Each April the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra holds its Young Artist Concerto Competition. This year, it was held April 12 at RiverWoods in Exeter, to a full audience of residents of the independent retirement community.
The competition, which is open to high schoolers performing on orchestral Instruments (no piano), who live within New Hampshire or the Seacoast region of Maine and Massachusetts, revealed two semi finalists: Stacie Lin of Bedford High School, and Jill Chen of St. Paul's School, Concord.
The winner was Stacie Lin. She will be performing the first movement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto with the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra on June 8 at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.
The judges were Alexander Romanul (violin), Arlene Kies (piano) and Jennifer Larson (horn). The entire competition is conceived, organized and executed by Dorothy Braker, principal cellist and Outreach Coordinator for the PSO.
Lin, a sophomore at Bedford High School, began studying the violin when she was 3 and a half. She has played in the New Hampshire Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra as Principle Second Violinist and played in the NH Youth Symphony Orchestra for two years. Stacie is currently a first violinist of the NH Philharmonic. She won first place in her instrument at the 2009 Taiwan Music Competition when she was in fifth grade.
Lin says, “A highlight of the competition was being able to play for the senior residents at Riverwoods. Throughout the competition, their words of encouragement eased the mood and helped me focus on my performance. I truly enjoyed playing for them and I’m glad they enjoyed it, too.
Throughout the past year, Lin has performed as soloist at a TEDxAmoskeagMillyard event, with the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, with the UMass Lowell Concert for Hope Orchestra, and at her private violin recital. In addition, she has also been invited to play at the Currier Museum of Art, the Zimmerman House designed by renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, churches, weddings, and other ceremonies. Not only does she play the violin as a soloist, Stacie is a member of the Harmonious Quartet as well. The quartet has participated in the annual Skidmore College String Festival for the past two years, where they received coaching from the American String Quartet, the Ying Quartet, and performed at the Arthur Zankel Music Center. Stacie currently studies under Elliott Markow at the Manchester community Music School. She has also studied with Sally Thomas, professor at the Julliard School, when she attended the Meadowmount School of Music.
Lin is very accomplished for a sophomore in high school, but she was able to pinpoint which highlight she was most pleased with. “I am most proud of my solo performance with the Concert for Hope Orchestra in June 2013, because it was not only a fantastic experience, but the concert had a significant purpose. The event was a charity concert that benefited chronically and critically ill children under the care of Massachusetts General Hospital. Through this event, I realize that music is both a great art and also an influential power that can reach out to others.”
Founded in 1997, the Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra is comprised of more than 65 local professionals, educators, dedicated amateurs and advanced students drawing audiences and members along the Seacoast from Newburyport to York and west to Bedford. The Orchestra presents four main concerts each season at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH, along with numerous chamber music and school concerts throughout the year.For information about the June 8 Portsmouth Symphony Orchestra concert which Lin will perform in, visit http://www.portsmouthsymphony.org/season/. Find the PSO on Facebook and Twitter as well.