North York Concert Orchestra is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 NYCO Youth Concerto Competition.

Congratulations to the three winners (in alphabetical order):

KAREN KOBAYASHI – Flute – Quantz Flute Concerto (1st movement)

RYAN HUANG – Piano – Grieg Piano Concerto (1st movement)

SORA SATO-MOUND – Violin – Paganini Violin Concerto (3rd movement)

They performed their pieces with the orchestra at the Prize-Winners’ Showcase on December 10, 2023.

Click on the links above for a video of their performance.

Karen Kobayashi


Karen Kobayashi, a 14 year old high school student, studies flute under Susan Hoeppner, previously with Louis Papachristos and Hideko Amano. In 2023, she performed at Carnegie Weill Recital Hall in New York as a first place winner of the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition, and appeared on “Introduction” of WFMT, Chicago’s classical music radio station.

Karen started to play flute at age 8 in her school’s music program. Most recently, she was awarded First Place in the Toronto Kiwanis Music Festival (Open Concerto ARCT and Above), Junior Division of the Society of American Musicians Competition, Wind Winner of the Walgreens National Concerto Competition, Third Place in the MOYSE International Flute Competition (Category A), and Honorable Mention in Senior Division of the Chicago Flute Club Student Competition. She played as a member in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras (CYSO), and was also selected as principal flute of the 2022 All Illinois Junior Band. Born in Japan, Karen has lived in Thailand, the U.S, and moved to Toronto with her family in January of 2023.

She is currently in her first academic year at the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists and attends North Toronto Collegiate Institute. She is also a member in the Wind Orchestra of Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra (TYWO).

Karen is very honored to make her orchestra debut with the North York Concert Orchestra.

Ryan Huang


Ryan Huang, age 13 years old, is currently a piano student of Dr. Michael Berkovsky. Since 2016 he has been under the tutelage of Dr. Olga Chichova for piano. Ryan has been featured by more than 10 orchestras in China, Russia, Austria, Poland, Italy and Canada including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra, Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, RCM Orchestra, Vienna Opera Ball Orchestra and others .

He is also the winner/laureate of more than 20 national/international competitions including the Junior Chopin competition in Poland, The Nutcracker Televised competition in Russia, Young Euregio IPC in Germany, WPTA in Finland, Jeune Chopin IPC in Switzerland, Canadian Music Competition, Steinway Competition, Taylor Concerto Competition, and others. In the summer of 2023, Ryan attended the Morningside Music Bridge at the New England Conservatory as the youngest full scholarship recipient for piano.

Sora Sato-Mound


Sora studies the violin in the studio of Professor Atis Bankas at the Phil and Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists on a full scholarship. Most recently, he won the second place as well as the Best Interpretation of Belgian Composers Prize at the Kocian International Violin Competition in the Czech Republic in May 2023.

Sora has been an awardee of: the Gold Medal at the Vienna International Music Competition in 2023; the Russian Composer’s Award at the Unionville Music Competition in December 2020; the second prize in ENKOR International Violin Competition in the Summer of 2022; and the second prize at the Oakville Chamber Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition in May 2022. He was a winner of the Taylor Academy Concerto Competition in 2022, and the Unionville Music Competition Concerto Category in 2021. He performed as a soloist with Oakville Chamber Orchestra on October 1, 2023, Glen Gould School Chamber Orchestra led by Professor Bankas on April 5, 2022, Canadian Sinfonietta in March 2020, and Gould Strings Quartette annually. Sora performed in master classes and concerts at Music Niagara Festival, 2023.

Sora is a passionate young composer: his arrangement of Myroslav Skoryk’s Hutsul Triptych for Symphony Orchestra for three violins was premiered in Niagara On The Lake to a critical acclaim, himself as a first violinist of a violin trio. Sora appeared in an episode of the TVO program, Backyard Beats, as well as in the CBC program, The Bestest Day Ever with My Best Friend, and he was featured in episodes of Not-So-Late-Show. He is a grade 9 student in the gifted program at Western Technical-Commercial School in Toronto.