Photo: James Gill

The Final Forte 2022

The Final Forte attendees experienced the beauty of musical expression, the drama of competition and the inspiring tale of dreams come true as four gifted young artists vied for top honors in the final round of the 2022 Bolz Young Artist Competition. Broadcast from Overture Hall at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison, the concert featured the magnificent Madison Symphony Orchestra led by Associate Conductor Kyle Knox. Zak Chen performed the third movement of the Sibelius Violin Concerto. Jane Story performed the first movement of Lalo’s Symphony Espagnole. Ellen Zhou also performed the Lalo Symphony Espagnole, Movement 1. Clark Snavely performed the first movement of Sibelius’ Violin Concerto. Read more about the finalists and view photos from the special night below.

The event was broadcasted live on PBS Wisconsin and Wisconsin Public Radio. An encore television presentation will air at 1 a.m. Thursday, April 14 on PBS Wsconsin. It will also air on The Wisconsin Channel, or PBS Wisconsin-2, 8 p.m. Friday, April 15 and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16. An encore presentation of the audio program will air at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 17. Wisconsin Young Artists Compete: The Final Forte will also air on Milwaukee PBS, or Channel 36 – WMVT, 6 p.m. Saturday, May 14.


First place: Ellen Zhou, violin, was awarded the Marian Bolz Prize for Distinguished Musical Achievement and a $2,000 scholarship.
Second place: Clark Snavely, violin, was awarded the Steenbock Youth Music Award and a $2,000 scholarship.
Honorable Mentions: Zak Chen, violin and Jane Story, violin each received a $1,000 scholarship.


Photo: James Gill

Meet the finalists

Zak Chen, a finalist in the 2022 Bolz Young Artist Competition, is a junior at New Berlin Eisenhower High School. He has been playing violin since the age of four, and currently studies with Bernard Zinck, Associate Professor of Violin at UW-Milwaukee.  Zak won the 2020 Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra Senior Concerto Competition, served as Concertmaster at the 2018 Interlochen Arts Camp and in 2017 was awarded a scholarship to the Saarburg International Music Festival in Germany.

Clark Snavely, a finalist in the 2022 Bolz Young Artist Competition, is a homeschooled sophomore from New Berlin. He took up the violin at the age of five and currently studies with Pamela Simmons, Associate Concertmaster of the Festival City Symphony. Clark took first place in both the 2020 Colibri International Arts Competition and the 2019 Madison Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition and served as Concertmaster last summer at Interlochen Arts Camp.

Jane Story, a finalist in the 2022 Bolz Young Artist Competition, is a 15-year-old freshman from Stevens Point. She began violin lessons at the age of four and currently studies with Anna Cromwell, Assistant Professor of Violin and Viola at UW-Stevens Point.  Jane has performed with the Madison and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestras, earning titles in both organizations’ youth concerto competitions, and will be a featured soloist at this year’s Birch Creek Summer Music Academy.

Ellen Zhou, a finalist in the 2022 Bolz Young Artist Competition, is a junior at Middleton High School. She began violin lessons at age five, and currently studies with Almita Vamos, violin instructor at the Music Institute of Chicago and Roosevelt University.  Ellen received first prize in the 2021 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s Stars of Tomorrow Competition and the 2019 Interlochen Intermediate Concerto Competition and is a scholarship fellow at the Academy of Music Institute of Chicago.

Learn more about the 2022 Final Forte musicians in this blog post written by Samantha Nash at PBS Wisconsin.

Watch video profiles of each finalist, produced by PBS Wisconsin.

View Photos from the Evening

Photo credit: James Gill