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Watch Cedille’s Emerging Artist Competition

In celebration of over 30 years serving Chicago’s classical music community by recording and promoting its finest artists, Cedille Records looked to discover the next generation of great Chicago musicians with its first recording competition. Six semifinalists, selected from among three dozen original applicants, performed live for a panel of judges on November 20, 2021. The finals, held on November 21, 2021, featured performances by three finalists competing for the competition prize: to have their debut recording produced and released by Cedille Records.

Saxophonist Julian Velasco won the competition and will record and release his debut album with Cedille this year. Friends of Cedille, Aphorism Studios, livestreamed the two day event and we’re pleased to offer you the recordings of each day’s proceedings below.

Semifinals | November 20, 2021

Finals | November 21, 2021

The Finalists

Including their performed works for the final competition

Clare Longendyke, piano

Florence Price: Fantaisie negre No. 4 in B minor

Debussy: Bruyeres

Shawn Okpebholo: mi sueno: afro-flamenco

Debussy: La puerta del vino

Amy Williams: Olga

Debussy: Les collines d’Anacapri

Augusta Read Thomas: Love Twitters

Julian Velasco, saxophone

Andre Waignein: Rhapsody for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra

Amanda Harberg: Court Dances
II. Air deCour

Steven Banks: Come As You Are
I. Lift My Eyes
II. Times of the Storm
III. Strength of My Life

Karisa Chiu, violin

Mark O’Connor: Menuhin Caprice

Jean Sibelius, Five Pieces for Violin and Piano: Op. 81, III. Valse

Henryk Wieniawski, Fantasia on Themes from “Faust”: Op. 20


James Ginsburg
Cedille Records founder and President

Rachel Barton Pine
Violinist, Cedille recording artist and Cedille Board member

Henry Fogel
Cedille Board member
Former President, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Josephine Lee
Artistic Director, Chicago Children’s Choir

George Preston
Vice President and General Manager, WFMT

Vladimir Kulenovic
Conductor and former Artistic Director, Lake Forest Symphony

David McGill
Former Principal Bassoon, Chicago Symphony Orchestra


Johannes Gray

Andrew Rosenblum harpsichordist



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