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Three Hartt Students Take Top Prizes in Competition
Three Hartt students took the top prizes in the sixth annual van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence. Back row (l-r): Jean-Pierre and Marie-Claire van Rooy, and adjudicators Peter John Sacco, Anne Koscielny, and Michael Sussman. Front row (l-r): First prize winners Galit Kaunitz and Nathaly Gustafson, and grand prize winner Molly McLaughlin.
The competition was open to all undergraduate instrumental performance majors at Hartt. The 32 applicants to the competition were narrowed down via two preliminary rounds to seven finalists, who competed for the top prizes on Nov. 13.
McLaughlin, who won the grand prize of $10,000, is a senior flute performance major from Holden, Mass. She studies with John Wion, professor of flute and chamber music.
Nathaly Gustafson and Galit Kaunitz each were awarded the $4,000 first prize. It is the first time in the competition’s history that there has been a tie for any of the award positions. Kaunitz, a senior oboe performance major from Charlotte, N.C., studies with Professor of Oboe Humbert Lucarelli. Gustafson, a junior piano performance major from Paraguay, studies with Professor of Piano Luiz de Moura Castro.
The van Rooy Competition for Musical Excellence was established in 2000 through the generosity of Marie-Claire and Jean-Pierre van Rooy. The purpose of the competition is to promote musical excellence by helping young musicians.
This year’s competition was adjudicated by Anne Koscielny, Peter John Sacco and Michael Sussman. Koscielny, who served as chair of the jury, is a concert pianist who has appeared with many orchestras and chamber music ensembles throughout the United States, Central and South America, Europe and Asia. Sacco is a violinist and an associate professor of music and director of orchestral studies at the University of Connecticut. Sussman has served as principal clarinetist with the orchestras of the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, D’Oyley Carte Opera and Brooklyn Philharmonic, and is currently principal clarinetist with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, the New Hampshire Symphony and the Monadnock Music Festival.