Young Artists Competition

We believe in continuing our work by investing in the next generation of musicians. Towards this aim, every year the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus hosts its Young Artists Competition. Founded by Clifford Graves in 1960, the competition is one of the oldest of its kind and open to singers, ages 18-30, and instrumentalists, ages 14 to 26, from San Diego County and Baja California. The competition provides these talented young artists an opportunity to earn prestige, perform as soloists with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus, serve as role models to their peers, and earn $8000 in cash prizes. Many Young Artists Competition winners go on to join our ensemble and to prestigious professional careers in music.

Young Artists Recital

Winners of January’s Young Artists Competition performed in an intimate concert setting. The Recital was followed by a light reception.



  • 1st Place Vocal
    Laynee Dell Woodward, soprano 
  • 2nd Place Vocal
    Jovahnna Anderson, soprano 
  • 3rd Place Vocal
    Jorge Chinolla, baritone 
  • Most Promising Vocal
    Mariam Mouawad, mezzo-soprano 
  • Honorable Mention Vocal
    Andrew Konopak, baritone 


  • 1st Place Instrumental (Tie)
    Malvyn Lai, piano 
  • 1st Place Instrumental (Tie)
    Kevin Song, cello 
  • 2nd Place Instrumental
    Susan Lee, violin 
  • 3rd Place Instrumental
    Elisha Tan, flute 
  • Most Promising Instrumental
    Saeji Hong, piano 
  • Honorable Mention Instrumental
    Cameron Redelings, marimba 

Competition Rules and Guidelines 

  • age 14 – 26, at time of contest 
  •  age 18 -30, at time of contest 

Contestants must be residents of San Diego County or Baja California or have studied with a music teacher currently residing in San Diego County or Baja California. Contestants must provide their own accompanist if applicable and one digital copy of each selection offered for the judges. Digital printouts are acceptable with proof of purchase (i.e., receipt) to be submitted only if requested by judges. Application fee is $35 per contestant. 

Online payment available here:

Applications must be submitted by May 7, 2021 


The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus strongly supports contemporary music and requires that contestants include at least one piece written from 1950 to the present among their audition selections. Instrumental and vocal contestants are urged to bring a mix of selections from contrasting periods that show their skill and musicality across a wide range of styles and eras. 

Instrumental Division: 

The performer should submit three separate videos each from a different composer.
Two pieces must be performed from memory. Total playing time for the three selections should be between 15-20 minutes. At least one of the selections must date from 1950 to the present.

1)A movement from a standard concerto

2) A major solo work. For pianists, a major solo such as a Beethoven Sonata is acceptable or another solo work with orchestral accompaniment. For instrumentalists, a major solo work such as a sonata with piano accompaniment or a solo with orchestral accompaniment is acceptable. If the selection is a sonata, one movement is acceptable.

3) A solo unaccompanied work

Vocal Division: 

The performer should submit a video with three selections prepared that meet the following criteria: 

  1. An aria from a cantata, mass, passion, or oratorio to be performed in the original language. (This selection need not be memorized.) 
  2. An aria from an opera. 
  3. An 8-10 minute excerpt of a solo piece for voice and orchestra or voice and chamber orchestra. The instrumentation for chamber orchestra must consist of at least seven instruments. A piano/vocal reduction is recommended. One of the above selections must date from 1950 to the present.


All winners (first, second, third, Honorable Mention and Encouragement awards) of the Vocal and Instrumental divisions are required to perform at the Winners Recital TBD. It is imperative that winners, and their accompanists, are available for this performance. Repertoire is at the discretion of the Competition chairs and will be selected from award-winner’s Competition performance material. Award checks will be presented at the Winners Recital. Failure to perform at the Recital may result in forfeiture of your award. A $75 stipend will be provided for each accompanist performing at the Winners Recital.


Instrumental Division 

First place – $2,000

Second place – $1,000

Third place – $500

Best Performance of a Contemporary Work- $500*

Honorable Mention – $300

Encouragement Award – $200 (18 yrs & under)

(18 yrs & under) 

Vocal Division 

First place – $2,000

Second place – $1,000

Third place – $500

Best Performance of a Contemporary Work- $500

Honorable Mention – $300

Encouragement Award – $200 (23 yrs & under)

New in 2021

Best Performance of a contemporary work – Instrumental ($500)* and Vocal ($500)*

(23 yrs & under) 

The La Jolla Symphony & Chorus supports the programming and performance of works by living composers and/or composers that have influenced modern techniques, timbre, and aesthetics in instrumental and vocal repertoire. Selected works must have been composed after 1950. Special consideration will be given to performances that enhance diversity and inclusion through the presentation of music by composers from underrepresented communities.  This new prize will be awarded only at the discretion of the jury.

First place winners may be featured as paid soloists with the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus in a future season, contingent upon repertoire and schedule. Winners may be invited to perform in schools or community venues as part of the outreach programs of the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus. All decisions by judges on prizes are final.

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