Six outstanding and well-qualified jurists will travel to Albuquerque to judge the JMYAC contestants and award first-, second-, and third-place cash prizes plus name the Rising Star in piano and strings. They will also select recipients of tuition for summer camps. All judges for the JMYAC are from out of state to avoid partiality or favoritism.
The Competition will be held at Robertson and Sons Violin Shop on February 9 and 10, 2024.
Tianhong Yang has earned bachelor and master’s degrees and is studying for her doctorate in Piano Performance at Boston University. She has participated in and won numerous international piano competitions and performed throughout Europe and Asia. She is a diverse musician and actively promotes contemporary music. As a co-founder of the Aroma Duo, she and cellist Johnny Mok (a strings judge for the 2024 Competition) collaborate with contemporary composers performing recent works, as well as chamber music classics.
Pianist Jessica Yam performs solo and chamber repertoire and was a national recipient of the Chopin Foundation Scholarship. She received her musical training at the New England Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, and Arizona State University where she received her DMA in Piano Performance. She is also Artistic Director of the Arizona Piano Institute in Phoenix. She lectures in music history, theory, and literature, and coaches vocal and chamber music. Jessica is currently professor of piano and directs keyboard studies at Phoenix College.
Elias- Axel Pettersson was born in Sweden and raised in New Mexico. He studied the violin and piano throughout college at the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, where he received his degrees. He is a piano soloist and chamber musician. He is a frequent performer, lecturer, and masterclass teacher throughout the US, Canada and Sweden. Elias is the Artistic Director of the Southwest Piano Festival, which he founded in 2015, and Director of Program Development for the Arizona Piano Institute. He resides in Phoenix.
Violist Daphne Gerling, Brazilian by birth, was born into a musical family. She enjoys a career as a teacher, chamber musician, recitalist and soloist performing on modern and baroque instruments across the US, Europe, South America and Asia. Following studies at the New England Conservatory, Oberlin University, the Cleveland Institute of Music and Rice University, she undertook research at Cambridge University for her doctoral thesis. Daphne enjoys working with pre-college students and is a trained Suzuki method instructor. She has been Assistant Professor of Viola at the University of North Texas for nearly 10 years and has also served as Associate Director of the Summer String Institute at UNT.
Professor Cho-Liang Lin has played the violin since he was 5 years old in Taiwan. At the age of 15, he was accepted into the Juilliard School. Juilliard in New York City was his home for nearly a decade and where he received his degrees. He has since performed as a soloist with major orchestras worldwide. He is equally at home with orchestras, in recital, playing chamber music, and in the teaching studio. Prof. Lin served on the faculty of Juilliard and, since 2006, has been on faculty at Rice University. He was music director of the Taiwan National Symphony music camp and is now music director of the La Jolla SummerFest and the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.
Born in Hong Kong where he began cello studies at age five, Johnny Mok was raised in the music community of New Mexico. He was a member of the Albuquerque Youth Symphony and is a former prize winner of the JMYAC. He received his BA in Music Performance from the University of Alabama, his master’s degree in Cello Performance from the Boston Conservatory and is currently studying for a doctorate in Musical Arts at Boston University. He is a freelance musician and teacher in the greater Boston area and holds principal positions in symphonies in New England. In 2020 he founded the Aroma Duo with duo piano partner Tianhong Yang, and since then, has performed in several chamber music series in New England.