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Emerging Artist Competition Logo


2021 Emerging Artist Competition semifinalists announced

Emerging Artist Competition Logo


Artemisia, vocal ensemble 
Emily Birsan
, soprano 
Claire Bourg
, violin 
Maya Anjali Buchanan
, violin 
Karisa Chiu
, violin 
Johannes Gray
, cello
Clare Longendyke
, piano 
Andrew Rosenblum
, harpsichord 
Julian Velasco
, saxophone

The competition takes place in conjunction with Cedille’s 30th anniversary, furthering the label’s mission of elevating the work of Chicago artists.

UPDATE: In order to ensure the health and safety of the performers, the live rounds of the competition have been rescheduled for November 2021 due to the coronavirus.

In celebration of Cedille Records’ upcoming 30th Anniversary and in furtherance of Cedille’s mission to elevate Chicago artists, Cedille Records announces the semifinalists in its Emerging Artist Competition for Chicago area individual performers and ensembles. The winner of the competition will record and release an album on Cedille.

Original timeline of competition
May 30, 2020: Semifinals at the Spertus Institute
May 31, 2020: Finals at the Spertus Institute
September 2020: Winner performs at Soirée Cedille

James Ginsburg (Cedille Records founder and President)
Rachel Barton Pine (violinist and Cedille recording artist)
Henry Fogel (Cedille founding board member and former board chair; former President, Chicago Symphony Orchestra)
George Preston (Vice President and General Manager, WFMT and former vocalist)
Vladimir Kulenovic (conductor and former Artistic Director, Lake Forest Symphony)
Josephine Lee (President and Artistic Director, Chicago Childrens Choir)
David McGill (former Principal Bassoon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra) 

The Competition
Applications were screened by a panel of Cedille Records board members. Live, open to the public semifinal and final rounds will take place over concurrent days in Chicago in May 2021. Semifinalists will prepare an hour of music from which judges will select 15 minutes to be performed. The final round will include up to five contestants playing 30 minutes of music total, including two contrasting works, selected by the contestants themselves. Semifinal and final performances will be adjudicated by the panel of seven judges listed above.

One winner and one honorable mention will be selected. The winner will record a Cedille Records album for release in Fall 2022. The winner’s prize will be offered to the honorable mention if the winner is not able to record or release the album as planned.

Cedille Records
Launched in November 1989, Grammy Award-winning Cedille Records (pronounced say-DEE) is dedicated to showcasing and promoting the most noteworthy classical artists in and from the Chicago area.

An independent nonprofit enterprise, Cedille Records is the label of Cedille Chicago, NFP. Sales of physical CDs and digital downloads and streams cover only a small percentage of the label’s costs. Tax-deductible donations from individual music-lovers and grants from charitable organizations account for most of its revenue.




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Mary Elizabeth Bowden, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” artistry (Gramophone), celebrates the narrative power of the trumpet. Bowden is joined by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and conductor Allen Tinkham in a collection of new concertos that redefine the trumpet’s voice in modern classical music.

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On this episode of Classical Chicago, Cedille President Jim Ginsburg talks with trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden about her experience recording Cedille’s latest release, Storyteller: Contemporary Concertos for Trumpet.