Young Musicians Contest


The Michael Ben & Illene Komisarow Maurer Young Musicians Contest encourages accomplished young Indiana musicians to set and achieve goals of technical and artistic excellence by providing an opportunity to perform in a competitive setting.

The annual Michael Ben and Illene Komisarow Maurer Young Musicians Contest was held on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at the Christel DeHaan Performing Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis.

An event of this magnitude cannot happen without the efforts of many volunteers. Thank you to all of the ISOA members who volunteered their time to welcome and escort our young musicians. Thanks to Sue Meyer who has been serving as Master of Ceremonies for at least 15 years. We were so honored for our CEO, James Johnson, to offer opening remarks. Special thanks to Jenni Plummer for making all of the arrangements for the lovely reception held at intermission. Roger Nelson served as our photographer again this year and we offer many thanks for the great photos of our event.

It is always a joy to hear the performances of these fine young musicians. They made it to the finals because they studied hard and practiced many long hours. Their level of musicianship is never achieved without much sacrifice and determination. 

Seventeen students entered the contest and six advanced to the finals. The students were: 

Trinity Le, piano

Maeve Whelan, viola

Renee Murphy, harp

Phillip Hammond, violin

Woojin Chung, cello

Maya Kilburn, violin

Violinist Maya Kilburn took first place honors playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, First Movement. She won a cash prize of $2,500 and will perform with the ISO on Wednesday, July 17, at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. First prize is funded through an Endowment established by Michael Ben and Illene Komisarow Maurer. 

Violinist Phillip Hammond won second place honors playing Ravel’s Tzigane Rhapsodie De concert. His cash prize of $1,500 is funded by an anonymous donor in honor of the many volunteers who help support this event.

Harpist Renee Murphy earned the third place playing the Gliere Concerto for Harp and Orchestra, Op. 74, First Movement, Allegro Moderato. She received a cash prize of $750 funded by the Murphy Family Charitable Trust in memory of M. Porter and Frances Murphy.

All finalists received a Certificate of Musical Excellence and cash prize of $125.00 funded by the Murphy Family Charitable Trust in memory of M. Porter and Frances Murphy.

Preliminary judges were all members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra:

Han Xie, First Violin

Austin Huntington, Principal Cello

Jill Boaz, Horn

Robert Goodlett, Assistant Principal Bass


Finals judges were:

Dinah Montgomery, Violinist, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, retired

Richard Ratliff, Professor of Music, University of Indianapolis

Mark Ortwein, Assistant Principal Bassoon, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

See below for rules and instructions. More information about the 2020 contest will be posted soon. 



Contest finals will take place at:
Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center
University of Indianapolis
1400 East Hanna Avenue, Indianapolis, IN

Prizewinner will perform the winning concerto with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

In recognition of the many volunteers who generously and enthusiastically give their time to prepare for this contest.

In honor of Frances M. Murphy and the late M. Porter Murphy

All prizes will be awarded at the discretion of the judges



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