Newswire: Canadian Jacques Forestier Amongst 8 Semi-Finalists of Irving M. Klein International String Competition

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SAN FRANCISCO, APRIL 4, 2022 – Celebrating 37 years of helping the world’s top young string musicians gain prominence in the competitive world of classical music, the Irving M. Klein International String Competition returns to in-person competition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, our presenting partner.  Produced by the California Music Center, the Klein will also stream on the Violin Channel, starting 10AM Sat June 4th and 3PM Sun June 5th.  Audiences worldwide will be able to view all contestants as they compete for cash prizes and performance contracts, as a distinguished jury of seven convenes to determine this year’s winners.  2022 semifinalists will play all-new programs of solo and accompanied works in front of a live audience.

This year’s nine semifinalists showcase the exceptional talent from the top teachers and conservatories in North America.  Selected from 112 entrants, the semifinalists are:

  • HAYOUNG CHOI, violin, 20 (KOREA). Attends McDuffie Center for Strings and studies with Amy Schwartz Moretti, Robert McDuffie, and David Kim
  • SARAH CHONG, cello, 20 (CA). Attends the Bienen School of Music, and studies with Hans Jørgen Jensen
  • JACQUES FORESTIER, violin, 17 (CANADA).  Attends Mt Royal Conservatory; student of Patinka Kopec
  • EMILY HWANG, viola, 16 (CA).  Attends San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre-College; she is a student of Dimitri Murrath
  • ANDROMEDA KEPECS, violin, 18 (CA). Attends the Menlo School and studies with David Chernyavsky
  • GAEUN KIM, cello, 20 (KOREA).  Attends the Juilliard School; student of Richard Aaron, Gautier Capucon
  • HAN LEE, cello, 22 (KOREA).  Attends the Juilliard School; he is a student of Joel Krosnick
  • JAEWON WEE, violin, 22 (KOREA). Attends New England Conservatory; student of Donald Weilerstein
  • SEAN YU, cello, 17 (NY). Attends the Juilliard School Pre-College; he studies with Minhye Clara Kim

Violinist Tessa Lark, 2008 prizewinner, is this year’s mentor and co-hosts with Klein Artistic Director Mitchell Sardou Klein who noted, “We are energized and uplifted by the amazing power, musicality, and beauty of the performances by those chosen to be Semifinalists in the 2022 Klein Competition. Hearing them live in San Francisco in June promises to be a thrilling musical experience.”

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At this year’s Klein Competition, From the Top will be in residence recording a documentary style portrait of the competition for their weekly NPR series.  From the Top host pianist Peter Dugan will join Lark and Klein onstage. The resulting program to air Fall 2022 will feature performances from the competition as well as interviews and field recordings with competitors, the Klein team, jury, and more.

The grand prize includes $5,000 cash and performance contracts with the Peninsula and Santa Cruz Symphonies, Gualala Arts Chamber Series, Music in the Vineyards, and is valued at $13,000.  It is given by Paul Wayne Osborne in honor of Oliver Herbert. The second prize of $3,500 cash and performance contracts is valued at $6,300, includes a performance with the San José Chamber Orchestra.  Ruth Short gives this prize in memory of Elaine H. Klein.  A third prize of $2,500 is given in memory of Milton Preves by Judith and David Anderson.  Two fourth prizes of $1,500 each are awarded.  Each semifinalist not awarded a named prize will receive $1,000.  Awards of $500 each are given for best performance of the commissioned work by Gloria Justen, and of the solo Bach.  Klein winners also participate in educational activities and other recitals in the Bay Area. Concerts are subject to change.

The jury includes Richard Aaron, professor of cello at the University of Michigan, The Juilliard School and The Robert McDuffie Center for Strings; cellist Christopher Costanza, cellist of the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Artist-in-Residence at Stanford; violinist Francesca dePasquale, Klein Laureate (1st Prize 2010) and member of the violin faculty at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School Pre-College Program; Daniel Stewart, Music Director of the Santa Cruz Symphony, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra; violinist Ian Swensen, Chair of Violin at San Francisco Conservatory’s String Department; Barbara Day Turner, Music Director of San José Chamber Orchestra; and this year’s commissioned composer, violist Gloria Justen.

The Irving M. Klein International String Competition, produced by the California Music Center, is open to musicians between ages 15 and 23.  The Klein Competition has achieved international recognition as one of the most prestigious classical music competitions, recognized for the high caliber of the contestants; its unique, nurturing environment; and its commitment to the commissioning of new works.

Its award carries the prestige that has helped many top soloists gain prominence in the competitive world of classical music, including Jennifer Koh, Mark Kosower, Vadim Gluzman, Jennifer Frautschi, Alban Gerhardt, Francesca dePasquale, Oliver Herbert, Frank Huang, Tessa Lark, and Robert deMaine.  The competition is named for the late cellist and master teacher who devoted himself untiringly to the development of young artists.

About the California Music Center

CMC was founded in 1974 by Irving M. Klein, a virtuoso chamber musician and master cello teacher, as the sponsoring organization for a summer music institute and chamber music series for young artists.  Following Mr. Klein’s passing in 1985, CMC inaugurated the Irving M. Klein International String Competition (“the Klein”) in 1986; since then, the Klein has become one of the most prestigious events of its kind, attracting entries annually from throughout the world and helping to enhance the developing careers of exceptional young players who have gone on to become renowned soloists, chamber musicians, teachers, and prominent members of the world’s finest orchestras.  The Klein Competition is supported in part by the Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and San Francisco Grants for the Arts; and is presented in partnership with the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Violin Channel.  Learn more at

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