From the Top and Carnegie Hall: The Big Break Finalists Have Been Announced!

As you probably know, along with Carnegie Hall we have been very busy with The Big Break – An online YouTube contest looking for the best young musicians in America. Today we are pleased to announced our 15 finalists – and invite YOU to vote for YOUR favorite performances now through December 14!

Finalists were drawn from a pool of hundreds of video submissions uploaded between October 18 and November 18 at . All classical musicians, the contestants ranged in age from 8-18 and participated on a variety of solo instruments including piano, bassoon, harp, voice, violin, cello, bass, marimba, and recorder. They hailed from all over the country.

Public voting on the top 15 finalists begins today at and ends on December 14. The Big Break’s grand-prize winner, selected by the public, will appear on an upcoming national radio broadcast of From the Top on NPR with host Christopher O’Riley. The grand-prize winner plus several runners-up will also perform at a Carnegie Hall Family Concert on April 9 in Zankel Hall, produced in partnership with From the Top and hosted by Mr. O’Riley. Big Break winners will be announced on or after December 15.

The Big Break finalists are:

Gideon Broshy (piano), age 16, New York, NY
Emily Brown (double bass), age 16, Myersville, MD
Samuel Casseday (double bass), age 17, Jacksonville, FL
Jennifer Cha (violin), age 14, Naperville, IL
Brannon Cho (cello), age 15, Short Hills, NJ
Michael Davidman (piano), age 13, New York, NY
Peter Eom (cello), age 15, Gilbert, AZ
Helen Gerhold (harp), age 14, Lansdale, PA
Nikita Haduong (violin), age 15, Henderson, NV
Jiyeon Kim (guitar), age 17, Cleveland, OH
Kate Liu (piano), age 16, Winnetka, IL
Ryan Norville (flute), age 17, Fort Myers, FL
Arianna Smith (viola), age 17, St. Charles, IL
Marcelina Suchocka (marimba), age 17, Chicago, IL
Kevin Sun (piano), age 17, Carmichael, CA

Each year, From the Top receives about a thousand applications from young classical musicians across the country wishing to appear on its radio and television broadcasts. This contest marks the first time that From the Top has opened that audition process to the public, inviting them to help identify their favorite performers. Carnegie Hall, with its deep commitment to programs that nurture young talent and encourage musicians to aspire to excellence, is happy to continue its partnership with From the Top, offering Big Break musicians the opportunity to perform on its popular Family Concert series.

Please check out the finalists and cast your vote by giving a “thumbs up” for your favorite performance. You can vote once a day per video – spread the word to your friends!