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2022/23 JSO*YAC

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2023 JSO Young Artists Competition

The JSO*YAC live finals took place at Colorado Christian University in Lakewood, Colo. on Saturday, January 14, 2023. The top finalist of JSO*YAC performs their winning concerto repertoire with Jefferson Symphony Orchestra and conductor Scott O'Neil in April 2023 in Golden, Colo., and receives $5000 in cash prizes. 


Click here to view details about the April 2023 Young Artists Concert.

2023 JSO*YAC - First Place

Hans-Derek Yu, 20, from Bloomington, Indiana, attends the Jacobs School of Music as a student of Arnaldo Cohen. In addition to our JSO*YAC Grand Prize, he has recently won awards from the Osaka International and Chopin International competitions. Hans has performed with the Bravura Philharmonic, the Old York Road Symphony, and the Northern Lights Music Festival orchestras.


Hans-Derek Yu will perform his winning repertoire, Sergei Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3, with Jefferson Symphony and guest conductor Scott O'Neil at our annual Young Artists concert

— April 2, 2023, 3:00 p.m. at the Green Center in Golden. View press release here.

SECOND PLACE - Steven Dong, 22 with Beethoven's Piano Concerto #2. Steven is currently a Master's student at Eastman School of Music with Alan Chow. 

THIRD PLACE - Yifu Xu, 21, with Liszt's Piano Concerto #1. Yifu is a student of Corey McVicar at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 

Previous Winners of JSO*YAC

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Daniel Gostein

YAC 2020, marimba


Samuel Vargas

YAC 2019, violin


Kamalia Freyling

YAC 2017, clarinet


Alexander Hersh

YAC 2016, cello

Each year the instrumental focus changes: JSO*YAC '23 for pianists performing concerto repertoire or similar works; and JSO*YAC'24 for brass, woodwind and percussion. Jefferson Symphony invites you to contact for any further inquiries and we will continue to post updates on this page.


 JSO*YAC utilizes the network ACCEPTD for the competition process; interested artists should visit our profile on ACCEPTD in March for competition guidelines and application materials.

JSO*YAC Experiences


“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to come to Colorado and play for the judges, audience and my peers. It is sometimes very hard as a young musician to find rewarding venues to play for. Here, the music is obviously treasured by the listeners and participants alike. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I could not have hoped for a better weekend.”

– Finalist 

“The finalists are all winners! It was a very exciting event to judge. It was revitalizing to be able to listen to such high quality performances, which reflect the musicians' dedication to their art. It made me want to go home and practice!”

– Judge

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