Congratulations to Gracie Zielinski for winning this year’s concerto competition! Gracie will perform the Saint Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, op.61, with YPO on the upcoming spring concert on May 10, 2020 at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.
We are continually impressed each year at the level of dedication and musicianship on display — congratulations to everyone who competed! A select number of participants were invited to perform in an Honors Recital later this year. Details to be announced.
Keep reading to learn more about Gracie!
Q: How long have you studied the violin?
A: I have studied the violin since age four, so a long time! About 13-14 years.
Q: Why did you choose the violin?
A: I can’t actually recall choosing the violin or picking it up for the first time, because I was a toddler when that happened. But what I do know is that I did choose it for myself, and not my parents. I believe that has made all the difference.
Q: Who is your violin teacher?
A: I have studied with Lorien Hart of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for about 1.5 years, and formerly studied with Ramona Coppage.
Q: Where do you go to school?
A: I am a senior at Kiski Area High School
Q: How long have you been a TRYPO member?
A: This is my third year as a TRYPO member, and I love it!
Q: What is the highlight of your time as a TRYPO member?
A: When I look back on my time with TRYPO, a highlight would be the 2018 European Tour. It was a very enriching experience, both musically and personally. I also really enjoy the time we get to spend at mini-camps each year to start the season because it’s a great way to meet the new members and music of the new season.
Q: How did you prepare for the Concerto Competition?
A: When I prepare for an audition, I try to be mindful of intentionality. Especially in a competition setting, I rarely think about the mere goal of a win. After I have prepared all that I can, I relax into the intentions of why I am competing: to share music with people. I find that putting the music before myself is key in competition.
Q: What did you learn from the experience?
A: The experience taught me about time management and prioritizing. I learned how to manage priorities, even when I had plenty of other responsibilities at the time. It taught me to practice in a goal-driven way even in the days I didn’t have all the practice time I wanted.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment in the Saint Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3?
A: I love the diversity of character in this piece. It has both fiery and lyrical sections. The theme weaves through the piece multiple times, but it changes and means different things each occurrence.
Q: What are your plans for the immediate future?
A: I plan to pursue higher education in violin performance, but not quite sure where yet!