Ori Kam
Ori Kam, Viola
Grand Prize

Recently hailed by the New York Times as “an attractive, engaging presence on stage,” violist Ori Kam has performed as soloist on some of the world’s premier stages. He debuted at the age of 16 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and has performed with virtually every orchestra in Israel, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the New Jersey Symphony at the new NJ Performing Arts Center, and others. Mr.

Recently hailed by the New York Times as “an attractive, engaging presence on stage,” violist Ori Kam has performed as soloist on some of the world’s premier stages. He debuted at the age of 16 with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Zubin Mehta, and has performed with virtually every orchestra in Israel, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the New Jersey Symphony at the new NJ Performing Arts Center, and others. Mr. Kam has won several awards and prizes, including The Swiss Prize at the Geneva Int’l Music Competition, The “Pagannini” Prize in the Int’l Lionel Tertis Competition, and in ’95 was the winner of the concerto competition at the Manhattan School of Music. As an avid performer of chamber music, he is a founder and artistic director of the Israel Chamber Music Society. In 2007, he released his first commercial recording under the “Berlin Classics” label of the Bruch Double concerto for viola and clarinet by Max Bruch, which he recorded with his sister, Sharon.

Nilah Magruder
Nilah Magruder, Film

Ms. Magruder is an animator, illustrator, and writer. She double-majored in Communications Arts and Studio Art at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. After graduation, Ms. Magruder broadened her horizons with a month of study in South Korea as part of the Bahrom International Program. In 2007, she was back in school, this time at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida to study computer animation, and received her BFA in 2010. Her goal is to become a story artist, and eventually a director in the animation industry.

Ms. Magruder is an animator, illustrator, and writer. She double-majored in Communications Arts and Studio Art at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. After graduation, Ms. Magruder broadened her horizons with a month of study in South Korea as part of the Bahrom International Program. In 2007, she was back in school, this time at the Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida to study computer animation, and received her BFA in 2010. Her goal is to become a story artist, and eventually a director in the animation industry. In the meantime, she also pursues illustration for children’s books, screenwriting, and fiction writing.

Yukiki Sekino
Yukiko Sekino, Piano

The Gold Medalist of the 2006 International Russian Music Piano Competition, Yukiko Sekino is a pianist of versatility and wide-ranging interests.  Her playing has been praised as “thrilling, inspirational” by Florida Sun-Sentinel and noted for “elegance of line, leaping energy” by San Jose Mercury News.  Since making her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen, she has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the New World Symphony, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, Lakeside Symphony, Nova Vista Symphony, and Suburban Symphony. 

The Gold Medalist of the 2006 International Russian Music Piano Competition, Yukiko Sekino is a pianist of versatility and wide-ranging interests.  Her playing has been praised as “thrilling, inspirational” by Florida Sun-Sentinel and noted for “elegance of line, leaping energy” by San Jose Mercury News.  Since making her debut with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at age sixteen, she has appeared as a soloist with orchestras including the New World Symphony, Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra, Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, Lakeside Symphony, Nova Vista Symphony, and Suburban Symphony. 

Performing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concert No. 3 during the final round of the International Russian Music Piano Competition, Sekino was awarded, through audience vote, the Public Prize in addition to the first prize.  Other competition successes include those at the Japanese-American Association of New York Competition, MTNA National Yamaha Competition, and concerto competitions at New World Symphony, Harvard University, and SUNY Stony Brook.  She is a recipient of the S&R Washington Award, Jackson Prize at Tanglewood Music Center, and an Emerging Artist Award from St. Botolph Club Foundation.

During the 2010/11 season, Sekino’s recital engagements included a return performance at the Dame Myra Hess Concerts in Chicago (with a live broadcast on WFMT radio) and Concerts at One series at Trinity Church Wall Street in New York City.  She also appeared as a soloist in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orchestra in Massachusetts.  Sekino won the 2011 Mu Phi Epsilon International Competition; over the next two years, she will tour as a Mu Phi Epsilon Concert Artist, giving recital and concerto performances. 

An avid chamber musician, Sekino has been invited to Tanglewood, Kneisel Hall, Music Academy of the West, and Thy (Denmark) festivals.  She was a resident pianist of New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas during 2005 – 2008, performing in numerous chamber music and orchestral concerts.  Having a significant interest in new music, she has premiered several chamber works in New York, Boston, Miami, and at Tanglewood.

Sekino is a graduate of Harvard University and the Juilliard School, and holds a doctoral degree from State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Her teachers include Gilbert Kalish, Seymour Lipkin, Robert Levin, and Eda Shlyam.  Sekino was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Colby College during the 2008/9 academic year.  Currently, she is Keyboard Area Head at University of Massachusetts – Lowell and serves on the faculties of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School.