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2015 finalists (L-R) Pianists Isabella Wu and Vivian Wilhelms,
violinist Julian Rhee and harpist Maya Pierick
THE 2015 BOLZ
YOUNG ARTIST COMPETITION & WISCONSIN YOUNG ARTISTS COMPETE: THE FINAL FORTE

2015 RESULTS:
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
Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte, the final round of the Madison Symphony Orchestra's (MSO) Bolz Young Artist Competition, was March 25, 2015, in the Capitol Theater at the Overture Center. The Final Forte 2015 finalists (pictured above) came from young Wisconsin artists who competed in the Bolz Young Artist Competition's two preliminary rounds for a chance to perform a movement from a concerto with the MSO during the Final Forte.

WISCONSIN YOUNG ARTISTS COMPETE: THE FINAL FORTE
Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte is a FREE concert and LIVE broadcasts that Wisconsin Public Television (WPT) and Wisconsin Public Radio produce. They have captured an enormous following and numerous honors, including an Emmy Nomination. The 90-minute WPT program features profiles of each of the finalists.

DON'T MISS A MOMENT!
Tune in to these ENCORE broadcasts if you missed the live March 25 broadcast.
  • Wisconsin Public Television: Sunday, March 29, at 11 a.m.
  • Wisconsin Public Radio: Sunday, March 29, at 12:30 p.m.
  • Milwaukee Public Television: Sunday, March 29, at 2 p.m.

2015 FINALIST BIOGRAPHIES

JULIAN RHEE, VIOLIN-1ST PLACE

See Wisconsin Public Television's video introduction here.
Julian Rhee, age 14, is a freshman at Brookfield East High School. Julian recently was the First Place winner and Grand Prize winner of the 2015 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition; the 2015 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition; the 2015 Milwaukee Youth Senior Symphony Concerto Competition; and the 2015 Concord Orchestra Dorothy J. Oestreich Concerto Competition. Julian was also First Place winner of the 2015 Society of American Musicians (SAM) Competition of Chicago in both Senior and Intermediate Divisions; the First Place winner of the Walgreens National Concerto Competition in the Junior String Division and Overall Junior Division; the First Place winner of the Junior and Senior Divisions of the Sejong Music Competition sponsored by the Korea Times of Chicago; and winner of the Madison Symphony Orchestra’s Fall Youth Concerto Competition in 2011 and 2013.

Julian was one of only three American violinists who represented the United States and advanced to the semifinals of the prestigious 2015 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players as well as being the youngest semifinalist of the 2013 Stradivarius International Violin Competition at age 12. Julian is one of the semifinalists for the 2015 Thomas and Evan Cooper International Competition. He will compete and have an opportunity to perform a complete concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra.

In addition to violin, Julian loves to read, play basketball and is an avid local sports team fan. Julian is currently studying privately with Ms. Hye-Sun Lee at the Music Institute of Chicago.

VIVIAN WILHELMS, PIANO-2ND PLACE

See Wisconsin Public Television's video introduction here.
Vivian Wilhelms, 16, is a sophomore at Waunakee High School. Vivian began playing piano at age four and currently studies with Mr. Bill Lutes. In 2010, she was the winner of the MSO Fall Youth Concerto Competition, and in 2013, she was a winner of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. In 2014, she received first place in the UW Madison School of Music High School Piano Extravaganza Competition and was the runner-up in the WMTA Badger State Competition. This year, she also received an honorable mention in the Lacrosse Rising Star Concerto Competition. Vivian has studied violin with Ms. Janet Chisholm since she was eight years old and has been an active member of WYSO since 2011.

In school, Vivian is a member of the varsity forensics and Science Olympiad teams. She also loves volunteering as a mentor for beginning violinists through Madison’s Music Makers program and frequently visits the Waunakee Manor, a local retirement center. In her free time, Vivian enjoys swimming, writing, listening to music, and hanging out with her friends.

MAYA PIERICK, HARP-HONORABLE MENTION

See Wisconsin Public Television's video introduction here.
Maya Pierick, age 17, is a senior at Madison West High School. Having started early in Suzuki violin, she began playing harp at age eight with Karen Atz. She currently studies with Danis Kelly of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Maya has played harp in the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) from 4th through 11th grade. After playing for 6 years at the Youth level under conductor James Smith, she toured Argentina with WYSO in 2014.

Maya’s realized her love of singing with choir director Heather Thorpe at First Unitarian Society. In high school she has furthered her achievements in voice by successfully auditioning into the Cantabile choir of the Madison Youth Choirs under the direction of Michael Ross, as well as West High School’s Concert Choir under the direction of Anthony Cao – with whom she recently completed a semester as teaching assistant to the Freshman Choir.

In her spare time Maya also enjoys dance, ceramics, circus arts and photography. In college, Maya plans to study Harp Performance and Physics.

ISABELLA WU, PIANO-HONORABLE MENTION

See Wisconsin Public Television's video introduction here.
Isabella Wu, 16, is a sophomore at Madison Memorial High School. She began piano at age 5 with Shu-Ching Chuang. Isabella won the 2010 and 2012 Madison Symphony Orchestra Fall Youth Concerto Competitions, the 2014 Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Youth Artist Competition, the 2014 Chippewa Valley Symphony Kristo Orthodontics Young Artist Competition, and received honorable mention at the 2013 Midwest Young Artists National Walgreens Concerto Competition. She also won the 2009 Wisconsin State Badger Competition and placed runner-up in the 2012 Music Teachers National Association Wisconsin State Competition.

Isabella additionally plays violin and studies with Liz Norton. A member of the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras (WYSO) since 5th grade, she has won the Philharmonia Concerto Competition on violin, the Youth Concerto Competition on piano, and served as concertmaster and principal second.

This year, Isabella is a percussionist in her school’s highest band. Outside of music, she is a Mathcounts coach, Lincoln-Douglas debater, member of Future Business Leaders of America, and writes for the school newspaper. Isabella enjoys art, literature, and philosophy, and can be found wandering through the woods on bike or foot.

HISTORIC COLLABORATION WINS AWARDS
The unique collaboration among the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Public Television is producing award-winning programming! In addition to an Emmy Award nomination, the Final Forte earned First Place in the "Special Interest" category from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in 2007 and was rated the fifth most-watched program in the Feb 2007 Nielsen ratings (the television audience was 63 percent greater than WPT's average audience in the Madison market). The 2008 broadcasts on WPR and WPT reached more than 60,000 viewers in the Madison market alone and there were an estimated 200,000 statewide viewers and listeners for the 2009 broadcasts.

JOHN DEMAIN'S TAKE
"This has been a very auspicious partnership. The quality of the broadcasts and the performances of the finalists are simply spectacular. I think this sends a magnificent message to our community and to the entire state of Wisconsin about the importance and effectiveness of our music education programs. It is an extraordinary opportunity for everyone to feel the commitment and energy of these young performers and to reflect on the central role the arts play in our lives. I look forward to these events with great joy."

TO SUPPORT THIS PROGRAM
Please contact Director of Development Casey Oelkers at (608) 257-3734 or coelkers@madisonsymphony.org.


Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Watch Notes from the Final Forte above. Wisconsin Public Television
evokes the meaning of the Bolz Young Artist Competition
for the artists and the community!
THANK YOU TO OUR PARTNERS
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
FRED AND
MARY MOHS
STEPHEN D.
MORTON
Additional funding
provided by
A. PAUL JONES
CHARITABLE
TRUST
AHMC PROPERTIES
ANNE W. BOLZ
JAMES DAHLBERG AND ELSEBET LUND
W. JEROME FRAUTSCHI
JULIE AND
LARRY MIDTBO
KATO L.
PERLMAN
SENTRY
INSURANCE
FOUNDATION
MARGARET C.
WINSTON
FRIENDS OF WISCONSIN PUBLIC TELEVISION
Special thanks to Farley's House of Pianos for providing the pianos for our Young Artist Competition auditions