Since 2006, Festival Napa Valley has presented exceptionally talented young musicians in this popular admission-free concert series, many of whom have gone on to distinguished professional careers. Students selected to participate have the opportunity to hone their performance skills, and receive a generous scholarship from the festival. These young musicians serve as role models and contribute to the continued renewal and relevance of the performing arts.
Below is a list of artists who have appeared at Festival Napa Valley, as well as a summary of our past Bouchaine Young Artist Series events.
FIONA & HINA KHUONG-HUU
These sisters are a dazzling duo who, at just 16 and 18 years old, have performed around the world and brought home countless prestigious awards, from Hina’s 2023 Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition win to Fiona’s first prize at the 2017 Grumiaux Competition. While the New York City natives continue their studies at Juilliard (and Hina pursues a double degree at Columbia University), they perform together and as sought-after soloists, including at this year’s Bouchaine Young Artist concert.
HARPER & COLE RANDOLPH
Twins Harper and Cole Randolph share exceptional musical talent. They picked up instruments during kindergarten, and their paths diverged only slightly: cellist Cole studied math, music performance, and economics at the University of Wisconsin before joining the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, while violist Harper earned her music degree from the University of Michigan and was awarded third place at the 25th Annual Sphinx Competition, Senior Division. The Randolph twins will share something else at Festival Napa Valley — the performance stage for this Bouchaine Young Artist concert.
BRESHEARS STRING QUARTET
The prodigious siblings have played music together since they were toddlers. Now, ranging from age 10 to 16, Dustin (violin), Starla (cello), Valery (violin), and Colin (viola) have performed as soloists and in ensembles from Argentina to Mexico to the UK (as well as on NBC’s Little Big Shots) and garnered gold medals at chamber music and solo competitions. The Quartet perform a special concert for the Festival’s Bouchaine Young Artist series.
Award-winning Jamaican-American violist Jordan Bak was recently hailed a "star in the making ...and a young artist to watch for” (Seattle Post Intelligencer). He makes his Festival Napa Valley debut in this Bouchaine Young Artist concert at CIA Copia.
Called “one of the most exciting young musicians in the early music world” by Classic FM, Tabea Debus is constantly exploring musical horizons, challenging perceptions of the recorder. She brings her commitment to virtuosity, musicality, and innovation to this Bouchaine Young Artist concert, featuring multiple instruments from the recorder family.
Northern California native and San Francisco Conservatory of Music student Amaryn Olmeda began playing the violin at four years old and made her performance debut at the age of six. She has since been wowing audiences across the United States and Europe with her bold and expressive performances.
Recognized for his “glowing mahogany tone” (Seen and Heard International) and “pristine clarity, enviable precision, and emotional heat” (Classical Voice of North Carolina), Steven Banks is establishing himself as an important young artist on the saxophone, which is rarely heard as a solo concert instrument.
Praised as a “musically eloquent” player (San Francisco Classical Voice) “with the kind of freedom, authority, and strength… that one expects from the world’s finest pianists” (The Piedmont Post), Audrey Vardanega has performed as a solo and collaborative pianist across Europe, China, and the United States. In this admission-free concert, Vardanega performs works for solo piano by Chopin and Mozart.
Fourteen-year-old Fiona Khuong-Huu was a prizewinner at the Grumiaux and Spohr Competitions, and recently received the Salon de Virtuosi Prize in New York. She has performed at Buckingham Palace with Maxim Vengerov, and with orchestras in the United States, Italy, and Belgium. Currently a student of Kenneth Renshaw and Li Lin at the Juilliard School, she has taken master classes with Vadim Gluzman, Ivry Gitlis, Shlomo Mintz, and Menahem Pressler.
The captivating ensemble Russian Renaissance, a Moscow-based quartet that won last year’s $100,000 grand prize at the University of Michigan’s M-Prize chamber music competition, performs traditional Russian folk music filtered through a modern sensibility, playing fiery and lyrical music on balalaika, contrabass balalaika, button accordion and the lute-like domra.
Napa audiences will have their first chance to hear the sterling young Korean-Canadian clarinetist Yoonah Kim, who made her debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall this year after becoming the first solo clarinetist in 30 years to win the prestigious Concert Artists Guild International Competition. A Juilliard graduate, she’s making a name for herself with orchestras and festivals around the U.S. and Canada.
The dynamic multinational cellist Sophia Bacelar, a Cuban-Chinese-American who studied at the Paris Conservatory, made her debut at the Berlin Philharmonie this season and has been booked for performances from New York to Geneva. She is one of the rising stars introduced to the festival audience through the Bouchaine Young Artists Series.