Karson Nicpon, Port Angeles High School student and cellist, competes in the 33rd annual Nico Snel Young Artist Competition this Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Karson Nicpon, Port Angeles High School student and cellist, competes in the 33rd annual Nico Snel Young Artist Competition this Saturday. (Diane Urbani de la Paz/for Peninsula Daily News)

Young Artist Competitions set for Saturday in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — The music of Vivaldi, Bach and Lalo, plus Severn’s “Polish Dance,” Tomaso Vitali’s “Chaconne” and Fritz Kreisler’s “La Gitana” will come alive in a public event: the Nico Snel Young Artist Competitions this Saturday.

This 33rd annual contest will take place at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 301 Lopez Ave., and as always, the public is welcome.

Admission is free to listen to any or all of the 11 competitors from Clallam and Jefferson counties.

The young musicians in the junior contest are all from Port Angeles: middle school violinists Yau Fu and Courtney Smith along with seventh-grader Flora Sullivan, who will compete both as a violinist and a pianist.

The senior competitors include Port Townsend violinist Aliyah Yearian and Port Angeles cellists Karson Nicpon and Evan Cobb, violinists Meiqi Liang, Adam Weller and Vanessa Flanagan, violist Luke Gavin and pianist Emma Weller.

Each participant performs a short piece of his or her choosing. The piece must be of concert quality and under 10 minutes, and pianist Kristin Quigley Brye accompanies many of the string players.

The junior contest begins at 9:30 a.m.; after it finishes, there’s a break before the senior competition begins. After a few performances comes a lunch break, and the competition resumes at about 12:30 p.m. to wrap up by 3 p.m. Winners are notified Saturday evening.

The Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra has hosted the competitions since their inception. The late conductor Nico Snel started them to encourage local young people to seek excellence as classical musicians, and the event was renamed for him last year.

The Young Artist Competition is open to students up to age 22, and the Junior Young Artist Competition for participants up to age 14.

Cash prizes go to the winners: in the senior division, $500 for first prize, $250 for second and $200 for third place; in the junior section $250 for first, $125 second and $75 third. Donors from the community and proceeds from the sale of the Port Angeles Symphony Guild’s new cookbook, “A Little Kitchen Music,” provide for these awards.

This year’s competition judges include Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra violist Tyrone Beatty, Port Townsend pianist Carol Rich and Port Angeles Symphony conductor Jonathan Pasternack, a professional trombonist who has also studied piano, violin and cello. These adjudicators volunteer their time to give the young performers wide-ranging feedback.

For information about Saturday’s competitions and about Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra concerts this month through May, see PortAngeles Symphony.org, email to [email protected] or call 360-457-5579.

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