Many academy alumni have gone on to studying at the most prestigious music conservatories and universities. Some of them have established their professional careers as soloists and chamber musicians. Meet these young artists here!

We want to hear from all of our former students! If you don’t see your name here, please contact us and share your successes with us and our audiences.


Oliver Aldort, cellist and pianist, has performed on the East and West coasts of the USA and Canada, including Carnegie Hall. He has also appeared at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland and the Tanglewood Music Center. Aldort is a student of Lynn Harrell, and has also worked with Ron Leonard, Hans Jorgen Jensen and Amos Yang. He is currently studying with Peter Wiley and Carter Brey at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Read more about Oliver at:


Gloria Ferry-Brennan, student of Simon James, received Honorable Mention of the 2013 Junior Division of the prestigious American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition. She was also a finalist of the KING FM Young Artists Awards 2013.

Watch her play The Nocturne Op. 9 No. 2 for violin by Chopin/Sarasate. She is entrant #7:


The Gothard Sisters recently announced that the group has been named the Best New Irish Artist in the 6th annual Irish Music Awards. This folk roots music group is made up of three sisters from the Pacific Northwest. They were honored as a rising talent in the lively Irish music world among a host of other great names in Irish music, including fellow award winners the Cheiftains, Runa, Moya Brennan, the Dubliners, Keith Harkin, Phil Coulter and the Fighting Jamesons during a ceremony held by the Irish Music Assocation on Saturday. The Irish music awards presentation confirmed that the Gothard Sisters are quickly becoming a new favorite group among Celtic music fans worldwide.

Recently returning from a national US tour, they perform and record new arrangements of traditional Irish songs and tunes, as well as their own original compositions, as heard on their most recent original release, Compass, and their award-winning Celtic album, Story Girl.


Sarah Hall, student of Ron Patterson, recently won first place in the high school division in the Coeur D’Alene Symphony’s 2014 National Young Artist Competition, Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.  On March 15th, she performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in e minor with the Coeur D’Alene Symphony.

In January 2014 Sarah was featured as a violin soloist with the Seattle Symphony, in their Community Concert at City Hall.  She was the winner of the 2013 Junior Division of the prestigious American String Teachers Association National Solo Competition, Senior Division of the Simon-Fiset String Competition, and 2013 Seattle Young Artists Music Festival Concerto Competition. Sarah is also the winner of the KING FM Young Artists Awards 2013.

Watch her play Nigun by Bloch. She is entrant #11:


Cole Holland, student of Eric Flesher, was selected to participate in The 2013 Merriman family Young Composers Workshop to work with Dr. Samuel Jones. In April 2013 his composition “Timewalk” was premiered by the Seattle Symphony Musicians.


Frank Huang, pianist, made his New York debut in 2008 at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Winner of numerous International Competitions, Huang has an active performing career, making appearances as a soloist and chamber musician in the U.S., Spain, Brazil, and Poland.

He studied extensively with Willard Schultz before obtaining Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School, where he continued his studies with Julian Martin. Mr. Huang received the doctoral degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under the direction of Antonio Pompa-Baldi. Assistant Professor of Piano at Miami University (Oxford, Ohio)

Learn more about Dr. Huang Here.


Kevin Lee, violinist and conductor, currently studies conducting with Jeffrey Milarsky, a professor at the Juilliard School in New York City. Previous teachers include Simon James, Kent and Jan Coleman, Christophe Chagnard, Hiro David, and Yuko Honda.

At 16, Kevin founded and directed the Eastside Project Chamber Orchestra and Choir, a student run ensemble, which raised funds for charities in the Puget Sound area. He is currently the Artistic Director and Founder of the Society of Emerging Artists, a collective of talented young musicians dedicated to empowering youth through performance. Kevin and his orchestras have raised thousands of dollars for charitable organizations and given many young musicians the opportunity to discover the power of “being the change they wish to see in the world.”
Most recently, he and the Society were highlighted on King5 and NWCN; recordings of their most recent performance will be broadcasted in 53 different cities throughout the United States, including in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC.

He studies at Columbia University in the City
 of New York as a part of the Class of 2014.

Learn more about Kevin’s orchestra:


Nathaniel LaNasa, a young pianist and poet whose daring talent has earned solo recitals in Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Seattle Opera House and the Aspen Music Center. LaNasa’s first recording is a collaboration with violinist Curtis Stewart, featuring duos by Bach and Debussy.


Brendan McMullen, composer and clarinetist. As a composer, he won the 2011 Sinfonia Division and the 2010 Flute Orchestra Division of the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra’s C. Keith Birkenfeld Composition Contest. His composition mentors include Eric Flesher, James Paul, Samuel Jones, and William O. Smith. In 2010, he performed at the Vianden International Music Festival in Luxembourg, during which his composition Regalis Suite had its European premiere. A concerto winner of the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra, he performed Weber’s Concertino for Clarinet and Orchestra during its Central European tour. Brendan currently attends Rice University, studying composition at the Shepherd School of Music. He thanks the Academy of Music Northwest for giving him the background in composition, theory, history, and conducting, to make a life in music.


Daniel Miller, composer, was awarded $25,000 for the 2013 Watson Fellowship for Exploration of Natural Soundscapes and High-tech Music.
Read more about his Project.


Sarah Pizzichemi, violinist of the Skyros Quartet, is pursuing her doctorate in Chamber Music Performance University of Indiana. She previously attended the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music where she is received a Masters in Chamber Music Performance studying with the Miro Quartet and Sandy Yamamoto. She earned a BM in Violin Performance at University of Texas, studying with Brian Lewis.

She has also attended the Casalmaggiore International Music Festival in Casalmaggiore, Italy, the Quartetfest in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and The Quartet Program East.


Marié Rossano, violinist. Since earning a Seattle Young Artists Festival Medal in 2005, Marie has appeared as guest soloist with the Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, and over a dozen of the Pacific Northwest’s leading orchestras. She has gained further recognition as National Winner of the 2008 MTNA Junior String Competition, and as First Laureate of the 2010 Stradivarius International Violin Competition.

Marié enjoyed the unique experience of performing on the 1715 “Baron Knoop” Stradivarius violin from the Fulton Collection in the 2010 documentary “Violin Masters: Two Gentlemen of Cremona.”
Marié studies at the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Ida Kavafian. Marié previously studied with Simon James, piano collaborator Hiro David, and Brian Lewis. Marié studied at the Brian Lewis Young Artists Program over several summers, and has frequently performed at the Juilliard School’s Starling-DeLay Violin Symposium. Marié has participated in master classes given by James Ehnes, Leonidas Kavakos, Vadim Repin, and Kyoko Takezawa.

This summer, Marié will attend the Keshet Eilon Summer Mastercourse in Israel where she will study with Shmuel Ashkenasi and Edward Grach.


Julian Schwarz, cellist, has been awarded First Prize in the professional cello division of the Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition for Violin and Cello. Mr. Schwarz was chosen from a field of 25 cellists who were invited to Hong Kong to compete. As First Prize winner, Mr. Schwarz receives $25,000 in addition to a beautiful cello made by respected German luthier Helmut Illner.

Already recognized as a rising star in the musical world, Mr. Schwarz maintains an active performance schedule while completing his final year at The Juilliard School.  Highlights of his 2013/14 Season include concerto appearances with the Modesto, Binghamton, and Wichita symphonies in the United States.   In October 2014 he will travel to Queensland, Australia where he will perform with the Queensland Symphony and a series of trio concerts culminating in a recording of the Schubert Trios for the Master Performers label. He made his television debut this fall performing Samuel Jones’ Cello Concerto with The All Star Orchestra, a nationally televised American Public Television program, which will also be released as a DVD on Naxos.
For more information on Julian Schwarz, please visit


Camden Shaw, cellist, is an accomplished soloist and recording artist. Camden’s string ensemble the Dover Quartet performed outstandingly at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition. They won every prize that was offered (Haydn prize, Schubert prize, contemporary prize), in addition to the first place Grand Prize.  Most recently, the New Yorker magazine states: ”Few young American ensembles are as exciting and accomplished as the Dover Quartet, who bring their impeccable style Aug. 30th to  Connecticut, with masterworks by Dutillieux (“Thus the Night”),  Dvorak (the “American” String Quartet),  and Mozart–his Clarinet Quintet, with Alexander Fiterstein.” Camden played in his very first quartet at AMNW, and will always be grateful to for the opportunity and inspiration that experience provided.


Ashalen Sims
In 2014, Ashalen was accepted to Florida State University to pursue her MM in collaborative piano.  She will be studying with Valerie Trujillo and will receive an assistant-ship and stipend.