Join the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO), PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio for the 14th annual “Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte,” featuring Sun Prairie High School senior Michael Wu, on Wednesday, Feb. 26 in Overture Hall.

The event is an opportunity to experience the beauty of musical expression, the drama of competition and the inspiring tale of dreams come true as four gifted young artists vie for top honors in the final round of the 2020 Bolz Young Artist Competition.

Broadcast from Overture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, the concert features the magnificent Madison Symphony Orchestra led by Associate Conductor Kyle Knox.

The concert is free and open to the public. Audience members must register in advance, and arrive by 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 26, prior to the beginning of the live broadcast.

The four finalists were chosen from 10 competitors at the Nov. 18, 2019 Bolz Young Artist Competition Semi-Finals for the opportunity to complete in The Final Forte.

Wu is a senior at Sun Prairie High School and began piano lessons at age 5. He currently studies with Bill Lutes, Emeritus Professor at the UW-Madison School of Music. Wu received the Steenbock Youth Music Award in the 2017 Bolz Young Artist Competition and took first place in Division III of the National Steinway & Sons Piano Competition in 2018.

Jessica Jiang is a junior at Madison Memorial High School. She took up the piano at the age of four and currently studies with Bill Lutes, Emeritus Professor at the UW-Madison School of Music. Jessica received the Steenbock Youth Music Award in the 2018 Bolz Young Artist Competition and took second place in Division III of the National Steinway & Sons Piano Competition in 2019.

Emily Hauer is a homeschooled senior from Appleton. She began violin lessons at the age of two and currently studies with Ilana Setapen, Associate Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Emily won the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition in 2017 and is currently in her fourth year as the concertmaster of the Fox Valley Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Jonah Kartman is a homeschooled senior from Glendale. He has been playing violin for 13 years, and currently studies with I-Hao Lee at DePaul University’s School of Music. Jonah was a finalist in the 2019 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Audrey G. Baird Stars of Tomorrow competition, and a two-time winner and scholarship recipient in the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Competition.

Each of the finalists will be performing the works they played at the Semi-Finals live with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Jiang will perform the first movement from Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Kartman will perform the first moment from the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No 3. Hauer will perform the first movement from Sibelius’ Violin Concerto in D minor. Pianist Wu will perform Liszt’s Totentanz.

The Final Forte Reservations: Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and close at 6:45 p.m. due to the live broadcast. The event runs until 8:30 p.m. No tickets will be issued. Seating is general admission in select areas of the hall.

The Final Forte is open to the public and free to attend, but reservations are required. Attendees must reserve seats to attend The Final Forte online at https://madisonsymphony.org/finalforte

The free concert is broadcast live on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio.

PBS Wisconsin provides access to local and national content, extending its reach and impact in the communities we serve. Learn more: https://pbswisconsin.org/about/

Wisconsin Public Radio is a civic and cultural resource that exists to enlighten and enrich the quality of life for its listeners; learn more at https://www.wpr.org/about-wpr

The Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 95th season in 2020–21. The MSO has grown to be one of America’s leading regional orchestras, providing Madison and south-central Wisconsin with cultural and educational opportunities to interact with great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. Learn more: https://madisonsymphony.org/

Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte concert and broadcasts are the result of a historic partnership with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, PBS Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte is funded by major support from Diane Ballweg, Stephen Morton, W. Jerome Frautschi, A. Paul Jones Charitable Trust, Julie and Larry Midtbo, Fred and Mary Mohs, and Elizabeth Olson, with additional support from Bell Laboratories, James Dahlberg and Elsebet Lund, Kato Perlman, Cyrena and Lee Pondrom, Sentry Insurance Foundation, Darcy Kind and Marc Vitale, Dr. A. Beyer-Mears, Nick and Judith Topitzes, the Focus Fund for Young Performers, and Friends of PBS Wisconsin.

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