Sydney Lee is an 19-year-old cellist. At the age of 14, she made her solo debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Maestro Hong in Heinz Hall. She won 1st place in the senior division of the 10th International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Croatia and as a result, she will debut with The Zagreb Soloists in Oct 2015. She also won 2nd place in the 2014 Lennox International Young Artists Competition. She was selected as a 2015 National YoungArts Foundation finalist. Subsequently she was invited to Miami, FL in January 2015 for a weeklong intensive National YoungArts week. In June of 2015, The White House Commission for Presidential Scholars and Department of Education named Ms. Lee a 2015 Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Subsequently she performed at the Millenium Stage, John F. Kennedy Center. Ms. Lee is also the recipient of the 2015 Korean Honors Scholarship at the Embassy of South Korea, Washington DC. As the winner of numerous competitions, Ms. Lee was featured as a soloist with the following orchestras: Thurnauer Chamber Orchestra, NJ Philharmonic Orchestra, Duquesne Symphony, Ensemble 212, Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard Precollege Symphony, and the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Lee has been featured on NPR's "From the Top", a national radio broadcast, as a soloist in 2012 performing in the Palladium, Center of Performing Arts in Indiana. Also, Ms. Lee's performance and interview was seen on Croatian TV Istra. During the summers, Ms. Lee has participated in the MusicAlps Festival at the Academie Internationale de Courchevel in France, The Meadowmount School of Music, Sejong International Music Festival, and The Morningside Music Bridge Program in Calgary, Alberta, Canada receiving a full scholarship. She was the recipient of their Stewart Holland Memorial Award. Recently, in the summer of 2015, Ms. Lee attended the Aspen Music Festival as a fellow on a Ruth Coates Roush Scholarship. Ms. Lee studied at the Julliard School Pre College Division with Clara Kim and Richard Aaron. Other influential teachers have included Wendy Warner, Hans Jorgen Jensen, Julie Albers, Sophie Shao, and Soo Youn Lee. Ms. Lee is currently in her second year of undergraduate studies at The Curtis Institute of Music studying with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey. Ms. Lee was the lead cellist (2013-2015) and a founding member of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble.
Myung-In (Solomon) Lee has been playing cello for five years, and this school year marks his third year in the Pre-College Division of the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where he studies under Marion Feldman. He is a recipient of the Max Reger Endeavor Award and a winner of the 2013 American Youth Talent and Art Contests. Solomon earned Dean’s List distinction all four years of high school by maintaining a consistent, unweighted 4.0 GPA while taking every core honors and IB Higher Level class offered. During his freshman year, he was chosen as a finalist in the Camerer competition - Dwight's annual personal essay writing competition. Moreover, he quickly involved himself in school politics by campaigning for and being voted as the ninth grade representative to the student council. As a sophomore, he was elected to be Dwight's youngest Student Council Treasurer and, during his junior year, founded the Dwight Student Bill of Rights. Moreover, Solomon was chosen as a School Representative for the Global Issues Network (GIN) Conference in Luxembourg, where he presented on e-waste, discussed global issues with students from across America, Europe, and Asia, and met founders of non-profit organizations. Also, he was asked to represent his grade in a discussion panel for the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith and was one of two students invited to represent the student body in the Dwight Language Policy Committee. Solomon also interned as Head of Youth Activities for Council Member Ben Kallos' campaign to represent District 5 in the New York City Council. At school, he was a member of the Dwight Varsity Basketball Team that became ACIS League Season Champions, ACIS League Playoff Champions, and NYSAIS Division B Champions two years in a row. During the 2012-2013 season, he was the Dwight Basketball Team Captain. Moreover, Solomon is a recipient of, among others, the Korean American Scholarship Foundation (KASF) High School Grant, the Alex Assoian Music Project (AAMP) Grant, and the Questbridge College Prep Scholarship. In the fall of 2016, Solomon will begin his second year of college at Harvard University. Solomon is a founding member of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble.
Michael Won, a cellist and a graduate of the Dalton School, studied with Minhye Clara Kim at the Pre-College Division of The Juilliard School. He participated in the Pre-College Orchestra and the chamber music program. Michael claimed first prize as a soloist in National League of Performing Arts, American Protege, American Fine Arts Festival, and the East Coast International Competition. He is also a prize winner of New York Artists International Competition and the International Virtuoso Competition. He has performed in venues such as Steinway Hall; Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall; Merkin Concert Hall; DiMenna Center; and Paul Hall, Morse Hall, and Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center. Michael has previously studied with Ann Alton and Irene Sharp. He has attended the Meadowmount School of Music and Great Mountains Music Festival. His summer teachers include Hans Jorgen Jensen, Melissa Kraut, Lluís Claret and Ole Akahoshi. Since the eighth grade, Michael has hosted Salut de la Musique at Roosevelt-Mt. Sinai Hospital. As part of this initiative, Michael organizes and performs in monthly concerts for inpatients. He has also conducted science laboratory research at New York Medical College. He placed first in New York City’s Behavior and Science category of the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium in 2014. He is also a prizewinner in New York City’s Science and Engineering Fair. He represented the junior class of the Dalton School’s Committee of Student Conduct. Michael spearheads the Dalton Music Outreach Initiative. In his free time, he enjoys reading and exploring New York City. In the fall of 2016, Michael will begin college at Harvard University. Michael is a founding member of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble.
Leonardo Ko, cellist, is a graduate of Tappan Zee High School. He studied with Caroline Stinson at The Juilliard School Pre-College Division, where he was a member of the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra, String Quartet and Piano Trio. Previous teachers include Francis Rowell, Ann Alton, and Chungsun Kim. In 2011, Leonardo won the Korea Radio Broadcast and Crescendo International Competitions, performing twice as a soloist at Weill Recital Hall. He again won these honors in 2013 and performed at Weill Recital Hall. In 2012, as a winner of the Union City Symphony Competition, he performed at Symphony Space in New York City. As a winner of the Adelphi Orchestra Competition in 2013, he performed at The Dimenna Center. After winning the Hudson Concerto Competition, Leonardo performed at the Union City Performing Arts Center. In October 2013, Leonardo won Grand Prize at the Rockland Music Teacher's Guild Concerto Competition, where he performed as a soloist with the Rockland Symphony Orchestra at their winner's concert. In April 2014, he was the first prize winner of New York Artist International Competition. In June 2014, Leonardo was featured as a soloist with the North Jersey Symphony, playing the Elgar cello concerto. In March 2015, he won the Gold Medal from the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented, again performing as soloist at Weill Recital Hall in their winner’s concert. Leonardo’s orchestral experience includes playing with the respective orchestras at The Juilliard Pre-College (since 2011-present), Summit Music Festival (2012, 2013), Tanglewood Music Festival (2014), and Tappan Zee High School, where he is currently principal cellist. A 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Mr. Ko also enjoys hanging out with friends, playing the guitar, and learning how to make films. In the fall of 2016, Leo will begin college at Brown University. Leo is a founding member of the Heartstrings Cello Ensemble.