Emerging Professionals: Pianos, strings compete for title

The Olympus Piano Trio and the Rolston String Quartet will perform to determine the 31st annual Competition for Emerging Professionals title.

The competition, sponsored by Chamber Music in Yellow Springs, will be 7:30 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church.

It’s always a fitting way to mark the end of a Chamber season and as an estimated 12-18 contestants from across the country apply each year. The groups must have an average age of no older than 30 and members must be 35 or younger.

“We are different from other competitions because we do not require set pieces to be played but rather ask applicants to decide what they will perform,” said Chuck Taylor, competition co-chairman. “We also emphasize the quality of a concert before an audience rather than an Olympian best performance of a designated piece.”

The Rolston String Quartet is from Houston’s Rice University, where they are the graduate-quartet-in-residence at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, and features Jeff Dyrda and Luri Lee on violin, Jonathan Lo on cello and Hezekiah Leung, viola.

The Olympus Trio’s musicians are based in New York City and made up of Regi Papa on violin, Ben Capps on cello and Konstantine Valianatos on piano


Professional judges for the Competition are Stephen Shipps, professor of Violin at University of Michigan, Mari Sato of the Cavani Quartet/Cleveland Institute of Music and Eric Charnofsky, pianist and composer, Case Western Reserve University.

It’s not over after the competition, said Angela Bringlinger, Chamber Music in Yellow Springs publicity chairwoman.

“Our judges consider musical selection, program notes, presentation, professionalism and they often have conversations with the groups afterward to give them feedback and help coach and mentor them further,” she said. “One of the results of this is that both sets of finalists usually leave Yellow Springs having had a positive experience.

“For the Miami Valley, the competition is a real highlight of the musical year, and we are looking forward to another stellar concert on April 24,” she said.

The evening will start at 6:45 p.m. with a pre-concert lecture by Chuck Larkowski.

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Contact this contributing writer at bturner004@woh.rr.com.