Colburn School’s Trio Azura Wins Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Grand Prize Medal and Gold Medal in the Senior String Division

Trio de Ángeles wins Horszowski Trio Prize for Piano Trio for the Junior Division

(Monday, May 13, 2024, Los Angeles)Colburn School’s Trio Azura—Conservatory of Music students Duncan McDougall, violin, Yejin Hong, cello, and Yanfeng (Tony) Bai, piano—won the Grand Prize Medal ($15,000 award) in the 51st annual Fischoff Competition. They also won the Gold Medal ($5,000 award) in the Senior String Division, the Lift Every Voice Prize ($1,500) for the best performance of a work by a historically underrepresented composer within the chamber music world, and the Horszowski Trio Prize for Piano Trio ($600 award), Senior Division. As Grand Prize winners, Trio Azura will also participate in the Emilia Romagna Festival in Italy next summer.

Colburn School’s Trio de Ángeles—Music Academy students Esme Arias-Kim, violin, Angela Rose Padula, cello, and Caden Lin, piano—won the Horszowski Trio Prize for Piano Trio ($300 award), Junior Division.  Winners of the Horszowski Trio Prize are also invited to work with the Horszowski Trio, a vital force in the international chamber music world, at the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, held at the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, July 1–12, 2024.

Trio Azura and Trio de Ángeles were two of four Colburn School ensembles selected from a total of 59 ensembles from around the world to compete in the competition. The Corda Quartet—Community School students Andres Engleman, violin, Sarah Yang, violin, Joshua Chae, viola and Irene Choung, cello—competed in the Junior Division, as did the Willow Quartet—Music Academy students James Birch, violin, Henry Woodruff, viola, Shinah (Sheena) Youn, cello and David Choi, piano.

The 51st Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition was held May 10-12, 2024, at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at the University of Notre Dame.

Trio Azura was founded in 2022 at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Violinist Duncan McDougall, cellist Yejin Hong, and pianist Yanfeng (Tony) Bai study with renowned faculty Martin Beaver, Clive Greensmith, and Fabio Bidini. In 2023, Trio Azura participated in the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, where they were awarded the “Rotary Club Siena” prize and performed in recital with Clive Greensmith. Trio Azura was also selected to participate in the 2023 ARD International Music Competition and received praise from German audiences. Individually, they have won numerous accolades. Despite being formed only recently, Trio Azura has quickly built incredible chemistry and has developed a comprehensive repertoire. They have participated in masterclasses with internationally acclaimed artists including pianists Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Orion Weiss, and Pedja Mužijević; violinist Arnaud Sussman; and cellist Nicholas Tzavaras.

Founded in 1973 in South Bend, Indiana, USA, the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition has grown to become the largest chamber music competition in the world, and one of the most prestigious classical music prizes attainable today. Since its founding, more than 7,400 musicians have competed, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music performance and education, including Indiana native and three-time Grammy Award-winner, violinist Joshua Bell, the genre-defying contemporary ensemble Eighth Blackbird, and the Pacifica Quartet, 2020 Grammy Award Winner for Best Chamber Music Performance. The Fischoff distinguishes itself from all other music competitions by remaining true to its core mission: to encourage and educate young musicians in the discipline and expression of chamber music.

About the Colburn School
A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.

  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This program offers residential options and balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers more than 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community.

The Colburn Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is a multi-faceted campus expansion of the Colburn School. Located across the street from the School’s existing campus at the intersection of Olive and Second Streets, the Colburn Center will enable the School to expand its mission of presenting programs for the public. Gehry’s design includes a 1,000-seat in-the-round concert hall named Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall, five professional-sized dance studios including a 100-seat studio theater, and gardens that bring fresh air and green spaces to the downtown landscape. The Colburn School broke ground on the Colburn Center on April 5, 2024. The completed project will join Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand complex to create the largest concentration of buildings designed by the architect in the world.

Jennifer Kallend