Nashville Symphony Announces Winners of 2015 Curb Concerto Competition

March 23, 2015

Grand Prize winner to perform with orchestra on May 21

Nashville, Tenn. (March 23, 2015) – The Nashville Symphony has announced the winners of the 2015 Curb Concerto Competition, one of Tennessee’s most prestigious student competitions, which annually showcases gifted music students between the ages of 14 and 18 and distributes thousands of dollars in prize money.

Nearly two dozen woodwind, brass, string, piano and percussion students from across Tennessee entered the competition, and the three winners were selected following two days of adjudicated performances at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Violinist Kaili Wang of Brentwood, a ninth grader at Harpeth Hall School, earned top honors for her performance of the 3rd Movement of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3. A student of Dr. Carolyn Huebl at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, where she is the recipient of the Myra Jackson Blair Full Scholarship, Wang currently plays in the Curb Youth Symphony and her school’s chamber orchestra. She has received numerous awards in recent years, including MTNA Tennessee state winner, YAAA Grand Prize winner and TMTA state winner.

As the 2015 Curb Concerto Competition Grand Prize winner, Wang will receive $2,500 and two subscriptions to the Nashville Symphony’s Aegis Sciences Classical Series. She will also appear at the Schermerhorn as a featured soloist, performing her winning selection during the Nashville Symphony’s Side-by-Side Concert with Curb Youth Symphony on May 21.

First runner-up in the competition was awarded to violinist Maggie Kasinger, an eighth-grade home-school student from Springfield, who will receive $1,000 and two partial Aegis Sciences Classical Series subscriptions. David Bender of Franklin, an 11th-grade home-schooled cello player, was named second runner-up and earned $500 and a pair of tickets to an Aegis Sciences Classical Series performance.

The preliminary round of judging on March 14 was adjudicated by Nashville Symphony principal second violinist Carolyn Bailey, cellist Stephen Drake, principal flutist Erik Gratton, principal keyboardist Bob Marler and assistant principal bassist Glenn Wanner. The three finalists’ performances were adjudicated the following day by Nashville Symphony assistant conductor Vinay Parameswaran, director of artistic administration Larry Tucker, director of education and community engagement Walter Bitner and assistant principal flutist Ann Richards, as well as Blair School of Music Associate Dean Pam Schneller.

One of 25 Nashville Symphony education and community engagement programs that reach and engage more than 100,000 Middle Tennessee children and adults every year, the Curb Competition is a key component of the organization’s mission to promote and support young musicians statewide.

“The Nashville Symphony treasures its role as a leader in music education,” director of education and community engagement Walter Bitner said, “and we take great pride in this program, which is helping to develop the next generation of great musicians.”