Young Steinway

Our Young Steinway concerts showcase young people with extraordinary talent, giving local audiences the chance to enjoy first-class music, for free, close to home. Many performers have gone on to great achievements as professional musicians.

Attending a concert

Concerts begin at 3 pm in the Petty Auditorium. Free tickets are distributed at 2:30 pm. Doors open at 2:45 pm, beginning with people with disabilities.

This year's program

  • October 5, 2014: Chloe Lee, Violin and Benjamin Kolot, Piano
  • October 19, 2014: Teacher Concert
  • November 2, 2014: Rebecca Moy, Violin and Alice Zhang, Piano
  • December 7, 2014: Eleanor Goes, Violin and Antony Simonoff, Piano
  • January 4, 2015: Lauren Conroy, Violin and Grace Tu, Piano
  • February 1, 2015: Piano Trio Royale and Perreault Duo
  • March 1, 2015: Dionna Bidny, Piano and Elizabeth Chang, Flute
  • March 22, 2015: Samuel Liu, Piano and Kirsten Lee, Violin
  • April 12, 2015: Benjamin Smelser, Trombone and Nathan Walhout, Cello
  • May 3, 2015: Colin Choi, Piano and Rachel Hsu, Violin
  • June 7, 2015: Kimberly Han, Piano and Haddon Kay, Cello

October 5, 2014: Chloe Lee, Violin and Benjamin Kolot, Piano

Chloe Lee attends the sophomore at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Her Recent performances and honors include being featured soloist for Waltham and Lowell Philharmonic Orchestras in January 2014 after winning their concerto competitions, 2013 winner of the Paul Vermel Young Artist Award and performed the Barber Violin concerto with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra in May 2014. A native of Chicago, Chloe is a student of Desiree Ruhstrat. She also is an active fashion blogger, ranked #11 in the Teen Vogue Fashion Click’s “Top 100 Bloggers”

Benjamin Kolot is a freshman at New Trier Township High School in Northfield. He has performed on WFMT’s Introductions in March 2014, was a semifinalist in 2014 International Institute of Young Musicians Competition held at the University of Kansas, and was the first-place winner in 2013 Illinois State Music Teachers Association Competition. Benjamin studies piano with Brenda Huang. Benjamin also plays trumpet in band at school. He also enjoys sports and computer games

October 19, 2014: Teacher Concert

Desiree Ruhstrat, Violin, David Cunliffe, Cello, and Goran Ivanovic, Guitar

Lincoln Trio members Desiree Ruhstrat and David Cunliffe, both teachers of numerous Young Steinway Concert Series performers over the years, join guitar virtuoso Goran Ivanovic to present exciting works by Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, Isaac Albéniz, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Armando Susmano, and Astor Piazzolla. Only two years in existence, this trio has developed a unique repertoire and has performed world premieres of a number of pieces and has commissioned original music by young composers. Their recent performances include appearances at Beethoven Festival, Latino Music Festival, Live from WFMT, Music in the Loft, Mayne Stage, and as guests of the Ravinia Festival on their recent European tour.

November 2, 2014: Rebecca Moy, Violin and Alice Zhang, Piano

Rebecca Moy is a freshman at Naperville Christian Academy. She earned an honorable mention in the junior division of the 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, is the assistant concertmaster of Midwest Young Artists Concert Orchestra since fall 2013, and is the second place winner in Granquist Olympic Division Strings Competition. She studies violin with Drew Lecher. Rebecca also plays piano and is a member of a string quartet at Midwest Young Artists. Her other interests include photography and learning French

Alice Zhang is an eighth grader at Hawthorn Middle School North in Vernon Hills. She won second place in the junior division of the 2014 Emilio del Rosario Piano Concerto Competition, earned honorable mention in the junior division of the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and performed in the honors recital at the International Piano Festival in Vienna. She studies piano with Brenda Huang. Alice also plays violin in the Midwest Young Artists Concert Orchestra. Her other interests include math and scholastic bowl team.

December 7, 2014: Eleanor Goes, Violin and Antony Simonoff, Piano

Eleanor Goes is a sophomore at Evanston Township High School. She was a finalist in 2014 Chicago Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, she toured to China and performance in Millennium Park with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra in June 2014, and performed Barber and Shostakovich concertos at Grace Lutheran Church of River Forest in 2013. She studies violin with Michael L. Hining, member of Chicago Youth Symphony and Encore Chamber Orchestra, cofounded a chamber group ‘Black Sleeves’. She also enjoys traveling and doing covers of pop songs with friends.

Antony Simonoff is a freshman at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. She earned cecond place in the intermediate B level of the 2014 Carmel Debut International Piano Competition, was a finalist in the 2014 Chopin Youth Piano Competition, and won a Merit Scholarship at Music Institute of Chicago since 2012. She studies piano with Theodore Edel. Antony also participates in chamber groups at the Music Institute of Chicago, coached by Marta Aznavoorian. Her other interests includ reading, science, and math

January 4, 2015: Lauren Conroy, Violin and Grace Tu, Piano

Lauren Conroy, Violin is a junior at Barrington High School. She is the winner of Barrington High School Young Performers Competition in 2013 and 2014, toured four cities in China in June 2014 with Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, has performed in masterclasses with renowned musicians, including Rachel Barton Pine, Charles Pickler, and Robert Hanford. She studies violin with Hye-Sun Lee at Music Institute of Chicago. Lauren is also an accomplished classical pianist and has studied jazz piano for three years. She also enjoys running, ballet, and art.

Grace Tu, Piano is a sophomore at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview. She earned an honorable mention in 2013 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions, won gold medal in the 2013 Granquist Music Competition, and performed at Regenstein Recital Hall in February 2013 on the winners recital for the North Shore Music Teachers Association Sonatina/Sonata Festival. She studies piano with Sueanne Metz. Grace is also an accomplished flutist, winning first place in a number of flute competitions and participating in the 2013 Illinois Music Education Association District 7 Senior High Band. Her other interests include singing, reading, and writing.

February 1, 2015: Piano Trio Royale and Perreault Duo

Piano Trio Royale: Masha Lakisova, Violin, Haddon Kay, Cello, and Derek Chung, Piano

Coached by Lyudmila Lakisova, Piano Trio Royale was formed in fall 2013 and are members of the Midwest Young Artists Chamber Program. They were the youngest group to advance to the semifinals of the Fischoff National Chamber Competition in May 2014. Individually, they have won numerous awards. Masha is homeschooled and studies violin with Drew Lecher. Haddon studies cello with Russell Rolen, and Derek studies piano with Sueanne Metz. Both boys are freshmen at Adlai E. Stevenson High School.

Perreault Duo: Aidan Perreault, Violin and Conor Perreault, Cello

Aidan and Conor Perreault, who live and attend school in Skokie, have been playing duets together for years, most recently at the Rising Stars showcase in Glenview. Both are members of Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra and the chamber music program. Conor is an avid runner who enjoys math and computer programming. Aidan enjoys composing music, as well as math and science.

March 1, 2015: Dionna Bidny, Piano and Elizabeth Chang, Flute

Dionna Bidny, Piano is a homeschooled senior. She performed on Sonata-Sonatina Festival Gold Medalist Recital in December 2013, received highest overall score in 2014 Level Ten Achievement in Music Program for performance and music theory knowledge, and is a member of six-piano ensemble. She studies piano with Martha Yelenosky. Dionna also studies voice and musical theater and has participated in the Jazz Festival sponsored by the Chicago Area Music Teachers Association. Her other interests include ballet, jazz, and Ukrainian cultural dance, as well as biological research and writing.

Elizabeth Chang is a Senior at Naperville North High School. She received honorable mention in the open senior division of the 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, finalist in 2013 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions, member of Youth Symphony of DuPage. She studies flute with Hideko Amano. Elizabeth also plays piano and sings in her church choir. Elizabeth's other interests include math team, Junior Engineering and Technical Society, and American Red Cross Youth Club.

March 22, 2015: Samuel Liu, Piano and Kirsten Lee, Violin

Samuel Liu is an eighth grader at Marie Murphy School in Wilmette. He appeared on WFMT’s Introductions at a very young age in 2011, played on the December 2013 North Shore Music Teachers’ Association Winners Recital and the Achievement in Music Honor Recital in 2012. He studies piano with Brenda Huang. Samuel also studies violin with Desiree Ruhstrat and plays in his school orchestra. He also enjoys soccer, math, debate, and art.

Kirsten Lee is an eighth grader at Brooks Middle School in Bolingbrook. She has performed in recitals at Koten Chapel, North Central College in 2013 and 2014, won the Grand Prize at Kyoung-Nam National Violin Competition—Junior Division in 2010, and earned a scholarship to National Baroque Strings Camp in Korea. She studies violin with Drew Lecher. Kirsten also plays in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Debut and Concert Orchestras. She represented her school at Illinois State University Young Authors Convention, and loves playing tennis and golf

April 12, 2015: Benjamin Smelser, Trombone and Nathan Walhout, Cello

Benjamin Smelser is a senior at DeKalb High School. He was the first-place winner of 2013 Chandler Starr Miller Scholarship Competition, was selected as first chair in Illinois Music Educators Association District and State Orchestras in 2013, and has been the principal trombone for Midwest Young Artists Symphony Orchestra since 2012. Benjamin studies trombone with Kirk Lundbeck. Benjamin has participated in numerous chamber ensembles and also plays cello. His other interests incldue drawing, speaking French, building model ships, golfing, and fishing.

Nathan Walhout is a senior at Wheaton North High School. He is the 2014 winner of Ars Viva Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, is an Academy Fellow Laureate at Music Institute of Chicago since 2012, and has performed at Jacob’s Pillow International Dance Festival in June 2014 with Trio Solaris, performing the Shostakovich Piano Trio No. 1 live with the Trey McIntyre Project’s ‘The Vinegar Works.’ He studies cello with Gilda Barston and piano with Matthew Gemmill and attended Advanced Cello Residency Program of the National Cello Institute summers 2012-2014. His other interests include researching cars of all makes and models, participating in church youth group.

May 3, 2015: Colin Choi, Piano and Rachel Hsu, Violin

Colin Choi is an eighth grader at Wood Oaks Junior High School in Northbrook. He performed the Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor with the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra in February 2014 and with the Harper Symphony Orchestra in May 2013, and was the Piano Category Winner in 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition. He studies piano with Sueanne Metz. Colin also plays acoustic drums. He also enjoys basketball, mystery books, marine tropical fish.

Rachel Hsu is an eighth grader at Wilmette Junior High School. She performed with Oistrach Symphony Orchestra as violin winner of the 2013 DePaul Concerto Festival, was the first place winner in the 2013 Society of American Musicians Competition, and the second place winner in the 2013 Sejong Music Competition. She studies violin with Desiree Ruhstrat. Rachel also plays piano and is a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Her other interests include reading, writing stories, and drawing.

June 7, 2015: Kimberly Han, Piano and Haddon Kay, Cello

Kimberly Han is an eighth grader at Deerpath Middle School in Lake Forest. She performed with Oistrach Symphony Orchestra as piano winner of the 2014 DePaul Concerto Festival, was the piano category winner of 2013 Walgreens National Concerto Competition, and the 3rd prize winner in 2014 Los Angeles Young Musicians International Piano Competition. She studies piano with Brenda Huang. Kimberly also plays violin, playing violin in the Midwest Young Artists (MYA) Concert Orchestra and piano in a piano trio in the MYA Intensive Chamber Music Program. Her other interests include tennis, reading, and traveling.

Haddon Kay is a freshman at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. He performed with Oistrach Symphony Orchestra as cello winner in the 2014 DePaul Concerto Festival, was a quarter-finalist with Trio Royale in 2014 Fischoff National Chamber Competition Junior Division, and earned honorable mention in 2014 Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Auditions. He studies cello with Russell Rolen and is principal cellist of the Midwest Young Artists Concert Orchestra. He also enjoys basketball, volleyball, card tricks, and video games.

Ethan Hoppe's story

Ethan Hoppe is an alum of the Young Steinway program. We spent some time with him to learn more his experience with the Young Steinway series and how it helped him pursue his career goals.

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