Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Jessica Kuo | 2nd Prize | Strings | 3rd Edition | ENKOR Int'l Music Competition

Jessica Kuo, cello

Score: 86.88

Jessica Kuo, 17, hails from San Ramon, CA and is a passionate solo and orchestral cellist. She began her musical studies on the piano when she was five, and went on to win competitions such as first place in the Awards for Excellence Competition and Contra Costa Sonata Contest. She was also won various awards at the United States Open Music Competition, and was selected to perform at the Junior Bach Festival in 2012. In 2012 and 2013, she was a piano accompanist for over 40 violin students at her music studio’s recitals.

Jessica began her cello studies from the age of nine, and has been studying with Jonathan Koh since 2014. She has won various awards at the Etude Club Competition, United States Open Music Competition, Fremont Symphony Young Artist competition and Bay Area Music Open Legacy Competition. She won first place at 2015 VOCE Competition San Francisco Branch. Jessica won first place at Oakland’s Community Women Orchestra’s Concerto Competition in 2016, and performed the first movement of Dvorak Cello Concerto with the orchestra. She also was a winner of the 2016 American Protege International Competition.

Jessica was a member of California Youth Symphony from 2011-2016, and was Principal Cellist of the Associate Orchestra in 2013-2015. In the summer of 2016, she toured Austria and Italy with the California Youth Symphony Senior Orchestra. She has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2016, and she currently sits second stand. She also enjoys chamber music. In the summer of 2013, she attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Music – Summer Music West Chamber Music Program. She has been studying chamber music at the California Music Preparatory Academy since 2014, performing in multiple quartets and trios. Jessica performed in the Junior Bach Festival in 2016 as part of a cello quartet. She has also performed in masterclasses of Gloria Chien, Dmitriy Atapine, and Jessica Lee, and performed alongside violinist Elbert Tsai in a piano trio.

In the summers of 2015, 2016, and 2017, Jessica attended Meadowmount School of Music, studying with Jonathan Koh, Hans Jorgen Jensen, and Robert Schwede. At Dougherty Valley High School, Jessica has been a member of the high school orchestra and pit orchestra since freshmen year. She was principal cellist in freshmen orchestra, and was awarded the Director’s award that year. She is currently principal of the chamber orchestra. In the summer of 2016, Jessica and the Dougherty Valley High School orchestra embarked on a New York City Tour, and performed in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall as part of the Sounds of Summer Music Festival. Jessica had the opportunity to solo with the Dougherty Valley High School Orchestra at this festival.

At school she is the president of Project SmARTS, a non profit organization that provides art and academic workshops for underprivileged elementary school kids. She is also president of Writer’s Circle, the school’s literary magazine club. In addition, she was on the school’s tennis team for two years. Besides music, Jessica enjoys photography, reading, writing, swimming, tennis, and trying out new foods.

Cello Concerto in B Minor, Op. 104, I. Allegro, Antonín Dvořák, 11:54, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtwwloUBMx8&feature=youtu.be

Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 8, I. Allegro maestoso ma appassionato, Zoltán Kodály, 8:41,