2022 Youth Concerto Competition Winners

The Clear Lake Symphony held its annual Youth Concerto Competition on January 8,  2022 for young artists from Houston area high schools, junior highs, and elementary schools.  The winners will be provided with a scholarship and will perform as a featured soloist with the Clear Lake Symphony at the March 4th, 2022 concert at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church at 18220 Upper Bay Road, in Nassau Bay.  This year’s winners can also be found in the Clear Lake Symphony eNewsletter Vol. 13 Issue 4.  A total of thirty six (36) contestants participated in this year’s competition.


No Winner

Caroline Lawson (Flute) Winner, Senior Wind Division,  Doppler – “Fantaisie Pastorale Hongroise, Op. 26″

Caroline is the daughter of Curtis and Amy Lawson.  She is a currently a Junior (age 17) at Kinder HSPVA in Houston.  She has studied flute for 7 years and her music teacher is Ema Armanious.

Caroline won the Clear Lake Symphony Youth Concerto Competition Junior Wind Division in 2019.  She also was a finalist in the 2021 Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition and Honorable Mention at Kinder HSPVA Concerto Competition.

Caroline enjoys reading, and spending time with friends and family.  She plans on pursuing flute performance in college and as a career.


Danial Hendi (Piano), Winner, Junior Piano Division, Gershwin –Rhapsody in Blue ”

Danial is the son of Farshad Hendi and Sima Asadi.  He is a Freshman (age 14) at Carnegie Vanguard High School.  He has studied piano for 10 years and is a student of Dr. Ying Zhang.

Danial earned 1st place in the 2020-2021TMTA Concerto Competition 2020-2021, 1st place in the 2019 TMTA Solo Competition and 1st Place in the 2018 Steinway Competition.

Danial enjoys music, reading and debate.

Sam Goldfarb (Piano), Winner, Senior Piano Division, Rachmaninov – “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, mvt. 1″

Sam is the son of Brian and Rysse Goldfarb.  He is a student at Kinder HSPVA in Houston.  He is currently a Junior year (age 16) at Kinder HSPVA. He has been studying piano for 13 years and his music teachers are Richard Marshall and Rodolfo Morales.

Sam is a Gold Medal winner and has earned the Jan Ekier Award (The Best Performance of the Most Difficult Piece) at the Eleventh International Chopin Youth Competition, Senior Division.  He also placed 3rd in the 2021 HSPVA Concerto Competition

Sam enjoys playing chess, tennis, ping- pong.  He enjoys studying math and is also doing some composing and arranging.


Nicholas Wong (Cello), Winner, Junior String Division, Tchaikovsky – “Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33″

Nicholas is the son of Jing Chen and Xiao Wong.  He is currently in the 8th grade (age 13) and is homeschooled.  He has been studying piano for 8 years and is the student of Xiao Wong.

Nicholas has earned First Prize in the 2019 David Popper International Cello Competition in Hungary, First Prize in the 2019 Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition and Winner of the Houston Young Artist audition in 2016 and 2018.

Nicholas enjoys hiking and climbing with Yellowstone and White National Parks being among his favorites.  He finds world history to be fascinating along with enjoying vintage American culture.  His biggest ambition is to be principal cellist of a major US orchestra with a scenic backdrop.

Ellen Joowon Seok (Violin), Co-Winner, Senior String Division, Sibelius, “Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47, mvt. 1″

Ellen is the daughter of Jiyoun Kim.  She is Senior (age 16) at Memorial High School. She has been studying violin for 11 years and her music teachers are Hannah Watson and Sandy Yamamoto.

Ellen is a 3-year Texas Allstate Orchestra violinist.  She has also been a Winner of Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition and earned Silver Winner in the NLPA International YA Competition.

Ellen enjoys playing chamber music with her friends and has been a violinist in the Houston Youth Symphony for 6 years.  She is also a figure skater and partakes in various sport activities  In her free time, she likes to read and teach younger students.


Mary Brook Hartmann (Cello), Co-Winner, Senior String Division, Kabalevsky – “Cello Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 49, mvt. 1″

Mary is the daughter of Constance Lagrone and Russell Hartmann.  She is a Sophomore (age 15) at Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA).  She has been studying cello for 7 years and her teachers are Max Geisser and Richard Aaron.

Mary has won First prize in the 2021 Bonn Grand Prize Virtuoso Internal Music Competition, won prizes at the Helen P. Olshan Foundation Concert Competition, the Houston Civic Symphony Concerto Competition and Texas MTNA.

Mary is passionate about chamber music; she loves playing with her HSPVA quartet.  Her other interests include traveling, classic film and major league baseball.  She hopes to study music in college and become a professional cellist.



Thank You Christina Bires !

Many thanks go to Competition Coordinator, Christina Bires, for her tireless work to put this competition and concert together.  A big thank you also goes to their committee who helped during the competition and the judges on January 8, 2022.

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