• Thursday, Dec 16, 2010

    Grand Prize Winner Announced in From The Top and Carnegie Hall’s Big Break Contest



    17-year-old Percussionist Marcelina Suchocka from Chicago
    Selected by Public as Big Break Grand Prize Winner

    Ms. Suchocka and Three Additional Big Break Finalists Invited
    To Perform on Special Episode of NPR’s From The Top Radio Broadcast
    And at Carnegie Hall Family Concert in New York City in April 2011

    (December 16, 2010, NEW YORK, NY)—From the Top and Carnegie Hall today announced that 17-year-old percussionist Marcelina Suchocka from Chicago, Illinois has been selected by the public as the Grand Prize Winner of Big Break, a new online contest for young American musicians.  Launched earlier this fall, Big Break offered young musicians the chance to compete for a spot on a special episode of NPR’s From the Top national radio broadcast, hosted by Christopher O’Riley, as well as the opportunity to grace the stage at Carnegie Hall, performing in a Carnegie Hall Family Concert in Zankel Hall in April 2011.

    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.  All classical musicians, the contestants ranged in age from 8-18 and participated on a variety of solo instruments including piano, bassoon, harp, voice, violin, cello, bass, marimba, and recorder. On November 29, Ms. Suchocka and 14 other finalists were selected by From the Top and Carnegie Hall to be part of a public vote between November 29 and December 14.  Her winning performance of an excerpt from Anders Koppel’s Concerto for Marimba and Orchestra can be viewed at YouTube.com/BigBreak.

    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 multiplatform, acoustically superb 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).   The special episode of From The Top’s weekly series, featuring Big Break’s Grand Prize Winner and runners-up, will air on participating NPR stations later in the spring.

    Each year, From the Top receives about a thousand of applications from young classical musicians across the country wishing to appear on its radio and television broadcasts. This contest marks the first time that From the Top has opened that audition process to the public, inviting them to help identify their favorite performers. Carnegie Hall, with its deep commitment to programs that nurture young talent and encourage musicians to aspire to excellence, is happy to continue its partnership with From the Top, offering Big Break musicians the opportunity to perform on its popular Family Concert series.

    About From the Top
    For the past decade, From the Top hosted by Christopher O’Riley has been the preeminent showcase for America’s best young classical musicians. Through award-winning NPR and PBS programs, online media, a national tour of live events, community and leadership programs for young musicians, From the Top shares the stories and performances of pre-collegiate musicians with millions each week. Each program provides a compelling and entertaining window into the world of a diverse group of young people who pursue life with passion, determination, and joy. For more information, please visit: fromthetop.org.

    About Carnegie Hall
    Founded in 1891, Carnegie Hall presents performances by the world’s finest artists on its three great stages—the renowned Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, the intimate Weill Recital Hall, and the innovative Zankel Hall—ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, and solo recitals to jazz, world, and popular music. Extensive music education and community programs developed by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute serve people in New York City, across the US, and around the globe, playing a central role in Carnegie Hall's commitment to making great music accessible to as many people as possible. For more information about Carnegie Hall, please visit carnegiehall.org.

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