Several undergraduate string players win impressive solo engagements and competitions

May 4, 2001

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Eastman Office of Communications, 585-274-1050

ROCHESTER, NY – Several young string players from the Eastman School of Music have been quietly stealing center stage in recent months, showcasing their tremendous talent and training. The students, all undergraduates, have received high honors at a variety of international competitions – leading to some exciting performance opportunities.

British cellist Guy Johnston, 19, who won the 2000 BBC Young Musicians Competition last August, will perform on many of the world’s stages in the coming year. Most impressively, he has been invited to solo on opening night (July 20) of the BBC Proms Festival at London’s Royal Albert Hall. In a concert that will be televised live in his homeland, Johnston will perform Elgar’s Cello Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Slatkin. Johnston, who made his debut with the English Chamber Orchestra in March, is completing his sophomore year of study with Eastman Professor of Cello Steven Doane.

Violinist Boram Kang, a 19-year-old freshman from Silver Springs, MD, and student of Professor of Violin Charles Castleman, took the top prize in the National Symphony Orchestra Young Soloist Competition held in Washington, DC, earlier this year. Kang, who competed against hundreds of other young musicians from around the country, will perform her winning Glazunov Concerto with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy center on June 6.

Another violinist, 20-year-old Boris Zelichenok from St. Petersburg, Russia, will make his Carnegie Hall debut on May 13 – the result of being named a winner of the 2001 Russian-American Music Association Young Virtuosos Competition. This competition allows students from any country to compete by performing music by Russian or American composers. Zelichenok, a student of Distinguished Professor of Violin Zvi Zeitlin, is one of several instrumentalists invited to perform in the Carnegie Hall concert. He will play Paganini’s Caprice No. 5.

Cellist Mimi Furuya, a 22-year-old student of Distinguished Professor of Cello Alan Harris, has had an impressive run of accomplishments during her senior year at Eastman. Most recently, she was accepted into the first round of the prestigious Naumburg International Cello Competition to be held this month in New York City. Furuya, who lives in the New York area, also took third prize at the Kingsville (TX) International Competition held in April and was awarded the prize for outstanding cello performance. She was one of just 26 contestants – out of hundreds of applicants from more than 15 countries – selected to compete in the string division in this competition. Last November, she won second prize at the 41st International Sorantin Young Artist Competition held in San Angelo, TX.