Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra

Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition

47th Annual Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition Winners Concert
Sunday, May 21, 2023 at 4:00pm
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Congratulations to this year’s winners!

Charles Carmichael, Clarinet
Mozart Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622, Mvt. 2

Charles Carmichael is a thirteen-year-old clarinetist from Smyrna, GA. An eighth grader at Whitefield Academy, Charles is a second-year member of Whitefield Academy’s award winning Marching Band and woodwind ensemble where Stacy Quiros is his band director. While Charles’s primary instrument is the clarinet, he also plays the saxophone and bass clarinet. This year, Charles was selected to perform in the GMEA All-State band in Athens, GA as the sixth chair clarinetist. Charles is a member of the orchestra and youth choir at Smyrna First United Methodist Church. In addition to his musical commitments, he plays tennis for the middle school and JV tennis teams and is the Vice President of Student Government at Whitefield. Charles began his musical study under Bryant Laursen for 3 years and is currently a student of Barbaraann Bongiovanni. 

Kate “Sunny” Kim, Violin
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, Mvt. 1

Kate Kim is a sixteen-year-old junior from Walton High School in Marietta, Georgia, U.S.A. She began playing violin when she was eight years old. Kate has participated in the Georgia Music Educators’ Association Allstate Orchestra and the Emory Youth Chamber Program since 2017. Her chamber group won the grand prize at Franklin Pond Chamber Music Competition in 2018. Kate was named the concert recitalist in the Georgia Music Teacher Association in 2020. She won the 3rd prize in the International Music Competition: Best Wieniawski Performance in 2020.

Kate has held a steady position in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2020. Recently, in the summer of 2022, Kate was selected as a violinist in a National Youth Orchestra ensemble (NYO2) and the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program, as well as 2nd place in the Korean American Scholarship Foundation’s Violin and Viola Concerto Competition and the Atlanta Music Club’s Scholarship Competition, and will be a future member of the Bowdoin International Summer Festival. Currently, Kate is studying violin under the world-renowned violinist Nadir Khashimov.

Jiayi Lu, Cello
Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op. 85, Mvt. 1

Jiayi Lu, 17, started playing piano at the age of 4 and later started playing cello at the age of 11. She currently studies cello with Wendy Warner, a professor at Columbus State University, and Hu Bo, the principal cellist of the Beijing Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a member of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra. She participated in the Boulder Cello Festival and the 2022 Cello Akademie Rutesheim in Germany under the masterclass instruction of Professor Claudio Bohorquez,and will be participating in the Verbier Festival summer of 2023. She is a junior at Northview High School and enjoys art history, chemistry, and playing chamber music with her friends. She is playing on a cello made by her teacher Hu Bo.

Aidan Pabis, Piano
Ravel Piano Concerto in G Major, Mvt. 1

Aidan Pabis is a 16-year-old pianist from Winder, Georgia. He has won first prizes at the 47th Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition, the Atlanta Music Club Scholarship Competition, and the 2019 Atlanta Romantic and Impressionistic Piano Competition. In 2020 and 2021, he placed 2nd in the Georgia Music Teachers Association State Auditions. He also won a bronze medal in the Southeast Young Artist Piano Competition in 2021.

He has participated in several music programs, including the Suwanee Summer Music Festival, Indiana University’s Virtual Summer Piano Academy, the Curtis Mentor Network, the Gilmore KeysFest Virtual Edition, Interlochen Online, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Summer Sonata.

Currently he is studying piano performance with Chenny Gan and Giuliano Graniti.

Albert Zhang, Piano
Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, Mvt. 1

Albert Zhang, aged 16, is a sophomore at Innovation Academy. He began learning piano in 2nd grade and is a student of Keli Xu. He has competed and won several piano competitions. In the George Music Teachers Association All-State competition, he won 2nd place in 2017, honorable mention in 2018 ,award of excellence in 2019, and 1st place in 2021. He earned honorable mention in the Music Teachers National Association senior division competition in 2022. From 2015 to 2022, he was rated superior by North Fulton Music Teachers Association in the Fall Festival competition. He has also competed in the North Dekalb Music Teachers Association Bach Competition and won 3rd place in prelude and fugue. Albert has successfully passed the Level 10 Piano exam with first class honors by the Royal Conservatory Development Program in 2020.

Besides playing the piano individually, Albert enjoys rehearsing with other musicians. In 9th grade, he played with the Emory Youth Symphony Orchestra. He is currently playing in a trio as part of the Emory Youth Chamber Program. Albert was a winner in the 45th Annual Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition, in which he played a Beethoven concerto with the ACSO. Albert is excited to play with the ACSO again.

Beyond competitions and music programs, Albert enjoys painting, basketball, and volunteering. He taught young children the piano and played in senior living centers. He hopes to share his love for the piano and music with others.

Ruth Kern was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, attended the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and moved to Atlanta just after graduation. She always said she was looking for a place that had the potential for growth.   As a music educator in the Atlanta Public School System for 32 years, Ruth touched the lives of hundreds of young people, many of whom became musicians themselves, performing with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Atlanta Community Orchestra.  She became a member of the Atlanta Music Club (AMC) and along with Ruth Dabney Allen and Senta Hutcheson, organized the Atlanta Community Orchestra, now the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra.  This was the second orchestra founded by the AMC, the first being the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Ruth Kern was one of the most dedicated musicians of Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra, playing in the viola section well into her eighties, at which time she returned to her native Ohio.  She left us with an indelible impression of how things should be in a community orchestra and was adamant about performing free concerts for the public.  She was an exemplar of the love of music and how music can influence and shape youth in so many positive ways.  It is because of her professionalism, faithfulness, and devotion to Greater Atlanta, this community orchestra, and her love for young people, that this concert series was named in her honor. Every year, winners are given the opportunity to perform as solo artists with the Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra.

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