15-year-old pianist Yerin Yang wins 2018 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition

By Michael San Gabino |

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Winner Yerin Yang, 15, from Mount Prospect, Ill., performs the first movement from Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor at the 2018 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition. (Photo: Anne Ryan)

Many musicians dream to perform on the stage of Orchestra Hall with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The Crain-Maling Foundation Chicago Symphony Orchestra Young Artists Competition makes this dream come true for one young musician every year.

On Saturday, March 3, four young pianists competed for the opportunity to perform with the CSO during a student concert in the 2018/19 season. For the second year in a row, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, under the direction of Solti conducting apprentice Erina Yashima, accompanied the finalists.

15-year-old pianist Yerin Yang of Mount Prospect won the competition with her performance of the first movement from the Piano Concerto in A Minor, Op. 16, by Edvard Grieg. Yang studies piano with Alan Chow and Winston Choi.

The first-alternate winner was 16-year-old pianist Colin Choi of Northbrook. Choi performed the third movement from the Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 by Sergei Rachmaninoff. He studies piano with Sueanne Metz. 16-year-old pianist Eriko Darcy of Chicago and 14-year-old pianist Joshua Mhoon of Chicago were also finalists.

In addition to performing with the CSO, Yerin Yang will also perform on Introductions, WFMT’s weekly Saturday morning showcase of the finest pre-college musicians in the Chicago area.

The Crain-Maling Foundation is the title sponsor of the CSO Young Artists Competition, and the event is presented annually by the League of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association and the Negaunee Music Institute.