Young Artist contest winner to perform March 31

Samuel Vargas, 22, to join Jefferson Symphony Orchestra for concert after winning 2019 competition

Staff report
Posted 2/26/19

Violinist Samuel Vargas is the winner of Jefferson Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Young Artists Competition. Vargas captivated the judges with his audition-winning performance of Jean Sibelius’ Violin …

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Young Artist contest winner to perform March 31

Samuel Vargas, 22, to join Jefferson Symphony Orchestra for concert after winning 2019 competition

Posted

Violinist Samuel Vargas is the winner of Jefferson Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 Young Artists Competition.

Vargas captivated the judges with his audition-winning performance of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D Minor. The award of top-prize earned Vargas $3,000 and a guest performance with Jefferson Symphony during its upcoming concert March 31.

Vargas, 22, studies violin performance at the Schwob School of Music, Columbus State University in Georgia. Originally from Venezuela, Vargas started training on the violin when he was 11 years old. Over a few years, he received prizes from civic and nationwide arts performing groups.

Prior performance roles include Concertmaster Ambassador for the 69th Anniversary of the United Nations, Classical Artist Award (2016) for Football Metropolitan Federation in Venezuela and solo appearances with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra under famed conductor Gustavo Dudamel.

The announcement of Vargas’s win follows a full day of competition Jan. 5 at Colorado Christian University; 11 finalists were selected after a live-audition round of performances. Contestants ranged in age from 14-23 and were attracted to Jefferson Symphony’s Young Artists Competition from all over the United States.

The three judges unanimously awarded Samuel Vargas top-prize for his musicianship and bravura. A second place prize of $2,000 was awarded to Clayton Hancock, who performed Brahms’ Violin Concerto. Hancock, 17, resides in Memphis, Tennessee, and also performs in concerts and recitals around the state. Third place and $1,000 was awarded to harpist Abigail Enssle, a student at Colorado State University.

Now in its 60th year, the Jefferson Symphony competition has evolved from local contest to an international gathering of young musicians competing for solo artist privileges and scholarship money. This year’s focus was on stringed instruments — the concentration changes yearly — allowing contestants to showcase skills and talents unique to their instrument.

The annual competition is co-sponsored by the Jefferson Symphony Association and Colorado Christian University, its underwriters include Wilmot Charitable Trust and Karl and Karen Kappler.

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