Four high school girls pose, smiling in formal wear

Meet the 2023 ‘Final Forte’ musicians

February 8, 2023 Tara Lovdahl Leave a Comment

Four of Wisconsin’s most talented young musicians take the stage at Overture Hall March 8 to perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra in the final round of the 2023 Bolz Young Artist Competition.

Watch the competition live on PBS Wisconsin and streaming online at at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 8 in Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte. The full audio program will also air live on Wisconsin Public Radio’s NPR News & Music Network.

Meet the four finalists who will perform with the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO), led by associate conductor Kyle Knox.

Sophia Jiang portrait

Sophia Jiang, piano
Edvard Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 – Mvts. II – III
Age: 15
Vel Phillips Memorial High School, Grade 11
Hometown: Madison
Parents: Hongrui Jiang and Guangyun Lin

“I think music is so special because there’s just so much diverse imagination coming from different people. Music is a way to just bring people together, and it’s a universal language that all people can enjoy.”

Arisa Okamoto portrait

Arisa Okamoto, violin
Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor, Op. 47 – Mvt. I 
Age: 18
Brookfield East High School, Grade 12
Hometown: Brookfield
Parents: Aki Okamoto and Nozomu Koamoto

“Although my parents both don’t play an instrument, I think they created an atmosphere in my house that’s full of classical music. Music was embraced in my family.”

Lucy Wu portrait

Lucy Wu, cello
Edward Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85 – Mvt. IV
Age: 14
Whitefish Bay High School, Grade 9
Hometown: Milwaukee
Parents: Danqing Wu and Lei Wang

“I’m so excited to play in Overture Hall. I’m a little nervous, but I’m more excited to collaborate with the MSO musicians and the conductor, Kyle Knox. It’s definitely going to be a really interesting experience.”

Amelia Zitoun portrait

Amelia Zitoun, cello
Samuel Barber’s Cello Concerto, Op. 22 – Mvt. I
Age: 16
Shorewood High School, Grade 11
Hometown: Shorewood
Parents: Adrien and Braden Zitoun

“Both of my parents are musicians. My life is basically music. I listen to it all the time. I’m always thinking about it. It’s my focus, it’s my goal.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *