Congratulations to the talented winners of the North Carolina Symphony’s 2023 Kathleen Price and Joseph M. Bryan Youth Concerto Competition!


First Prize: Daniel Garcia, Nielsen Clarinet Concerto
Second Prize: Hrishikesh Ram, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1
Honorable Mention: Eric Wang, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1

First Prize: Daniel Garcia, clarinet

Honduran clarinetist and composer Daniel Garcia began his musical study at the age of 11 at the National Music School of Honduras. He has performed with orchestras in Latin America and the United States, and in 2022 joined North Carolina’s Western Piedmont Symphony as 2nd Clarinet. Daniel won the 2015 MasterWorks Festival Concerto Competition and made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2021 as First Prize winner of the Golden Classical Music awards. He has won other top prizes in the Charleston International Music Competition, the BTHVN Wien Competition, the Valencia Awards Music Competition, the London Classical Music Competition, the International Mozart Competition Vienna, the UNCG Student Artist Competition, and the Raleigh Symphony Orchestra Rising Star Competition.

Daniel is currently a graduate teaching assistant and master’s degree candidate at UNC Greensboro, where he studies clarinet, with Andy Hudson and Anthony Taylor, and composition, with Alejandro Rutty and Mark Engebretson. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance from Columbus State University in 2022, where he was a Woodruff Scholar and studied clarinet with Lisa Oberlander and composition with James Ogburn.

Second Prize: Hrishikesh Ram, piano

Hrishikesh Ram is a rising junior at North Carolina State University, pursuing dual degrees in chemistry and chemical engineering with a minor in piano performance. He has previously studied with John Herrmann of Durham, NC, and is currently a student of Dr. Olga Kleiankina of N.C. State.

Hrishikesh has also had chamber music experience as a former member of scholarship-funded piano trios in the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute. He has competed often in both solo and chamber music and has won prizes at the national and international level with the Tre Voce Piano Trio, leading to performances in prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall. He is also a student of South Indian Classical “Carnatic” music for more than 10 years.


First Prize: Zachary Gall, Crussell Clarinet Concerto No. 3
Second Prize: Olivia Li, Grieg Piano Concerto in A Minor

First Prize: Zachary Gall, clarinet

Zachary Gall started playing the clarinet in the sixth grade with his middle school band program. It wasn’t until his sophomore year of high school that he began taking private clarinet lessons with his current teacher Michael Cyzewski, who served as Assistant Principal Clarinet of the North Carolina Symphony for forty-seven years. The following summer, Zachary attended the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, where he played in the World Youth Wind Symphony. In the summer of 2022, he attended the Brevard Music Center’s High School Orchestral Institute. There, he played his first full-length orchestral works and studied with Mark Nuccio, Daniel Gilbert, and Benjamin Adler.

Zachary has served as principal clarinetist of the Triangle Youth Philharmonic this year. He recently made his solo orchestral debut with TYP in Meymandi Concert Hall after winning the Triangle Youth Music Concerto Competition. Zachary will be returning to the Brevard Music Center this summer and will continue his studies in clarinet performance with Richard Hawkins at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in the fall.

Second Prize: Olivia Li, piano

Fourteen-year-old Olivia Li, from Cary, North Carolina, studies piano with Florence Ko and has over the years garnered myriad awards and scholarships. She has placed first in various competitions including the Young Artist Auditions six years in a row, the Princess category of the N.C. Federation of Music Clubs Royalty Competition, the Charles F. T. Nakarai/Loren Withers Piano Competition, the Southwestern Youth Music Festival Competition, the USA IMAE Music & Art Exchange International Piano Competition, and Division II of the N.C. Steinway Piano Competition, an event where she had collected the top prize in Division I a year earlier.

As a result of her first-place finishes in the American Protégé International Competition of Romantic Music and in the Golden Classical Music Awards Competition, Olivia was twice invited to perform at Carnegie Hall. In her spare time, Olivia enjoys sharing her music with others and frequently performs at local charity events and retirement centers, both in person and online.