Student Performances

2024 Concerto & Aria Concert

Date: Sun Mar 03 2024

Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Room: Antonello Hall

Location: Minneapolis

MacPhail Concerto & Aria Concert is the premiere student performance event at MacPhail. Performers undergo competitive auditions to be selected for the final concert. The concert features soloists in performance with a chamber-size orchestra, conducted by Mark Mandarano.


Arthur S., piano student of Irina Elkina
Concerto No. 3 in D Major, Opus. 50, I. Allegro molto by Dmitri Kabalevsky

William F., piano student of Richard Tostenson
Piano Concerto No. 15 in Bb major, I. Allegro by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Eira L., violin student of Mark Bjork
Violin Concerto No 1 in C major, I. Allegro moderato by Franz Joseph Haydn

Summer L. & Lilia S., cello students of Andrea Glass and Carlynn Savot
Concerto in G minor for two cellos, RV 531 by Antonio Vivaldi

Lucy Z., violin student of Susan Crawford
Concerto No. 2 in G Major by Joseph Haydn

Kyu-Young Kim, In Prayer for Solo Violin and String Orchestra by Kevin Chen

Alice Z., piano student of Richard Tostenson
Concerto Op. 15 No. 1 in C major, III. Rondo (Allegro) by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis
(May 19, 2024 at 3:00pm at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd) with Vladimir Tsiper, violin student of Lucinda Marvin
Violin Concerto No.2, in G minor, Op.63, I. Allegro moderato by S. Prokofiev


Second grader Arthur S. studies piano with Irina Elkina, violin with Lucinda Marvin, composition with Sarah Miller, and percussion with Robert Adney at MacPhail Center for Music. Arthur also studies music theory with David Damschroder at the University of MN, bagpipe with Michael Breidenbach at Macalester College, and participates in Minnesota Youth Symphonies. At MacPhail, Arthur has twice been awarded the Gary Sipes piano merit scholarship. Arthur has won competitions for piano, violin, and composition. He has performed in many winners recitals including concerts at Antonello Hall, Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall at the University of MN, the Paladium in Carmel, IN, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in NYC.  

In addition to music, Arthur loves making movies and classic muscle cars. 

William F. is a 14-year-old ninth grader at Wayzata High School, living in Plymouth. William studies piano with Richard Tostenson and composition with Sarah Miller at the Macphail Center for Music. William was a winner of the 2022 Macphail Concerto competition and won third prize in the 2024 La Crosse Rising Stars Concerto competition, as well as being a finalist for the 2023 Schubert Club competition. A 2023 Gary Sipes Macphail Scholarship recipient, William has attended masterclasses with Reiko Imrie, Susan Billmeyer, and Inna Faliks. He has recently won the 2024 MMTA Junior Young Artist and was a prize winner in the 2024 Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerto Competition playing Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto. William is also an avid composer and has written pieces for the Minnesota Sinfonia, Ivalas String Quartet, Riverside Winds, and Minnesota Percussion Trio. Aside from music, William loves math and competes in DECA. He also loves to cook and bake in his free time.

Eira L. is an 11-year-old violinist and fifth-grade Navigator student at Scenic Heights Elementary School in Minnetonka. She has been a violin student of Mark Bjork since 2018, a piano student of Irina Elkina since 2020, and a voice student of Mikyoung Park. Eira also has previous instruction from Alison Fahy (violin) and Beth Turco (piano). 

Eira’s musical accomplishments include Elementary Top prize of the Mary West Solo Competition in 2019, 2021 MacPhail Concerto & Aria Concert with a Bach violin concerto, Honorable Mention for her Haydn piano concerto in 2022, and another for Chopin’s Three Ecossaises in the 2023 Piano Fun Competition. She has performed in every MacPhail Junior Honors Recital since 2018, either on her violin or piano, and multiple Honor recitals at Suzuki Institutes (including Stanford, Seattle, and Chicago). She was awarded the Peter Jackson Keyboard Scholarship (2021-22), Elise Midelfort Piano Scholarship (2022-23), and Robert Bland Memorial Suzuki Violin Scholarship (2023-24). Eira was recently chosen as an Upper-Level Soloist for the 2024 Suzuki Association of Minnesota violin graduation recital for the second year. She will be graduating from Suzuki Violin Book 10. She’s a member of the Vivace Violins and the MacPhail Suzuki Sinfonia Orchestra, and participates in other ensembles at MacPhail, including a piano duo, string trios, and quartets. 

Besides music, Eira enjoys co-anchoring the school news, math challenges, reading, arts, swimming, Chinese Dance, traveling around the world, and learning foreign languages. She also loves to play with her dog, Paganini.  

Summer Liu is an 11-year-old and a 6th grader at Lake Middle School. She’s been studying cello for five years and is a student of Andrea Glass. She is currently a cellist of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony (GTCYS), the MacPhail Chromatic String Quartet, and the MacPhail Cello Rock group. Summer was a finalist in the 2023 GTCYS Concerto Competition and a winner of the 2023 MacPhail Concerto & Aria Competition. She was awarded the 2nd place of the 2023 American Classical Young Musician Award, 3rd place of the 2022 American Music Talent Competition, and honorable award of the 2021 American Classical Young Musician Award. Summer was selected to receive the Bjork-Pederson Suzuki Scholarship at MacPhail for the 2023-24 school year. Summer has also performed multiple times in masterclasses and at the MacPhail Junior Honors Recitals.  

Aside from music, Summer loves to read, bike, ski, climb, hang out with friends, and play with her pets.  

“I enjoyed working with Lilia to reach a common goal. I’m so happy we got selected!”  

Lilia Smith is 14 years old and is a homeschooled 8th grader. She has been playing cello since she was five years old with Carlynn Savot. During Lilia’s nine years of studying the cello, she has been in group classes, chamber orchestras, masterclasses, summer camps, Suzuki of Association of Minnesota recitals, and MacPhail’s Honor recitals. Lilia plays her cello at church and at a nearby senior residence. Currently, Lilia is part of the Philharmonic Orchestra in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony and is the cellist in the Farfalle String Quartet under Tom Rosenberg. Lilia also plays the piano with Rebecca Hall.  

In her spare time, Lilia enjoys biking, reading, spending time with friends, baking, and learning French and Italian.  

“I have had a lot of fun practicing Vivaldi with Summer, and being selected to perform in the Concerto and Aria Competition is definitely a highlight of my musical endeavors.” 

Lucy Zhang is a six-year violin student of Susan Crawford in the seventh grade at the Blake School. She has been a member of the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony (GTCYS) since 2021 as concert master of the symphony’s Concertino West and is now a member of their Philharmonic Orchestra. Lucy’s performances include MacPhail Junior Honors Recitals, engagements at The Women’s Club on Minnesota, The Glenn Minnetonka, The Jungle Theater, and a performance with the Farfalle Quartet in Boutwells Landing. She also performed in the 2022 Upper Midwest Music Festival Honor Concert on piano.  

Lucy is an avid figure skater, placing in competitions such as Skate in the Park, Roseville Open, and Skate in the Park. She also placed first and won the Grand Prize in the Minnesota State Fair K-12 Arts Competition.  

“I feel excited about participating in the Concerto & Aria Concert. I enjoy seeing others in these types of concerts, such as my friends.” 

Kevin C. is a 14-year-old composer and pianist who has been playing piano since the age of four and writing music since the age of five. He currently studies piano with Richard Tostenson and composition with Dr. Sarah Miller at MacPhail Center for Music, and also plays violin. He has won numerous awards and honors in various music competitions, such as the MTNA Composition Contest, the NFMC Junior Composers Contest, the Sinfonia Young Composer Competition, the MacPhail Concerto & Aria Concert. Kevin was a top prize winner in the 2024 Minnesota Orchestra Young People’s Concerto Competition. Kevin performed Grieg’s Piano Concerto and was awarded the Edwin and Edith Norberg Prize. He was awarded Joan Miller Composition Scholarship with MacPhail several times. He has also performed and had his works performed in several events, such as the Sinfonia Summer Season Finale Classical Concert, the NCAA Final Four Performance, and the MMTA Foundation Winners Recital. Most recently, his composition piece “Studies in Wind and Trees” won the 1st place in MTNA Junior Composition National Competition. He is now in 9th grade and enjoys writing music and computer programming in his free time.

Alice Zhang is a two-year piano student of Richard Tostenson and previous four-year student of Diana Woit in the eighth grade at Wayzata Middle School. She has performed in MacPhail Junior Honors Recitals and in the Suzuki Chicago Institute Summer Camp, where she played in the top recital. Alice has tested and received high distinctions for the Minnesota Music Teachers Associations level nine performance exam and level five theory exam. She has participated in master classes lead by Paul Wirth, Tadeusz Majweski, and more.  Alice also takes violin lessons from MacPhail instructor, Diana Woit. She is currently in the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony’s Camerata Orchestra as a violinist, played in the Suzuki Association of Minnesota’s Graduation recital, and performed as a member of the strolling strings.  

Alice enjoys kung fu, ice skating, and reading. She won first prize in the National Chinese Speech Competition and a silver medal in the International Chinese Speech Final Competition where she received the best voice reward. She won a silver medal in the 2023 Golden State International Wushu Competition and first place in Preliminary and Pre-Juvenile figure skating competitions. She has participated in the Minnesota State Fair Drawing Competitions for many years, winning first and second prizes. Alice has also participated in science bowl and mathcounts.  

I feel happy and proud of myself.” 

Vladimir Tsiper is an 11th grader at the Breck School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has been a student of Lucinda Marvin at MacPhail Center for Music since age five. Vladimir is also studying composition with Sarah Miller. He is a member of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies Symphony Orchestra and Artaria Chamber Music School.   

Vladimir has won many prizes at venues such as Sherer International Competition, the Schubert Club, Mary West Solo Competition, Thursday Musical, the MacPhail Concerto/Aria Competition, and Minnesota Sinfonia Young Artists Competition. In the last two years he has performed with the Bloomington (MN) Symphony Orchestra, Dakota Valley Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, and the Minnetonka Symphony Orchestra.  

The highlights of last season include Vladimir’s appearance on the national radio show From The Top, winning the MYS Solo Competition and soloing with the MYS in the Minneapolis Orchestra Hall, receiving the Jacobson Prize at the YPSCA finals, and becoming the West Central Division Winner of the MTNA Senior String Competition. His most recent accomplishments include winning La Crosse Rising Stars Concerto Competition and MacPhail Concerto/Aria Competition.  

 Aside from music, Vladimir enjoys downhill skiing, theater, and traveling, especially visiting the tallest buildings in the world. He is a movie nerd and an active member of the film lovers’ community. 

Artistic Director and Principal Violin of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Kyu-Young Kim is one of the most versatile and accomplished musicians of his generation. His appointment as the SPCO’s Artistic Director in January 2016 marks the first time a playing member has been tapped to take the artistic helm of a major American orchestra. Previously, Kim served as Director of Artistic Planning with the SPCO while continuing to perform in the orchestra. Since assuming his dual role in 2013, the SPCO has named many new Artistic Partners, opened its new Concert Hall at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts to great critical acclaim, toured throughout the U.S. and to Europe, and won a Grammy Award in 2018 for its disc of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. Kim has also toured throughout the world as a founding member of the Daedalus Quartet with whom he won the Grand Prize at the 2001 Banff International String Quartet Competition and was a member of Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Chamber Music Two Program. As a former member of the Pacifica String Quartet, Mr. Kim won the prestigious Naumburg Chamber Music Award. He has appeared as soloist with the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra of Poland and the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He has served as guest concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, and is an Emeritus Member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Kim is on the violin faculty of the University of Minnesota School of Music and has done guest master classes in violin and chamber music throughout the United States and Canada.

Mark Mandarano, conducting an orchestra

Mark Mandarano has conducted performances at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and other important venues in the U. S. and abroad.  In both 2017 and in 2018, he was invited to act as a cultural ambassador to Russia performing the music of Gershwin (2017) and Bernstein (2018), with concerts in numerous cities including the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. Mandarano has led performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, New Jersey Symphony, Nürnberger Symphoniker, Ural Philharmonic, New York City Opera and the Moscow Chamber Orchestra. He has worked with conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Christoph von Dohnányi, Antonio Pappano, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sir Roger Norrington, Valery Gergiev, Osmo Vänskä and Leonard Slatkin.

An advocate of the music of living composers, he has conducted performances of works by Karel Husa, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Steven Stucky, John Corigliano, Ellen Zwilich, Melinda Wagner, Libby Larsen, David Bruce, Nico Muhly, and others. His association with Slatkin led to Mandarano conducting the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Mandarano is the artistic director and conductor of the Sinfonietta of Riverdale (NY), which he founded in 2008, and has been the Director of the Macalester Symphony Orchestra since 2012. In 2021, he commissioned new works for the Macalester Orchestra intended for asynchronous performance — the subsequent video of these 5 Pandemic World Premieres has received more than 60,000 views on youtube. In 2022, Mandarano was named Artistic Director of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies, one of the top youth orchestra programs in the nation. Mandarano’s second CD has just been released on Albany Records and includes music for string orchestra by Husa, Srtucky, Elgar, Bruckner and Coleridge-Taylor.


Dr. Dale Kruse, voice (St. Olaf College)

Prof. Sally O’Reilly, violin (University of Minnesota)

Dr. Paul Shaw, piano (University of Minnesota)

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