First prize of $1,000 was awarded to 17-year-old violinist Keila Wakao, with the opportunity to perform in concert with the orchestra


Violinist Keila Wakao | Walnut Hill School for the Arts

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The Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has announced 17-year-old violinist Keila Wakao as the winner of its 2023 Concerto Competition. Nine finalists performed on Thursday, 12 October, with the winner receiving a cash prize of $1,000 and the opportunity to perform with the orchestra in concert. 

Second prize was awarded to violinist Jiyu Oh, with third prize tied between french hornist Yuxuan Daniel Ma and pianist Andrew Sijie Li.

Wakao is a student at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, and studies violin privately with Donald Weilerstein and Soovin Kim at the New England Conservatory of Music.

’I am so grateful to have won the Boston Symphony Concerto Competition, as it has always been a lifelong dream to perform with the BSO in Symphony Hall,’ said Wakao. ’I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to my teachers, family, and friends for their unwavering support. Most importantly, I would like to acknowledge the incredible dedication and hard work of all the competitors who participated.’

Wakao will perform her winning rendition of the second movement of Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor with the BSO on 28 October at the Symphony Hall in Boston.

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