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Competition Finals 2024


Grand prize winner:

Matthew Hakkarainen (Violin)

(Performance with the Adelphi Orchestra during the 2024-25 Season)

Division Results


1. Jayden King (Violin)

2. Elizabeth Song (Violin)


1. Nathaniel Yue (Cello)

2. Johnathan Okseniuk (Violin)


1. Kingsley Hsieh (Clarinet)

2. Yang Yu (Oboe)

Honorable Mention

Simone Hagopian (Violin) 

Hongbo Cai (Piano) 

Competition Finals 2024: Text


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 Jayden King - Violin

Jayden King is a 9-year-old violinist and a 4th grader at Dwight-Englewood School in New Jersey.  Jayden started his violin study at the age of 3 and since then he has been performing as a soloist at some major venues such as Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall.  With his exceptional music talent, Jayden was accepted to Juilliard Pre-College Division when he was 7. At the Pre-College, Jayden is studying under the tutelage of Professor Masao Kawasaki.
Jayden has won numerous prestigious competitions as First Prize and Grand Prize winner. In 2023, at the age of 8, he was the youngest First Prize winner at the Arthur Grumiaux International Violin Competition and the youngest Grand Prize winner ever at the 2023
Camerata Artists International Competition.  Jayden was the First Prize winner at the 2023 Hill Concerto Competition, VIVO International Music Competition for 2019 to 2023 (also received the Gold Prize Award in 2023), and 2021 Crescendo International Music Competition.
As one of the highlights of his violin journey, Jayden made his solo debut with the Lindeblad Orchestra at the age of 6. As First Prize winner in 2023, Jayden performed with the Camerata New Jersey Orchestra at the Camerata Artists International Competition’s Winners’ Concert, and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the Hill Concerto Competition’s Winners’ Concert. Jayden attended the 2023 Summer Camp at the Heifetz International Music Institute as one of the youngest in the Junior Division. He was selected at the audition as the youngest violinist to perform at the First Opening Junior Division Showcase Concert.
In school, Jayden enjoys math, science, and reading.  Asides from school and music, Jayden enjoys playing video games, tennis, swimming, and chess.

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   Elizabeth Song -  Violin

 Elizabeth is a fifth-year Juilliard-PreCollege Violin student currently studying with Dr. Masao Kawasaki. Previously, she studied with Dr. I Hao Lee.

Elizabeth is a 3rd prizewinner of the 2023 Il Piccolo Violino Magico Competition, taking place in San Vito Al Tagliamento, Italy. Elizabeth made her orchestral debut in March of 2023 - with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, and the Grammy-Award-winning Maestro Michael Repper - as the winner of the  Elizabeth Loker Concerto Competition: performing three concerts in Easton and Berlin, Maryland; and Rehoboth, Delaware. She is also the 2023 winner of the Juilliard Pre-College String Orchestra Concerto Competition. In addition, Elizabeth is a Laureate of Chicago Violin Competition (2022) and the Concertmaster of the North Jersey Middle School Orchestra (2023). Last summer, she attended Morningside Music Bridge, a full-scholarship program at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Elizabeth has a bright and sunny personality and loves interacting and connecting with people. Outside of music, she enjoys participating in her school clubs and activities and playing soccer with her high school teammates.

Competition Finals 2024: Team Members



Nathaniel Yue - Cello

Nathaniel Yue attends the Colburn Music Academy as a student of Clive Greensmith. He has also studied with Ronald Leonard. In 2023 and 2024, he was awarded YoungArts National Competition Winner in Classical Music. As a soloist, he has been awarded First-prize wins in numerous competitions including the Stillman Kelley Award, Music Center Spotlight Competition, California Music Teachers National Association State and Southwest Region Competition. An avid chamber musician, his group the Feliz Quartet was recently awarded 2nd Prize in the Coltman Chamber Music Competition. In 2023, his chamber group, the Nth Trio won the inaugural Horszowski Trio Prize at the 50th Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, as well as First Place in the Music Teachers Association of California VOCE, State Finals. He regularly participates in summer festivals such as Meadowmount School of Music, Morningside Music Bridge, and Encore Summer Academy. Nathaniel is grateful for the generous scholarships awarded by the Music Center, the National Federation of Music Clubs, and the San Marino Rotary Club to help advance his music studies. He has also played in masterclasses for esteemed artists and teachers such as Steven Isserlis, Laurence Lesser, Gautier Capuçon, Johannes Moser, Ralph Kirschbaum, Jessie Montgomery and Jean-Yves Thibaudet. Nathaniel plays on a 1790 Thomas Dodd cello on loan from Georg Eittinger of Hans Weisshaar Violin Makers and Restorers in San Marino, California.  Since 2021, he has been the co-regional director of The Back to Bach Project: Greater Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley and president of the Tuesday Musicale Juniors. Nathaniel is currently a junior at San Marino High School. 


Jonathan Okseniuk

Violinist Jonathan Okseniuk made his orchestral debut with the Suprima Chamber Orchestra at the age of 5. Other solo appearances include performances with Arizona Musicfest Festival Orchestra, The Phoenix Symphony, West Valley Symphony, Chandler Symphony Orchestra,
Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra, Southern Arizona
Symphony Orchestra, St. Petersburg String Quartet, and an engagement at the Mesa Arts Center. Jonathan has placed first in many national and local competitions. Most recently, he
placed first in the Senior Division of the 2023 Dorothy Vanek Youth Concerto Competition. He was named first place laureate in the Junior Division of the 2022 Sphinx Competition and
national winner in the 2022 Music Teachers National Association Senior String Competition.
Jonathan was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music in 2023 and is studying with Midori
Goto. Over the past fourteen years, he has been a student of Jing Zeng. He has also worked
with distinguished teachers including Jan Sloman, Miriam Fried, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Peter
Oundjian and William van der Sloot and with esteemed chamber groups including the Dover
Quartet and members of the Manhattan Chamber Players. To share his gift of music, Jonathan
donates his talent by performing at community events and giving master classes.

Competition Finals 2024: Team Members


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Matthew Hakkarainen - Violin

Matthew Hakkarainen is the first American violinist to win first prize at the Premio Rodolfo
Lipizer International Violin Competition, in Gorizia, Italy, where he also received three special
prizes for “a young, deserving talent,” the best interpretation of a 19th century sonata, and the
best interpretation of a 19th century concerto. He received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis
Institute of Music, where he studied with Pamela Frank, and he currently attends the Juilliard
School, studying with Sylvia Rosenberg and Ronald Copes. Previous teachers Matthew has
studied with include Charles Castleman, Mauricio Fuks, Borislava Iltcheva, Huifang Chen, and
Maree Sawhney.
Matthew was recently awarded third prize at the Stuttgart International Violin Competition in
Germany. He also won the second prize, audience prize, and contemporary piece prize at the
Mirecourt International Violin Competition in France. In 2018, he won first place in the New
World Symphony’s Concerto Competition and performed Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto with
Michael Tilson Thomas and the NWS. Later that year, Matthew served as Concertmaster of
NYO-USA for its concert tour in Asia. In 2022, he won the Aspen Music Festival and School’s
Violin Competition, and performed as a soloist with the Aspen Conducting Academy Orchestra.
This past summer, he won first prize ex æquo in the Prix Ravel at the Conservatoire américain
de Fontainebleau with his performance of Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane. He has served as
Concertmaster of the Juilliard Orchestra and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, the latter for which
he recorded the violin solos from Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade for the orchestra’s first
Curtis Studio Label album, now available on Apple Music, Spotify, and other streaming
platforms. He is currently Associate Concertmaster of Symphony in C, and has also appeared
as a Substitute Violin with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Matthew has been featured on National Public Radio’s “From the Top,” and has performed as a
guest artist at FestivalSouth. In 2019, he went on a solo recital tour across three towns in
Northern Italy. Matthew has appeared as a soloist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra,
Jacksonville Symphony, Stuttgarter Philharmoniker, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra,
Orchestra Sinfonica Bulgaria Classic di Plovdiv, Acadiana Symphony Orchestra, New River
Orchestra, and others. Festivals he has attended include the Conservatoire américain de
Fontainebleau, Aspen Music Festival and School, Music Academy of the West, Castleman
Quartet Program, Orford Musique, Ferme de Villefavard Summer Academy, Meadowmount
School of Music, and Music@Menlo Chamber Music Institute. Matthew is also honored to be a
Center for Musical Excellence Young Artist, and a faculty member at Musart Music.
A native of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, Matthew is currently pursuing his Master of Music in
violin performance. He is very grateful to perform on a 1790 Giuseppe Guadagnini violin and an
Étienne Pajeot bow graciously provided by the company CANIMEX INC., from Drummondville
(Québec), Canada. Matthew also recently received his dual citizenship with Finland.


Kingsley Hsieh - clarinet

Kingsley Hsieh, born in Dallas, TX, raised in Taiwan. He began his Bachelor degree in The New School - Mannes School of Music in 2023. Studying with professor Charles Neidich. He is interested in performing all varieties of contemporary pieces. Kingsley started his piano learning when he was 4 and started his clarinet’s at 9. He used to major in piano until high school. Kingsley has countless concert experiences around Taipei and other cities in Taiwan. He began his contemporary path in 2022, which made him fully attracted. Therefore, his final repertoire is one of his favorite masterpiece by John Corigliano. Hope everyone enjoy.

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Yang Yu oboe

Yang Yu is an oboist from Vancouver, Canada.  He is currently pursuing his undergraduate studies at the Mannes School of Music with Elaine Douvas.  Yang began studying oboe at the age of 12 with Geronimo Mendoza at the Vancouver Academy of Music.  He has participated in summer programs such as Hidden Valley Music Seminars, the National Arts Centre Orchestra Wind Institute, Domaine Forget Music Festival, and he has performed with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada on their 2023 Aurora Tour.  As a soloist, he performed Oscar Navarro’s “Legacy” oboe concerto with the Vancouver Youth Symphony orchestra.


Simon Hagopian - Violin

Simon Hagopian was born into a musical family in 2004. When he was four years old, Simon
began studying at the Special Music School in New York City with Viktor Basis. In 2014, he was
a first prize winner in the Vivo International Competition and won “Best Performer Award”. The
following year, Simon was one of the first prize winners in the American Protege Competition
and was won “Judges Favorite Award Winner”. Later in 2015, he was the first prize winner in the
junior string division of the Cremona International Music Academy festival competition, and
performed as a soloist with one of the festival orchestras the following year. Beginning in 2016,
Simon began studying with Christina Khimm and Aaron Rosand. In 2017, he performed at the
Armenian Embassy in Washington DC, at an event in honor of renowned soloist Sergey
Khatchaturyan. The following year, Simon was one of the winners of the Kaufman Music Center
Concerto Competition, and performed at Merkin Hall with the Orchestra. Simon was accepted to
Juilliard Pre-College at age 13, where he began studying with Li Lin. He attended Pre-College
from 2018-2022 and has been studying at the College Division since 2022. In addition to Violin,
Simon has been playing the piano for many years and studied piano at Lucy Moses from 2016-
2022. He also composes music and has taken private composition lessons at Juilliard
Precollege with Manuel Sosa. He has performed in master classes for pedagogues including
Ida Kavafian and Masao Kawasaki.


Hongbo Cai - piano

Critically acclaimed artist HONGBO CAI, is considered a rising star on the international stage as an outstanding pianist, 21 years old, he made his debut at Carnegie Hall, and at 22 years old, he was appointed adjunct faculty in the piano department of New York University, he was hailed as an "accomplished musician ...... with command of style and a refreshingly individual approach" by The Herald. 

In 2021, he completed a China tour of Shanghai, Xiamen, Zhengzhou, Hefei, Fuzhou, and Putian at the invitation of CPAA and Jucheng Theatre chains, and in June 2022, he embarked on a concert tour sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Utah, which included appearances in the music associations of Harvard and Brown Universities and other Ivy League schools. He has performed throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and Latin America, and his 2023-24 program includes recitals in Indonesian, Singapore, France, Italy, Spain, Serbia, Portugal, Austria and the US, in venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston, Salle Cortot in Paris, Ehrbal Saal and Musikverein in Vienna. 

In 2023, Mr. Cai won the Grand Prix at the 5th Piano Island Festival and was awarded the concert management rights of the Piano Island Management as of January 2023, and was invited to be a guest teacher and adjudicator for the 6th Piano Island Festival, alongside Dang Thai Son, Stanislav Ioudenitch and Antonio Pompa Baldi. He also won the first prize in the 2022 Carls & Sofia Piano Competition and was awarded album distribution rights by KNS Classical. Other competition awards include First Prize at the WPTA Spain Piano Competition, First Prize at the 22nd Valesia Musica Juniores International Competition, Gold Medal at the 3rd WPTA Singapore International Piano Competition, First Prize at the 4th Moscow International Music Competition, and Second Prize at the 15th Aloha International Piano Competition. 

He has performed with renowned orchestras such as the Shanghai Opera House, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, Fujian Symphony Orchestra, Shanghai Conservatory of Music Youth Orchestra, West New York Chamber Orchestra, Pazardzhik State Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic Orchestra of Romania, and Orquestra do Algarve of Portugal. Among them, as a long-term soloist guest, he will join the regular seasons of Orquestra do Algarve of Portugal and Pazardzhik State Symphony Orchestra of Bulgaria. . 

Mr. Cai was a guest performer at the closing ceremony of China's First National Youth Games in Fuzhou. He is a graduate of the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and New England Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Prof. Zhou Ting, Vice Principal, Prof. Meng-Chieh Liu, the mentor of Lang Lang and Yuja Wang, and Prof. Korsantia, the Grand Prix winner of the Rubinstein Competition. He was awarded a merit scholarship by the Dr. Ende Niu Foundation and the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Education and is now pursuing graduate studies at the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Prof. Hung-Kuan Chen.

Competition Finals 2024: Team Members
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