Houston, Texas – March 25, 2023—Symphony North of Houston announced the 2023 Young Artist Competition Winners.
Symphony North of Houston is pleased to introduce the 2023 Young Artist Competiton Winners. Hannah Jeong won 1st place with her outstanding performance of the 1st Movement of Dvorak’s Cello Concerto in B minor. Brigham Smith won second place with his equally outstanding performance of the 1st Movement of Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Hannah and Brigham will be the featured performers at Symphony North’s Late Spring Concert on May 14, 2023, at 4:00 PM at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Texas. Admission to our concerts is by donation at the door, or patrons may donate online.
Hannah Jeong is an 11th grader in College Station, Texas. She began playing cello at age four with Meredith Blecha-Wells and is currently under the tutelage of Brinton Averil Smith. Hannah was the 2017-2018 winner of the MTNA Iowa Junior String’s division, and has also won the 2020-2021 Texas State Junior Strings MTNA competition, receiving 3rd place at its national level. She placed 3rd in the 2021 Houston International Music Competition, has won the 2020 Houston Civic Symphony Youth Concerto Competition, the 2019-2020 Brazos Valley Symphony Concerto Competition, and received 3rd place at the 2023 Juanita Miller Concerto Competition. She was a recipient of the Honorable Mention in the 2021 Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition.
Apart from musical competitions, Hannah has performed with the TMEA All-State Symphony since 2021 as a top-ranking student and is a current member of Houston Youth Symphony in which she participated in the chamber program from 2018-2020. Hannah has attended and performed in various solo and chamber music programs during summers since 2011, including the International Cello Institute (ICI), the Stringwood Chamber Music Festival, and a virtual take on the Cincinnati Young Artists program. She has attended the Meadowmount School of Music as a student of Hans Jorgen Jensen during the summers of 2021-2022. Through such music programs, she has had the opportunity to perform in masterclasses for Johannes Moser, Thomas Mesa, Colin Carr, Paul Watkins, David Geber and others. Besides cello, Hannah enjoys drawing her friends, arranging music, and baking.
Brigham Smith (16) is an engineering student at Westside High School where he is Principal Cellist of the Westside Orchestra and a member of the FRC robotics team. He is also an accompanist for the Westside Choir and performed and competed as the Westside Jazz Band Pianist for two years. Brigham is the Assistant Principal Cellist of Virtuosi of Houston Young Artists Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Franz Krager and Andrzej Grabiec. He began piano lessons at age five and studies with Yolanda Li. Brigham won 1st place in the HMTA Piano Contest 2018 – 2021 and placed 2nd in the 2023 HMTA High School Division Piano Performance Contest. He is a TMTA Regional Finalist and will compete at State in the 2023 TMTA Piano Concerto Contest. Brigham is a member of the National Piano Guild and will complete his High School Guild Diploma this spring. He received the Honorable Mention Award at the North Texas Young Artists Competition in 2021 and was a 2022 Houston Young Artists Competition Finalist. He won the ECHO Symphony Young Artist Concerto Competition in 2023.
Brigham began cello lessons at age nine. He studies with Ed Harper and is a member of H-Town Strings performing ensemble. He has received many top ratings at Region and State UIL solo contests. In 2022 he performed with a cello choir under the direction of Matt Lammers at Opus 1 Chamber Music School. In 2019, Brigham began studying the organ with Kymberly Payne. He is the Sunday worship organist for a Vietnamese congregation here in Houston. He was selected as an organ soloist at the 2022 BYU Music Festival in Utah and will compete at State in the 2023 TMTA Organ Performance Contest. Brigham is a 10-year TMTA Music Theory Gold Medalist. He was also selected as a NASA High School Aerospace Scholar this year.
In his spare time, he flies and repairs RC airplanes and drones, designs 3-D print models, and enjoys robotics. Brigham serves in his community as a volunteer pianist and cellist at the retirement home and a volunteer church choir accompanist and organist. He has two older brothers and two younger sisters and loves playing music with his family.