PONTICELLI

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When the extraordinary Ponticelli cello quartet performed at Big Picture Foundation’s September 22, 2019 benefit, many local families had the chance to hear Rye High School 10th grader and longtime Big Picture Foundation member, Sean, Yu, play with three fellow prodigies, Chelsea Lim, Dylan Shih Wu, and Jenny Jiang.  The musicians mesmerized audience members of all ages and inspired many of the kids to go home to practice their own instruments.  Everyone present felt fortunate to hear work from four of the most talented musicians in the world.

“Ponticelli is a nonprofit organization formed by a group of fifteen-year-old cellists from the Juilliard Pre-College Program who are dedicated to bringing high-quality music to the community through their concerts and fundraising events.”  – https://www.ponticellimusic.org/

Sean Yu, for four years of dedicated participation and for sharing your talent with us without reserve, we name you
BIG PICTURE FOUNDATION MASTER OF THE HOUSE

Sean Yu, Chelsea Lim, Dylan Shih Wu, and Jenny Jiang, for setting the gold standard of excellence for all kids to emulate, we name you
BIG PICTURE FOUNDATION DREAMWEAVERS

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts, Ponticelli!  – The Big Picture Foundation Team 

Link:  See pictures and read about our first BPF benefit.

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Link:  Sean Y., Dvorak Concerto in B minor, Op 104 – Allegro
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Link:  Ponticelli Quartet, Libertango–Piazzolla

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Learn more about Sean, Chelsea, Dylan, and Jenny…

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SEAN YU
Sean Yu is a 15-year-old cellist, who was accepted into the Juilliard School Pre-College division at age of 9. He has been studying with Minhye Clara Kim.

Sean won the 4th prize at the 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Astana, Kazakhstan and performed as a soloist with the Eurasian Symphony Orchestra of KazNUA at Kazakhstan Central Concert Hall in June 2017.

Selected to appear on National Public Radio’s “From the Top” with Host Christopher O’Riley, he performed at NEC’s Jordan Hall in 2016. “From the Top” featured a video of Sean and posted it on their Facebook page and their YouTube channel.

At the age of 12, Sean was accepted into the Perlman Music Program, where he spent 7 weeks of his summer intensively studying chamber music, solo performance, and orchestral music under the tutelage of  Itzhak Perlman, Merry Peckham, Areta Zhulla, Astrid Schween, and Zvi Plesser. 

Sean performed with New York International Chamber Orchestra at the Carnegie Hall after winning New York International Music Competition and also he has been featured as a soloist with the Sinfonietta Nova Orchestra, New York Chamber Players Orchestra, Camerata Orchestra, and St. Thomas Orchestra as a result of winning numerous competitions. These competitions include the Young Concert Artists Competition, the Camerata Artists International Competition, the New York Chamber Players Concerto Competition, and many more.

Sean performed at the Merkin Concert Hall after winning the grand prize at the Manhattan International Music Competition and the first prize at the International Grande Music Competition. In addition, he was also awarded 1st prize at the 17th New York Music Competition and performed at the Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall). 

In respect to the fallen veterans of 9/11, Sean was invited to perform in the Intrepid Museum of NYC for the “Remembering Our Fallen” event in 2016.

Sean is the founder and the director of Westchester County Region  “Back to Bach Project”, his goal is to spread classical music and inspire young children. 

Alongside Back to Bach project, he is also a founding member of the Ponticelli Cello Ensemble, a group dedicated to bringing high-quality music to the community through their concerts and fundraising events.

Sean has been served as a principal cellist for Westchester All-County Orchestra for 5 years.

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CHELSEA LIM
Chelsie Lim, age 15, was born in Melbourne, Australia in 2004. She moved to the United States at the age of 3, and began learning cello from her mother at age 8. She was accepted into the Pre-College program at the Juilliard School of Music in 2015 at age 10, where she began her studies with Clara Minhye Kim. 

Chelsie is the 1st prize winner of numerous competitions, including the New York Young Artist International Competition (2013), the New York International Music Competition (2014), the East Coast International Competition (2014), the YWCA of Queens New York Music Competition (2015), and the Camerata Artists International Concerto Competition, in which she debuted with an orchestra (2017). She was a semi-finalist of the 10th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Astana, Kazakhstan (2017). Chelsie was awarded a scholarship to the HeifetzPEG program of the Heifetz International Music Institute in Staunton, Virginia (2017), and was chosen to perform in their Stars of Tomorrow concert series. She was a finalist in the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra’s 2017 Goldwasser Concerto Competition and received the 3rd place award. Chelsie was a Gold Medalist of the Bravura Philharmonic’s 10th annual Young Artists Concerto Competition (2018). In addition, she was a finalist and the 1st place winner of Lyra Music Competition (2019), junior division, and a finalist and 2nd prize winner for the junior division of Adelphi Competition (2019). She was an Honorable Mention winner of the New York Chamber Players Concerto Competition (2019). Chelsie was a participant of the Morningside Music Bridge summer festival, a full-scholarship program, in Warsaw, Poland (2018). She recently became a participant of the Perlman Music Program (2019), led by Toby and Itzhak Perlman along with prestigious faculty whom she studies with each summer. 

Chelsie was awarded performances at Carnegie Hall and Merkin Concert Hall and has studied and participated in master-classes with cellists Laurence Lesser, Colin Carr, Steven Doane, Yu Wei, Kirill Rodin, Zvi Plesser, and Astrid Schween. She and her former piano trio have also been invited by the Dvorak American Heritage Association to perform at the Bohemian National Hall, and in 2017, they won 2nd Prize in the Great Composers Competition for Best Dvorak Performance. Chelsie is also a founding member of Ponticelli Music, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing music to create a difference in the community. Orchestrally, in 2018, she was a principal cellist of the Pre-College Symphony at the Juilliard School of Music.

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DYLAN SHIH WU
Dylan Shih Wu is a 15-year-old who began his cello studies at age three. At age 9, he was admitted to the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School in New York City. 

In 2014 at age 10, Dylan was the youngest semifinalist at the 8th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Moscow, Russia.  In December 2015, he returned to the 9th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Novosibirsk, Russia, and was awarded the Second Prize, the youngest American cello laureate in the history of the competition.  In May 2017 he was invited back to Moscow to perform in the first Tchaikovsky Spring Festival by the Association of Tchaikovsky Competition Stars. 

Dylan’s accomplishments include placing first in various competitions, including the Juilliard Pre-College Cello Competition, the Rising Stars Grand Prix of Berlin, the Golden Key Music Competition, American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, and the YWCA of Queens NY Music Competition.  In 2015 he was chosen as the grand prize winner of the American Fine Arts Festival International Concerto Competition and the International Virtuoso Competition.

At age 10, Dylan debuted as a soloist with his first orchestra – the Adelphi Chamber Orchestra playing Saint-Saën’s Cello Concerto No.1.  Since then, he has been featured as a soloist throughout the United States, Moscow, and Taipei. He has performed with the Allentown Symphony, Chappaqua Orchestra, the Juilliard Pre-College String Ensemble, the Belarus State Orchestra, the Fujian University Orchestra, Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra, Sound Symphony, and the Bravura Philharmonic Orchestra.  

In June of 2015, Dylan was invited to perform on NPR’s “From the Top” radio program, hosted by Christopher O’Riley.  In October, he was invited again to record a music video with trio Time for Three and has been featured in their Gala Performance in Boston.  In July of 2017, he was invited to shoot a cover of Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” with critically acclaimed artist Joshua Bell and “From the Top.”  He has recently been featured on WQXR’s “Young Artists Showcase,” hosted by Robert Sherman. 

Dylan is a student of Minhye Clara Kim at the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division.  During his free time he enjoys playing for seniors through Concerts in Motion, and recently was featured in their annual Gala concert at Merkin Concert Hall.  He is a co-founder of the cello quartet Ponticelli, dedicated to increasing the awareness of classical music through community outreach and raising money for non-profit organizations around the world.  He also loves playing chess and the study of theoretical math.

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JENNY JIANG
Jenny Jiang is 15 years old and is currently a freshman at the Spence School. At
the age of 10, she was accepted into the Pre-College Division of the Juilliard School and is studying with Minhye Clara Kim. In 2014, Jenny placed 2nd prize
in the 17th New York Music Competition and performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2015, Jenny attended the Great Mountain Music Festival and School. She attended again in the summer of 2016 and 2017. In 2017, Jenny received 1st prize at the Golden Key Music Festival Competition and the Rondo Vanguard Competition and performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In 2017, she also performed in the IGMC Young Musicians’ Concerto Concert at Merkin Concert Hall (at the Kaufman Music Center) with the IGMC Orchestra. Jenny performed at Beijing Concert Hall with the Chinese National Symphony Orchestra in 2017. In 2018, Jenny placed 3rd in the International Grande Music Competition and performed at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center. In 2019, she performed at Shanghai Concert Hall. Jenny also enjoys playing for people through Concerts in Motion. She likes reading in her free time.