February 17, 2023 (updated March 1, 2023)

Next Wednesday, Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte, FREE Live Concert and Competition
March 8 at 7:00 p.m. in Overture Hall

Madison, Wis. – Join the Madison Symphony Orchestra (MSO), PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio for the “Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte” on Wednesday, March 8, 2023 in Overture Hall. 

The four gifted Bolz Young Artist Competition finalists will perform and compete for top honors in the final round of the 2023 Competition. Broadcast live from Overture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, the concert features the magnificent Madison Symphony Orchestra led by Associate Conductor Kyle Knox. The concert is free and open to the public. Audience members must register in advance, and arrive by 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8, prior to the beginning of the live broadcast. Learn more at https://madisonsymphony.org/finalforte 

The four finalists were chosen from eight competitors at the January 13, 2023 Bolz Young Artist Competition Semi-Finals for the opportunity to compete in The Final Forte. Each of the finalists will be performing the works they played at the Semi-Finals live with the Madison Symphony Orchestra.  

Sophia Jiang, will perform the second and third movements of Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Arisa Okamoto, will perform the first movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor. Lucy Wu, will perform the fourth movement of Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor. Amelia Zitoun, will perform the first movement of Barber’s Cello Concerto

Broadcast and rebroadcast dates: 

WPR – News & Music Network
Live at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2023
12:30 p.m., Sunday, March 12, 2023

PBS Wisconsin
Live at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 8, 2023 

The Wisconsin Channel
8:00 p.m., Friday, March 10, 2023
2:00 p.m., Saturday, March 11, 2023
3:00 a.m., Thursday, March 16, 2023 

Milwaukee PBS (WMVT – Channel 36)
4:00 p.m., Saturday, March 18, 2023

About the 2023 Bolz Young Artist Competition Finalists

Sophia Jiang is a junior at the Vel Phillips Memorial High School. She has been playing piano since she was four and currently studies with Bill Lutes. Sophia was the first place winner of the 2021 Chippewa Valley Symphony’s Young Artist Competition and a winner of the National Steinway Junior Piano Competition in 2018 and 2019. 

Arisa Okamoto is a senior at Brookfield Eat High School. She has been playing the violin since the age of four and currently studies with Ilana Setapen, Acting Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Arisa was a national finalist of the 2020 Japan Classical Music Competition, and winner of the 2023 Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.

Lucy Wu is a Scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college musicians. She has been playing the cello since the age of seven, and she currently studies cello with Dr. Stefan Kartman, Professor of Cello at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 2022, Lucy was the recipient of the Anne French Burnham scholarship award at the Schubert Club Competition.  

Amelia Zitoun is a is a scholarship Fellow at the Music Institute of Chicago’s Academy, a training center for advanced pre-college students.  She currently studies cello with Hans Jensen. In October of 2022, Amelia played the Barber Cello Concerto with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on their Family Concert and Youth Performance Series. Earlier this year, Amelia was the winner of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Stars of Tomorrow Competition.  

The Final Forte Reservations: Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Doors open at 6:15 p.m. and close at 6:45 p.m. due to the live broadcast. The event runs until 8:30 p.m. No tickets will be issued. Seating is general admission in select areas of the hall. The Final Forte is open to the public and free to attend, but reservations are required (space is limited). Please reserve your seats to attend The Final Forte online at https://madisonsymphony.org/education-community/education-programs/young-artist-competitions/the-final-forte/final-forte-reservations/ 


The free concert is broadcast live on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio. This competition has captured an enormous following and numerous honors, including an Emmy nomination, First Place in the “Special Interest” category from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in 2007, and fifth most-watched program in the February 2007 Nielsen ratings. The 2008 broadcasts reached more than 60,000 viewers and listeners in the Madison market alone and the 2009 broadcasts reached an estimated 200,000 statewide. 

Our mission is to boldly enrich, educate and entertain diverse audiences of children and adults through the innovative use of television production and broadcasting, other communication technologies and community engagement. PBS Wisconsin provides access to local and national content, extending its reach and impact in the communities we serve. Learn more: https://pbswisconsin.org/about/

Wisconsin Public Radio is a civic and cultural resource that exists to enlighten and enrich the quality of life for its listeners. WPR consists of 37 radio stations programmed by seven regional studios and carrying programming on three content networks – the Ideas Network, the NPR News and Classical Network and the All Classical Network. WPR’s radio stations, studios, networks and online streams allow it to serve local, regional and statewide audiences with the highest quality programming available. Learn more: https://www.wpr.org/about-wpr

The Madison Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 98th season in 2023–2024. The MSO has grown to be one of America’s leading regional orchestras, providing Madison and south-central Wisconsin with cultural and educational opportunities to interact with great masterworks and top-tier guest artists from around the world. 2023–2024 is Music Director John DeMain’s 30th anniversary season. The MSO’s 100th anniversary season celebration will take place during the 2025–2026 season. Learn more at madisonsymphony.org

The Bolz Young Artist Competition is made possible by a generous endowment from The Eugenie Mayer Bolz Family Foundation. Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte concert and broadcasts are the result of a historic partnership among the Madison Symphony Orchestra, PBS Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Public Radio. 

Major funding for Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte is provided by Diane Ballweg, W. Jerome Frautschi, Barbara & Norm Berven, Fred & Mary Mohs, and Trust Point, with additional support from James Dahlberg & Elsebet Lund, Julie & Larry Midtbo, Dr. Sandra L. Osborn, Kato Perlman, Cyrena & Lee Pondrom, Sentry Insurance Foundation, Dr. A. Beyer-Mears, Darcy Kind & Marc Vitale, the Focus Fund for the Arts and Friends of PBS Wisconsin.

Contact: Peter Rodgers, Director of Marketing
Phone: (608) 260-8680 x226
Mobile: (415) 713-0235
Email: prodgers@madisonsymphony.org
Web: madisonsymphony.org
Link to 2023 Final Forte photos: bit.ly/mso2023finalforte

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