Competition: Senior Semi-Finals

Wednesday 19 May
10am - 1.30pm

Nine Senior semi-finalists will play for their place in the coveted Senior Finals. This round sees each violinist collaborate with guitarist Chaconne Klaverenga in Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango” and give world premiere performances of a new commission by Mark O’Connor. Each semi-finalist will also perform the 1st movement of a Mozart concerto including a self-composed cadenza, as well as a virtuoso work of their choice with or without piano.

Collaborative pianists: Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong, Daniel Stipe

Silence is essential during these performances so as not to disturb the competitors. Audience may come and go in between individual recitals.

New work funded by Richard S. Reynolds Foundation.

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Artists' Biographies 

For biographies of all of our competitors, please see our Participants page.

Chaconne Klaverenga  

Chaconne Klaverenga burst onto the concert stage and international guitar competition world at the age of 14, her performances winning the hearts of audiences throughout the United States. She has been featured on American Public Media’s Performance Today and Sunday Baroque numerous times, as well as National Public Radio’s From the Top and at the John. F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She has also received the Recognition of Accomplishments Award from the Indiana State House of Representatives. She received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Classical Guitar Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music after studying with Grammy-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux. 

She currently resides in New York, NY and is managed by Jean Schreiber Management.

Magdalena Adamek

A native of Poland, Magdalena Adamek is currently the Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano in the Department of Music at Virginia Commonwealth University.

She holds a Master of Music from the prestigious Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw, Poland), and Doctor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).

A versatile pianist, Magdalena Adamek enjoys exploring a variety of repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary. Her performing career includes recitals across Poland, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, France, China, USA and Canada. Her long-term artistic project involves promoting piano music by composers from her native country, such as Chopin, Szymanowski, Szymanowska, Nowowiejski and others. 

Magdalena is the recipient of many prestigious scholarly and performing awards, among them 2nd prize at Milosz Magin International Piano Competition in Paris, Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, Marek Jablonski Piano Scholarship at Banff International Keyboard Festival and Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship. 

Nicola Eimer

A graduate of the Juilliard School, British pianist Nicola Eimer has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe, Asia and the US, and has played at major UK venues including the Barbican and Wigmore Hall. As a chamber musician, she regularly performs with musicians such as Johan Dalene, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas and Fenella Humphreys. She has been a regular class pianist for the IMS masterclasses in Prussia Cove, and an official accompanist for competitions such as the Carl Nielsen International Competition and the Menuhin Competition. Nicola studied in London with Danielle Salamon and later with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with a Distinction. She was a Fulbright Scholar in New York as a pupil of Joseph Kalichstein. Nicola is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she currently teaches at both Junior and Senior departments. She is also Head of Keyboard at Highgate School.

Joanne Kong 

Joanne Kong has performed to critical acclaim around the world as solo and chamber keyboardist, including performances in Canada, Italy, Austria, Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, India and a 2015 tour of Brazil sponsored by the Partners of the Americas. She holds the distinction of releasing the first harpsichord-piano recording of Bach’s Goldberg and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and her honors include fellowships from the American Academy of the Arts in Europe, Bach Aria Festival and the Grand Prize in the 1985 International Piano Recording Competition. She has collaborated with noted string performers Daisuke Yamamoto, Karen Johnson, Lindsey Strand-Polyak, James Wilson, Lisa Terry and Ronald Crutcher, performed with numerous ensembles including the Shanghai String Quartet and Eighth Blackbird, and is a founding member of the Richmond Piano Trio. Joanne Kong is in regular demand as an instrumental and chamber music coach, and coordinates the chamber ensembles program at the University of Richmond. 

Daniel Stipe 

Daniel Stipe is equally at home as a solo recitalist, collaborator and arranger on both the piano and the organ. His varied concert repertory, with special focus on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, delights audiences nationwide. He is a prizewinner in the William Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio, Tulsa Crescendo Music Awards, Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition and the AGO/Quimby Region VII Competition for Young Organists.

As a collaborator, Daniel has worked with dozens of vocal and choral ensembles, and has an extensive knowledge of the string and wind repertory. He maintains an active concert schedule, with recent performances in Richmond, Roanoke, Dallas, Tulsa and Princeton. He is also a founding member of the Piedmont Singers of Central Virginia.

Daniel serves as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his spare time he enjoys road cycling, hiking, role-playing games, and good literature.