March 24, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Stern
Two Homewood Johns Hopkins University students, pianist Mengyu Lan and cellist Philip Wolf, have won the 2009 Johns Hopkins Concerto Competition.
Their prize is a performance with the Hopkins Symphony Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, April 4, at 8 p.m. in the SDS Room, Mattin Center, on the Johns Hopkins Homewood campus at the corner of N. Charles and 33rd Streets in Baltimore. Lan will play the first movement of Frederic Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 11. Wolf will play Camille Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, Opus 33. Vladimir Lande will conduct.
The Johns Hopkins Concerto Competition was created by 2008 alumnus Hernan del Aguila, who wanted to give Johns Hopkins Homewood campus students a chance “to further their musical studies, gain experience in auditioning for professional musicians and receive public recognition for their work.” The competition is open to undergraduate and graduate students who are not pursuing degrees in music.
The winners were chosen from an original field of nine contestants, based on an application and audition. The judges were Hopkins Symphony Orchestra music director Jed Gaylin, HSO chamber conductor Lande, and former Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Director of Artists and Special Projects Miryam Yardumian.
Lan, a graduate student in the Department of Civil Engineering in the Whiting School of Engineering, comes from Chongqing, China. He began studying piano at age 5 with professors from the Sichuan Conservatory of Music, and later studied with such world-renowned professors as Zhaoyi Dan and Daxin Zheng. In 1992, he became the youngest pianist ever to achieve the second-highest national level of piano performance in China. In 2000, he was awarded first prize in a province-wide piano competition and was declared the national winner at Tsinghua University Art Camp. He has given solo recitals at Zhongshan Park Hall, Beijing Jinfan Hall, and Tsinghua University. At Johns Hopkins, he has performed with the Hopkins Symphony Chamber Orchestra. He studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Corey McVicar.
Wolf, a sophomore majoring in mathematics and economics, grew up in Belmont, Mass., and graduated from Belmont High School. He began playing cello in first grade. His early teachers were Barbara Pashke and, at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, Laura Blustein. During seven years playing in the Boston Youth Symphony, he was one of 10 student musicians chosen to take part in a cultural exchange in Laikipia, Kenya. A documentary film made about this project won an honorable mention at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. During the summer of 2007, he participated in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. He now plays in the Hopkins Symphony Orchestra and has taught cello to children in the Margaret Brent Elementary School Music Program. He has organized and played in chamber music ensembles in collaboration with Michael Kannen, director of chamber music at the Peabody Conservatory. He studies at Peabody with Daniel Levitov.
Chairing the 2009 competition is junior Larissa Woskob, from State College, Pa. She is a behavioral biology major and a bioethics minor, a member of the Woodrow Wilson Debate Council, and president of the Bioethics Society. Since her freshman year, she has been a pianist with the Hopkins Symphony and Chamber Orchestras. She studies at the Peabody Conservatory with Corey McVicar.
Tickets for the April 4 concert are free for Johns Hopkins students; $6 for non-Johns Hopkins students, seniors (age 60+), and Johns Hopkins staff, faculty, and alumni; and $8 general admission.
For information about the competition winners, the April 4 performance, and all Hopkins Symphony programs, call 410-516-6542, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.jhu.edu/jhso. High-resolution digital photos are available upon request to email@example.com.