Young Violists Competition

6th Annual NCVS Young Violists Competition,  
Final Round Concert
Sunday March 7, 2021, 2:00pm 
Online Event
2021 Judges:  Jodi Levitz, Ethan Filner, Dr. Thomas Tatton 
Results of the 2021 competition: 
1st place: tie - Pearl de la Motte & Michelle Koo
3rd place: Hannah Lam
Best Bach: Pearl de la Motte
Best New Piece: Michelle Koo

 Meet Our YVC 2021 Finalists:

Michelle Koo,  Hannah Lam, Wyeth Minami, 

Pearl de la Motte & Ingrid Nordberg


Michelle Koo is a freshman at Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California. She started out playing the violin but switched to viola after 4 years and currently studies with Pei-Ling Lin at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She was awarded 2nd place at United States International Music Competition (USIMC) in 2020 and was also invited to play at Junior Bach Festival. Additionally, Michelle has been a member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2019. Along with her older sister, she is the co-founder of the music program called Bridges in Music. She also is a third degree black belt in Taekwondo. Other than music, she enjoys coding, drawing, reading, singing, and watching her favorite tv shows and Disney movies

Hannah Lam, 15, is a sophomore at San Ramon Valley High School. Hannah started her musical journey on a 1/16 violin in a Suzuki beginner’s class at the age of four and picked up the viola in the sixth grade. She was with Oakland Symphony Youth Orchestra for two years and has been with San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2019. She has also received chamber training from the Crowden School of Music, as well as Idyllwild Arts.  Hannah studies with Ms. Pei Ling Lin of the Telegraph Quartet.  Along with viola, Hannah has been playing the harp for the past seven years.  She hopes to entertain, inspire and heal with her music.  Hannah also enjoys traveling, baking and interior decorating.

Wyeth Minami, 15, began his musical journey with piano then chose viola as his main instrument, and has been playing it for 8 years. He currently studies with Jessica Chang. An avid chamber musician, Wyeth has been a member of the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO) since 4th grade. He was selected to participate in the 2019 Jr High All-State Orchestra, and has been awarded high honors in local music competitions, most recently first place in the US Int’l Music Competition and winner of PACO’s Concerto Competition in 2019, and Grand Prize in the 2020 Prima Volta Music Competition. He performed in a masterclass with SF Symphony Principal Violist Jonathan Vinocour in January. Outside of music, Wyeth enjoys running CrossCountry, connecting with friends playing online games, and is a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast.

Pearl de la Motte is a 17 year old from San Francisco and she currently studies viola with Dimitri Murrath at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. She is one of 9 children and attends Compass Charter School. She started playing the violin when she was just 2 years old then switched to the viola when she was 10. At first she didn’t enjoy playing the viola at all, but she soon grew to love the instrument’s deep and expressive tone. Pearl has won many awards for her playing and every week she plays concerts with her family on the street corner. When she’s not playing music, she enjoys knitting, studying chemistry, and playing with her siblings. 

 Ingrid Nordberg is seventeen years old and a senior at  Northgate High School. She plays viola in the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra and is principal viola at the Northgate High School orchestra. Her current teacher is Hyelim Shin, who she has been learning from since November 2019. She has also studied chamber music at the Domaine Forget International Music Festival in Quebec and at the Fry Street Chamber Days in Utah.

 Final Round Concert (Open to the Public)
Sunday March 7, 2021, 2:00pm 
Free Online Event, register here to join us

2021 YVC Repertoire Requirements for 1st round of the competition (all of the following):
1. Any single movement from a Cello Suite by J.S. Bach
2. One movement from a viola sonata or a showpiece
3. One movement of a viola concerto
For Final Round: all finalists will play their preliminary repertoire plus the new work, Viola & Cesario for unaccompanied viola (composed by the winner of the NCVS composer competition 2020-21)


Eligibility: Pre-college, aged 19 or younger. Applicants must be based or studying in Northern California. Previous YVC first place winners not eligible to re-apply. Cash prizes: $500, first prize / $300, second prize / $200, third prize. 

2021 Application / Tape-round Information
Deadline: January 5, 2021 


Application Fee: $35

Submit your preliminary recordings - audio-only or video with audio will both be accepted-video is strongly recommended-