The Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition

  • Miranda Liu Performs Vivaldi's Four Seasons

The Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition 2018 Application Now Available

Click here to apply online

Click here to download and print 2018 Application

The competition is open to all instrumentalists ages 16-22.   Application can be submitted through downloading, filling out the application, and mailing to to Lisa Young, Chairperson and Vice President of The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey.  Application can also be submitted online.

Applicants submit recordings or links to YouTube videos.  Preliminary judging is done in January.  

Ten finalists are invited to perform at Dolan Hall, The College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown, New Jersey.   

Judges include principal musicians of The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey, leading music educators, leaders in the New York and New Jersey music community, and international artists.   Past judges have included major artists like Harry Searing, Ron Leavy, Andrew Pecota, Agnes Kwasniewska, Dr. Anne Matlack, Stanley Alexandrowicz, Stefano Miceli, Lynn Czae, Paul Zeigler, and Evan Ardelle.

Applicants are invited to perform music of any period.   Pianists are asked to play solo works.   Selections for the initial application are unlimited in time or number.  

If chosen as a finalist, applicants will perform selections lasting between ten and fiftenn minutes.    Instrumentalists are welcome to use their own or BONJ accompanist Hyunjin Cho.

First Prize is $1000. The First Prize winner will perform a concerto movement at the BONJ Summer Music Festival in August, 2018. Second prize is $500.  Third prize is $250.  Two $100 honorable mention prizes will be awarded. 

The winner of the competition final will be invited to perform a concerto of any period with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jeresy at the annual Summer Festival in August.

The 2018 competition will be held March 11, 2018 at NOON. Dolan Hall, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, New Jersey.   Admission to this unforgettable afternoon of great music is FREE!

Applications must be received by January 6, 2018. Finalists will be notified by January 27, 2018.   If applicant chooses to print and mail application, please mail to: Lisa Young, Chairperson, 24 Edgar Road, West Orange, New Jersey, 07052.   Any questions should be directed to Lisa Young: or 973-669-1641.

Application must include a letter of recommendation, brief biography, teacher's name and contact, and a CD, DVD or YouTube link of applicant in performance. 

Click here to apply online

Click here to download and print 2018 Application

Concert Listing for the Competition

  • 2017-2018 Season



Sunday, March 11, 2018, 12:00 PM


Dolan Hall, The Annunciation Center, The College of Saint Elizabeth



Featured Performers: 

The Baroque Orchestra is pleased to announce  the 2018 Pearl & Julius Young Music Competition for young instrumental artists, ages 16-22

First Prize is $1,000. The First Prize winner will perform a concerto movement at the BONJ Summer Music Festival in August, 2018. Second prize is $500. Third prize is $250. Two $100 honorable mention prizes will be awarded. Judges will include principal musicians from the orchestra and guest artists.

The competition will be held Sunday March 11, 2018 at NOON. Dolan Hall, The College of Saint Elizabeth, 2 Convent Road, Morristown, New Jersey.  Each of ten finalists will perform a movement from a major concerto or sonata.   The competition/performance is open to the public. 

Admission to this unforgettable afternoon of great music is FREE!

2018 Finalists

Violinist Kingston Ho, of New Providence, is an 11th grader at the Academy for Allied Health Sciences in Scotch Plains.  A member of the 2017 National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NY)-USA-sponsored by the Carnegie Hall Weill Institute, he also was the concertmaster of its summer orchestra NYO2 in 2016.  Kingston won first prize in the 2017 Suburban Music Study Club Scholarship, the 2016 National League of Performing Arts Young Virtuosi Recital Competition and the New Jersey Monmouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2012 Young Artist Concerto Competition, where he soloed with the orchestra. He currently is the concertmaster of the New Jersey Youth Symphony.

Bassoonist Jordan Dreyer, of West Milford, is a senior at West Milford Township High School. Over the course of her high school career, she has been selected into the TCNJ Honors Wind Ensemble, North Jersey Area Wind Ensemble, and the New Jersey All State Symphonic Band/Orchestra.  She has also participated in Bassoon Week at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the weeklong bassoon intensive at Interlochen (MI) Arts Academy. She is currently attending Manhattan School of Music’s Pre-College Division and is principal bassoonist of its Precollege Philharmonic.

Trumpeter Sa'eed Abuwi, of Wilmington, DE, started playing trumpet at an early age.  At a school of the arts for middle and high school students, he majored in instrumental music.  A sophomore at Rowan University, he is majoring in Music Education and is principal trumpet in the orchestra, wind ensemble, and small jazz combos. He has played in notable events such as the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival in Wilmington and competed in the 2017 International Woman’s Brass Conference, where he placed second in the adult division’s solo competition.

Pianist Kelsey Lee, of Summit, is a junior at Summit High School.  In 2017, she won first place in the Marian Garcia International Piano Competition, High School Division, and first place in the NJMTA Young Musicians Competition.  She has won first place in the Greater Princeton Steinway Society Piano Competition and was invited to play in a masterclass with Emanuel Ax. She regularly accompanies choirs, bands, and instrumentalists in her school district and has played with the Summit High School Hilltop String Quartet in charity concerts. In the summer of 2017, she participated in the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s tour of Budapest and Vienna.

Pianist Sherwin Pan, of Edison, is a high school junior.  In 2014, Sherwin was the gold prizewinner of the Golden Key Music Festival.  The following year he won first place in the Talented Young Musicians Competition of IMAS. As a winner in the junior group of the Golden Key Debut International Music Competition, he was invited to attend the Golden Key Festival, performing at Carnegie Hall and Ehrbar Hall, Vienna.  Last summer, he participated in a concert tour of Russia with Bravura Youth Orchestra, performing with Russia Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow, and Belgorod Symphony Orchestra in the Open Air Concert.

Cellist Kei Otake, of Short Hills, has had an extensive career as a musician—from studying at the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School of Music to receiving the Special Jury Award in the 2014 Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow, Russia.  In May 2016, he won the grand prize at the National League of Performing Art’s National Young Virtuoso Recital competition. He was also the Grand Prize winner at the International Grande Music Competition and performed the Elgar Concerto with orchestra at Merkin Hall in January, 2017.He is a first-year student at Juilliard School of Music.

Flutist Yuxi, of New York City, original from Guangzhou, China, has performed across China and Europe.  In 2016, she performed as soloist in the Carmen Flute Fantasy in her hometown.  As an orchestra flutist, she has also performed in Hong Kong, Macau, Frankfurt, and Berlin.  Recently, she played the principal flute for Yo-Yo Ma’s performance of the Dvorak Cello Concerto. She began studying the flute at age 10 and is now pursuing her bachelor of music degree at Manhattan School of Music.

Flutist Mei Stone, of New York, is studying at the Juilliard School with the principal flutist orf the New York Philharmonic, Robert Langevin. She has been a part of the Aspen Music Festival, OK Mozart Music Festival, and the Oklahoma Arts Institute.  She has been featured on NPR’s From the Top with host Christopher O’Reilly.  In 2016 and 2017, she received awards from the National Young Arts Foundation. Currently, she is principal flutist of the New York Youth Symphony and performs in the Juilliard Orchestra and various chamber groups, including AXIOM, Juilliard’s new music ensemble.

Violinist Ziyao Sun, of New York, began her violin studies at the age of five.  She won the Gold Prize of Golden Beijing Violin Competition in 2008.  She studied at the middle school of China Central Conservatory of Music.   Ziyao is the associate concertmaster of Central Conservatory Junior Orchestra. She has performed in Korea, Hong Kong and Macao.  She has performed in a master class with Itzhak Perlman and in 2012 she participated in the Kloster Schontral International Music Festival. She has studied chamber music with members of the Cavani and Stadivari Quartets.

Violinist Caecilia Lee of Creskill began playing the violin when she was three and participated in the Young Artists Programs at the JCC Thurnauer School of Music. She was accepted into the Juilliard Pre-College Division  when she was ten and gave her first recital there the following year. Caecilia is a prizewinner of numerous competitions, such as the New York Music Competition, National Young Musicians Showcase Competition,  and the New York International Music Competition. This past summer, she participated in the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and later this year will participate   in Menuhin Violin Competition in Geneva.

Violinist Angela Kim, of New York, was born in this country in 1996. She attended Juilliard Pre-School Division and is now pursuing her B.A. degree there. Since her orchestral debut with Nova Philharmonic at the age of 15, Angela has appeared as a soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and K-Radio Symphony Orchestra. She has also given solo recitals at Juilliard, New York Space in Arts, PyeongChang Alpensia Concert Hall, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Weill Hall. Angela has also been teaching weekly violin classes for fourth graders as a recipient of the Juilliard Morse Teaching Fellowship.

Judges for the 2018 Competition

Andrew Pecota has played bassoon with The Baroque Orchestra of New Jersey since its very first concert.    He has performed concertos of Vivaldi and Mozart and has served as wind section leader.   He is a founding member of Zephyrs Winds and a leader in chamber music performance in New Jersey.    He is on staff at Montclair State University.

Evan Ardelle has been an active cellist for almost half a century.  He was a student of master cellist Avron Twerdowsky and has played with numerous orchestras, chamber music groups and Broadway musical productions over the past five decades.  He also teaches cello part-time, just to share the joy of this wonderful musical instrument.   Mr. Ardelle, a former principal cellist of the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey with his two beloved sons and his three beloved cats.

Michael Bulychev-Okser was born in Moscow, Russia in a family of distinguished musicians. He composed and played music since the age of seven. An honored alumnus of The Juilliard School, Michael Bulychev-Okser has collaborated with many of the  world's most notable musicians: Oxana Yablonskaya, Dmitry Yablonsky, Daniel Pollack, Martin Canin, David Dubal, Richard Kimball, Jonathan Strasser, and Mikhail Voskresensky. An extensive performance schedule finds him dividing his time between Europe and the United States in both solo performances and appearances with the world’s top orchestras, including Manhattan Philharmonic, Novgorod Philharmonic, and Parnassos Symphony. Because of Michael’s early and extraordinary talent, famous Russian composer T.Khrennikov took Michael, then nine years of age, under his instruction at the Moscow State Conservatory. A protégé child from an early age, Michael studied piano performance at the Moscow State Conservatory with Professor Mikhail Voskresensky.   In 2014, Michael Bulychev-Okser founded the Alion Baltic International Music Festival, in Tallinn, Estonia.

BONJ Accompanist

Hyunjin Cho (BONJ Accompanist) began her piano lessons at the age of five. She continued her studies at Chugye University for the Arts in Seoul where she received her Bachelor’s degree as a full scholarship student.   Her appearances have included solo performances at The Juilliard School and in the New Jersey area supported by the Westerhoff Foundation as well as chamber music performances at the Shepard Hall, the Baisley Powell Elebash Recital Hall, Steinway Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Bruno Walter Hall at Lincoln Center and NV Hall. She has played in the Echo Music Festival in the summer 2012 and 2013 as an accompanist and coach. She has been on the piano faculty at the Westerhoff school of music and arts since 2003.  Ms. Cho received her Master’s degree and professional studies certificate from Manhattan School of Music as a partial scholarship student with Marc Silverman.

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