Introducing Subin Cho and Nygel Witherspoon, this week’s Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists

This week’s episode of NPR’s From the Top, taped at Dartmouth College with Guest Host Jeremy Denk, features two Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists: flutist Subin Cho and cellist Nygel Witherspoon.

The award helps young musicians with the high costs of studying classical music. Recipients must demonstrate exceptional musical ability, quality of character, and financial need. Since 2005, this partnership between From the Top and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships.

Introducing Subin and Nygel:

Instrument: Flute
Age (at time of taping): 17
Hometown: Keller, Texas
School: Cho Academy, Keller, Texas
Radio Show Performance: III. Salmon Lake from “Three Lakes” Sonata for Flute and Piano by Daniel Dorff (Show 372)

Subin Cho, began flute lessons at the age of ten, and has studied with Monica Song and Won Lee. This fall, she begins studies at the Peabody Institute of Music under Marina Piccinini.

She was principal flutist of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) and was a member of 6A Texas All-State for the past two years. In 2018, Subin won Grand Prize in the Concert Artists “VIRTUOSO” International Competition and the Northeast Young Artist Competition. That same year, she placed first in the Dallas Symphonic Festival Senior Sonata Division, the MTNA Senior Woodwind competition in Texas, and the Maverick Flute Soloist Competition at UT Arlington; she was also a finalist in both the Fort Worth Symphony Young Artist Competition and the NFA High School Soloist Competition. Subin was the winner of the 2018-2019 MNTA Senior Woodwind Nationals, the Grand Prize Winner of the 2017 Dallas Symphonic Festival Senior Concerto Competition, and she placed first in the 2016 Claire Johnson Flute Soloist Competition.

Flutist Subin Cho, 17, from Keller, TX | Credit Andy Park-222

Subin performed at Dallas’s Moody Performance Hall for the Basically Beethoven Festival as a Rising Star in 2017. She has also performed in the master classes of Marina Piccinini, Carol Wincenc, Jim Walker, Jeffrey Khaner, Mimi Stillman, Julien Beaudiment, Viviana Guzmán, Jean Ferrandis, Amy Porter, and Sarah Jackson.

Receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award will allow Subin to purchase a new flute headjoint.

Instrument: Cello
Age (at time of taping): 17
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
High School: Minnesota Connections Academy, St. Paul, Minnesota
Radio Show Performance: I. Allegretto from Concerto No. 1 for Cello and Orchestra by Dmitri Shostakovich, with the Dartmouth Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Filippo Ciabatti (Show 372)

Nygel Witherspoon is a graduate of the Minnesota Connections Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he studied cello performance with Tanya Remenikova at the University of Minnesota. He entered Curtis Institute of Music this month, where he is studying with Peter Wiley.

Nygel first began studying the cello with his first teacher, David Holmes, when he was three years old. He enjoys playing chamber music and was coached for four years by Bruce Coppock. He has played in lessons and masterclasses for Peter Wiley, Anthony Ross, Benjamin Zander, Arek Tesarcyzk, and Amit Peled.

In 2016, Nygel won the Minnesota String and Orchestra Teacher’s Association (MNSOTA) Mary West Solo Competition, performing the first movement of the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra. He was also a featured artist on MPR’s Minnesota Varsity in 2017. That same year, Nygel made his debut with the Minnesota Orchestra, playing the first movement of the Dvořák Cello Concerto at the Send Me Hope concert under conductor Roderick Cox. He appeared with them again as soloist in 2018, performing Fauré’s Élégie as part of their Courage and Triumph Sommerfest concert.

Cellist Nygel Witherspoon, 17, from Minneapolis, MN performs for students

This year, Nygel won the Junior Division of the Sphinx Competition and was a semi-finalist in the Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra Young Artist Competition.

Receiving the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award will allow Nygel to purchase a new cello bow and to take private lessons.

Learn more about the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.

Learn more about Show 372: Hanover, New Hampshire.

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