The students of the music institute are distinguished by autumn competitions

The Chicago Academy’s Music Institute for Gifted Pianists and Strings and Community Music School students started the school year with several notable achievements in virtual competition.

The academy’s students won the Lisker Music Foundation 2020 scholarship competition for young artists. Each winner received a scholarship and the opportunity to take part in the LMF series:

• Violin: Abigail Park, 16, Flossmoor

• Piano: Zachary Guo, 14, Deerfield

• Cello: Jan Nedvetsky, 14, Wilmette

In the 2020-21 Music Teachers National Association state competitions, Illinois winners included the following students who qualify for the East Central Division competition (* indicates academy):

Older strings

• First place: Isabella Brown *, violin, 18, Gurnee

• Alternative: Esme Arias-Kim *, violin, 15, Hoffman Estates

• Honorable Mention: Sidney Lee *, viola, 16, Arlington Heights

• Honorable Mention: Mia Wimbiscus *, cello, 17, Wilmette

• Katya Moeller *, violin, 16, Coralville, Iowa, took first place in the Iowa State Competition.

Senior piano

• First place: Ashley Kim *, 17, Wilmette

• Honorable Mention: Kimiko Darcy *, 15, Chicago

• Honorable Mention: Harry Zhang, 16, Highland Park

Junior piano

• Alternative: Matthew Hahn, 13, Lake Forest

• Honorable Mention: Zachary Guo *, 14, Deerfield

Junior composition

• Tsarina Mehta, 13, Chicago

In the Illinois State Music Teachers Association (North) piano competition, students from the Music Institute were placed in each department (* denotes the academy):

Primary Piano Solo Division: Grade 1-3

• First: Helena Sprajcer, 9, Wheeling

Elementary Piano Solo Division: Grades 4-6

• Runner-up (tie): Emily Hu, 11, Kenilworth

• Honorable Mention: Eric Wang, 10, Wilmette

Junior Piano Solo Division: Grade 7-9

• Second: Shixun Song, 13, Buffalo Grove

• Third: Zachary Guo *, 14, Deerfield

• Honorable Mention: Matthew Hahn, 13, Lake Forest

Senior Piano Solo Division: Grade 10-12

• First: Harry Zhang, 16, Highland Park

• Second: Kimiko Darcy, 15, Chicago

• Third: Daniel Mies Nass, 17, Glenview

• Honorable Mention: Madeline Hammett, 15, Winnetka

The following students from the Music Institute were placed in the regional segment of the Steinway Virtual Piano Competition in Chicago (* denotes the academy):

First League

• First: Karnik Prasad, 9, Lake Bluff

• Second: Eric Wang, 10, Wilmette

Department II

• Third: Micah Chan, 12, Skokie

Department III

• First: Zachary Guo *, 14, Deerfield

Department IV

• First: Harry Zhang, 16, Highland Park

• Third: Alexis Boe, 17, Winnetka

The Great Composers Competition is a series of international music competitions for young instrumentalists, singers and chamber groups. The organizers announce the winners every year on the composer’s birthdays.

The oboist Zachary Allen (16, Skokie) won first prize in his age group in the Best Saint-Saëns Performance category of the International Competition for Great Composers.

At the 2020 Sejong Virtual Music Competition, students from the Academy and Community Music School represented the Music Institute admirably (* indicates Academy):

Violin Senior Division

• First: Esme Arias-Kim *, 15, Hoffman Estates

• Second, Abigail Park *, 16, Northbrook

• Finalist: Sonya Jones *, 16, Chicago; and Kelly Kim *, 16, Northbrook

Violin Junior Division

• Honorable Mention: Lauren Kim, 12, Hoffman Estates

• Finalist: Aiden Yu, 11, Chicago

Elementary school for violin

• Third: Xiruo Wang, 8, Chicago

• Honorable Mention: Claire Moon, 10, Palatine

• Finalist: Sylvia Pine, 9, Chicago

Piano Senior Division

• First place and best interpretation of the Korean piece: Noah Kim, 14, Indian Creek

• Honorable Mention: Zachary Guo *, 14, Deerfield

• Finalist: Elliot Kim, 14, Westmont; and Tyler Wang, 15, Wilmette

Piano Junior Division

• First: Matthew Hahn, 13, Lake Forest

• Second place and best interpretation of the Korean piece: Shixun Song, 13, Buffalo Grove

• Finalist and best interpretation of the Korean piece: Jayden Kim, 13, Chicago

Piano Elementary Division

• Finalist: Alina Liu, 10, Winnetka; Helena Sprajcer, 9, Wheeling; and Eric Wang, 10, Wilmette

The Academy of the Chicago Music Institute, under the direction of Director James Setapen, is a nationally recognized pre-college training center for gifted pianists and string players, providing comprehensive music education for students who wish to become professional musicians. Faculty, staff, and students come together for an intense 30-week program that includes private tuition at the academy’s artist faculty, a rigorous chamber music component, a stimulating chamber orchestra experience, and accelerated music theory lessons.

The 2020-21 academy’s list includes 33 students from Illinois and other Midwestern states. This corresponds to an increase of 32 percent over the previous year, selected from the highest number of auditioning students in the last five years.

This fall’s program includes distance and in-person tuition, as well as classes and tuition at the Community Music School.

Founded in 1931, the Music Institute of Chicago leads people to a lifelong commitment to music by providing universally accessible resources for high quality music teaching, performing, and service activities, and by harnessing the power of music to educate, inspire, and bring comfort to those Communities it serves.