2018 Student Award Winners

Each year, CYSO presents awards to students who have distinguished themselves throughout the season and during their time at CYSO. Chosen by our artistic and administrative staff, below are 2018’s award-winning students.

Mollendorf Award

Mollendorf Award is given to a graduating CYSO senior to support further musical study. It is given through an endowment fund by the late Jean Mollendorf, Founder and Past President of the CYSO Board of Directors.

Giacomo Glotzer, 17, is a high school senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. He has been playing cello for 12 years, 10 of which have been with CYSO. Giacomo is currently involved with a piano, flute, and cello trio which competes locally and has played on WFMT’s “Introductions.” Giacomo currently studies with Karen Basrak of the CSO.

Albert Pick III Award

Albert Pick III Award is given to a well-rounded individual and should be used to keep music a creative and joyful part of the recipient’s life. This award is inspired by the memory of Albert Pick III for his love of the students of CYSO and passionate commitment of service to his community.

Jennifer Yu Wang is a senior at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. She has studied flute with Susan Levitin for nine years, winning awards in local and national solo and chamber competitions and performing live on WFMT’s “Introductions.” A member of CYSO for seven years, Jennifer is currently co-principal in the Symphony Orchestra. She will attend Harvard University and plans to study neuroscience while continuing to pursue music.


The $1,000 Luminarts Performance Award is given to up to three CYSO juniors and/or seniors to support further musical study in pursuit of a professional career in music performance. These awards are made possible by Luminarts Cultural Foundation at the Union League Club of Chicago, which cultivates Chicago’s vibrant arts community by supporting exemplary young artists through its competitive programs that offer financial awards, artistic opportunities, and mentoring that bridge the gap between education and career. The criteria for award consideration include musical excellence and leadership, active participation and loyalty to CYSO, and plans to pursue a professional career in music performance.

Filip Czarkowski, 17, began his music studies on the trumpet at age 9. He joined CYSO in 2014, and has been a member of Symphony Orchestra for the past two years. Filip has held principal positions in many festival orchestras, including the Chicago Youth in Music Festival Orchestra and the ILMEA All State Honors Orchestra. During the summer of 2017, he attended the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. Filip is a senior at Niles North High School.

Alexander Levinson, 18, studies cello with CSO’s Richard Hirschl. He grew up in a musical family, playing chamber music with his parents and brother and giving concerts in the community. Alexander has been a member of CYSO since 4th grade and has participated in Music Institute of Chicago workshops and summer camps for many years. He is a senior at the Chicago Waldorf School and loves reading ction, computer programming, video games, DJing, chess, skiing, and, of course, playing the cello.

Tessa Vermeulen, a student of Hideko Amano, is Symphony Orchestra co-principal flute. Her achievements include being a nalist for the US Marine Band Concerto and CSO Crain-Maling Competitions, principal ILMEA All-State honors orchestra, and winner of the Walgreen’s, Lakeview Symphony, Symphony of Oak Park River Forest, DePaul, Chicago Flute Club competitions. Solo performances include Lakeview and Oistrakh Symphony Orchestras, and WFMT “Introductions.” Tessa will pursue flute performance at Carnegie Mellon University this fall.

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