Concerto competition winners

Sunday, June 16, 2024, 7:30 p.m.

Announcement from the President and Music Director (pdf)

J.B. Accolay:  Violin Concerto #1
    Noelle Spencer, soloist
Charles de Beriot: Violin Concerto #7 (1st mvt.)
    Nathaniel Shpigelmacher, soloist
Yuri Polunin: Concertino in a minor
    Volodymyr Seputnyak, piano soloist
Edouard Lalo, Symphonie Espagnole (1st mvt.)
    Vivienne Shiao, violin soloist
Luigi Boccherini:  Cello concerto #9 in Bb major (1st mvt.)
    Ian-Rhie Kim
Edward Elgar, Cello concerto (1st mvt.)
    Andrew Huang, soloist
Stephen Flaherty, "In my dreams", from Anastasia
    Margaryta Kuzina, soprano
Juliua Conus, Violin concerto (1st mvt.)
    Lauryn Varnell, soloist
Sergei Rachmaninoff:  Piano Concerto #2 (1st mvt.)
    Timotee Allouch Chantipie, soloist

Maxim Kuzin, Conductor and Music Director

Admission is free; open seating

Palisades Lutheran Church
15905 Sunset Blvd. (corner of El Medio)
Pacific Palisades,  CA 90272


Every Spring the Palisades Symphony conducts a competition for instrumentalists of middle and high school age from the local area. The winners are given cash prizes and an opportunity to perform a concerto movement with the orchestra in their June concert.

Year after year, the winners of this competition prove to be amazing performers, and the Palisades players have found it a great pleasure to serve as the orchestra for their solo appearances.

Notes on the program

The nine works we offer on June 16th cover quite a range, and for several, this is the first time we have ever performed them.

 Edouard Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole for violin and orchestra (1874), performed by Vivien Shiao, Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto (1919), performed by Andrew Huang, and Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto (1901), performed by Timotee Allouch-Champie, are all big-time, core works of the concerto literature for these instrumuents, beloved by concert audiences for over a century. Our young soloists, who have mastered the formidable technical skills need to perform these works well, are also bringing their own fast-maturing skills of interpretation and expression to the task, and we have hugely enjoyed hearing their performances in rehearsal.

Jules Conus (1869-1942) was a Russian composer, an outstanding violinist, and a protegé of Tchaikovsky. He is mainly remembered for a single work, his Violin Concerto, to be given a fiery performance on 6/16 by Lauryn Varnell.

The works featured in our program by Yuri Polunin (1913–1982), to be performed by Volodymyr Soputnyak, Jean-Baptiste Accolay (1833–1900), to be performed by Noel Spencer, and Charles de Bériot (1802–1870), to be performed by Nathanial Shpiegelmacher, are gems within the teaching repertoire, treasured for cultivating artistic expression and technical skill among emerging musicians. While these composers may not be as universally recognized as some giants of the classical era, their contributions to music are invaluable, offering performers a rich palette of stylistic and technical challenges. These concertos are more than training pieces; they are profound works that allow young soloists to demonstrate their interpretative maturity and technical prowess. We are delighted by the dedication and passion our soloists bring to these engaging compositions.

The B-flat Cello Concerto of Luigi Boccherini (1743-1805) is the only Classical-era work on the program. Boccherini’s musical idiom is plainly related to Haydn and Mozart’s, but has its own quirkiness that we think you will appreciate in Ian Thie-Kim’s thoughtful performance.

 Stephen Flaherty’s “In my dreams,” from Anastasia, falls in the mainstream Broadway-show musical idiom, of which it is an outstanding example; it packs a huge emotional punch. You will hear Margaryta Kuzina’s precocious mastery of this idiom in a spot-on performance.