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UW Symphony and Concerto Competition Winners

  • David A. Rahbee conducts the UW Symphony

David Alexander Rahbee conducts the UW Symphony and winners of the 2022 Concerto Competition in an end-of-year performance.  Performing with the orchestra are Hannah Chou, violin (Korngold Violin Concerto, Mvt 1); Megan Hutchison, flute (Nielsen Flute Concerto, mvt 1); and HyeYeon Kim, piano (Chopin Piano Concerto No.1, Mvt. 1).

Masks are recommended in all indoor spaces. Proof of vaccination remains a requirement for everyone 12 and over at Meany Hall and all ArtsUW Ticket Office events, including Meany Center, DXARTS, Dance Department, School of Drama, and School of Music. Individuals unable to be fully vaccinated, including people with a medical or religious exemption, must have proof of a negative provider-administered COVID-19 test (taken within 72 hours of the performance). UW staff will check for proof of vaccination and negative COVID tests at the doors as a condition of entry. Proof of negative test result must come from a test provider, a laboratory or a health care provider. Home or self-administered tests will not be accepted.  Details of these policies and procedures are at 


University of Washington Symphony Orchestra with Concerto Competition Winners

David Alexander Rahbee, Music Director and Conductor
Rylan Virnig and Daren Weissfisch, Assistant Conductors

Overture to Idomeneo, K.366: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
with concert ending by Carl Reinecke (1824-1910)

Flute Concerto: Carl Nielsen (1865-1931)

  1. Allegro moderato

Megan Hutchison, flute


Piano Concerto, E minor, op.11: Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849)

  1. Allegro maestoso

HyeYeon Kim, piano


-       Intermission- 

Violin Concerto, D major, op.35: Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957)

  1. Moderato nobile

Hannah Chou, violin


Adagietto from Symphony No. 5: Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

Emperor Waltzes, Op. 437 Johann Strauss, Jr. (1825-1899)

Program Notes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed Idomeneo 1781, and it was premiered in Munich only a couple of days after his 25th birthday. Classified as an opera seria with French elements, it was based on a text by the French playwright and librettist Antoine Danchet and composed on commission for the Bavarian court. As an opera composer, Mozart was incredibly concerned with dramatic flow, often making choices in his compositions that would highlight the drama onstage. This idea followed in the footsteps of Gluck, who twenty years earlier had revolutionized the world of opera by cutting through the long indulgent aria segments and instead focusing on the ways an orchestra could enhance the drama of the libretto. This style of opera also included a heightened role for the chorus and brought ballet into greater focus. The original ending of this overture is notable among Mozart’s opera overtures for ending quietly and in a different key than the beginning, as opposed to a resounding finish in the home key. This subtle ending lends itself well to the sense of drama Mozart tries to create, as it transitions to the first scene where one of the main characters of the opera, Ilia, is bemoaning the fate of her and her people. Carl Reinecke was born in 1824, and was a German composer, teacher, pianist, and conductor. Reinecke was well- respected among his contemporaries; taught by Mendelssohn, Schumann, and Liszt, as well as being teacher to Edvard Grieg and other well-known composers. A prolific composer in his own right, he also wrote a multitude of cadenzas for concertos, largely by Beethoven and Mozart.   -Katie Tschida

Danish composer Carl Nielsen was known for his diverse musical output and unique compositional style, created through his use of modal ambiguity and tonal digression. He studied violin and composition at the Copenhagen Conservatory and led a successful career performing and conducting, but is most well known for his compositions for wind instruments. He composed Flute Concerto in 1926 for flutist Holger Gilbert Jespersen. Nielsen met Jespersen through the Copenhagen Wind Quintet, and Nielsen was so inspired by the quintet’s sound that he vowed to compose a concerto for each member inspired by their personalities. Unfortunately, Nielsen only finished the flute and clarinet concerti before his passing, but his Flute Concerto won him praise from critics and remains a staple of the flute repertoire. Jespersen premiered the piece in 1926, with a temporary ending that Nielsen later rewrote the following year. The concerto personifies Jespersen so accurately that those who knew him claim that new aspects of his personality can be discovered through each hearing, even though Nielsen did not consult with Jespersen on the work. It also features interesting dialogues between the flute and the clarinet, timpani, and bass trombone, which is used as a foil to the flute solo. – Megan Hutchinson 

Frédéric Chopin, at the age of twenty, premiered his Piano Concerto in E minor, Op. 11, dedicated to Friedrich Kalkbrenner. This, his third public concert at the National Theatre in Warsaw, was the last concert he would perform in Poland. It was the first of Chopin’s two piano concertos to be published, and was therefore given the designation of Piano Concerto ‘No. 1’ at the time of publication, even though it was actually written after the one that was later published ‘No. 2’. The first movement opens with a full orchestra presenting a vigorous, sturdy theme before the first main idea in E Minor in the strings. The lyrical second theme in E major is also led by the strings. The orchestra moves to a rhapsodic section, building suspense and dominance over three minutes leading up to the start of the piano solo. The pianist presents the first theme in E minor and then the second theme cast in the parallel E major. The development section focuses on the first thematic idea, extending by decorative scales and chords. Even though it does not follow a highly elaborated development of key modulation, the wind supports this beautifully and horns add exquisite richness to the melodies. The recapitulation begins with the orchestra alone; the pianist has a second theme which finally modulates upward to G major. The scherzo-like coda reverts to E minor, and the movement ends with a piano section, followed by a sudden forte E minor chord at the end.  - HyeYeon Kim

Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a revolutionary composer who brought the world of cinematic sound to classical concert music. Korngold grew up in Vienna and as a child prodigy, composed his first work, a piece for piano and solo voices, at the age of 9. It was very well received and led him to a meeting with Gustav Mahler who deemed him a genius. Since that encounter, Korngold maintained a close relationship with Mahler and even dedicated the Violin Concerto to Mahler’s wife, Alma Mahler. In 1934, Korngold was offered a job in Hollywood to arrange the music for Max Reinhardt’s film version of A Midsummer’s Night Dream. This event served as a catalyst for Korngold’s career in film music, scoring for big picture companies like Warner Bros in Los Angeles, where he lived for the remainder of his life. After the end of World War II, Korngold made the decision to return to composing concert music and the Violin Concerto was the first of his new era of concert pieces. It was originally suggested by and written for violinist Bronisław Huberman but due to unforeseen circumstances, the piece was ultimately premiered by the great virtuoso, Jascha Heifetz, in 1947 in St. Louis. The Violin Concerto borrows several themes from Korngold’s past works, a memento from his legacy in the film industry. Specifically, the first movement, Moderato nobile, has sections that are adapted from the films, Another Dawn and Juarez. It opens with an expansive melody and finishes with a quick flashy tongue twister for the fingers, taking the audience through an exhilarating ride filled with virtuosity. – Hannah Chou

Preceding the composition of his fifth symphony, Gustav Mahler suffered a hemorrhage that almost killed him. This near-death experience caused Mahler’s inspiration in his compositions to be turned towards the grave, as he began work on his Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children) in 1901. Later that same year, Mahler met the woman who would become his wife, Alma Schindler, after he had drafted the first two movements as well as the scherzo. This movement, which is the fourth movement of the symphony, was written as a love letter to her. As a love letter, it makes references both to the love-glance leitmotif from Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde and his own setting of Friedrich Rückert’s “Ich bin der Welt”. The end of the movement features this invocation from the violin part, as it echoes the ending of Mahler’s song using the same motif as accompanies the last line in its original setting - “In meinem Lieben, in meinem Lied!” or “In my love, in my song!”. As his first symphony without any singing or programmatic elements, it marked a turning point in Mahler’s symphonic works. In its original premiere this movement was not received well by critics. Despite this, it was not unpopular for long, as the Adagietto is heard prominently in concert halls around the world. Although he started composition in 1901, and the work premiered in 1904, Mahler did not finish revising the symphony until 1911 - the year of his death.
-Katie Tschida 

Johann Strauss, Jr. composed the Emperor Waltzes to commemorate the visit between Austrian emperor Franz Josef and German Kaiser Wilhelm II, premiering on October 21, 1889. Originally titled “Hand in Hand” as a representation of the ‘hand in friendship’ extended from Austria to Germany, the title of Emperor Waltz allowed for neutrality by appeasing both rulers. The waltz was popularized in Vienna largely by Josef Lanner, who recruited Strauss’s father to his orchestra. Due to the closeness of the dancers who performed the waltz, it was originally viewed as indecent by members of the upper class. Strauss was known as the “Waltz King”, inheriting the title from his father; however, his compositions eclipsed his fathers fame. This waltz, as well as his Blue Danube waltz, have immortalized Strauss in both the concert halls and popular culture.  -Katie Tschida

University of Washington Symphony Orchestra

David Alexander Rahbee, Music Director and Conductor

Rylan Virnig and Daren Weissfisch, Assistant Conductors


Flute & Piccolo   

Katelyn Campbell                        Biochemistry, Applied Music (Orchestral Instruments) 

Stephanie Chuang                       Computer Science/Cinema and Media Studies

Cassie Lear                                DMA Woodwinds

Emily Lee                                   Music

Elizabeth Nilles                           Biology/Music minor



Kamil Tarnawczyk                        Music 

Helena Potter                              Garfield High School senior


English horn

Kamil Tarnawczyk                        Music 



Megan Rideout Redeker               Music Performance 

Khang Zhie Phoong                     Computer Science 



Julien Tsang                               Law Accounting Masters

Pascal Lovre                               Chemistry 

Parker Chu                                 Biochemistry, Music minor



Anna Perry                                 Music (Brass) 

Nicholas Hidy                              Music (Brass) 

Kiyoshi Colon                              Chemistry

Thomas Dylan                             Bioengineering



Greg Smith                                 DMA Trumpet

Jennifer Stump                            Pre Sciences 

Carter Archuleta                          Physics, Astronomy



Neal Muppidi                              Physics, Music

Sean Grimm                               Statistics


Bass Trombone

Clayton Thomas                          Electrical Engineering



Kelly Hou                                   Informatics, Music Performance



Chiao-Yu Wu                              Piano Performance



Sophie Schmidt                           Percussion Performance



Cyrus Grahan                             History 

Ryan Baker                                Music



Christine Chu                              Communication, Violin Performance 

Constance Aguocha                     Violin Performance 

Dalma Ashby                              Violin Performance 

Sejon Ashby                               Biochemistry 

Ido Avnon                                  Computer Science, Education

Kelly Chiang                               Psychology, Marketing

Kellen Cribbs                              Music Education, History 

Teela Damian                             Music 

Rylan Ferron-Jones                      Engineering Undeclared 

Nicholas Gjording                        Biology (Molecular Cellular & Developmental) 

Terri Ji                                       Music Theory

Kara Johnson                             Pre Major (Arts & Sciences) 

Allison Kam                                Pre Sciences, Linguistics 

Meiqi Liang                                 Pre Public Health 

Audrey Lin                                  Computer Science

Paige Michal                               Music Education

Hannah Peña-Ruiz                       Music (Strings) 

Bianca Ponnekanti                       Physics, Astronomy 

Sean Sasaki                               Music 

Selina Siow                                Music (Strings) 

Olivia Wang                                Computer Science, Music 

Ethan Wu                                   Biochemistry



Elena Allen                                 Applied Music (String Instruments), Biochemistry 

Eugene Chin                               Applied Music (String Instruments) 

Nathan Hatch                              Robotics 

Angielena Luong                         Pre Sciences 

Brian Pham                                Biochemistry

Mari Morikawa                            Biology (Physiology) 

Meghna Shankar                         Computer Science, Physics 

Kareena Sikka                            Biology (Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental) 

Katie Tschida                              Music

Randy Zhang                              Computer Science 



Bashir Abdel-Fattah                     Mathematics 

Ryan Friesz                                Pre Sciences 

Savannah Helming                       Cello Performance

Breanna Humphrey                      Pre Sciences 

Sarah Johnson                            Music 

Youngbin (Young) Kim                  Cello Performance 

Gene Liu                                    Engineering

Bennett Olsen                             Geography: Data Science 

Cameron Ray                             Nursing

Russell Sam                               Pre Sciences 

Amanda Song                             Business Administration 

Ignacio (Nacho) Tejeda                 Mathematics



Alejandra (Ale) Heringer                English 

Nick Masters                               Guest musician

Ethan Park                                 Pre Sciences 

Ramon Salumbides                      Alumnus/guest musician


Megan Hutchison is completing a Master of Music degree in Flute Performance at the University of Washington, studying with Donna Shin. She has been the teaching assistant for the UW Modern Music Ensemble, select music education classes, and flute performances classes. Megan also performs as principal flutist in the UW Symphony Orchestra and UW Wind Ensemble. Recognized for her solo performances, she has won prizes at the Montana, Florida, and Austin (TX) Flute Association’s Young Artist Competitions. She was a featured performer at the 2020 National Flute Association Convention and the 2020 Texas Music Educator’s Association Convention. Megan received her Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance at the University of North Texas where she studied with Terri Sundberg and James Scott. In her free time, Megan enjoys baking Swiss roll cakes and spending time with her cats. 

HyeYeon Kim is a doctoral student of Musical Arts in Piano Performance at the University of Washington under the guidance of Craig Sheppard. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Yonsei University in South Korea, followed by a Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in Boston under Victor Rosenbaum, then the Artist Diploma on full scholarship at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music under Soyeon Kate Lee. Her accomplishments include prizes in competitions including the Metropolitan International Piano Competition, Texas International Piano Competition, Memphis International Piano Competition, Universal Music Competition, and Seoul Philharmonic Competition. Recently, she was selected as a finalist for the Frances Walton Competition, and she will compete on June 4th, 2022 in the final round. She has performed as a soloist at venues such as Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall in New York, Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory in Boston, Cypress Hall at California State University Northridge, Youngsan Art Hall in Seoul, and the Palazzo del Vignola with the Napolinova Orchestra in Todi, Italy. She also presented at masterclasses for legendary pianists including Richard Goode, John Perry, Julian Martin, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, and Gary Graffman. As an avid chamber musician, she performed extensively both with instrumentalists and vocalists. She won the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Chamber Music Competition as a piano trio member.  Ms. Kim is also an experienced teacher and performer within her community. She maintains a private teaching studio. She was recently appointed a Director of the Creative Keyboards Piano Camp at the Music Works Northwest in Bellevue this summer. As a community service, she has done volunteer performances at venues such as University House Wallingford and she will be doing an additional volunteer performance at Empress Senior Living in downtown Seattle.

Taiwanese-American violinist Hannah Chou began her musical studies at the age of five in Fremont, California. A graduate of Northwestern University, she received a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance and Music Cognition and went on to receive her Master of Music in Violin Performance at UCLA on a full scholarship. Chou is currently a doctoral student and serves as a teaching assistant at the University of Washington. Notable mentors include Ronald Patterson, Varty Manouelian, Yuan-Qing Yu, Mikhail Kopelman, and John Chisholm. In her orchestral career, Chou has served principal positions and performed in various ensembles such as the Sarasota Music Festival, National Repertory Orchestra, Aspen Music Festival, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and New World Symphony. As an enthusiastic chamber musician, Chou joined the VEM Quartet, UCLA’s graduate string quartet in residence, for the 2019-2021 season and was featured in a series of mini documentaries. Along with performing, she shares a passion for teaching and enjoys teaching students of all ages.

David Rahbee

David Alexander Rahbee is currently Senior Artist in Residence at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where he is Director of Orchestral Activities and Chair of Orchestral Conducting. He is Music Director and Conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra and founder of the UW Campus Philharmonia Orchestras. He is a recipient of the American-Austrian Foundation's 2003 Herbert von Karajan Fellowship for Young Conductors, the 2005 International Richard-Wagner-Verband Stipend, a fellowship the Acanthes Centre in Paris (2007), and is first prize winner in conducting from The American Prize national non-profit competitions in the performing arts for 2020. His work at UW has earned national recognition. In 2021 he was praised by The American Prize as “Consistently one of the most courageous and comprehensive [orchestral] programmers working in higher education in the U.S. today…”

Dr. Rahbee has appeared in concert with orchestras such as the Seattle Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Kammerphilharmonie Berlin-Brandenburg, Guernsey Symphony Orchestra, Chattanooga Symphony, National Chamber Orchestra of Armenia, Orchestre de la Francophonie, Orchesterakademie der Bochumer Symphoniker, the Dresden Hochschule orchestra, Grand Harmonie, the Boston New Music Initiative, Seattle Modern Orchestra, Orquesta Sinfónica de Loja (Ecuador), Savaria Symphony Orchestra (Hungary), Cool Opera of Norway (members of the Stavanger Symphony), Schönbrunner Schloss Orchester (Vienna), the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, the Kennett Symphony, and the Divertimento Ensemble of Milan. His collaborations with the Seattle Symphony include assistant conductor for the performance and recording of Ives’ Fourth Symphony, and as guest conductor for their Native Lands project and the North American premiere of Páll Ragnar Pallson's Quake with faculty cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir. He has collaborated with several prominent soloists such as Sarah Chang, Jon Kimura Parker, Yekwon Sunwoo, Glenn Dicterow and Jonathan Biss. He has been a guest rehearsal conductor for numerous young orchestras, such as the New England Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, The Symphony Orchestra of the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, and the Vienna University of Technology orchestra. He has served on faculty of the Pierre Monteux School as Conducting Associate, has been resident conductor of the Atlantic Music Festival and guest conductor at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival.

Dr. Rahbee was an assistant at the Vienna State opera from 2002-2010. As part of his fellowship and residency at the 2003 Salzburg Festival, Dr. Rahbee was assistant conductor of the International Attergau Institute Orchestra, where he worked with members of the Vienna Philharmonic. He has been selected to actively participate in masterclasses with prominent conductors such as Kurt Masur, Sir Colin Davis, Jorma Panula, Zdeněk Mácal, Peter Eötvös, Zoltán Peskó and Helmut Rilling, and counts Nikolaus Harnoncourt to be among his most influential mentors. From 1997-2001, David Rahbee was founder and conductor of the Fidelio Chamber Orchestra in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Rahbeeʼs principal conducting teachers were Charles Bruck and Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux School. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in violin and composition from Indiana University, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory in orchestral conducting, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Montreal in orchestral conducting.  He has also participated in post-graduate conducting classes at the Universität für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna. His brass arrangements are published by Warwick Music, and his articles on the music of Mahler have appeared in journals of the International Gustav Mahler Gesellschaft, among others.

In addition to being awarded first prize in conducting from The American Prize for 2020, he was awarded 2nd place in 2019. He has also placed among winners for five consecutive years for The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for Orchestral Programming, recognizing his programming with the UW Symphony and its affiliated ensembles for every season since he joined the faculty. The UWSO has also been a finalist in the category of orchestral performance in 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Dr. Rahbee is co-editor of Daniels’ Orchestral Music (6thedition) and Daniels’ Orchestral Music Online (DOMO), the gold standard among conductors, orchestral administrators, orchestra librarians as well as other music professionals and students researching for orchestral programming.

Graduate Student Daren Weissfisch

Daren Weissfisch has conducted professional and student ensembles in the United States, Mexico, and Europe for over a decade. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Washington under the tutelage of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee where he is the conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestras, the assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra, and conductor of the University of Washington Modern Music Ensemble and Opera Theater Works Orchestra. Daren was recently named House Conductor of the Tacoma Opera and he previously conducted the University of Washington’s opera production of Vinkensport by David T. Little and Joseph Haydn’s opera Philemon und BaucisDaren has also served as cover conductor for the Harmonia Orchestra Seattle and the Issaquah Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2013 to 2019 Daren was the Artistic Director of the Orquesta Sinfónica Esperanza Azteca Sinaloa, which is an El Sistema based youth orchestra and choir in Culiacán, Sinaloa, Mexico. While in Mexico he was the assistant director for the 2016 production of Charles Gounod’s opera Romeo and Juliet with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes under Sinaloense conductor Enrique Patrón de Rueda and the same year he collaborated with French guitarist Jean Bruno Dautaner to record the guitar concerto Tres en Raya by Spanish composer Antonio Ruíz Pipó under the AdLib MusicMX record label. In 2017 Daren conducted the Sinaloa premier of Horizontes, a work by Mexican composer Samuel Zyman, again with the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes, and for the 2017 Sinaloa Cultural Festival Daren founded the ensemble Sinaloa Players which presented Stravinsky’s masterpiece Histoire du Soldat in collaboration with renowned Mexican choreographer Mauricio Nava. Daren was a conducting student of Michael Jinbo at the Pierre Monteux Festival and School for several summers and he also studied with many notable conductors including Ludovic Morlot, Donald Schleicher, Kensho Watanabe, Lior Shambadal, Edward Cumming, Charles Olivieri-Munroe, Gábor Hollerung, Linus Lerner, Carlos Spierer, Sandro Gorli, Glen Adsit and Timothy Salzman among others.

Daren is also an oboist and was the second/assistant principal oboist of the Orquesta Sinfónica Sinaloa de las Artes in Sinaloa, Mexico from 2010-2019 as well as soloist playing oboe concertos by Mozart, Strauss and Bach. He is also a substitute player in the Seattle area with the Bainbridge Island Symphony Orchestra, Harmonia Orchestra Seattle and the Lake Union Civic Orchestra among others.

Grad student Ryan Virnig

Rylan Virnig is the Assistant Director for Admissions, Recruitment, & Community Outreach for the University of Washington School of Music.

Under the direction of Dr. David Alexander Rahbee, Rylan earned a Master’s degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Washington in 2022, and served as conductor of the Campus Philharmonia Orchestra and assistant conductor of the University of Washington Symphony Orchestra. A passionate educator, Rylan began his formal conducting studies with Robert Spittal and Timothy Westerhaus at Gonzaga University, where he received degrees in Violin Performance and Economics. In addition to winning the University’s Concerto Competition during his third year, Rylan was awarded the Undergraduate Music Award as well as the Jo Merwin Music Award for outstanding musical accomplishments and contributions. Rylan served as concertmaster of the Gonzaga Symphony Orchestra, who hosted internationally recognized soloists such as Midori Goto and Lynn Harrell.

In addition to his work at the University of Washington, Rylan is the assistant conductor for the Bellevue Youth Symphony, and has appeared as a substitute violinist for the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra and the Helena Symphony Orchestra. He was previously the conductor for the Snoqualmie Strings Youth Chamber Orchestra, and has participated in the Pierre Monteux School and Music Festival Orchestra and the InterHarmony International Music festival in Piedmont, Italy.