Bay Area-Based Aveline Piano Trio Wins First Prize at Annual Menuhin Seminar/Festival

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Photo of Paul Yarbrough, the Aveline Piano Trio and Eric Chin

The Aveline Piano Trio, a Bay Area-based youth ensemble, won the top prize at the School of Music’s Yehudi Menuhin Seminar for Chamber Music on February 3.

The teenagers won first prize in the Jane Galente Competition. The $1500 award is made possible by a generous gift from The Joyce McLean Fellowship Fund for the Menuhin Seminar. The Aveline Piano Trio is comprised of pianist Sarah Yuan, violinist Sabrina Kim and cellist Sarah Choi.

The Acturas Piano Trio took home second prize, worth $1000 and made possible by a generous gift from Norma Siani-Alston in memory of Jane Galante. The ensemble is comprised of pianist Kevin Yang, violinist violinist Ajay Mallya and cellist Jacob Reed.

The Stellata String Quartet won third prize, worth $500 and made possible by a generous gift from David and Judy Preves Anderson, in memory of Milton Preves. The quartet is comprised of violinists Arin Chang and Matthew Sakiyama, violist Sofie Kanayama and cellist Grant Griffin.

Seven “exceptionally strong” ensembles reached the semifinal round, says Paul Yarbrough, the event organizer and Alexander String Quartet violist.

Each of the prize-winning ensembles train with Young Chamber Musicians, an affiliate of the nonprofit organization InterMusicSF. Founded and directed by violist Susan Bates, the program offers advanced chamber music instruction and exciting performance opportunities to string players and pianists ages 14 – 20.

This year’s competition was judged by SF State faculty members Sandy Wilson, Fred Lifsitz and Jassen Todorov; the Telegraph Quartet’s Joseph Maile, Pei-Ling Lin and Jeremiah Shaw; and pianist Jeffrey LaDeur.

About the Yehudi Menuhin Seminar for Chamber Music

The Menuhin Seminar provides young chamber music ensembles from throughout California the opportunity to participate in master classes and concerts with Music faculty. Ensembles compete for cash prizes and Music scholarships to SF State.

Launched in 2003 to honor the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin’s association with San Francisco and SF State, this event advances the belief that music has the power to create understanding and transcend differences between people. Directed by Cyrus Ginwala.

— Matt Itelson

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Photo, from left: Paul Yarbrough with the Aveline Piano Trio’s Sarah Choi, Sarah Yuan and Sabrina Kim and Eric Chin. Photo by Patricia-Ris Yarbrough.