Published: Nov. 18, 2020 By

Congratulations are in order for the winner of this year’s Bruce Ekstrand Memorial Graduate Student Performance Competition. The winner of this year’s virtual competition is violinist Hannah Kennedy. Kennedy performed works by Eugène Ysaÿe, Jessie Montgomery and J.S. Bach during Tuesday night’s finals in Grusin Music Hall. She will take home a $1,500 grand prize.

Second prize and $750 went to the Ivalas Quartet (Reuben Kebede and Anita Dumar, violin; Aimée McAnulty, viola; and Pedro Sánchez, cello), while finalist prizes of $500 each went to mezzo soprano Christine Li and trombonist Aaron Zalkind.

Eklund Opera Program Music Director Nicholas Carthy, Director of Orchestral Studies Gary Lewis and Professor of Musicology Rebecca Maloy chose this year’s finalists during semi final rounds in late October and early November. The final round was performed in front of a panel of judges, including mezzo soprano Hilary Ginther, pianist Susan Grace and composer William Hill.

The Ekstrand Competition is named after late vice chancellor for academic affairs and psychology professor Bruce Ekstrand, an avid fan of music and friendly competition. The competition is partially supported by the Ekstrand Competition Endowment Fund. Gifts to this fund ensure Bruce Ekstrand’s legacy lives on for years to come through this highly competitive and rewarding experience for the College of Music’s top graduate students. Give to the fund here.