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Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, March 2, 2011

IU Jacobs School of Music announces winners of Concerto Competition

March 2, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has announced the recent student winners of concerto competitions in areas of violin, cello, brass and harp. The instrumentalists will perform with the Philharmonic, Symphony and University orchestras as well as with the Wind Ensemble. A concerto will also be included in IU Ballet Theater's spring ballet, New York, New York!.

All performances will take place in the Musical Arts Center on the following dates:

  • March 2, 8 p.m. Harpist Emily Levin, with the Symphony Orchestra (free).
  • March 25, 8 p.m. and March 26, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Violinist Benjamin Hoffman, with the University Orchestra during IU Ballet Theater's spring ballet production of New York, New York! (Tickets are $12-$20, adults; $8-$16 students.)
  • March 9 at 8 p.m. Cellist Cicely Parnas, with the Philharmonic Orchestra. (free)
  • April 13, 8 p.m. Tubist Nimrod Ron, with the Symphony Orchestra. (free)
  • April 21 at 8 p.m. Euphonium player Keith Kile with the Wind Ensemble. (free)

Emily Levin, a sophomore student of Distinguished Professor Susann McDonald, won the harp competition and will perform the Carl Reinecke Concerto for Harp and Orchestra with the Symphony Orchestra March 2 at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center. Professor Arthur Fagen will conduct the ensemble.

Levin is from Centennial, Colo., and was a finalist in the 17th International Harp Contest in Israel in October 2009. She performed with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and was praised by the Jerusalem Post for her "communicative, emotionally intense expression." She was the top winner of the 2010 American Harp Society Anne Adams Awards and was invited to perform a chamber concert series with the Colorado Chamber Players in May 2011. In addition to music, Levin is pursuing her bachelor's degree in history at Indiana University. She is a Jacobs Scholar and a member of the Hutton Honors College and the Singing Hoosiers.

Benjamin Hoffman

Print-Quality Photo

Violinist Benjamin Hoffman, a student of Professor Alexander Kerr, won the Ernest Chausson Poeme Competition and will perform the work with the University Orchestra during IU Ballet Theater's spring ballet production of New York, New York! March 25 at 8 p.m. and March 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets for the ballet are $12-$20, adults; $8-$16 students. More information on the production can be found at

Hoffman began playing the violin at age four under the tutelage of his mother and continued his studies with Kurt Sassmanshaus at the University of Cincinnati, Gabriel Pegis of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Latica Honda-Rosenberg at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Freiburg. He has worked closely with such artists as Aaron Rosand, Alice Schoenfeld and Dora Schwarzberg and has won numerous solo competitions. An avid orchestral and chamber musician, he has performed as concertmaster or section player in ensembles such as the ASTA national high school orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and the Jacobs School's University, Chamber, Philharmonic and Festival orchestras. As a chamber musician, Hoffman has performed alongside mentors such as Wolfram Christ, Latica Honda-Rosenberg, Jorja Fleezanis and Stephen Wyrczynski. As part of the piano quartet Onibatan, he has performed with his family on a 2005 tour to China and continues to perform with the group in the United States.

Cellist Cicely Parnas, student of Professor Sharon Robinson, won the Elgar Cello Concerto competition and will perform the work with the Philharmonic Orchestra March 9 at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center. Professor David Effron, chair of the instrumental conducting department, will conduct.

Parnas began cello studies at age four and made her orchestral debut at age nine. Since then, she has performed more than 30 times as guest soloist with orchestra, including with the New York String Orchestra conducted by master musician and conductor Jaime Laredo and with David Alan Miller's Albany Symphony. Three of her concerto performances have been presented on WQXR's McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase in New York, and she has claimed six first prizes in national and regional soloist competitions. An early start playing duets with her sister, violinist Madalyn Parnas, soon became an intense collaboration. duo parnas has earned first prize in an international chamber music competition at Carnegie Hall, released two CDs featuring 20th-century duo literature and inspired award-winning composers to write for them. Parnas is a former student of cellist Peter Wiley and a granddaughter of world-class cellist and winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition Leslie Parnas.

Tubist Nimrod Ron, student of Professor Dan Perantoni, won first place in the Annual Brass Showcase Competition by performing Concertino for Tuba and Orchestra by Eugene Bozza. He will perform the work with the Symphony Orchestra April 13 at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center. David Effron will conduct the orchestra.

Originally from Kfar Saba, Israel, tubist Nimrod Ron began his music career early at the Kfar Saba Musical Foundation under conductor Ofer Ein-Habar before moving to the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, where he performed as principal tuba for four years. Since moving to the U.S. in 2009, Ron has been a highly sought-after orchestral tubist and soloist at the international level. He has performed and toured with the International Youth Wind Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. Ron's recent achievements include a first-place win at the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Tuscon, Ariz., and a tour with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, which culminated with a performance at the Rostropovich Music Festival in Baku. Ron dedicates his win and performance with the orchestra to the memory of Harvey Phillips.

Euphonium player Keith Kile won second place in the Annual Brass Showcase, performing Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Ensemble by Vladimir Cosma. Kile is a student of Professor Dan Perantoni and will perform Cosma's concerto with the Wind Ensemble April 21 at 8 p.m. in the Musical Arts Center as part of Springfest for Winds, Brass and Percussion. Professor Stephen W. Pratt will conduct the ensemble.

Kile, from Oak Ridge, Tenn., earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Tennessee Tech University, where he studied with R. Winston Morris, and has recently completed coursework for a Master of Music in Performance from the Jacobs School of Music. As an active performer, Kile has toured the United States, performing with such esteemed groups as the 129th Army Band and Mr. Jack Daniel's Original Silver Cornet Band. Kile was recently selected to be a guest artist at the 2010 International Tuba and Euphonium Conference in Tuscon, Ariz. He would like to dedicate his win and performance with the Wind Ensemble in memory of Harvey Phillips.