2016 Concerto Competition winners showcased with University of Chicago orchestras

The first place winner of the 2016 University of Chicago Concerto Competition will perform with the University Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, April 23 at 8:00 PM in Mandel Hall. Cellist Andrew Molina will present Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque for Violoncello and Orchestra, the final work from the composer’s “Jewish Cycle.”  USO Music Director Barbara Schubert conducts.  The 2016 Concerto Competition second and third place winners, pianists Sun Woo Park and Isaac Friend, will perform with the University Chamber Orchestra on May 14 and November 19, respectively.

Andrew Molina, a second-year student in the College, is a pre-med pursuing a B.S. in Chemistry.  The recently named 2016-2017 Beckman Scholar is an undergraduate researcher in the Lee Group, an experimental biophysics laboratory in UChicago’s James Franck Institute.  Andrew is the principal cellist in the University Symphony Orchestra and performs in the Chamber Music Program.  He is active in the music ministry at Calvert House, the Catholic student center on campus, and also played cello in the Fall 2014 University Theater production of Closer. He has been playing cello for 10 years and currently studies with Nazar Dzhuryn, who trained and taught at the Moscow Conservatory.  Previous instructors include Richard Hirschl, Wendy Warner, and Heather Moncrief Rivera-Torres.  Andrew has won numerous honors at local and national concerto and chamber music competitions, and earned First Chair in cello for two consecutive years in the ILMEA 2013 and 2014 All-State Honors Orchestras.  He has held the position of principal cellist in the Wheaton Symphony/Wheaton Pops Orchestra for the past four years.  Andrew is an alumnus of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), where he served as co-principal cellist in the Symphony Orchestra and performed in the CYSO’s Encore Chamber Orchestra and chamber music program.

Sun Woo Park is an undergraduate at the University of Chicago majoring in Mathematics.  Born in 1995, in Seoul, Republic of Korea, Park used to focus on becoming a professional pianist. From 2006 to 2009, he was selected as one of the very few young pianists at the preliminary school of the Korean National University of Arts.  After taking a brief hiatus from playing the piano, Park has given several performances as a solo pianist. He will present Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Emperor, with the University Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 8:00 PM in the Logan Arts Center Performance Hall.

Originally from Takoma Park, Maryland, Isaac Friend (b. 1995) is an undergraduate in Mathematics.  Before joining Svetlana Belsky's Piano Program at UChicago, he studied piano in Maryland with Simone Deering and Michael Adcock.  He has performed at the Embassy of Hungary in Washington; Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, WI; Pacifica's DC radio station WPFW; and WFMT’s Bach Keyboard Festival.  Friend will perform Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-flat Major with the University Chamber Orchestra on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 8:00 PM in the Logan Arts Center Performance Hall.

Sixteen musicians applied for the 2016 biennial Concerto Competition at the University.  The panel of judges for the 2016 Concerto Competition included: Barbara Schubert, Director of Performance Programs and Conductor of the University Symphony; Matthew Sheppard, Conductor of the University Chamber Orchestra; Chip De Stefano, Conductor of the University Wind Ensemble; Steinway artist Amy Briggs, an internationally acclaimed concert pianist; and guest judge Ann Yi, concert pianist and new music specialist.

Admission to the “USO Concerto Showcase” is free, with donations accepted at the door ($10 general / $5 students). For more information, call 773.702.8069 or visit music.uchicago.edu. Mandel Hall is located at 1131 E. 57th Street in Hyde Park, Chicago. A reception in Hutchinson Commons will follow the concert. Further information on the Symphony Orchestra concert and upcoming Chamber Orchestra performances can be found at music.uchicago.edu.

The 100-member University Symphony Orchestra presents an ambitious season of six major concerts per year. The Department of Music’s seventeen performance program ensembles present over a hundred stimulating and varied concerts each year.


“USO Concerto Showcase”
University of Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Barbara Schubert, conductor

2016 Concerto Competition Winner
Andrew Molina, violoncello


Saturday, April 23, 2016 at 8:00 PM


Mandel Hall
On the University of Chicago campus
1131 E. 57th Street


Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo: Rhapsodie Hébraïque featuring Andrew Molina, violoncello

Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70


Free; donations accepted at the door: $10 general / $5 students

Photographs and extended conductor biographies are available upon request.