Auditions for our 2023-2024 youth competition are now closed. Please check back on our Youth Competition Information page for details on next year's competition.

Brahin Jamal Ahmaddiya, 2024

Brahin Jamal Ahmaddiya is a seventeen-year-old clarinetist in eleventh grade at Upper Darby High School. He started playing the clarinet at the young age of nine. Around a year later, he began taking private lessons at Settlement Music School's Wynnefield branch with his first private teacher Evan Kilgore. He currently attends Settlement's Mary Louise Curtis branch and is taught by Dr. Rié Suzuki. There, he is a member of the Weinstein Advanced Study Woodwind Quintet. In 2020 Brahin joined the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth Artists' Initiative (PMAY). PMAY is a program dedicated to the nurturing of young musicians that aspire to become professional musicians. Brahin believes PMAY is a crucial part of his development and that he wouldn't be here without their support. Recently, Brahin attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he was first exposed to a glimpse of the true professional world. After this experience, he returned with a fresh and burning dedication to music. Now, Brahin is in high school, currently enjoying his time there. He is on track to finish high school with college credits and wants to get a degree in Clarinet Performance.

Concerto Competition Winner

Joseph Zeng, 2023

Joseph started playing the cello in the 5th grade, with Jennifer Jin. Joseph has been part of the Grand Prix winners, Special Prize winners and first-place cello octet winners for the Triumph Music Festival. He attends the Downingtown STEM Academy as a freshman, and plays in the school orchestra; he is also in the Philadelphia Youth Artists Orchestra. Before forcusing on cello, Joseph played piano and trombone. Outside of music, he loves swimming on the swim teams and karate.

Joseph performed the first movement of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto at our spring concert in May 2023.

Concerto Competition Winner

Ashley Kim, 2022

Ashley Kim began playing the flute at age nine in New York City. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, she attended the Special Music School and was a member of the InterSchool Orchestra and Face the Music ensembles in New York City. Ashley is currently a junior at the Episcopal Academy and studies privately with Dr. Kimberly Trolier. Over her summers, she studies with Sonora Slocum as part of the Curtis Institute’s mentorship network. At school, Ashley plays in the Concert Band and Chamber Ensemble, and has received honors in PMEA’s district, region, and state bands. An accomplished soloist, Ashley was a winner of last year’s Dora Khayatt Competition and an honorable mention in the Tri-county Youth Competition. Last October, she was a s oloist at Carnegie Hall in a benefit concert hosted by youth-run organization Music for Change. Outside of music, Ashley is Student Council Class President, co-captain of the Varsity Swim Team, and an editor of the school arts magazine, Epolitan.

Ashley performed the first movement of the Mozart Flute Concerto in D Major at our spring concert in May 2022.

Concerto Competition Winner Ashley Kim