Nashville Symphony announces 2012 Curb Concerto Competition Winners

March 13, 2012

Three students awarded a total of $5,000, with grand prize winner to perform at Schermerhorn

Yusuke Yamanaka, a student at Maryville High School, took top honors at the Nashville Symphony’s Curb Records Young Musicians Concerto Competition, held March 10-11 at Schermerhorn Symphony Center. As grand prize winner, Yamanaka was presented with a $3,000 scholarship, a SunTrust Classical Series ticket package for four, and the opportunity to perform in concert at the Nashville Symphony’s Side-by-Side Concert on May 24 at the Schermerhorn. Yamanaka studies piano with David Northington, Professor of Piano at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

The Curb Concerto Competition, which takes place at the Schermerhorn each March, attracts students from across the state. This year, 23 applicants between the ages of 14 and 18 prepared, practiced and then performed in a daylong audition on Saturday, March 10, with the semi-finalists called back for the final round the following day. The first round was judged by a panel of three musicians in the categories of strings, woodwinds, piano and percussion. The final round was judged by Jonah Rabinowitz, CEO of W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School; Kelly Corcoran, Associate Conductor of the Nashville Symphony; and Andy Campbell, Education & Community Engagement Program Manager for the Nashville Symphony.

First runner-up in the competition was violin student Nathan Lowry, who studies with Chris Teal, Professor of Violin at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music. Lowry received a $1,500 scholarship and a partial SunTrust Classical Series ticket package. Finalist Alex Wilborn, who studies trumpet with Dr. Charles Decker, Professor of Music at Tennessee Tech, took home a $500 award.

In addition to providing opportunities for talented students through the Curb Concerto Competition, the Nashville Symphony also annually awards a total of $7,500 in scholarships to dedicated young musicians through the Thor Johnson Scholarship Fund. Administered by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra League, these scholarships were recently presented to Evan Booher, a senior at Aaron Academy in Hendersonville, who will use the $1,500 award to continue his piano training, and to Hannah Heinz, a senior at Gateway Christian in Dickson, who will use her $1,000 award to pursue her piano studies. Dedicated music students in fifth through 12th grades living in Davidson and surrounding Middle Tennessee counties are eligible to apply for the Thor Johnson Scholarship each year. The fifth through 11th grade winners will be announced later this spring and posted at

To learn more about the Nashville Symphony’s music education programs, which reach 80,000 students each year, visit

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The GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its recordings and innovative programming. With more than 140 performances annually, the 85-member orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, children’s concerts and community engagement programs. The Symphony will be premiering a commission by Terry Riley at Carnegie Hall in May 2012, as part of the Spring for Music festival. As a national and international ambassador for Tennessee, the Nashville Symphony has received far-reaching acclaim for its 19 recordings on Naxos, making the ensemble one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. These recordings have received a total of 14 GRAMMY® nominations and seven GRAMMY® Awards.