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Emerging Artist Opportunities

The excitement of discovering a promising new musician is like hearing your favorite piece of music for the first time. At Noontime Concerts we believe that gifted emerging artists will shape the future of classical music. 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 in our concert series.

The Helen von Ammon Fund for Emerging Artists provides scholarship-based live performance opportunities for gifted and talented young musicians 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.

Featured Emerging Artists for April 9, 2024

Yip-Wai Chow, Violin

Ayoun Alexandra Kim, Cello

Franz Joseph Haydn:  Piano Trio in E-flat major, Hob. XV:30

Clara Schumann: 3 Romances for Cello and Piano, Op. 22

Franz Schubert:  Rondo for Violin and Piano, Op. 70

Claude Debussy: Piano Trio in G major, L. 5

Recent winner of the Adolfo Betti Prize, and Verdehr Trio Award, violinist Yip-Wai Chow is currently on the roster of Fermata Chamber Soloists and Musicus Soloist Hong Kong, and he is currently a candidate for the Advanced Diploma of the Eastman School of Music.

Yip-Wai has always been an avid chamber musician. He previously served as the violinist of the award-winning Cong Quartet (2020-2022), Montclaire String Quartet (2019 – 2020), and most recently the Klotski Trio of the Verdehr Trio Award Fellowship where he studied and performed selected pieces from the repertoire that the genre-setting Verdehr Trio commissioned.

Yip-Wai enjoys playing a diverse and ever-growing repertoire, ranging from Haydn string quartets to commissioned works by contemporary composers including Tod Machover, Caroline Shaw, and Kevin Puts. YipWai has also collaborated with artists from different genres to create cross-media performances – notable projects include Earshot (2021), Anti-playground (2021), and Shuffle Dimensions (2022).

Aside from Yip-Wai’s performing career, he also finds inspiration from sharing his musical journey as an Artist-in-Residence at universities, including the Chinese University of Hong Kong and West Virginia State University, where he had close interactions with students at a collegiate level, through chamber music masterclasses, collaborated performances, and also consultations on students’ compositions.

Besides pursuing chamber music, Yip-Wai also appeared as a soloist with the Eastman Philharmonia,  Butler Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong Medical Association Orchestra. He has also served as a guest principal player in the Ohio Valley Symphony, Gustav Mahler Orchestra of Hong Kong, CODA Ensemble, and festival orchestras in Colorado College Music Festival, the Heifetz Institute, and Music Academy of the West.

Yip-Wai’s philosophy of music-making is heavily influenced by his present and former teachers, Robin Scott and Ayano Ninomiya, Charles Castleman members of Quatuor Danel, and Luc-Marie Aguera. His dedication to music is recognized and rewarded with prizes from numerous competitions including the Kreutzer Music Competition, French Music Competition, the MTNA National Competition, Brookline Concerto Competition, and the Japan-Hong Kong International Competition, awarded during his studies at the Netherlands String Quartet Academie (NSKA), and his pursuits of Master’s degree at the New England Conservatory and Bachelor’s degree at the Eastman School of Music.

Cellist Ayoun Alexandra Kim is a dynamic and captivating performer, renowned for her excellence in both chamber music and solo performances, all while actively promoting community engagement through her music.

In 2024, Kim took center stage alongside the Telegraph Quartet as a guest artist, performing the Fanny Mendelssohn String Quartet at the Rossmoor Creek Chamber Music Society’s 2024 season concert. She shared the stage with acclaimed artists Inon Banatan, Melissa White, and Julio Elizalde for the Chamber Music Tuesday series in 2023 in San Francisco. Notably, she collaborated with composer David Garner, a faculty member of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), to perform “Capriccio for Cello and Piano.”

Kim’s musicality has been recognized in esteemed competitions such as the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition, the Artist Presentation Society Competition, and the Musicians Club of Women Competition in 2022. She has been invited to perform at renowned music festivals worldwide, including the Norfolk Music FestivalSarasota Music FestivalKneisel HallOrford AcademyVerão Classico, and Sommerakademie Mozarteum. Throughout her career, she has had the privilege of performing for esteemed musicians such as Laurence Lesser, Steven Doane, Myung-Wha Chung, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Maria Kliegel, Peter Ounjian, and the Brentano String Quartet.

In addition to her performance endeavors, Kim’s passion for community engagement and teaching led to her appointment to the junior faculty of the Vivace Music Foundation in 2022. She has also showcased her versatility as a principal cellist in the 2023 Spoleto Festival Orchestra.

Kim holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied under the mentorship of Natasha Brofsky and Astrid Schween. Currently, she is furthering her artistic journey by pursuing an Artist Diploma at the SFCM under the guidance of Jennifer Culp.

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 artists of all persuasions encountered 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 with opportunities to express the depth and breadth of their capabilities. So, with gratitude for Helen’s vision and generosity, Noontime Concerts provides professional musicians beginning their careers with an important performance opportunity, exposure, and recognition.

Ross McKee Piano Competition

The Ross McKee Foundation is nationally recognized for its support of accomplished pre-professional piano artists, cultivation of potential piano talent, and advancement of piano performance. Located in San Francisco, CA, the Foundation supports the musical arts throughout the Bay Area.

Each year, The Ross McKee Foundation produces a piano competition open to high school students. Up to four contestants are selected to be Ross McKee Young Artists. These laureates receive a prize of $1,500 and participate in a public recital.

Irving M. Klein International String Competition

Since its inception in 1985, the Klein competition 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 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.