Latest NCVS happenings...

đŸŽ» 2023 Young Violist Competition 

& the winners are...

1st place-Jennifer Kang

2nd place (tie)-Jenna Kim & Colin Breshears

3rd place-Katherine Yang

Best Bach award - Jennifer Kang

Best New Piece award - Jennifer Kang

Congratulations to our prizewinners and to all of our excellent NCVS YVC finalists! To learn more about them, see below.

Winner of our 2022 Composition Contest:

 Cantilena for Solo Viola, 

by Dr. Andersen Viana


Jennifer Kang from Mountain View

Jennifer Kang is  a 13-year-old violist who currently attends  Blach Intermediate School as  an 8th grader .  She has been studying at  the San Francisco Conservatory Music Pre-College Division under the tutelage of Dimitri Murrath, following previous instructions from Sujung Seok and Minji Kim.  Along with her passion for chamber music,  Jennifer also studies at the Young Chamber Musicians program. 
She  has won several awards, including  first place at the 2019 US Open Music Competition, 2019, 2020 & 2021 US International Music Competition, 2020 & 2021 Silicon Valley Music Competition and 2017 & 2018 KT Youth Music Competition.  In 2019, she performed solo in Carnegie Hall in a winners’ recital for American ProtĂ©gĂ© International Piano & Strings Competition.  Jennifer was admitted to the Morningside Music Bridge Program for the summer of  2023 with a full scholarship. She has also participated in the Music@Menlo Young Performers program in 2022 and the Heifetz PEG in 2021.  She has also been selected to perform in masterclasses  with Jonathan Vinocour and Michael Klotz.
Beyond her musical accomplishments, Jennifer is committed to using her talents to make a positive impact on society.  She has participated in benefit concerts for Red Cross Disaster Relief since 2017 and joined the Santa Clara division of Back to Bach project in 2022, which brings musical inspiration to children. Through her involvement in these community services, she has  continuously developed a strong conviction that  music has the ability to bring emotional comfort to others and make a positive impact on society.
Aside from her musical endeavors,  Jennifer is also an avid writer whose work has garnered recognition from various writing competitions, including the  Scholastic Awards and the Geek Competition.

Colin Breshears from San Pablo

Colin, age 10, began violin lessons at age 3 with David Mallory and Ayke Agus. At age 6, Colin began studying viola with Madeline Prager at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pre-college Division. At age 10 he won 1st Place in the American Viola Society National Junior Solo Competition, 1st Place CalASTA San Francisco Solo Competition - Novice Division, 1st Place in the Classical Masters Music Festival Competition, 1st Place in the CAPMT Sacramento Go For the Gold Competition, and 1st place in the 2022 Pacific Musical Society & Foundation Competition. Since 2018 Colin has performed as a soloist and with his sibling quartet, The Breshears Quartet, at IguazĂș en Concierto festival in Argentina and at Festival Alfonso Ortiz Tirado in Mexico.


Jenna Kim from Los Gatos

Jenna Kim is a freshman at Los Gatos High School. She started playing viola when she was eight years old under her current teacher, Yunsun Kim. Jenna won first place at the Silicon Valley Music Competition in 2019 and 2021, and she received second place as part of a quartet in their 2022 competition. In 2022, she also received second place in the Korean American Music Supporters Association (KAMSA) competition and was a part of the KAMSA youth orchestra. She participated in the California All-State Junior High School String Orchestra in 2022 and the California All-State High School Symphony Orchestra in 2023. She enjoys spreading music and cheer by playing in small ensembles at senior centers. Outside of music, Jenna enjoys reading, watching Korean variety shows, and spending time with her friends, family, and dog.

Katherine Yang from San Mateo

Katherine Yang, 15, began her music studies on the piano at age 5, and now considers the viola her primary instrument. In studying piano, she was introduced to chamber music by playing duets, duos, accompaniments, and more with other musicians. Katherine began studying viola at age 6 and joined the Peninsula Youth Orchestra (PYO).  After 3 years, Katherine joined the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO), where she played in many chamber groups organized by the orchestra. She currently studies with Jay Liu and has now been playing in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO) since the 2021-2022 season. During the summers of 2021 and 2022, Katherine participated in the Summer Music Institute at Tateuchi Hall. She often plays chamber music with her two sisters, who play violin and cello, for charity events, performances, busking, and sometimes just for fun.


David Kim from Saratoga

David Kim, 15, is a sophomore at Saratoga High School and has studied viola under his instructor, Yunsun Kim, since he was six. David has participated and placed in various competitions such as KAMSA (Korean American Music Supporters’ Association), The Northern California Viola Society Competition, USIMC, American ProtĂ©gĂ© International Competition, and many more. He has also contributed in several ensembles, chamber groups, orchestras including CASMEC’s California All-State String and Symphonic Orchestra, KAMSA (Korean American Music Supporters’ Association) orchestra, SVYS (Silicon Valley Youth Symphony), MUSE (Music and Us Serves Everyone) Ensemble, Chamber Music by the Bay, and many more. Outside of his competition and orchestral experiences, David has participated in various volunteering and performance activities; He was invited to and performed at the Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and his school’s SSO (Saratoga Symphony Orchestra) was invited to and performed throughout Europe in the Musikverein, Smetana Hall, etc. Aside from music, David enjoys playing archery to which he was ranked 4th in the state of CA and placed in various other local, state, national, and international tournaments.


Bomin Kim from San Jose

Bomin (Emily) Kim is a junior at The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, California. She started playing the piano at the age of six, and she eventually started playing the viola in the fourth grade. She is currently studying with Teacher Yunsun Kim. Emily has participated in CYS for three years, All State High School String Orchestra in the ninth grade, and was a member of the viola section of SFSYO in the 2021-2022 season. She has also completed the CM Advanced Level for the viola. Emily received 3rd place for the American ProtĂ©gĂ© International Piano & Strings Competition 2021 Junior Category, 1st place in the 2021 junior viola Young Prodigy Category for the US International Open Music Competition, and 1st place for HS Viola in the Silicon Valley Music Competition of 2022.

Michelle Choi from Cupertino

Michelle Choi is a 10th grader at Cupertino High School. She started out playing piano but switched to viola after 5 years. She’s been playing viola since she was 9 years old under Yunsun Kim. Michelle has been a part of Silicon Valley Youth Orchestra for 5 years, KAMSA Youth Orchestra for 2. She was in All-State Junior Symphony Orchestra in 2021 and in All-State High School Symphony Orchestra in 2023. Michelle has also been a member of MUSE for the past 2 years. She received 3rd place in the 2021 Silicon Valley Music Competition, 3rd place in the 2022 Silicon Valley Music Competition, 2nd place in the 2022 Silicon Valley Music Competition ensemble division, and an Honorable Mention in the 2022 KAMSA Music Competition. Michelle also participates in a variety of volunteering activities involving music. For 2 years, she has played at Bobateeno, a city run event that works to support teen mental health, and the Hwarang Vision Festival, which works to fund eye surgeries in Guatemala. She’s played at countless senior centers and volunteers at AMASE to help people with special needs play music. Outside of viola, Michelle loves to crochet and talk with her friends.




Fall 2022  

We had a great turnout for ViolaMANIA! 5.0 - thanks to all who performed, participated and donated. Special thanks to Dolce Violins, Heaney Violins and Joan Balter Violins for their raffle donations.



 Congratulations to our 2022 Young Violists Competition Winners:

Andrew Ahn, 16, from Atherton

Andrew Hwang, 14, from Palo Alto

Chanhee Park, 16, from San Jose

Meet our winners:

Andrew Ahn, First Place and Best Performance of Micro Suite, entered the San Francisco Conservatory of Music Pre College Division as a violist in 2016 where he currently studies with Pei-Ling Lin.  He has been a member of Young Chamber Musicians since 2020, performing in masterclasses with Chris Costanza of the St. Lawrence Quartet and Eric Chin of the Telegraph Quartet.  As a soloist, Andrew has won multiple awards including 3rd place in the USIMC 2020 and 2nd place in the KAMSA 2021, and has performed in a masterclass with Paul Yarborough of the Alexander String Quartet. Andrew attended the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival in 2020, and the Bowdoin International Summer Music Festival in 2021. Outside of music, he enjoys playing video games with his friends and studying chemistry.


Andrew Hwang, Second Place and Best Bach Performance,
is a freshman at Henry Gunn High School, where he is principal violist in the orchestra. He started playing the viola at age 9 under Sujung Seok, and has been studying with Minji Kim since 2020. He is a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, and of the Young Chamber Musicians led by Susan Bates. Andrew has won numerous competitions including 2nd place at the 2021 United States International Music Competition, and 4th prize at the 2021 Houston International Music Competition. In addition, he received the Grand Prize in the 2021 Silicon Valley Music Competition, 1st prize in the 2021 KAMSA Competition, and was a winner of the 2021 Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition where he had been a member for three years. Andrew has been a member of the 2020 and 2021 California All-State Junior High Orchestra, and of the High School Symphony in 2022. He participated in the 2021 Heifetz PEG program studying with Bela Horvath, and in the 2021 Bowdoin Music Festival with Che-Yen Chen. Andrew has been performing for Red Cross Disaster Relief in Nahnoom Benefit Concerts since 2017.

11th grader Chanhee Park, Third Prize Winner, attends Archbishop Mitty High School. He started piano in 1st grade, and that led to his interest in viola 3 years later, under his current teacher Yunsun Kim. Says Chanhee' "She taught me everything and fed my interest in competitions, ensembles, and orchestra." Chanhee joined the Silicon Valley Youth Symphony as a 7th grader, and became a principal of the viola section soon after. Chanhee has participated in many competitions and won first place in the Silicon Valley Music Competition and the United States International Music Competition. He has also participated in a variety of ensembles including a trio and a quartet; these groups have found some competitive success as well. "Music has shaped my life and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things as COVID hopefully dies down."