is a homeschooled junior. His love of percussion instruments began before he could walk and since fifth grade, he has studied percussion at the Terhune Music Studio in Sun Prairie. He is also part of the percussion sections in the Wind Ensemble at Sun Prairie High School and the Winds of Wisconsin. In addition, Robert studies voice and classical guitar and teaches percussion and guitar lessons. He has participated in the state level WSMA solo and ensemble festivals every year since sixth grade and was named one of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s 2015 Stars of Tomorrow. Robert is very involved in theater with First Wing Family Theatre and Sun Prairie Civic Theatre and dances in jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and lyrical styles at Studio 3-D in Deerfield. Robert lives in Sun Prairie with his parents, his younger sister, and his triplet brother and sister. In his spare time, he enjoys racquetball, playing cards and games with his family and friends, and throwing a Frisbee for his dog, Breagh.
Tabby Rhee, violin
Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, Mvt. I (Jean Sibelius)
Age: 17
Brookfield East High School – Brookfield
Tabby Rhee, 17, is a senior at Brookfield East High School and is a Merit Scholarship Recipient of the Music Institute of Chicago. Recently, Tabby was the winner of the 2016 Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) Concerto competition and will be soloing with the orchestra at Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. She has won numerous awards, including: Finalist of the 2015 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition; Menomonee Falls Symphony Young Artist Competition; First place winner of the 2015 Music Teachers National Association State Senior Division; Grand Prize winner of the Satori Music Competition; Quarter-Finalist in the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition; Musichorale Scholarship; Merit Scholarship for the Montecito International Music Festival, Sejong Music award; Waukesha Shining Stars Anita Ransome-Kuchler Scholarship, as well as performing side by side with the Wisconsin Philharmonic Orchestra; and awards in the Society of American Musicians and Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto competitions. Tabby is also dedicated to the viola and studies privately with Roland Vamos. Additionally, she is a concertmaster of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and studies the violin with Hye-Sun Lee at the Music Institute of Chicago.
Audrianna Wu, piano
Piano Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 16, Mvt. III (Edvard Grieg)
Age: 15
James Madison Memorial High School – Madison
Audrianna Wu, 15, is a sophomore at Madison Memorial High School. She began piano at age five with Shu-Ching Chuang. Audrianna is a two-time winner of the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Fall Youth Concerto Competition, has won first place at the Badger State Music Competitions for three straight years, and earned first place at the 2014 Chopin Youth Piano Competition in Milwaukee. Audrianna has played violin in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) since 2010 and went on their 2014 international tour to Argentina. She also won WYSO’s Philharmonia Concerto Competition on the piano in 2013. In addition to piano and violin, she played the flute for three years in her middle school band and keeps it as a hobby today. Outside of music, Audrianna is a Spartan Youth Service board member, a Mathcounts coach, a member of Health Occupations Students of America, and a volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. She also enjoys swimming, playing tennis with friends, and traveling with family.
Liam Mayo, piano
Piano Concerto No. 1, Op. 25, Mvts. I & III (Felix Mendelssohn)
Age: 16
Homeschool – Green Bay
Liam Mayo, 16, is a home schooled student from Green Bay. He studies piano with Professor Anthony Padilla at Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton. Liam has been selected in the Division Finals as an alternate in the Music Teachers National Association Senior Piano Competition and as an honorable mention in the Schubert Club Junior Piano Competition finals. He was also a semifinalist in the International Institute for Young Musicians 2014 International Piano Competition. Most recently, he won third place in the Piano Arts Wisconsin Youth Piano Concerto Competition finals. He also has studied violin with Professor Wen-Lei Gu, also at Lawrence Conservatory, and chamber music with Carol Leybourn at the Lawrence Academy of Music, as both a pianist and a violinist. Besides music, Liam has a passion for writing and acting. His latest roles include the Nutcracker Prince with the Makaroff Youth Ballet, who he is the pianist for, and Dickon in the Calvary Players production of The Secret Garden.
The Bolz Young Artist Competition is a highly regarded statewide competition in which Wisconsin’s young musicians compete for scholarships and the opportunity to perform as soloists with the MSO. The competition is open to Wisconsin residents in grades 9-12 who play violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba, harp, piano, percussion, saxophone, organ, or classical guitar. Previous winners may not compete in consecutive years on the same instrument. Contracted musicians of the MSO are ineligible.
Winners of the Bolz Young Artist Competition are featured as soloists with the MSO during the Spring Young People’s Concert. Each winner also receives a $2000 scholarship and the Marian Bolz Prize for Distinguished Musical Achievement or the Steenbock Youth Music Award. Up to two Honorable Mention scholarships of $1000 may also be awarded.
Julian Rhee, violin-1st Place
Vivian Wilhelms, piano-2nd Place
Maya Pierick, harp-Honorable Mention
Isabella Wu, piano-Honorable Mention
The Bolz Young Artist
Competition is made possible by a generous endowment from
The Eugenie Mayer Bolz
Family Foundation
Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte concert and broadcasts are the result of a historic partnership among
Major funding
provided by
Diane Ballweg
Stephen Morton
Julie and
Larry Midtbo
Fred and
Mary Mohs
Joe and Mary Ellyn Sensenbrenner
Additional funding
provided by
A. Paul Jones
Charitable Trust
Sentry Insurance Company
James Dahlberg and Elsebet Lund
W. Jerome Frautschi
Ann and Roger
Kato Perlman
Margaret C. Winston
Paul Guthrie, in memory of Ella Guthrie
Nick and Judith Topitzes,
in memory of
Kenneth Emmons
Friends of Wisconsin Public Television
Special thanks to Farley's House of Pianos for providing the pianos for our Young Artist Competition auditions