Flora Chuang to solo with Omaha Youth Symphony

Flora Chuang to solo with Omaha Youth Symphony On Saturday, Jan. 30, 13-year-old Vermillion pianist Flora Huan-Ching Chuang was declared the Maestro Award Winner of the 1999 Youth Concerto Competition of the Omaha Area Youth Orchestras.

The annual concerto competition is open to talented young instrumentalists not older than age 20 who reside in Nebraska, Western Iowa or Southern South Dakota. Chuang was the youngest entrant in this year's competition. As a result of winning the Maestro Award, Chuang will perform the first movement of Saint-Saens' Concerto No. 2 in G minor with the Omaha Youth Symphony on Sunday, March 7. The concert will be held at 7 p.m. in Witherspoon Auditorium at the Joslyn Art Museum.

Chuang began studies on the violin and piano at the age of 5 in her native Taiwan. Since grade one she was a music program gifted student, studying individual piano and violin, music theory and Chinese instruments. Currently, Chuang attends Vermillion Middle School where she is in the eighth grade. She is also a special student in the music department of The University of South Dakota.

In 1996, Chuang won second prize in the Governmental Violin Competition of Taiwan; she won third prize in the Governmental Piano Competition of Taiwan 1997. In all she has won nine prizes in piano or violin competitions in Taiwan since 1993. In 1998, Chuang performed the Medelssohn Violin Concerto with The University of South Dakota Community Orchestra. Most recently, she was awarded honorable mention in the 1999 Marcia Lehmberg Concerto Competition in Sioux City, IA in piano. She has also been chosen to be one of the finalists of the 1999 Young Musician Competition of the South Dakota Symphony in Sioux Falls on March 13, for both violin and piano.

Chuang has participated in ensembles including the Kuang Fu Primary School Orchestra, the Shuang Shih Junior Middle School Orchestra, the Sun Rise Orchestra (Taiwan) and The University of South Dakota Community Orchestra. In 1995 Chuang traveled with the Kuang Fu Orchestra to perform in Australia. This year Chuang also plays in the Vermillion Middle School Band where she is learning percussion.

Chuang has studied violin with Wen-yeh Lin and Hsi-lung Hsu and piano with Chao-ting Chen and Ichun Lai in Taiwan. In Vermillion, she studies violin with Dr. John Thomson and piano with Dr. Susan Keith Gray.

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