Young Artist Violin Competition

In the spring of 2017, the BPO offered a competition opportunity to young artists.  High-level violinists under age 18 applied for the opportunity to win a $1,000 award and a performance in 2018 with Dennis Kim and the BPO playing the Bach Double Violin Concerto.  The competition was open to artists in the eight counties of Western New York (Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, Wyoming, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany) and Southern Ontario.  Applications were due in May and the live finals at Kleinhans Music Hall took place on Saturday, June 3rd.


Matt Cone, Christophe Koenig, Valerie Heywood, Alice Lee, Antoine Lefebvre and Dennis Kim

1st Prize – Alice Lee,  age 17 from Markham Ontario

1st runner up – Christophe Koenig, age 17 from East Aurora, NY

2nd runner up – Matt Cone, age 16 from Williamsville, NY

Judges for the competition were BPO concertmaster Dennis Kim, principal 2nd violinist Antoine Lefebvre, and principal violist Valerie Heywood.


There were 7 finalists for the competition.  Each young artist performed at the live audition at Kleinhans Music Hall.  In addition to the winners above, the following violinists competed on June 3rd:

Sadie Anderson, age 16 from Jamestown, NY

Renee Hanna Anton, age 14 from Toronto, Ontario

Harry Jihun Kang, age 17 from Thornhill, Ontario

Grace Speller, age 15 from Amherst, NY

Rear left to right – Grace Speller, Sadie Anderson, Christophe Koenig, Harry Jihun Kang and Renee Hanna Anton.   Seated – Matt Cone and Alice Lee


Congratulations to all of our participants!