Live on Introductions this morning is cellist Simon Updegraff from the Music Institute of Chicago Academy. He begins on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month with Elgar’s Cello Concerto, followed by works of Bach and Bloch; a cello suite of Chad “Sir Wick” Hughes, and Monti’s Csárdás. Sung Hoon Mo plays piano.
Simon Updegraff, 16, is a Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago Academy, a program for advanced pre-college musicians. He began Suzuki cello lessons at age four and studies with Avi Friedlander.
Simon is a winner of the Chicago Chamber Music Festival Concerto Competition and has soloed with the Northeastern Illinois University Orchestra. He is a first-place winner of the Primary, Junior, and Intermediate cello division competitions of the Society of American Musicians. He received honorable mention in the 2022 Walgreens National Concerto Competition and was selected for the 2023 Illinois Music Education Association all-state honors orchestra. He has performed in the Young Steinway Concert series at the Skokie Public Library and played twice as assistant principal in the Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas at the Suzuki Association of the Americas Biennial Conference. Simon has taken master classes with Natasha Brofsky, Richard Aaron, Melissa Kraut, and Benjamin Lash.
Simon is a junior at New Trier High School where he is the co-captain of the Varsity Scholastic Bowl Team and founded the school’s Classical Music Club. He is a member of the New Trier Symphony Orchestra and performed with them at Lincoln Center in New York City.