Jessica Hong

Member Since June 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Jessica Hong, 20, is currently a third year undergraduate cellist at the Juilliard School. Jessica has won numerous awards and competitions, playing with orchestras such as the Summit Symphony Orchestra, Livingston Symphony Orchestra, and the Bravura Philharmonic. Jessica was also recognized as a winner by the National Young Arts Association.  In 2011, Jessica participated in the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musician. She also attended many summer music festivals such as Meadowmount School of Music, Orford International Academy, and Great Mountains Music Festival and School. Jessica has played for artists such as Laurence Lesser, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Myung-Wha Chung, Lluis Claret, Frans Helmerson. Jian Wang, and Philippe Muller.  For the past two summers, Jessica attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. She had participated in the String Quartet Seminar under the guidance of the Takács Quartet, and this past summer, she was the recipient of the 2018 Ann and Dick Zylstra Full Scholarship in Cello. Jessica also had the honor of playing principal of the Academy’s orchestra under the baton of Maestro Gustavo Dudamel. In her free time, Jessica is involved with mentoring young students and other outreach activities.  Jessica has been a student at the Juilliard Pre-College Division, studying under Clara Minhye Kim, and is currently studying with Mr. Joel Krosnick in the college division.  

Lucas Amory

Member Since Fall 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Lucas Amory started playing the piano at 4.  A music-lover from an early age, the 8-year-old Lucas was published in the New York Times when he sent Anthony Tommasini his personal lists of the ten greatest composers and his ten favorite ones.  At 12, Lucas was featured in an outreach concert in Alice Tully Hall by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with Bruce Adolphe, where he appeared as a young pianist who has a dream about Maurice Ravel.  The 12-year-old Lucas was also a prizewinner in the Stony Brook International Piano Festival Competition.  This year, he was a prize-winner in the 92nd St Y Young Artists Piano Competition, and was presented in recital at the Y as a result.  Lucas attended the Kaufman Center's Special Music School from age 5 to age 11, where he studied piano with Irina Morozova and Igal Kesselman.  Now a freshman at Stuyvesant High School, Lucas is also enrolled at Juilliard's Pre-College program, where he is a student of Julian Martin. When not playing the piano, Lucas is fond of baseball, Super Smash Bros, and complaining about his biology class on Facebook. Lucas joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the fall of 2017.

Ayoun Kim

Member Since Fall 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Ayoun “Alexandra” Kim began her study of cello at age six in South Korea. Ayoun moved to Illinois during the Summer of 2012 and continued to study the cello with Hans Jørgan Jensen. In Illinois, Ayoun has performed in venues such as Nichols Concert Hall, North Shore Center For The Performing Arts, Bennett Gordon Hall, Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Paul Hall, Morse Hall, and Wilson Theater. Ayoun has performed for Clive Greensmith, Timothy Eddy, Steven Doane, Myung-Wha Chung, and Frans Helmerson.  As a chamber musician, she has placed as a semifinalist in the Junior division of the Fischoff Competition. Ayoun was a member of the Iris Piano Trio, who was selected to perform for cellist Yo-yo Ma in a masterclass. Iris was the grand prize winner of The Barnett National Chamber Music Competition. At the Juilliard School, her groups were coached by Natasha Brofsky, Roger Tapping, and Joseph Lin. 
Ayoun has attended Summer festivals such as Great Mountains Music Festival, Sarasota Music Festival, and Kneisel Hall Chamber Music and School. In the Summer of 2018, she returned to Kneisel Hall for her second Summer.  Ayoun is studying at the Juilliard School for the third year of her undergraduate studies with Natasha Brofsky as a recipient of the Jerome L. Greene Fellowship.

Michael Vascones

Member Since Fall 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Michael Vascones, age 19, was born in Queens, New York.  Michael began playing guitar at the age of twelve, inspired by watching his father play at home.  At fourteen, he was admitted to the Juilliard Music Advancement Program where he studied classical guitar with Bokyung Byun for two years.  After that Michael spent two years studying at Manhattan School of Music Precollege with Mark Delpriora, where he was a recipient of the Dianne Danese Flagello Scholarship. Michael has attended many summer music festivals including the Aspen Summer Music Festival and School where he studied with Sharon Isbin, Music Horizons at the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Petar Kodzas, and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival where he studied with Pepe Romero and Bruce Holzman.  Michael has won first prize in competitions such as the National High School Classical Guitar Competition at the Long Island Guitar Festival (2015), the Southern Guitar Festival and Competition: Division II (2016), and the Domaine Forget International Music Festival Youth Competition (2016). Michael was also a finalist in the prestigious Guitar Foundation of America International Youth Competition, Senior Division (2016). Michael began his undergraduate studies at the Juilliard School in the fall of 2016.  

Naoko Nakajima

Member Since Fall 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Naoko started playing the violin at age three. She won a special prize at the 61st All
Japan Students Music Competition at age 10. After she moved to the United States, she entered the Juilliard School pre-college Division in 2010 and started studying with Masao Kawasaki. Naoko was the winner of LISMA International Music Competition and the 15th New York Music Competition and the semi-finalist at Cooper International Competition. As an active, passionate chamber musician and a soloist, she has been performed in many places, including Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall. She has been invited to the Aspen Music Festival and School for 5 years with fellowship and scholarships and this past summer, she was a concert mistress at the Pacific Music Festival.  

Kevin Won

Member Since Fall 2017

New York City, Lower Region

Kevin Won, a cellist and senior at The Dalton School, studies with Minhye Clara Kim at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division. Kevin was named a 2019 National YoungArts Foundation Honorable Mention winner and 2018 Merit winner in Classical Music. He received first prize awards from the American Music Teacher’s League Scholarship Award Audition and American Protege Competition, and won the James Rotundo Palisades Park Mayor Award in the National Artists Competition. Kevin is also a prize
winner at the New York Artists International Competition, New York Music Competition by YWCA, International Virtuoso Competition, International Grande Music Competition, Camerata Artists International Competition and North International Competition. Kevin has performed at venues such as Steinway Hall, Yale Club, Morse Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater and Bruno Walter Auditorium in Lincoln Center, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Music Center, Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall. During his summers, he has attended Meadowmount School of Music, Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute, and the Great Mountains Music Festival and School in Pyeongchang, South Korea. As the director of “Salut de la Musique”, a community service program based in New York City, Kevin organizes programs, gathers players, and performs every month at Mount SinaiRoosevelt Hospital. Kevin has been a member of the Heartstrings Cello
Ensemble since September 2015.

Leah Amory

Member Since December 2017

New York City, Lower Region

13-year-old Leah Amory was born into a family of musicians and started playing the
violin when she was 3. She attended the Special Music School in New York City, where she studied with Viktor Basis. Now a student at the Booker T Washington Middle School, she studies at the Juilliard School's Pre-College Division with Catherine Cho. Leah loves playing chamber music and has performed trios, quartets and quintets at the Kinhaven Music School and Greenwood Music Camp in the summertime. Leah joined the "Back to BACH" Project in the winter of 2017-18.

Hannah Kim

Member Since January 2016

New York City, Lower Region

Hannah made her debut with CPYO at the age of 15, seven years after beginning her cello studies, performing Elgar’s Cello Concerto in 2014. Since the start of her cello adventure, she placed first in the American Fine Arts Festival International Competition, and placed second in the Korea Times Music Competition. Hannah has been studying cello with Kyeong Hwa Kim for last six years. In 2013, she helped raise over $10,000 for the benefit of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Her chamber group won second place in the US Open Chamber competition as well as in the Santa Cruz Baroque competition. While studying at Crowden School in Berkeley, she enjoyed rich, musical environment that included participating in performances ranging from O Fortuna with San Francisco Symphony Chorus at Davis Hall to classic renditions of jazz favorites at Yoshi’s Oakland. Hannah was the principal cellist of her Henry Gunn HS orchestra. She attended Montecito International Music Festival in 2014, and in 2015 co-soloed Vivaldi’s Double Cello Concerto with MIMF’s orchestra. Hannah was part of CPYO’s Spain Tour (Barcelona, Madrid, and Zaragoza), Asian Tour (Beijing and Seoul) in 2013, and European Tour (Salzburg, Vienna, and Prague) in 2011. Hannah joined the "Back to BACH" Project in January 2016. She joined the Lower NYC team in fall 2018.

Victoria Chung

Member Since March 2019

New York City, Lower Region

Oboist Victoria Chung completed her Bachelor of Music degree and continuing to pursue Masters of Music degree at the Juilliard School, studying with Nathan Hughes. She receives additional instruction from Elaine Douvas, Linda Strommen and Scott Hostetler. During summers Ms. Chung has worked with the members of Berlin Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. She is a veteran of the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Sarasota Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute and Interlochen Arts Camp. In 2016, Ms. Chung won the Livingston Symphony Orchestra’s Young Artists Concerto Competition in Livingston, NJ, with her performance of Mozart ‘Concerto in C major.’ 
Born in New Jersey and raised in Seoul, South Korea, Victoria started playing oboe at age 12. She attended the prestigious institution for the young artists, Yewon School and won several national competitions. Her first solo debut at the age of 13, playing J. Hummel’s ‘Introduction, Theme & Variations’ was with the Hakook Symphony Orchestra. Following her successful debut in Seoul, Ms. Chung moved back to U.S. and continued to study with Richard Dallessio at Juilliard Pre-College. Highlights of her Pre-College years include receiving the Fine Arts Award at Interlochen Arts Camp and being selected to perform at 28th Annual Young Musicians program of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

Julia E. Kim

Member Since Fall 2018

New York City, Lower Region

Julia Elizabeth Inhae Kim, age 14, is an eighth grader at Hunter College High School. Since 2015, Julia has studied with Ernest Barretta at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School. Julia has performed at Weill Recital Hall, the Greene Space, Merkin Hall, Steinway Hall and on live broadcast at WQXR. At Lincoln Center, Julia has performed at Paul Hall and Morse Hall. She earned first place at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. Julia was the first place winner in the Piano Teachers Congress Honors Program and also won the Dorothy and Sidney Morrow Baroque Composition Award at the Piano Teachers Congress. She was a finalist in the Westchester Symphony Concerto Competition and the Ensemble 212 Young Artist
Concerto Competition. Julia earned honors at the YWCA New York Music Competition and received second place at the Stony Brook International Competition. She was awarded a Third Street Music School Settlement Merit Award. Julia has performed in master classes given by Angela Hewitt, Thomas Rosenkranz, and Irina Sharapova. She has attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Piano Program. As a chamber musician, Julia has performed with the Chamber Music Center of New York and at the Juilliard Pre-College.

Linda Ruan

Member Since Fall 2018

NYC, Lower  Region

Named one of the CBCs Hot 30 under 30 Classical Musicians in 2017, Canadian Pianist Linda Ruan has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious venues, from the Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York to the Xinghai philharmonic Hall in China. This season, she appeared as a soloist with the Royal Conservatory orchestra under the baton of Andras Keller in the Koerner Hall. Notable performances from the past seasons include orchestral appearances with the Vancouver Metropolitan Orchestra, Royal Conservatory orchestra, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and the Xinghai Philharmonic Orchestra; solo recitals and performances in North America, Asia and Europe.  Linda has been a prize winner in the PianoArts North American Piano Competition, CMFTA National Piano Competition and the Seattle International Piano Competition. In addition to her solo career, she formed La Fiammata Piano Duo with Charissa Vandikas, who were the winners of the 2018 Northwest International Piano Ensemble Competition and the 2017 Canadian Music Competition Grand Prix.
Born in Tokyo, Linda Ruan began learning the piano at the age of 7 in Shanghai, China after returning to the country. As the recipient of the Colleen Sexsmith Piano Scholarship, she studied with Mr. James Anagnoson and Mr. Li Wang at the Glenn Gould School. In September, she will be studying at the Juilliard School in the studio of Hung-Kuan Chen.
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