North York Concert Orchestra is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 NYCO Youth Concerto Competition.

Congratulations to the three winners (in alphabetical order):




They will perform their piece with the orchestra at the Prize-Winners’ Gala Concert on December 12, 2021.

Vanessa Yu

Frederic Chopin – Piano Concerto #2 (1st movement)

Toronto-based pianist Vanessa Yu is establishing herself as a sensitive and vibrant musician, recently winning the Grand Prize at the 2021 Pacific Rim International Music Festival and receiving an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Since making her orchestral debut with the Etobicoke Philharmonic Orchestra, Vanessa has also presented solo programs for the Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-opening and the University of Toronto’s Thursdays at Noon recital series, among others. Garnering awards at the local, national, and international level, she recently received first prizes at the Aegio International, OMFA Provincial, and Steinway piano competitions, as well as top prizes at the Chicago International (USA), “Città di San Donà di Piave” International (Italy), Elevato International (Switzerland), and CMC National competitions. As a winner of the IMFC Concerto Competition, Vanessa will be performing a solo recital and collaborating with the Kindred Spirits Orchestra.

Currently a second-year undergraduate student studying with Dr. Enrico Elisi at the University of Toronto, she is the recipient of the Alice and Armen Matheson full scholarship and University of Toronto Scholar Award. Vanessa has pursued additional studies at the Orford Musique Academy, Leon Fleisher Academy, and Texas State International Piano Festival, playing in masterclasses for renowned musicians including Julian Martin, Jonathan Biss, Boris Slutsky, John Perry, and Anton Nel. Previously, she studied with Dr. Michael Berkovsky and Victoria Gimelshtein.

Vanessa holds an Associate Diploma in Performance (ARCT) from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Aside from piano, she is a freelance calligrapher and avid volunteer with passions for community-building and digital media.

Ian Ye

Pablo de Sarasate – Carmen Fantasy

Ian Ye is sixteen years old and has been playing the violin since the age of 8. As a soloist, he made his Koerner Hall debut in March 2019, performing in the Royal Conservatory’s The Royal Occasion event. In October of 2019, he performed in Koerner Hall again with Bach’s Double Violin Concerto for the Royal Conservatory’s Convocation event. He then made his orchestra debut in October as well, playing the Paganini Violin Concerto No.1 with the Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ian has won many awards in multiple music festivals such as the Kiwanis Music Festival of Greater Toronto, the North York Music Festival, and the Ontario Music Festival, receiving first place for the Grade 10 provincial class in 2018, and first place for the Diploma provincial class in 2019.

Ian joined The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists in 2016 and is a full scholarship student under the studio of Dr. Conrad Chow and Barry Shiffman. He has performed for many notable artists such as Augustin Hadelich, Mihaela Martin, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Jinjoo Cho, Ida Kavafian, and Stefan Jakiw.

He has participated in the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra since 2017 and holds a Principal Second Violin position. In the summer of 2021, Ian participated in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada for its online season, studying with renowned faculty such as Mark Fewer and Jasmine Lin.

Ian is currently attending Upper Canada College for his third year in secondary school.

David Baik

Jean Sibelius – Violin Concerto (1st movement)

Named by CBC as one of the “30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians Under 30“, South Korean-born violinist David Baik is known for his powerful yet sincere sound.

Baik is the recipient of numerous prizes, most recently being awarded the Grand Prize in the 2021 NAC Bursary Competition. In the past, he has competed nationally, winning consecutive First Prizes in the 2016 and 2017 Canadian Music Competition. In 2017, Baik performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto as the winner of the OYO Concerto Competition, and he also received the Anantaraman Trophy for Award of Excellence. In the same year, he won the top prize in the 2017 Kiwanis Music Festival.

David Baik began his violin studies at the age of nine after moving to Ottawa, Canada. During his time in Ottawa, he studied with Yehonatan Berick, the head Professor at the University of Ottawa. Baik also participated in lessons and masterclasses with many internationally renowned musicians, including James Ehnes, Midori Goto, Ani Kavafian, Paul Kantor, Martin Beaver, Alexander Kerr, Kathleen Winkler, and Soovin Kim. In 2018, he began his bachelor studies at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Jonathan Crow.

Baik has performed regularly as a soloist, such as at the Young String Performers’ Foundation concerts, Canadian Music Competition winner’s concerts, the University of Toronto, and at music festivals. In 2019, he performed solo at the Ed Lee and Jean Campe Memorial Concert Hall, Meadowmount School of Music. As an avid chamber musician, Baik has performed for the members of the New Orford String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, Rolston String Quartet, Quatuor Diotima, St. Lawrence String Quartet, and the Calidore String Quartet. Baik has served as concertmaster of the University of Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Ottawa Youth Orchestra.

He has attended music festivals such as the Meadowmount School of Music, Orford Music Academy, and Domaine Forget. This year, Baik was awarded the 2021 Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation Fellowship, which is a full-tuition scholarship to study at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado.