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YAC Winners page

2013 Winner, Sammy Andonian, violin

Sophie Applbaum, runner-up

Walden Chamber Players is pleased to announce that 15 year-old violinist Sammy Andonian is the winner of the 2013 Walden Chamber Players Young Artist competition. As the winner of the competition, Sammy will receive a $ 500 cash-prize and join the Walden Chamber Players in a performance of the Haydn String Quartet Op. 33 No 1 in B minor in a public concert at the Andover Newton Theological School on November 3rd, 2013.

The Walden Chamber Players Young Artist competition is held annually to promote and encourage young musicians from Massachusetts interested in the performance and study of chamber music. Contestants who advance to the final round perform and rehearse an assigned chamber music work with members of the Walden Chamber Players before a live audience. The contestants are not judged only on their technical and musical ability but also on their ability to play and work within the group. Sammy is the first contestant ever to reach the final round of the competition two years in a row, on two different instruments. He was selected as a finalist in the 2012 competition on cello. 'In the final round Sammy showed us that he has a clear individual voice and strong musical instincts.' says Walden's Artistic Director Ashima Scripp, 'He has tremendous promise as a chamber musician.'

Sammy Andonian began his musical studies playing the cello at age four, and soon after began playing the violin at age seven, showing strong musical interest and promise. Now fifteen, Sammy studies with violinist, John Holland, and cellist, Mike Reynolds. While at the Bowdoin International Music Festival this past summer, Sammy studied with violinist, Ilya Kaler, and cellist, Peter Howard. As a young musician, Sammy has won numerous awards, and was featured as a soloist in a Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra concert as the winner of their Repertory Orchestra’s 2011 Concerto Competition. As an orchestral musician, Sammy has been a member of the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras since 2008, and is now both a concertmaster and a principal cellist for the Boston Youth Symphony, their most advanced ensemble. Last year, Sammy was the principal cellist of the MMEA’s 2013 All-State Orchestra, and was also a member of New England Conservatory’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. As a member of these orchestras, Sammy has had the opportunity to perform in Boston’s Symphony Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and Harvard University’s Sanders Theatre, among others.  In the past, Sammy enjoyed a four year membership with the Boston Children's Chorus’ Premier Choir. His time there included an annual nationally televised performance in Jordan Hall celebrating the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., and performances with Opera Boston in their world premiere of the fully staged opera, Madame White Snake. With the chorus, Sammy also traveled on a concert tour of Jordan upon the request of King Abdullah II in 2009, and a concert tour of England and Scotland in 2011. In past years, Sammy has been featured as a vocal soloist with the MIT chorus and orchestra, Dartmouth College’s chorus and orchestra, and with the Cantata Singers. In the fall of 2011, Sammy also played the role of Amahl in MIT’s production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. This past fall, Sammy also began piano lessons with A. Ramon Rivera.