2020 Concerto Competition Winners

We’re pleased to announce CYSO’s 2020 Concerto Competition winners for Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Concert Orchestra. Concerto Competition winners will perform at CYSO concerts during the 2020-2021 season, so stay tuned for details as concert programs are announced next year. Read on to learn more about this year’s winners!


Bianca Ciubancan (volin)
Honorable Mentions: Rafael Noriega (bass trombone), Brandon Cheng (cello)
Bianca Ciubancan began studying violin with her mother, Corina Lobont when she was only three years old. She loves music and playing the violin. She won prizes in several competitions, including DePaul University Open Division Concerto Competition in 2014 and 2017, Illinois Music Association, Grandquist, Walgreens Competition, Chinese Fine Arts Society Competition, MTNA and many more. In 2015, Bianca played as a soloist in Carnegie Hall as a winner of the American Protege International Competition. In summer of 2017, Bianca participated in Rencontre Musicale Festival- Gstaad, Switzerland, where she studied with Maxim Vengerov. In 2018, she participated in Music@Menlo and Mozarteum Salzburg, where she studied with Paul Rozcek. She was a top prizewinner at the Kloster Schontal International Violin Competition, and in 2019 Bianca won first prize for her age category in the International Grumiaux Violin Competition, in Brussels, Belgium. Bianca participated in masterclasses with Mauricio Fuks, Ilya Kaler, Blair Milton, Gerardo Ribeiro, William Van Der Sloot, Philip Setzer, Liviu Prunaru, and many more. Bianca is part of the Community Music Program at DePaul University where she participates in Group Classes and recitals. Recently, Bianca performed on NPR’s “From the Top” show in Beverly Hills, California. She is currently an eighth-grader at Lincoln Elementary School. In her free time Bianca enjoys spending time with her sister, doing math, reading, baking, dancing, and singing.


Anika Veda (flute) / Bennett King (trumpet)
Honorable Mentions: Julia Kim (violin) and Sarah Craft (clarinet)
Anika Veda, 15, is a sophomore at William Fremd High School and studies flute with Hideko Amano. She has been playing flute for seven years and has been a fellow of the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative since 2019. Anika recently performed at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall as a first place winner of the 2019 American Protégé Music Talent Competition. She also played with the Oistrakh Symphony of Chicago as a winner of the 2020 DePaul Concerto Competition and performed a recital as a part of the 2020 Young Steinway Concert Series. Anika received an honorable mention at the 2019 Crain-Maling CSO Young Artists Competition and was also their camp scholarship winner. She has won honorable mentions at the 2019 DePaul Concerto Competition, the 2019 CYSO Philharmonic Orchestra Concerto Competition, 2019 Society of American Musicians Competition and first place in Granquist Competition at the Olympic Division in 2017. She was selected and performed in the Honor Band at the 2020 ILMEA All-State Festival. She has performed in masterclasses for Sir James Galway, Stefan Ragnar Hoskuldsson, Kyle Dzapo, Christina Jennings, and Nancy Stagnitta. Anika has been a member of CYSO’s Philharmonic Orchestra since 2018 and was previously in Midwest Young Artists’ Orchestra Program for three years. She is also proficient in Carnatic Vocal (Indian Classical) Music and the Indian Bamboo Flute. Other than music, Anika is interested in computer science and enjoys volunteering at her local middle school’s Girls Who Code club.

Bennett King is a 6th grader in Oak Park and joined CYSO in 2018. He currently studies trumpet with Paul Lowry and previously with HaiTao Huang.  Bennett is a semi finalist in the Junior Solo and Ensemble divisions in the National Trumpet Competition. He also participates in the Merit Tuition Free Conservatory in Chicago where he performs with the Wind Symphony, as well as in the chamber program in a Trumpet Quintet and Brass Quintet. In the Merit Private Lesson Solo Competition this January, he took third place. This summer, Bennett had an opportunity to perform live at Millennium Park on WFMT’s Introductions with the Merit Brass Ensemble. He has taken part in a masterclass with Chicago Symphony Orchestra member Tage Larson and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra member David Cohen at DePaul University. Bennett also enjoys performing in musical theater productions, singing as a vocal soloist in Oak Park, volunteering in the youth services department of the library, studying Mandarin Chinese, and camping with his Boy Scout troop.



Aiden Yu (violin)
Honorable Mentions: Beatrice Sjostrom (violin), Rodrigo Soto (flute), Angelika Wang, (piano)

Aiden Yu (11) is in 5th grade at Skinner West Classical in Chicago and studies with Davis King at the Music Institute of Chicago and Julimar Gonzalez.  He previously studied with Lucinda Ali-Landing at Hyde Park Suzuki. Aiden is concertmaster of Concert Orchestra and has also sat concertmaster of the Debut Orchestra and Preparatory Strings.  This year Aiden has won DePaul Concerto Competition, first place at the Confucius Competition, first place at the Society of American Musicians Competition, second place of Sejong Competition and Honorable Mention at the Walgreens Concerto Competition.  He is a 2019 MIC merit scholarship recipient and has performed at Carnegie Hall, New York (American Protege 2019, second place); Museo del Violino, Cremona Italy (Cremona International Competition for Strings 2019, Junior Division first place) and Centre of Fine Arts of Brussels, Belgium (2019 International Music Competition Brussels Grand Prize Virtuoso first prize).  Aiden enjoys chess, math, and recording/editing videos.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This