Young Artist Competition

2020 Young Artist Competition 
September 19-20, 2020
1st Place $1000 | 2nd Place $500 | 3rd Place $250 

The final round of the 2020 Young Artist Competition, originally scheduled to take place during our April Flute Festival, was instead held online on September 19-20, 2020. Each finalist performed a 20 (twenty) minute, video-recorded, unaccompanied program in the final round, which was adjudicated by Seattle Symphony Principal Flutist Demarre McGill, SFS President Christina Medawar, and Flutist-Composer Dr. Sarah Bassingthwaighte.

The winning performances are still available to watch on our Members-Only platform SFS Online. Not a member? Not a problem! Join, renew, or upgrade your membership here.

Any questions about the Young Artist Competition should be directed to Events Coordinator Sungwoo Steven Kim at or Publicity Director Evan Pengra Sult at

2021 Competition information will be available later this year.


2020 Winners
Yi Xiang - 1st Place


Yi Xiang, a young flutist from China, is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Eastman School of Music, from the studio of Prof. Bonita Boyd. As the winner of the Eastman Concerto Competition, her performance with orchestra was given in the prestigious Kodak Hall in October 2018. Recently, Ms. Xiang has won both the First Prize and the Award for the Best Performance of the Newly Commissioned Work in the 2020 Myrna W. Brown Competition.

Ms. Xiang has also won Rochester Flute Association Emerging Artist Competition in October 2019. Additionally, Ms. Xiang has been a finalist in numerous competitions, including the 2020 Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra Instrumental Competition (postponed), the 2017 Mika Hasler Young Artist Competition (absent due to injury), and the 2014 & 2016 New York Flute Club Competition. In 2019, Ms. Xiang has been invited to join the fellowship program at the Bowdoin International Music Festival and has been an active performer in a series of concerts. “The Pareidolia Trio” which she has co-founded in 2015 won the Fuchs Chamber Music Competition of that year. Later in December, Ms. Xiang has been selected to attend the Forum Artium Masterclass Series in Germany, under the instruction of Prof. Andrea Lieberknecht from Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.


Meanwhile, she has been devoting to a career of teaching since 2016. Ms. Xiang completed her study for the Bachelor of Music degree with Ms. Linda Chesis at Manhattan School of Music in 2016. She was then awarded the Master of Music degree in 2018 from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, studying with Prof. Leone Buyse.


East Wind (1987)

Hxó (2020)

Caprice No. 30, "Chaconne" (1919)

Caprice No. 5, "Agitato" (1802-17)

Shulamit Ran

(b. 1949)

Sungji Hong

(b. 1973)

Sigfrid Karg-Elert


Niccolò Paganini


Jungah Yoon - 2nd Place


South Korean flutist Jungah Yoon began her studies at the age of six, and she was selected as a Kumho prodigy and gave her debut recital at the age of nine.

Yoon has been a laureate of many competitions, including the Australian Flute Festival Competition, Osaka International Competition (Japan), the Asia Flute Federation Flute Competition (China), and the Yale School of Music's Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition, among others. As an active chamber musician, she has participated in music festivals including the Prague Spring International Music Festival and the Yale Summer School of Music/Norfolk chamber music session.

Yoon recently graduated the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Ransom Wilson on a Henry and Lucy Moses Scholarship and Fellowship. She previously earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Korea National University of the Arts, where she had early graduation as a result of academic excellence. Her previous teachers include Joohee Lee and Soyoung Lee.


Fantaisie No. 1 in D Major, Op. 38 (1821)

Image, Op. 38 (ca. 1940)

Friedrich Kuhlau


Eugène Bozza



Joyce Lee - 3rd Place


Flutist Joyce Lee is praised for her virtuoso technique, rich tone and passion for excellence. Ms. Lee enjoys a highly varied musical career as a soloist, orchestral player and chamber musician in the San Francisco Bay Area. Most recently, Lee was awarded 1st Prize in the Arizona Flute Society’s Adult Competition for her performance of Edgard Varese’s Density 21.5 for solo flute.


Ms. Lee has performed with members of the Seattle Symphony under the direction of conductor Ludovic Morlot, the Del Sol String Quartet, Kevin Rivard, principal horn player of the San Francisco Opera, Jeff Anderle, clarinetist of the West Coast’s very first reed quintet, Splinter Reeds, Alan Pierson of Alarm Will Sound, and political activist Angela Davis, among others. In 2013, Joyce was a featured performer at the Beijing National Center of the Performing Arts as Principal Flute of the University of Washington Wind Ensemble, a concert that was aired on national television. Equally at home in small ensembles of contrasting styles, Ms. Lee regularly tours with Ensemble Mik Nawooj, a hip-hop/classical fusion group that has been featured in the Wall Street Journal. 


Joyce holds a Bachelor of Music from the University of Washington where she studied with Professor Donna Shin, and a Master of Music degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of Timothy Day, Principal Flute of the San Francisco Symphony. Visit her online at


Les Folies d'Espagne (ca. 1700)

East Wind (1987)

Three Preludes, Op. 18 (1962)


   Andante molto

   Allegro molto

Marin Marais


Shulamit Ran

(b. 1949)

Robert Muczynski


2020 Adjudicators

Demarre McGill

Demarre McGill has gained international recognition as a soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant and the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, he has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Seattle, Pittsburgh, Dallas, Grant Park, San Diego and Baltimore symphony orchestras and, at age 15, the Chicago Symphony.

Now principal flute of the Seattle Symphony, he previously served as principal flute of the Dallas Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Florida Orchestra, and Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He recently served as acting principal flute of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and earlier with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

As an educator, Demarre has performed, coached and presented master classes in South Africa, Korea, Japan, Quebec and throughout the United States. With his brother Anthony, he was a speaker and performer at the 2018 League of American Orchestras Conference. He has also served on the faculties of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States, the National Orchestral Institute (NOI) at the University of Maryland, the Orford Music Festival, and participated in Summerfests at the Curtis Institute of Music. In August of 2019, he was named Associate Professor of Flute at Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and is an artist-faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School.

A founding member of The Myriad Trio, and former member of Chamber Music Society Two, Demarre has participated in the Santa Fe, Marlboro, Seattle and Stellenbosch chamber music festivals, to name a few. He is the co-founder of The Art of Élan and, along with clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Michael McHale, founded the McGill/McHale Trio in 2014. Their first CD, "Portraits," released in August 2017, has received rave reviews, as has "Winged Creatures,"his recording with Anthony McGill and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2019-20 the McGill/McHale Trio performs at New York City's 92nd Street Y, as well as in Washington D.C. and on chamber music series throughout the Midwest.

Media credits include appearances on PBS's Live from Lincoln Center, A & E Network's The Gifted Ones, NBC's Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and, with his brother Anthony when they were teenagers, on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.

A native of Chicago, Demarre McGill began studying the flute at age 7 and attended the Merit School of Music. In the years that followed, until he left Chicago, he studied with Susan Levitin. Demarre received his Bachelor's degree from The Curtis Institute of Music and a Master's degree at The Juilliard School.

Christina Medawar

Seattle native Christina Medawar is founder, artistic director, and flutist for The Sustain Music Project, a chamber music group started in 2018 which connects the community through classical music by creating engaging and immersive musical experiences. Each concert is presented in tandem with a different artistic medium (such as visual arts, food, and dance) and with community-serving nonprofits to explore new connections between music and these arts.

Christina performed in the Houston Grand Opera as acting principal flute from 2017-2018 and as second flute/piccolo from 2010-2017. She has performed with the Seattle Symphony, the Seattle Opera, the Houston Ballet, and the contemporary ensemble Musiqa in Houston, TX. She can be heard on Houston Grand Opera’s recordings of the world premieres of two of Ricky Ian Gordon’s operas: “A House Without a Christmas Tree” and “A Coffin in Egypt”.

Christina is an avid supporter of music outreach and education. She was a recipient of the Sviatoslav Richter Fund for Entrepreneurial Music Outreach in 2008 from Rice University and was the coordinator for the Just-for-U Music Program (a series of outreach concerts for elementary-aged children) at Rice University for which she received a 2008 Mayor’s Volunteer Houston award. Christina also has taught flute students at Rice University and Shoreline Community College.

Christina holds her masters degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and her bachelors degree from Manhattan School of Music. Her major teachers include Leone Buyse, Linda Chesis, and Bonnie Blanchard. Outside of music, Christina enjoys running, cooking, spending time with her husband Stephen and her cat Nori, and chasing after her two adorable kids, Josiah and Linnea.

Sarah Bassingthwaighte

Sarah Bassingthwaighte is an award-winning flutist, composer, and educator living in Seattle. In addition to performing as a soloist, she teaches flute and composition at Seattle Pacific University, and performs regularly as a member of The Ecco Chamber Ensemble, The Sound Ensemble, and Windsong Classical Trio, among other chamber groups. For thirteen years, she was founding co-artistic director of Affinity Chamber Players, the premiere large contemporary chamber group in the Pacific Northwest.

Her solo recordings of music for flute and electronics have appeared on the Pandora, Centaur and CCMC labels, and her solo CDs, Songs from the Caucasus music for flute and piano, Stalks in the Breeze of 20th century works for flute alone, and Flute Meets Machine, music for flute and electronics, have received enthusiastic reviews, and are heard widely.

Dr. Bassingthwaighte has served on the faculties of the University of Washington, Seattle University as Instrumental Music Director and teaching flute and chamber music, and the Rachmaninov Institute in Tambov, Russia, performing and teaching master classes for their Summer Festival. She is a past president of the Seattle Flute Society and served on the programming committee for the National Flute Association in 2001. She was a featured speaker and performer at the 2001 National Flute Convention in Dallas. She is included in the Who's Who of American Women and the Who's Who of Music and Musicians.

She has worked closely with a number of composers, including Seattle composers Richard Karpen and Diane Thome, especially in the field of electroacoustic music. She actively commissions new pieces for solo flute or chamber ensembles, and has been responsible for the commission, performance, and recording of more than 25 new pieces. Dr. Bassingthwaighte enjoys having a vibrant life as both a flutist and composer, and enjoys the enrichment that these activites bring to each other. She has a DMA in flute performance and an MM in composition and theory from the University of Washington, an MA in theory and pedagogy from Central Washington University, and a BA in performance from Indiana University, Bloomington.

Past Winners


1st Place: Won Lee

2nd Place: Charles Gibb

3rd Place: Ann Green


1st Place: Min Ha Kim

2nd Place: Ryan Foley

3rd Place: Douglas DeVries


1st Place: Cassie Lear
2nd Place: Vivian Lee

3rd Place: Joyce Lee


1st Place: Jeiran Hasan

2nd Place: Evan Pengra Sult

3rd Place: Benton Gordon


1st Place: Colleen McElroy

2nd Place: Raoul Cho


1st Place:  Yerim Choi
2nd Place:  Min Hee Kim
3rd Place:  Joshua Romatowski

2013 (Inaugural Competition)
1st Place:  Julian Rose
2nd Place:  Jodie Rottle
3rd Place:  Cassie Lear

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Donors are acknowledged in concert programs.

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