2020 HHSO Youth Concerto Competition Finalists

Congratulations to all of the competitors in this year’s HHSO Youth Concerto Competition!

This year’s winners are:

1st Prize – Raymond Tsai

2nd Prize – Caroline Smoak

3rd Prize – Joshua Kovac

Special achievement award  – Tobias Liu



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Who is Eligible?

Musicians who play violin viola, cello or bass (we are not including other orchestral instruments this year), age 18 or younger who have not graduated high school are eligible to participate in the competition. Applicants must permanently reside in AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN or VA. Previous grand prize winners are not eligible.


On line registration is required and will open August, 1 2019. The deadline for registration, electronic submissions and postmark date for mailed materials is October 31, 2019. Earlier submission is highly recommended, since no extensions will be granted. We will confirm receipt of application materials by email, within 48 hours.

Audition Piece Requirements

The Selection must be a recognized single orchestral instrument solo which:

  • Must be submitted through video as noted in the “Detailed Application Instructions.”
  • Does not need to be titled, “concerto.”
  • Must have orchestral accompaniment for which a score and parts are currently available.
  • May not be an arrangement, transcription, or student work.
  • Must be a minimum of 6 minutes and a maximum of 15 minutes, with the competitor performing the majority of the time.
    • You may submit a video longer than 15 minutes, but the competition will require cuts to meet the 15 minute limit for the finals.
    • Failure to meet the meet the minimum time requirement will result in disqualification.
  • Selection may be reduced to meet the time limit.
  • Please email any additional questions to Mr. Joseph Gimbel, Competition Director, at: [email protected]

Please review the Detailed Application Instructions before your final application submission.


Up to 10 finalists will be selected by a screening jury from all submitted selections. Applicants will be notified of the selection via email by December 1, 2019. Finalists will perform their selection from memory, for judges and a live audience, in concert, Saturday, February 1, 2020 on Hilton Head Island. Selection of prize winners will be announced at the conclusion of the concert. Finalists are responsible for providing their own accompanist or using one assigned by the competition, at a cost of $150, in accordance with the guidelines described in the detailed instruction. Finalists will receive copies of the judges evaluation forms approximately 3 weeks after the finals.


1st Prize        
$1200 cash
$ 700 scholarship to the Philadelphia International Music Festival
A solo performance with the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra

2nd Prize
$ 700 cash
$ 500 scholarship to the Philadelphia International Music Festival

3rd Prize       
$ 500 cash
$500 scholarship to the Philadelphia International Music Festival

All Other Finalists – $200 cash and $300 scholarship to the Philadelphia International Music Festival.  Possible additional performance opportunities in the Hilton Head Area.

*Any or all of the prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges

Additional Information

If you have questions or need additional information contact Mr. Joseph Gimbel at [email protected] or review detailed application instructions.