The excitement of discovering a promising new musician is like hearing your favorite piece of music for the very first time. At Noontime Concerts we believe that gifted emerging artists will shape the future of classical music. And that’s why it is our privilege and our commitment to offering young talented musical artists in the early stages of their careers a chance to play on our concert series.
The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists provides scholarship-based live performance opportunities for gifted and talented young musicians who are on the threshold of amazing careers. A Noontime Concerts opportunity for these special artists becomes a memorable experience for all of us who are so lucky to see and hear them play.
Weiwen Ma, Piano
Featured Emerging Artist for February 25, 2020
Weiwen Ma, a native of Shanghai, is celebrated internationally for her virtuosic technique, her bold interpretations of the classical repertoire, and her vivacious stage presence. She has been described by world celebrated pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi as “(playing) with flair and technical prowess. Her keyboard skills are remarkable.”
Most recently, she performed Mozart piano concerto K.503 with Northbrook Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Lawrence Rapchak. At the beginning of this year, Ms.Ma was invited as a guest pianist and performed with Detroit Symphony Orchestra members at Detroit Symphony Orchestra Chamber Series Concert. Last year, she has performed at Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series at Chicago Culture Center. The concert was broadcast on Chicago Classical Radio WFMT 98.7. In May, she had her first appearance at the Buntrock Hall at the Chicago Symphony Center. She was also featured as a soloist and performed Rachmaninoff Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Park Ridge Symphony Orchestra in 2017, and performed Ravel Piano in G major with the Wooster Symphony Orchestra in Ohio in 2015. Ms. Ma graduated from the DePaul School of Music for a Performance Certificate Degree under the studio of George Vatchnadze in 2016.
Shortly after moving to Chicago in the fall of 2014, she has performed at numerous well-known venues across the city, including two solo recitals at the Pianoforte Foundation Salon Series with live broadcasts on WFMT and YouTube, and a solo recital at the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series, solo appearance at Chicago Bach Keyboard Concert Series at the Alice Millard Chapel.
Ms. Ma came to the US in 2003 to attend the Oberlin Conservatory on a prestigious scholarship, and she later attended the Cleveland Institute of Music in pursuit of a Master’s Degree. While at CIM, she won first prize in the concerto competition and performed Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the CIM Orchestra in 2009. Later that year, she made her Carnegie Weill Hall debut as the winner of the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition. After winning a Bronze medal at the First Chinese International Piano Competition, she performed at The Town Hall in NYC in 2008. She is also the prize winner of many other international piano competitions including The World Piano Competition, the Corpus Christi International Competition for Piano & Strings, the Kankakee Young Artist Piano Competition, and the Thousand Islands Piano Competition.
Piano Sonata No. 9 in D Major, K. 311 W. A. Mozart
Scherzo in E Major No. 4, Op. 54 Frédéric Chopin
Polonaise No. 2 in E Major, S. 223 Franz Liszt
Sonata No. 5 Op. 53 in F Sharp Major Alexander Scriabin
The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists
Helen von Ammon
August 2, 1922 – January 31, 2014
As an artist, Helen von Ammon was particularly sensitive to obstacles encountered by artists of all persuasions on the path to recognition and success. Whether in the applied or the musical arts, artistic expression can be fettered by commercialism, perceived marketability, and myriad other constraints. The Helen von Ammon Fund was established to provide talented musical artists the chance to express the depth and breadth of their capabilities. So it is with gratitude for Helen’s vision and generosity that Noontime Concerts provides professional musicians beginning their careers with an important performance opportunity, exposure, and recognition.
Irving M. Klein International String Competition
Since its inception in 1985, the Klein competition of its kind, and has helped launch the careers of many performers. Mr. Klein, who died in 1984, devoted himself untiringly to the development of young artists. He was extraordinarily sensitive to their human as well as musical needs. His friends, colleagues, and students who established the Competition in his memory sought to imbue it with his unusual qualities of empathy with and generosity to young musicians. Parallel to the guiding principles of the Helen von Ammon Fund, the Klein Competition seeks to provide recital opportunities, recognition, and assistance to accomplished musicians in the early stages of their careers. Noontime Concerts has been honored to present Klein Competition winners under the auspices of the von Ammon Fund. We look forward to featuring other Klein artists in the 2016 season.
The Klein Competition takes place each year in June at San Francisco State University and at Herbst Theater in San Francisco. For more information, please visit www.kleincompetition.org. We encourage anyone interested in fostering young musical careers to make a tax-deductible gift to Noontime Concerts designated to The Helen von Ammon Fund. Recitalists are also encouraged to submit a demonstration tape or CD along with a resume for consideration to:
Helen von Ammon Fund
660 California St
San Francisco, CA 94108