for Young Musicians

February 2022 Concert Featured Three Winners as Soloists!

The LAS concert on February 12, 2022, featured winners from both the 48th and 49th annual Competitions, since there was no February concert in 2021 because of the pandemic.

Dustin Breshears played Violin Concerto No. 5 in A Minor, Opus 37, by Vieuxtemps.
Valery Breshears (violin) played Zigeunerweisen, Opus 20, by Sarasate.
Celicia Thendean played the first movment of Piano Concerto in A Minor, Opus 54, by Schumann.
(Lauren Kim, now a college student in Virginia, was absent due to pandemic-related travel disruptions).

2021–2022 Competition Winners

Competition winner Dustin Breshears
Dustin Breshears
Competition winner Celicia Thendean
Celicia Thendean

Winners of the 49th annual Competition for Young Musicians, sponsored by the Livermore-Amador Symphony Association, are Dustin Breshears (violin) and Celicia Thendean (piano). They performed with LAS on February 12, 2022.

Past Winners

See a list of past winners and the pieces they played, from the 1973–74 through 2021–22 seasons.

See photos of winners from the 2011–12 through 2021–22 seasons.

General Information

The Livermore-Amador Symphony Association conducts its annual Competition for Young Musicians in October. The winners perform as soloists with the Symphony (usually in February) and are awarded $500.00.

The competition is open to instrumentalists and vocalists who reside in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, the City of Tracy, or the community of Mountain House, California. The maximum age is 19 at the time of the scheduled February concert performance.

The application deadline for the 2021–2022 competition was October 3, 2021. Applicants were required to submit a completed application form, a non-refundable fee of $20.00, and a video recording of themselves playing the solo to be performed at their audition.

Applicants may post a video to YouTube and send a link via email. Music is to be chosen from the standard repertoire for orchestra. The selection, one movement of a concerto or a comparable work, should be between 10 and 15 minutes long. For the preliminary screenings, recordings for non-pianists should include piano accompaniment. For piano recordings, accompaniment is not essential. All applicants are notified of the outcome of the preliminary screening.

Each applicant receives a written evaluation. Taken into consideration are intonation, tone quality, technique, style/interpretation, and memorization.

Winners, as soloists, perform the same music with which they competed. Previous winners of this competition may re-apply after an intervening year. However, anyone who has performed two times as a soloist with the Symphony cannot be considered as a contestant.

If you have any questions you may contact Competition Committee Chair Anne Badders ( or 925.606.5797).

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