The violin group at the second annual CSI Performance Competition for Strings

Young orchestra musicians from around Staten Island traveled to the College of Staten Island (CSI) for the second annual CSI Performance Competition for Strings. The only competition of its kind on Staten Island, the event featured the maturing musical talents of six high school and two middle school strings students. This performance opportunity is the concept of Dr. Dan Auerbach, Assistant Professor of Music at CSI, “These young people in the CSI competition show just what can happen if we can keep a young person’s dream alive. My goal is to focus much-deserved attention on the wonderful musical talent in Staten Island and also on the hard work of area music teachers.”

The competition celebrates the hard work of the students and their teachers, and supports middle school and high school strings students who are Staten Island residents.

The adjudicators for this year’s competition were Dr. Auerbach and Professor Edward Brown, also of the CSI Music Program of the Department of Performing and Creative Arts, and Maestro Alan Aurelia of the Richmond County Orchestra.

Competition participants with judges

The talented student-performers included Beanna Dzhaniashvili, Michelle Shevtsov, Isabel Bruschi, Lila Bruschi, students of Roman Berlinsky; Rohan Christian, student of Steven Pepe; Teresa Lynch and Lillian Fok, students of Sanchie Bobrow; and Jeffrey Sun, student of Amy Liu.

Winners in the high school division are as follows:

Jeffrey Sun, an 18-year-old student at SI Tech, played Saint-Saens’s Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso; Isabel Bruschi, a 17-year-old student at Port Richmond High School, played Mozart’s 5th Violin Concerto; Teresa Lynch, a 17-year-old student at SI Tech, played Monti’s Czardas; and Lillian Fok, a 17-year-old student at Hunter College High School, played Bach’s Gavotte en Rondeau from the 3rd Partita.

Winners in the middle school division are as follows:

Beanna Dzhaniashvili, a 13-year-old student at I-S 24, played Viotti’s Concerto No. 23; Michelle Shevtsov, a 13-year-old student at IS 24 played Accolay’s Concerto in A Minor

This year’s competition sponsors were:

The Frank and Lydia Bergen Foundation, the Music Program of the CSI Department of Performing and Creative Arts, the CSI Administration, an anonymous donor, and Strings & Other Things.

The upcoming May 6 “Staten Island Stars” orchestra concert at CSI will feature two winners of the previous year’s competition performing violin concertos by Bach and Mozart. In addition, the concert will feature other young soloists from the Island, as well as various classical favorites. The orchestra will be joined by professional musicians from the Richmond County Orchestra, who will both coach the kids during the semester as well as perform with them side-by-side.