We’re thrilled to reveal the winner and finalists of the PYAO 10th Annual Young Artists Solo Competition. Following intense auditions, our judges have selected the standout performers who will take the stage at the PYAO Annual Festival Concert on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.

Congratulations to Elliot Anderson, PYAO’s concertmaster, who clinched the top spot with his enchanting performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso in A Minor. Securing the First Runner Up position is cellist Julie Chen, with Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme – Theme + Variations 1, 2, 3, 7. Cellist Martin Boeckheler, took Second Runner Up with the first movement of Édouard Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D Minor. An Honorable Mention goes to violinist Raymond Wu for his exceptional rendition of the first movement of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 in B Minor.

Join us on Sunday, June 2nd, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. in the Perelman Theater to witness this remarkable display of musical talent. These gifted musicians have worked diligently, and we extend our congratulations to all participants for their outstanding performances.

For tickets to the PYAO 29th Annual Festival Concert, click here.

About the Winners:

Elliot Anderson, Winner
Elliot is an eighth-grader at the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School. He studied violin with Viktor Repik for 6 years and is currently a student of Juliette Kang, First Associate Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Elliot has been a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute since 2019 and is currently serving as concertmaster of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra.

Elliot joined Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians in 2022, where he participates in the Youth Chamber Orchestra as well as in chamber ensembles. He has been a scholarship recipient for violin studies at the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia since age 9. In 2023, he was awarded the Settlement Music School’s Advanced Study Ensemble scholarship and is now a member of the Trowbridge String Quartet. Elliot has been attending summer music festivals since he was 7, first the Philadelphia International Music Festival between 2017-2021 and the last two summers the Heifetz International Music Institute.

Elliot participated in violin master classes with Dara Morales, Assistant Principal Second Violin of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Fabiola Kim, Assistant Professor of violin at University of Michigan and Instructor at the Colburn School. He has also studied with Shannon Lee and Seula Lee during their teaching fellowship at the Curtis Institute of Music and Bela Horvath and Wanchi Huang during the Heifetz Institute summer sessions. Elliot got introduced to conducting by Maestra Rosalind Erwin at the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra Music Institute and studied piano under the mentorship of Dolly Krasnopolsky.

Most recently, Elliot was the winner of the Tenth Annual Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra Solo Competition. For his age group he received top prizes in the International Clara Schumann Competition, Harmony for Peace Music Competition, International BTHVN WIEN Competition, Charleston International Music Competition, Beethoven International Music Competition and Amadeus International Music Awards.

Besides music, Elliot enjoys hiking, biking, baking and building LEGO Technic models.

Julie Chen, First Runner Up
Julie Chen, age 13, is an 8th grader at Valley Forge Middle School in Pennsylvania. She began cello at 8 and currently studies with Hai-Ye Ni, the principal cellist of The Philadelphia Orchestra. Julie is the current principal cellist of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra (PYAO), and she was the principal cellist of PRYSM Strings of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra from 2021-2023. Her other interests include dancing, singing, playing the piano, and swimming. She is currently in the gifted program at her school which includes a writing seminar. Last summer, Julie had a wonderful time at Meadowmount School of Music.

Martin Boeckheler, Second Runner Up
Martin Boeckheler, 14-year-old freshman attending St. Joseph’s Prep, has been playing the cello for six years, and currently studies under George Atanasiu.  He has been enrolled in the PYO program for five years, previously served as YMDO principal cellist for two years.  Martin joined PYAO in 2022; and he currently sits on the second stand. Martin was awarded a gold medal in the 2023 Bösendorfer Youth Music Festival.  In summers 2022 and 2023, he participated in a music festival in Orvieto, Italy.  Martin also participated in the Philadelphia International Music Festival for two years.  Besides playing solo cello repertoire, Martin also plays chamber music with his piano and violin playing siblings.  Aside from the cello, Martin is passionate about soccer, and is an elite soccer player.  Representing The Prep freshman soccer team this past fall, he was the team’s top goal scorer.  This spring, Martin also joined The Prep rowing team. In 8th grade, Martin  ran track as a spring season sport, being part of Albert M. Greenfield middle school Penn Relay team. Martin speaks German and Mandarin at home while learning Latin and Spanish in school. He is a passionate traveler, having visited 8 countries. Martin also enjoys skiing during the winter.

Raymond Wu, Honorable Mention
Raymond Wu is a 7th grader at Valley Forge Middle School, and studying the violin with Meichen Barnes. He is currently the associate concertmaster of the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra in the 2023-2024 season, and was the assistant concertmaster of the Young Musicians Debut Orchestra in the 2022-2023. In the 2021-2022 season, he joined the Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra at Paoli as the concertmaster of Youth Strings Group. He also played violin at the summer camp of Nelly Berman School of Music.Besides the violin, Raymond began studying piano at five and won the first place in the 2019 Triumph Musical Festival at Philadelphia.  He is very involved in his school’s music programs, and he plays the flute in his school band and sings in his school chorus in addition to the school string ensemble. In his free time, Raymond enjoys math, Spanish, reading, swimming, and teaching his younger sister.

On January 13th, 2024, we heard amazing talent at the 10th annual PYAO Young Artists Solo Competition auditions. In this video, our renowned judges share insights into the competition—an invaluable opportunity for young talents in the Philadelphia Young Artists Orchestra. Watch the interview for a glimpse into the auditions and discover the impact on participants.