for Young Musicians
Winners Announced, November 2020

2020–2021 Competition Winners

Competition winner Valery Breshears
Valery Breshears
Competition winner Lauren Kim
Lauren Kim

Winners of the 48th annual Competition for Young Musicians, sponsored by the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association, are Lauren Kim and Valery Breshears, both playing the violin. The students will perform their winning pieces as soloists with the Symphony as soon public health conditions permit a return to rehearsal and performance practices.

Lauren Kim, a senior at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon, won with her performance of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Opus 61. Valery Breshears, a sixth grader at the Crowden School in Berkeley, won with her performance of Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Opus 20.

The competition was an entirely virtual event this year. All eighteen participants sent in a YouTube link to their video audition. All audition videos were without accompaniment, in consideration of the participants’ health and an equal footing for all. Eighteen students auditioned for judges Lara Webber, music director of the Livermore-Amador Symphony, and Jo Ann Koopman, piano teacher and chair of the selection committee for Del Valle Fine Arts.

General Information

The Livermore-Amador Symphony Association conducts its annual Competition for Young Musicians in October. The winners perform as soloists with the Symphony (usually in February) and are awarded $500.00.

The annual competition is open to instrumentalists and vocalists who reside in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, the City of Tracy, or the community of Mountain House, California. The maximum age is 19 at the time of the tentatively-scheduled February concert performance.

Applicants for 2020–2021 were required to submit a completed application form, a non-refundable fee of $20.00, and a video recording of their solo audition (see video audition instructions).

The musical selection is to be chosen from the standard repertoire for orchestra. The selection, one movement of a concerto or a comparable work, should be between 10 and 15 minutes long.

This season, the LAS competition judges independently viewed submitted audition videos, and convened remotely to judge the competition together.

Each applicant receives a written evaluation. Taken into consideration are intonation, tone quality, technique, style/interpretation, and memorization.

Winners, as soloists, perform the same music with which they competed. Previous winners of this competition may re-apply after an intervening year. However, anyone who has performed two times as a soloist with the Symphony cannot be considered as a contestant.

If you have any questions you may contact Competition Committee Chair Jutta Massoud ( or 925.525.6070).

Past Winners

See a list of past winners and the pieces they played.)

See photos of winners from the 2011–12 through 2019–20 seasons.

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