Competition Info

Young Artists Concerto Competition History

In Memory of Arthur D. Montzka

Arthur Dale Montzka was the conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra for more than 20 years. During that time the group expanded from a handful of amateur music-makers, practicing in church basements and high-school band rooms, to a full orchestra of more than 60 players performing a series of concerts for the public each year.

Mr. Montzka especially enjoyed working with young people, and he encouraged his private- and public-school students to join the orchestra. Knowing that there were many exceptionally talented young players in the area, he established the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition. Since its inception in 1985-86, with the first concerto-competition winner announced in the 1986-87 season, more than 150 musicians have auditioned to play with the orchestra and four dozen have been selected for that opportunity. Many of the concerto winners have gone on to prestigious schools of music and successful artistic careers.

In November of 2002, Mr. Montzka was killed in an automobile accident, just 22 hours after conducting a KSO concert.

In January of 2003, the Board of Directors of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra proudly named the annual concerto competition the Arthur D, Montzka Young Artists Concerto Competition.


Past Competition Winners

2023 – Ella Wimbiscus, playing Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme
2022 – Esme Arias-Kim, playing Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
2020 – Isabella Brown, playing Beethoven: Violin Concert in D Major, Op. 61
2019 – John Heo, playing Walton: Concerto in B minor for Violin and Orchestra
2018 – William Tan, playing Elgar: Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
2017 – Maya Anjali Buchanan, playing Korngold: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35
2016 – Karisa Chiu, playing Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47
2015 – Nathan Mo, playing Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107
2014 – Colin Choi, playing Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor: 1st movement
2014 – Sean Choi, playing Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3: 1st movement
2013 – Kelly Talim, playing Brahms: Concerto for Violin, Op. 77
2012 – Claire Bourg, playing Khachaturian: Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
2011 – Laura Park, playing Prokofiev: Concerto for Violin in G Minor, Op.63.
2010 – Ryan Murphy, playing Sibelius: Concerto for Violin in D Minor, Op. 47
2010 – Nathan Noh, playing Tchaikovsky: Concerto No. 1 for Piano in B-flat Minor, Op. 23
2009 – Kevin Hu, playing Vieuxtemps: Concerto No. 5  for Violin in A Minor, Op. 37
2008 – Mindy Park, playing Shostakovich: Concerto No. 1 for Cello in E-flat Major, Op. 107
2008 – Vincent Meklis, playing Ravel: Tzigane for Violin
2007 – Benjamin Lash, playing Hindemith: Concerto for Cello, 1940, 1st movement
2007 – Christine Murphy, playing Bizet: Fantaisie Brillante, based on “Carmen”
2006 – Kevin Kordi, piano, playing Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue
2005 – Shawn Moore, playing Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in E Minor, Op. 64
2004 – Hejin Bae, playing Sibelius: Violin Concert in D Minor, Op. 47
2003 – Rachel Kudo, playing Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor, Op. 23, 1st movement
2003 – Jessica Hung, playing Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Major, K. 21
2003 – Tim Sawyier, playing R. Strauss: Oboe Concerto, 1st movement
2002 – Hiro Matsuo, playing Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33
2002 – Nataliz Szadkowski, playing  Khachaturian: Violin Concerto in D Major, 1st movement
2001 – Jessica Ann Schmitz, playing Mozart: Flute Concerto No. 2 in D Major
2001 – Tomo Matsuo, playing Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73 (“Emperor”)
2001 – Anna Burden, playing Dvorak: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104, 1st movement
2001 – Lisa Steltenpohl, playing Bartok: Viola Concerto, Op. Post
2000 – Stephanie Nilles, playing Chopin: Piano Concerto No. 2 in F Minor, 1st movement
2000 – Anna Steltenpohl, playing Hummel: Adagio and Variations, Op. 102, for Oboe
2000 – Eunice Keem, playing Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op.35, 1st movement
1999 – Elise Goodman, playing Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No. 2 in G Minor, Op. 63, Allegro moderato
1999 – Amy Chung, playing Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622, 2nd movement: Rondo
1999 – Gina DiBello, playing Glazunov: Violin Concerto in A Minor, Op. 82
1998 – Stephanie Wu, playing Camille Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No. 2, Op. 22, Allegro moderato
1998 – Julie Fischer, playing Sibelius: Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47, Allegro moderato
1997 – Sarah Koo, playing Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 107, Allegretto
1997 – James Toth, playing Paganini: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 6, Allegro maestoso
1996 – Jonathan Venzon, playing Haydn: Cello Concerto in C Major
1996 – Caroline Chin, playing Brahms: Piano Concerto in D Major, Op. 77, Allegro non troppo
1995 – Julia Oh, playing Saint- Saëns: Cello Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 33
1995 – Grant Moffet, playing Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C Major, Op. 44
1994 – Deb Fialek, playing Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major
1994 – Alison Zlotow, Violin, playing Nero: The Hot Canary
1993 – Karen Basrak, playing Dvořák: Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104
1992 – Kenneth Preuss, playing Larsson: Concertino for Trombone
1992 – Cathy Basrak, playing Stravinsky: Concerto in D Major for Violin, Capriccio; and Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20 (Gypsy Airs)
1991 – Lisa Chu, playing Tchaikovsky: Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, for Violin
1990 – Mathew Fuerst, playing Beethoven: Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major for Piano
1989 – Eugenia Ann Wie, playing Wieniawski: Concerto No. 2 for Violin, Op. 22
1988 – Annie Chen, playing Haydn: Concerto in D Major for Piano and Orchestra
1987 – Karen Reitan, playing Mozart: Horn Concerto in E-flat Major, K. 417, Allegro maestoso
1987 – Patrick Smith, Violin, playing Saint-Saëns: Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28
1987 – David Zar, Bassoon, playing Mozart: Bassoon Concerto in B-flat Major, Allegro