• Chicagoan Marcelina Suchocka Wins 'Big Break'

    From the Top and Carnegie Hall announced today that 17-year-old percussionist Marcelina Suchocka from Chicago, Illinois, has been selected by public vote as the Grand Prize Winner of Big Break, a new online contest for young American musicians.

    Ms. Suchocka is a student at Chicago's Whitney M. Young Magnet High School and is also a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Percussion Scholarship Program. She was selected from a pool of hundreds of classical musicians who submitted videos to the Big Break contest between October 18 and November 18. Her winning performance of an excerpt from Anders Koppel's Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra can be viewed below.

    As Big Break's grand-prize winner, Ms. Suchocka will appear on a national radio broadcast this spring of NPR's From the Top, hosted by Christopher O'Riley. The episode will be taped on Sunday, April 10, before a studio audience at The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the performance venue of Classical 105.9 FM WQXR, New York City's sole dedicated classical music station. The previous day, on Saturday, April 9, she will perform at a Carnegie Hall Family Concert in Zankel Hall, produced in partnership with From the Top and hosted by Mr. O'Riley.

    As Carnegie Hall and From The Top were very pleased by the high performance level of all Big Break finalists, three runners-up have also been selected to appear on the From The Top national broadcast and Carnegie Hall Family Concert. The three runners-up are (in alphabetical order): 16-year-old pianist Gideon Broshy (New York, NY); 16-year-old cellist Brannon Cho (Short Hills, NJ); and 14-year-old harpist Helen Gerhold (Lansdale, PA).

    Big Break Grand Prize Winner Marcelina Suchocka performs an excerpt from Anders Koppel's Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra