As we have done each winter for more than twenty years, the Nashville Symphony hosted our annual Curb Concerto Competition for students ages 14-18 last month.
The first round of the competition took place on Saturday, Februrary 23 before a panel of Nashville Symphony musicians who selected three finalists. These three young soloists then proceeded to the finals round which was adjudicated by a different panel that took place the following afternoon, February 24. This year’s winner will perform with the Nashville Symphony at the annual Side By Side Concert with Curb Youth Symphony on May 7. The 2019 Side By Side Concert will be conducted by Nashville Symphony Assistant Conductor Enrico Lopez-Yańez.
Nineteen superlative young musicians from across Tennessee and beyond competed in this year’s competition: 6 flute players, 4 violinists, 3 pianists, 2 clarinetists, 2 saxophonists, and one student each on cello and bassoon. Both rounds took place on the stage of Laura Turner Hall at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
This year’s finalists are:
- Grand Prize: Luke Turner, piano
- 1st Runner-up: Jocelyn Hartley, cello
- 2nd Runner-up: Jaime Kim, flute
Pianist Luke Turner, a 9th grade homeschool student from Birmingham, Alabama, earned Grand Prize honors for his performance of the first movement from the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. Luke is a student of Heather Conner at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.
Luke, who tied horn player Shawn Zheng for third runner-up in last year’s Curb Concerto Competition, is a Myra Jackson Scholar at Blair School of Music. He won the Curb Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition last October and has also won the numerous state and regional competitions in both Tennessee and Alabama, as well as the Lois Pickard Concerto Competition in January of 2017.
He is also a cellist and as such has performed solo cello concerto performances with the Tuscaloosa Youth Orchestra.
As the 2019 Curb Concerto Competition Grand Prize winner, Luke will receive $2,500 and two full subscriptions to Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series. He will also perform his winning selection at the Nashville Symphony’s annual Side-by-Side Concert with the Curb Youth Symphony on May 7 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
First runner-up was awarded to cellist Jocelyn Hartley, a 12thgrade homeschool student from Nashville, who performed the first movement of the Symphony-Concerto in E minor, Op. 125 by Sergei Prokofiev. She is a student of Felix Wang at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music.
Jocelyn is a veteran of past Curb Concerto Competitions, and won the Grand Prize in 2016.
Jocelyn will receive $1,000 and two partial subscriptions to the Aegis Sciences Classical Series.
Second runner-up was awarded to flutist Jaime Kim, who performed the first movement of the Flute Concerto by Jacques Ibert. Jaime is an 11thgrader at Houston High School in Germantown, and studies flute with Myung Kim.
She will receive $500 and a pair of Nashville Symphony concert tickets.
The annual Curb Concerto Competition is a key component of the Nashville Symphony’s mission to promote and support young musicians statewide. As many of the musicians on the adjudication panels expressed to me, this year’s contestants exhibited an impressively high standard of dedication and excellence in their performances. It was genuinely thrilling to be present to witness all of this outstanding music-making.
On behalf of Nashville Symphony EDCE staff, volunteers, and adjudicators ~ thank you to everyone who participated!
* * *
Curb Concerto Competition Finalists 2019