2023 Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition Finalists

Matthew Averyt

Instrument: Violonchelo

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

Studying organic chemistry

How did you get started in music?

I started on piano when I was 7. Then in 6th grade, I wanted to join the school orchestra, so I started learning cello.

What’s on your stand at the moment?

Hindemith Sonata for Cello Solo 

Steven Lu

Instrument: Violín

Hometown: Plano, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

I love to go on really long walks at sunset and listen to my favorite music in my earbuds! My absolute favorite classical composer is Respighi, and my favorite non-classical artists are TXT, ADOY, and Wave to Earth!

What is your favorite thing to do post-concert/audition?

I usually always go get boba and food with friends afterwards! I also love to talk to audiences and make new friends!

What is an essential item that’s always in your music case?

During the summer of 2022 while I was at the Heifetz International Music Institute, I bought a little journal from a local business; in it are little notes from some of my music friends that I’ve gotten the chance to meet! I keep it in my case for me to pull out and look at before and after my concerts to remind me of the people I love and make me feel less alone!

Vincent Garcia-Hettinger

Instrument: Violonchelo

Hometown: San Antonio, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

Reading a good book

What is your favorite thing to do post-concert/audition?

Going out to eat with friends

What is your favorite musical memory?

Performing with the Sphinx Orchestra in the Finals of the Sphinx Competition

What’s on your stand at the moment?

Bloch Schelomo, Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 2, Piatti Caprice No. 9

Stephen Chang

Instrument: Viola

Hometown: Southlake, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

My favorite activity outside of music is competitive speech and debate! 

What is your favorite thing to do post-concert/audition?

My favorite thing to do post-concert/audition is to celebrate by eating a snack and going to sleep.

What is your favorite musical memory?

My favorite musical memory is when I had a pretty big viola solo at a GDYO Holiday Magic concert. It was completely nerve-wracking! 

Matthew Scott

Instrument: Piano 

Hometown: Lewisville, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

I enjoy hiking in the woods, playing card games with friends, learning new languages, python coding, and all varieties of puzzles.

How did you get started in music?

I got started in music when I was about three years old, picking out tunes on my toy xylophone. One day I climbed on the counter, got a bunch of glasses out of the cabinet, filled them with water to make a relatively accurate scale, and then played “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” with a spoon.  Not long after that, my parents sent me to piano lessons.

What is your favorite thing to do post-concert/audition?

I like to relax for about an hour, and then I am suddenly starving. I usually like to get Mexican food. 

What is your favorite musical memory?

One of my musical memory highlights was my solo debut with the Ft. Worth Symphony. However, some of my favorite memories come from seeing the responses of residents of senior centers when I play oldies for them.

What’s on your stand at the moment?

Rachmaninoff Corelli Variations and a Blackwing Pencil!

What is an essential item that’s always in your music case?

iPad Pro and AirTurn foot pedal

Ben Peckham

Instrument: Piano

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

What is your favorite musical memory?

I love going to orchestral concerts, specifically to watch live piano concertos. One of my favorite concerts was a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto with the Austin Symphony Orchestra. I will never forget the amazing atmosphere that the concerto created.

How did you get started in music?

Though I started piano lessons before I was conscious, what led me to develop a passion for music was watching piano recordings on YouTube. I would spend hours watching famous artists like Yuja Wang, Daniil Trifonov, Evgeny Kissin and more put their heart and soul into a piece of music. It was incredibly impactful for me and they will forever be heroes of mine.

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

When I am not practicing away at the piano, I am likely coding! Computer science is a huge passion of mine that I dedicate hours to, every day. I founded my own non-profit based on this field and I plan to pursue community service and computer science in the future as my career.

Hannah Jeong

Instrument: Violonchelo

Hometown: Stillwater, Oklahoma

How did you get started in music?

Funny enough, my parents came across a newspaper segment that was calling for young beginner cellists! It was my very first cello teacher that had had this segment published, and I began my musical studies with her.

What is your favorite musical memory?

I cannot say that I have an exact favorite, but one moment that stands out to me was my very first All-State rehearsal. It was one of the first true full-ensemble experiences I had had ever since the pandemic separated musicians from one another… I remember that I was grinning so hard through my mask that my face began to hurt.

What’s on your stand at the moment?

My music, random print-outs from IMSLP, and a metronome that has read ‚Äúlow battery‚ÄĚ for months now. I wonder much longer it will hold out‚Ķ

Jack Roueche

Instrument: Piano

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

What is your favorite activity outside of music?

One of my favorite activities is traveling, as I find it enriching to visit new places.

How did you get started in music?

In kindergarten, my mom signed me up for some group music classes, and I started taking private piano lessons soon after. Early on, I wasn’t too crazy about playing piano and viewed practicing as a chore, only touching the instrument on lesson days! However, I grew to enjoy the piano as time passed.

What is your favorite thing to do post-concert/audition?

After putting a lot of energy into my competition preparation, my favorite thing to do is just relax. A nice dinner out with my family has been an enjoyable tradition.