Atlanta Community Symphony Orchestra

Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition

48th Annual Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition

Meet this year’s WINNERS!

Junior Division

Dvorák – Violin Concerto in A Minor Op.53 – 1st Mvmt.

Senior Division

Berwald – Konzertstuck for Bassoon and Orchestra Op. 2

Senior Division

Mozart – Flute Concerto No. 2 in D K.314/285 – 1st Mvmt. Allegro Aperto

Senior Division

Prokofiev – Piano Concerto in C Major Op. 26 – 1st Mvmt. Andante – Allegro

Senior Division

Elgar – Cello Concerto in E Minor Op. 85 – 4th Mvmt.

Congratulations to all of our winners on wonderful performances at our May 19, 2024 concert. You can listen to the performances on our YouTube channel @ATLCommunitySymphonyOrchestra

Winners Concert featuring winners of the 48th Annual Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition and world premiere of “Flores del Alma” by Fernando Cano in honor or longtime musician and librarian of the ACSO, Don Hough.

Flute Concerto No. 2 in D K.314/285 Allegro Aperto – 1st Mvmt. – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) – Grant Peng, flute solo

Violin Concerto in A Minor Op.53 – 1st Mvmt. – Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) – Charlotte Jeong, violin solo

Flores del Alma – Fernando Cano Lopez (b. 1992) – Dedicated to Don Hough. Longtime supporter and librarian of the ACSO

Winners Concert featuring winners of the 48th Annual Ruth Kern Young Artists Concerto Competition.

Konzertstuck for Bassoon and Orchestra Op. 2 – Franz Adolf Berwald (1796 – 1868) – Declan Johnston, bassoon solo

Clarinet Concerto K. 622 – II. Adagio – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) – Charles Carmichael, clarinet solo (Winner 47th RKYACC)

Piano Concerto in C Major Op. 26 – I. Andante – Allegro – Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) – Hailey Culp, piano solo

APPLICATIONS for the 49th Ruth Kern YACC coming in August

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 the 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.

Important Dates

  • Applications Due: January 10, 2025
  • Finalists Announced: January 17, 2025
  • Finalists Live Audition: February 1, 2025
  • Winners Announced: February 14, 2025
  • Winners Concert: May 11, 2025
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Students may compete on any symphonic instrument, piano, guitar, and voice. They will be selected from within one of THREE divisions (determined by applicant age on the date of the concert): Junior, Senior, and Undergraduate/Graduate

  • Junior: 14 years of age and below. Participants must not have reached their 15th birthday by May 11, 2025
  • Senior: 15 to 18 years of age. Participants must not have reached their 19th birthday by May 11, 2025
  • Undergraduate/Graduate: Current Undergraduate or Graduate Student. Must present valid student ID

Previous winners of the ACSO—YACC are not eligible to compete within consecutive years. The competition is open to US citizens, legal US residents and students with an INS visa who are residents of Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, or South Carolina. Applicants must include a signature of endorsement from their private teacher.


Each applicant must be available on Saturday February 1, 2025, Saturday May 10, 2025, and Sunday, May 11, 2025 to enter the competition.


All instrumentalists from each division must select a concert piece or single movement from the standard concerto repertoire or character piece with an orchestral accompaniment. Double and triple concertos are acceptable.

Music choices must be approved by the artistic director and all pieces must have full orchestration with score and parts available through IMSLP for use by the ACSO.

For more Information please contact: