2022 - 2023 Winners
Leon Burke III (2011-2013)
Leon Burke III is a native St. Louisan, where he attended Mc Bride High School and John Burroughs School. He holds music degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory and the University of Kansas. Burke studied as a Fulbright Fellow in Paraguay. Burke has served as Conductor/Music Director of the Lawrence Chamber Players, the Hutchinson Symphony, and the McPherson Symphony. He has been on the faculties of Baker University, Sterling College, Hutchinson Community College, and Webster University. Burke is an active member of Unitarian Universalists Musicians Network (UUMN). He served as a member of the UUA New Hymn Resource Task Force, which was appointed in the Fall of 2003 to create a new congregational hymn resource.
First Place Winner
Hannah Wolkowitz, 16-years-old, lives in Chesterfield, MO and is a sophomore at Parkway Central High School. Hannah began playing the saxophone in 6th grade and studies with Mr. Jeffrey Collins. This past summer, Hannah performed her first solo saxophone recital. She earned first chair in the All-Suburban Honors Band for the past four years, second chair in the All-State band, and was awarded top honors at the 2022 local and state high school Solo & Ensemble contests. This past summer, Hannah participated in the MPulse Saxophone Institute at the University of Michigan. This November, she won the University of Missouri - St. Louis’ Young Artist Competition. She was selected to perform in January 2023 at the U.S. Navy Band's International Saxophone Symposium in the High School Honors Recital. Hannah is also the saxophonist in Klezundheit!, a St. Louis Klezmer band. Hannah was a competitive gymnast for ten years, but now enjoys spending time at CrossFit, crocheting, and reading. Over the past few years, she has also begun composing. In 2020, Hannah was awarded third place for her first composition in the University of Missouri’s Creating Original Music Project competition. This past summer, she participated in Indiana University’s composition program and her trio was performed at the university. Hannah is thankful to her teacher, Jeffrey Collins, for his guidance, support, and encouragement over the years. Hannah is also thankful for all the other musicians, friends, and family that have supported her musical career. Hannah is our 1st Place Winner and will be perform alongside the ASO Concert on February 26, 2023. She will also receive a certificate and cash prize.
Deborah Fox Guild Winner
Emmaus Tzeng, 12 years old, in the 7th grade at MICDS. He has studied piano with Laura Schindler since the Fall of 2015. Emmaus has received many piano awards: “Superior Trophy” in the “Arch Cup Festival”; third place, 2018, second place, 2019, in the On-Line “Masters of Sonata Piano Competition”; 2021, 1rst Prize in the On-Line “Best Schubert Performance”; “Honorable Mention” in 2018, and a “Finalist” in 2019 in Div.1 of the “New York Steinway Piano Competition”. In the MMTA State Piano Auditions, Emmaus was “1rst Place Trophy Winner” for Piano Ensemble in grades 1-3, and 4-6; “1rst Place Trophy Winner” for Solo Piano in grades 3, 5, 6B, and, on November 6, 2022, Emmaus was again the “1rst Place Trophy Winner” for both Solo Piano in grade 7 and Piano Ensemble in grades 7-9 in the MMTA State Piano Competition held at the River Campus Music Department of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. On March 20, 2022, Emmaus was a Winner in the University City Symphony “William Schatzkamer Concerto Competition” and performed as soloist with that orchestra on Sept. 10, 2022. He also performed with Belleville Philharmonic on Oct.22 as a “Star of Tomorrow Winner”. In addition, on Oct.22, Emmaus played a Solo Recital consisting of works by Schubert, Chopin, Schumann/Liszt, and Debussy as the First Place Winner in Div.1 of the prestigious St. Louis Area MTA Young Artist Piano Competition. Emmaus also enjoys math, science, gardening, and accompanying his sister, Jemima, on the violin. On an interesting note (no pun intended), Emmaus’s mother, Annie Hsieh, performed the 1rst movement of the Beethoven Piano Concerto No.1 in C Major, with Alton Symphony Orchestra in 1990, as a “Guild Award Winner”. How cool is that! Emmaus Tzeng would like to thank both his mother and his piano teacher for their support and encouragement. Emmaus is our Deborah Fox Guild Winner and will perform alongside the ASO Concert on December 10, 2022. He will also receive a certificate and cash prize.
First Place Runner-Up
Eric Chen, age 14, is a 9th grader at Marquette High School in St. Louis, Missouri. Eric started violin lesson at age 6 and is currently a student of Pavel Ilyashov. Eric’s top prizes include the winner of MTNA Junior String State Competition for 3 consecutive years, a National Finalist at the 2020-2021 MTNA Junior String Competition, a winner of the 2022 Town and Country Symphony Orchestra Rising Talents Young Artists Concerto Competition, 2 nd prize winner of Alton Symphony Orchestra Marie Stillwell Young Artists’ Competition, 1 st prize winner of the 2021 Master of Violin Concerto Great Composers Competition, a winner of the 2020 Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra “Stars of Tomorrow” concerto competition. Eric is in his 2nd season with the St Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra. Prior to that, Eric was selected by the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis Share the Stand” program to play alongside with professional musicians for 3 years. Eric had the honor to have masterclasses with many renowned violinists including Miriam Fried, Grigory Kalinovsky, Movses Pogossian, Paul Biss, Jennifer Frautschi, Hye-Jin Kim, and Timothy Lees. In 2022 Eric serves as the director of Back to Bach national association - St. Louis chapter. Eric has hosted several projects in local public schools and video format. Eric is thankful to his past and current teachers he has been privileged to study with, Joseph Kaminsky and Pavel Ilyashov. Eric is also grateful to the Webster Community Music School for their continuous support over the years. Eric is our First Place Runner-Up of the Young Artist Competition and will receive a certificate and cash prize.