Fourteen-‐year old Sterling Elliott began his cello studies at the age of three under the direction of Suzuki Cello teacher Susan Hines. Sterling, the youngest of 3 siblings, did not originally want to play the cello; he wanted to play the violin like his older brother and sister. After a bit of encouragement, he made The Elliott Family String Quartet perfect by learning to play the cello. Sterling performs frequently with his siblings and mother in the Elliott Family Quartet/Trio.
2nd Place: Mira Williams - viola
Mira Williams, 15, studies viola with Marko Dreher. Under the baton of James Setapen, Mira is principal violist for the Academy of the Music Institute of Chicago, a pre-college program for gifted, young musicians. She has been a William Warfield Scholar at the Academy from 2009 to the present. Mira performs regularly with Academy members and has participated in master classes and private lessons with Almita and Roland Vamos, Kirsten Docter, Heidi Castleman, Rachel Barton Pine, Steve Tenenbom, Mark Jackobs, Caroline Coade, Jeffrey Irvine, Roberto Diaz, David Bowlin, Paul Neubauer, and Robert Rozek, who called her “a big international talent with world class instincts.”
3rd Place: Hannah White - violin
Hannah, age 13, has been playing the violin seven years. A fellow, she is in her fourth year as merit scholarship recipient and member of the Music Institute of Chicago's Academy, a pre-college training program for highly gifted musicians where she studies with MIC artist faculty members Dr. Hye-Sun Lee and Almita Vamos. Hannah is also a recipient of the William Warfield Memorial Scholarship.