October 25, 2019

CIM Announces Winners of Fall Concerto Competition

Jane Liu
Pianist Jane Liu, one of the winners of the Fall 2019 Concerto Competition

Congratulations to the winners of the Fall 2019 Concerto Competition, which was held Wednesday, October 16, in Kulas Hall.

Pianists Jane Liu (Shapiro/Pontremoli) and Jiarui Cheng (Brown) and violinist James Thompson (Laredo) were all selected to perform with the CIM Orchestra in the spring semester, under the direction of a guest conductor. Cellist Stephen Hawkey (Kraut) and bassoonist Brendon Sill (Clouser) were awarded honorable mentions and will each perform during a conducting recital.

“I am absolutely honored and thrilled for the opportunity to perform with the CIM Orchestra next spring,” said Liu. “To play with friends and colleagues at CIM is an experience I am looking forward to.”

Liu added that the Ravel Piano Concerto is one of her favorites to play.

“Ravel Piano Concerto in G is a work that I love for its dynamic energy,” she said. “I am excited to play it with the different layers and colors in the full orchestration of the piece.”

concerto competition
Pianist Jiarui Cheng, one of the winners of the Fall 2019 Concerto Competition

Cheng said he wants to improve on his performance at the competition during his CIM Orchestra concerto.

“It was a great experience, and this will be my first time playing this concerto with an orchestra,” Cheng said. “Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 is my favorite concerto. It is very brilliant, has good structure, perfect effect of sound, inspiring spirit and provides an excellent balance between the orchestra and piano. I hope to improve some parts before my performance next spring.”

James Thompson
Violinist James Thompson, one of the winners of the Fall 2019 Concerto Competition

Thompson said he was delighted to have been selected a winner of the Concerto Competition and that he’s excited to play Beethoven’s violin concerto with the CIM Orchestra.

“Beethoven’s lone violin concerto has served as both an inspiration to composers of the last two centuries and a benchmark by which they (and others) have measured the merit of their works,” he said. “I can think of no better way to celebrate my eighth and final year at CIM than with a performance of one of our repertoire’s most beloved concertos alongside an orchestra of my closest friends.”

The judges included faculty members Tim Cutler, Mary Kay Fink, François Germain and Daniel Shapiro and alumnus and Cleveland Orchestra cellist Dane Johansen (BM ’05, Aaron).