2013/14 Concerto Competition Winner: Yolanda Tapia Hernandez
Music, Orchestra, University Center for the Arts | March 04, 2014
The Concerto Competition at CSU, held Feb. 12 at the University Center for the Arts this year, is an annual event that features the best soloists the program has to offer. These soloists, chosen through audition, compete for monetary awards. First place is awarded $1,000, second place $750, and third place $500.
This year’s finalists were Robert Bonner, trumpet; Adrian Barrera Ramos, violin; and this year’s winner, Yolanda Tapia Hernandez.
“I’m always amazed at the extraordinary level of performance by our concerto finalists,” said director of university orchestras Wes Kenney. “They play with energy and passion, plus the competition is always friendly, but fierce!”
The soloists each selected a piece (up to 16 minutes in length) to play with the University Symphony Orchestra during the competition.
As a second year Master’s student in collaborative piano, Ms. Tapia was drawn to the youthfulness and sparkle in the first movement of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3.
“As we have come to expect, it was an exciting evening full of wonderful performances and a rich and varied repertoire,” said Todd Queen, chair of the Department of Music, Theatre & Dance. “We have some extraordinary students at this university who represent us well in all aspects of our program and I congratulate the students and their teachers for their hard work in this process.”
Tapia credits her study with CSU’s Dr. Silvana Santinelli for encouraging her to compete again this year. During last year’s competition, Tapia took second prize behind fellow pianist André Short.
“I had a lot of other auditions and things going on at the same time I was preparing for the competition,” said Tapia. “But [Dr. Santinelli] gave me the push I needed to compete.”
Anticipating a career in performance and teaching, Tapia feels this award has given her more confidence in her pursuits. Her special interest is in exploring piano music by Mexican composers.
As a Fulbright Scholar from Xalapa, Mexico, Tapia has worked extremely hard to get where she is. She began playing age seven in a youth music program at the Institute of Music of Veracruz State, where she spent 10 years in training. Before coming to CSU, she built her resume through several performance opportunities, including as a finalist of the IV and V edition of the international piano competition “Maria Clara Cullel” in San Jose, Costa Rica; winner of the Concerto Competition with Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in 2009; and recipient of the prize “Manuel M Ponce” for best chamber music group at the Chamber Music Festival in Aguascalientes, Mexico in 2011.
“It has been such a pleasure to work with Yolanda,” said her CSU instructor Silvana Santinelli. “She is extremely talented and is a quick learner and is very musical. Her performances are always full of passion! I am very proud of her, and I know she will succeed in anything she sets her mind to.”