It’s a big moment for eight of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s finest classical musicians. Selected as winners of the
13th annual All-Star Competition by outside adjudicators, the students won the rare opportunity to perform as soloists with
the UCLA Philharmonia, the School’s flagship orchestra and one of Southern California’s premier training orchestras.
Performing as a soloist with orchestra is a peak musical experience. Soloists have the opportunity to stand out, to interpret
the music their way.

Always a highlight of the UCLA concert season, the 13th annual All-Star Concert is May 18, 2017 in Royce Hall.
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  Jamie Kang, cello
  B.A., 2017
  Selected work: Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 (first movement)
  Maxim Kuzin, conductor

  “Beethoven Symphony No. 7 was the first work that led me to try out for youth orchestras.”

  “I grew up listening to a lot of Chopin and his works for piano and cello are pieces that I can listen to
  endlessly,” says Jamie. While she began her music studies on the piano, her ear was on the violin.
“I begged my mom for violin lessons, but because my uncle (who lived next door) was a cellist, I had no choice but to play the cello.”
She’s grateful now. “It actually is the best instrument.” Jamie hopes to one day own a studio and run a music school for young musicians. 

  Anastasia Petanova, flute
  M.M., 2017
  Selected work: Franz Doppler Fantasie Pastorale Hongroise, Op. 26
  Neal Stulberg, conductor

  “I find constant inspiration in the great musical figures of the past – composers like Mozart and, lately,
  Beethoven, have influenced me greatly.”

  Music has been the center of Anastasia’s life since a very young age. As an infant, she sang everything from
folk songs to symphonies to operas before she learned to talk and walk. As a child, she played piano and recorder.  “My mom hoped that
I would play violin someday,” she says. “The flute came along when my hands were found to be too small for the violin (I was four), and hence
my flute journey began.” Decades later, Anastasia is still playing this beautiful instrument, and sharing its expressive powers with the world.  

  Andrew Munro, piano
  D.M.A., 2017
  Selected work: Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1 in F sharp minor, Op. 1 (first movement)
  Neal Stulberg, conductor

  “This will be my fourth time performing as a soloist with orchestra. To be supported by such a large
  ensemble allows for new freedoms but also new challenges.”

  Though Andrew played violin more often than the piano in his youth, as a teenager his love of piano won out.
Among his favorite pianists –  Sviatoslav Richter. “To me, Richter is the perfect pianist. His artistry encompasses such an immense range
with incredible insight, finesse and power,” says Andrew.  He has sought to emulate Richter’s playing since hearing a recording of the
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 1. He will have his chance when he performs the same work at Royce Hall.

  Joyce Kwak, violin
  B.A., 2019
  Selected work: Britten Violin Concerto, Op. 35 (first movement)
  Neal Stulberg, conductor

  “I’ve always wanted to perform in St. Peter’s Basilica. It’s such a classical place, with so much art and
  history surrounding it.”

  “It’s exciting to be able to interpret an entire piece with a large group of people in the way that you’d want
to—within reason of course.” Joyce chose to perform the Britten Violin Concerto because it is different from a lot of the standard repertoire.
“It’s very challenging for the violin, but it is an incredibly well written piece,” she says. “There is more dialogue between the soloist and the
orchestra than most solo concertos.” The piece also highlights the many ranges and timbres of the violin.

  Matthew Lombard, saxophone
  D.M.A, 2019
  Selected work: Paule Maurice Tableaux de Provence (1963)
  Maxim Kuzin, conductor

  “My hope is that South Africa will become another international hub for classical saxophone.”

  Matthew’s alto saxophone is a Henri Selmer Paris Series III, and is silver-plated. In 2014, he travelled to
  Paris to visit the Selmer factory and handpicked his own instrument. “It’s an experience that will always stay
with me,” he says. Matthew’s long-term goal is to create a significant classical saxophone culture in his home country, South Africa. What
this means: developing more classical saxophone teachers in South Africa while concurrently inspiring local musicians to pursue careers
in music, and running workshops, masterclasses and symposia. 

  Melody Jan, organ
  B.A., 2018
  Selected work: Poulenc Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings in G minor, FP. 93
  Neal Stulberg, conductor

  “As a soloist, there is a particular joy in being able to come in and bring your own ideas and sounds for the piece.”

  “At UCLA, I have learned so much about organ performance – from how to use and showcase the colors and
  strengths of a particular organ, to the nitty-gritty of how to practice a passage into excellence.” Poulenc’s
Concerto for Organ, Timpani and Strings was one of the first organ pieces that Melody heard. “It really was a watershed moment,” she says.
What she enjoys most about the piece is how Poulenc balances the awe-inspiring with the playful. “There are parts that sound like they could
be in a church service. And other parts remind me of a carnival.”.

  Ryan Yamashiro, bassoon
  B.A., 2017
  Selected work: Mozart Bassoon Concerto in B flat, K. 191 (first movement)
  Geoffrey Pope, conductor

  “At UCLA, I found my sound through extensive exposure to many different forms of music.”

  Ryan’s middle school band director was looking for students to switch to bassoon, “so I gave it a shot and
  loved playing it,” he says. The bassoon’s unique punch, with its reedy, but round, timbre, also captivated him.
Preparing for the All-Star concert, he says, “I needed to find a balance to make sure that the colorful sound of the bassoon didn’t take away
from the elegance of Mozart’s music.” While Mozart is a favorite composer, the Japanese bassoonist Rie Koyama is his favorite artist.
“I love how much of her own musicality she puts into all her performances.”

  Yasmeen Richards, French horn
  B.A., 2017
  Selected work: Nino Rota Castel del Monte (1974)
  Geoffrey Pope, conductor

  "Greatness is a gradual process that does not come easily or happen overnight.”

  Yasmeen grew up watching her grandfather, a jazz saxophonist, perform at Los Angeles venues.
  “I didn’t know that I wanted to be a classical musician until high school, but seeing him play in front of people
definitely inspired me to become a musician,” she says. Yasmeen will be front and center at Royce Hall. “The horns are typically asked to
play more subdued to make room for the strings and woodwinds in an orchestra. In this performance, I am the most sonically apparent,
playing at least two times louder than I normally would in a large ensemble.” 

 

Made possible by the David and Irmgard Dobrow Fund. Classical music was a passion of the Dobrows, who established a generous
endowment at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music to make programs like this possible. We are proud to celebrate this program
as part of the 2016-2017 Dobrow Series.