For today’s Internet Interludes, we’re excited to offer special recordings highlighting the prodigious talent of musicians who’ve been recognized through Arizona Musicfest’s Young Musicians programs. Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, Musicfest was unable to celebrate standout students from our 2019/20 competition series on our annual Spring Young Musicians Concert on May 3rd. In lieu of that concert, we invite you to experience virtuosity from the start from the comfort of your home.
Below are a sampling of at-home performances by incredible young people currently in high school, former competitors now attending some of the nation’s great conservatories, and performers generously supported through the Arizona Musicfest Scholarship program.

Musicfest is proud to present these wonderful home-grown musicians from around the Valley and Tucson, and we hope you enjoy these special performances!

Zachariah Gass, piano

Hailing from Chandler, Zachariah has earned prizes in the Musicfest Division II and III Piano Competitions. A student of Baruch Meir, Zachariah presents Franz Liszt’s Transcendental Étude No 12 in B Minor.

Hannah Goldstick, violin

Also originally from Chandler, Hannah was a long-time participant in Musicfest Young Musicians programming, earning prizes in our strings and chamber competitions, and annually performing on one of our three Young Musicians Concerts. A former student of Jing Zeng, Hannah now studies at the New England Conservatory. Back home in Chandler because NEC’s campus has closed, here Hannah presents the Sarabande and Double from JS Bach’s Violin Partita No.1 in B minor.

Alexander Mayer, oboe

A Musicfest College Scholar since 2018, Alexander Mayer grew up in Phoenix and attended Arizona School for the Arts. After studying with Martin Schuring and earning prizes in the Musicfest Winds competitions, Alexander has gone on to study at The Juilliard School. From his living room back in Phoenix, he presents another Baroque master, Georg Philipp Telemann’s, Fantasia No.3 in B minor.

Claire Thai, harp

Also a Musicfest College Scholar since 2018, Claire grew up in Tucson studying harp with Christine Vivona and Dr. Carrol McLaughlin. Now studying at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia with Elizabeth Hainen, Claire shares a special performance of Marcel Tournier’s evocative La Volière Magique (The Magical Aviary).

Robert Bui, cello

Currently a composition student at the New England Conservatory, Musicfest College Scholar Robert Bui earned prizes in a number of Musicfest Competitions, including our strings, chamber, and inaugural composition competition in 2017. An immensely gifted and bright musician, Robert offers the modern and virtuosic first movement from Henri Dutilleux’s Three Strophes in the Name of (Paul) Sacher.

Ryanne McLaren, piano

Closing our online Young Musicians Concert is organist and pianist, and former Musicfest College Scholar, Ryanne McLaren Ryanne McLaren. An alumnus of Biola University, Ryanne is currently earning her graduate degree at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Back home in Gilbert, Ryanne shares the beautiful Nocturne in E-flat Major by John Fields.