The 2019 Bonnie & Lee Malmed

Young Artists Competition - May  25, 2019

Application deadline May 15th 2019.


About the Young Artists Competition

2019 marks the 39th year of the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra’s Bonnie and Lee Malmed Young Artists Competition. The purpose of the competition is to help ensure the future of classical music by providing the opportunity for young musicians to hone their audition skills as well as to perform with a high caliber symphony orchestra. At the Young Artists Concert held in January 2003, a resolution from the State of Illinois's House of Representatives was presented to the Skokie Valley Symphony Orchestra commending the organization for its commitment to quality classical music and its encouragement of young musicians. In 2014, the competition was named the Bonnie and Lee Malmed Young Artists Competition in honor of the Malmeds' longtime support of the competition.

The competition is open to young orchestral musicians (including piano, saxophone, and guitar) from the ages of 16 to 22, and attracts performers from all over the country. The First Prize winner will receive a $1200 cash award and the Second Prize winner $800.  SVSO. An honorable mention will also be selected; in the event one of the two winners cannot perform, this person will perform with the orchestra. The public is invited and encouraged to attend the final round of the competition, which begins at approximately 3:00pm.

Masha Footlights.jpeg

2018 1st Price Winner Masha Lakisova

“While it is not out of the ordinary for me to come across immensely and precociously talented youngsters as host of “From the Top,” it is quite a rarity to be introduced to a very young artist who displays not only incredible facility but the truest manifestations of artistry: devotion and dedication, a personal and rigorously integral aesthetic point of view, and the requisite leadership and responsibility for inspiring her peers. Masha Lakisova is just such a rarity, a true artist destined for great things.”

Christopher O’Riley, Host, NPR’s “From the Top”

Learn more about Masha, click here

Sasha Andruz photography

Uploaded by SVSO Communications on 2018-08-27.

Young Artist Winners since 2007

2007 - 08, 1st place Natsuki Kumagai, violin; 2nd place, An Qi, piano

2008 - 09, 1st place, Meredith Crawford, viola; 2nd place, Benjamin Lash cello

2009 - 10,  1st place, Zachary Spontak, violin; 2nd place, Kate Liu, piano

2010 - 11,    1st place Alexandra Switala, violin; 2nd place, Erik Umble, clarinet

2011 - 12,    1st place Gallia Kastner, violin; 2nd place, Claire Bourg

2012 - 13,   1st place, Will Sievern, piano; 2nd place, Lauren Tu, piano

2013 - 14,   1st place Joe Bricker, percussion; 2nd place, Ryan Little, horn

2014 - 15,   1st place Brannon Cho, cello, 2nd place, Esther Nyberg, piano

2015 - 16   1st place Joshua Brown, violin, 2nd place Karisa Chiu, violin

2016 - 17   1st place Maya Anjali Buchanen, violin, 2nd place Tabby Rhee, viola

2017 - 18 1st place Masha Lakisova, violin, 2nd place Matthew Dardick, saxophone

Winners, please keep in touch with the SVSO. Let us know how your career is going. Email us at or through our contact page. We would love to help you publicize your career by blogging about you and liking you on Facebook. Photos are welcome!

2018 ©skokie-symphony