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Adam Larson Named Winner of 22nd Annual Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition
(Published: May 27, 2010)

Talented young artists from across the country were honored recently as Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, announced the winners of the 2010 Yamaha Young Performing Artist (YYPA) competition. Among the winners was jazz saxophone player and Normal, IL native Adam Larson.

20 year-old Saxophonist-Composer Adam Larson began playing saxophone at the age of 11. At age 19 he was described by critic Howard Reich of The Chicago Tribune as "a player for whom the word ‘prodigious' was coined." Larson has garnered numerous awards that showcase his abilities as a performer and a composer. Among those was being selected as the recipient of the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts Silver Award for Jazz Saxophone, member of the 2008 Gibson/Baldwin Grammy Jazz Ensemble, 2007 and 2008 Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, 2007 and 2008 Jazz Band of America, 2008 Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Residency Program, and 2008 Telluride Student Jazz All-Stars. Larson was also one of fifteen invitees to the 2006 Steans Institute for Young Artists at Ravinia, in Chicago IL.

A Junior in the fall, Larson is on full scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where he studies privately with teachers George Garzone and John Riley. Since arriving in New York he has already made his debut as a leader at The Blue Note (NYC) The Jazz Gallery (NYC), Bar Next Door (NYC) and Iridium Jazz Club in June of 2010.

Winners are invited to attend an all expenses paid weekend at the Music For All (MFA) Summer Symposium, where one overall winner will be chosen and will receive a grand prize.

The YYPA program was designed in 1989 to provide early career recognition for outstanding young musicians in the United States. Hundreds of applicants, ages 16-21, apply annually and undergo a rigorous taped audition process for a panel of internationally acclaimed musicians. The 2010 winners join more than 200 other talented musicians who have earned the distinction since the program's inception. Many have received scholarships to prestigious universities and conservatories, or are playing professionally with major jazz groups and top symphony orchestras.

This year's YYPA Concert will be held on Monday, June 21 at 8:00 p.m. at Braden Auditorium on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. The concert will take place at Summer Symposium, and will serve as its kick-off concert. The winners will be guests of Yamaha for a weekend of rehearsals, master classes, special awards concerts and social events.

"Yamaha has a long history of encouraging and supporting young musicians at every level," said John Wittmann, Manager of Education and Artist Relations, Yamaha Corporation of America; Band & Orchestral Division. "The past twenty-two years of YYPA have given the many young talented musicians a major boost."

Former YYPA winners have gone on to highly successful careers, with highlights that include playing with world-renowned musicians, winning international competitions and releasing recordings. Previous YYPA winners include clarinetist Ricardo Morales (1990), principal clarinet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; saxophonist Otis Murphy (1994), faculty at Indiana University School of Music; flutist Jasmine Choi (2004), associate principal flute with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra; jazz pianist and Blue Note recording artist Aaron Parks (2000); saxophonist Kenneth Tse (1994), faculty at the University of Iowa; and percussionist Kevin Bobo (1994), faculty at Indiana University School of Music.

For more information about the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Program, write Yamaha Corporation of America, Band & Orchestral Division, 39 West Jackson Place, Suite 150, Indianapolis, IN 46225; call (317) 524-6272; e-mail jvierling@yamaha.com; or visit www.yamaha.com/band.


About Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation of America is the largest subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, Japan and offers a full line of musical instruments and audio/visual products to the U.S. market. Products include: acoustic and digital pianos, portable keyboards, guitars, acoustic and electronic drums, band and orchestral instruments, marching percussion products, synthesizers, professional digital and analog audio products, and innovative technology products targeted to the hobbyist, education, worship, professional music, and installation markets.

More Information: http://www.yamaha.com/yamahavgn/CDA/ContentDetail/PressReleaseDetail.html?CNTID=5122507

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