Get our newsletters

Riverside Symphonia announces 2024 Caprio Young Artists Competition winners


The Riverside Symphonia held its biennial Caprio Young Artists Competition on Sunday, March 24, at South Hunterdon Regional High School in Lambertville, N.J.

The live competition featured seven gifted young musicians performing selections from the classical repertoire. Elizabeth “Poppy” Song, 14, from Haworth, N.J., won the $2,000 First Prize, which includes a performance with the Riverside Symphonia in its upcoming season. She performed the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto in D Major.”

Currently she studies violin at Juilliard Pre-College with Dr. Masao Kawasaki and previously studied with Dr. I Hao Lee. Elizabeth was named the 2024 NJ All State High School Orchestra Concertmaster and was Concertmaster of the North Jersey Middle School Orchestra (2023). She made her orchestral debut in March 2023 with the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, as the winner of the Elizabeth Loker Concerto Competition.

She is a the third prize winner of the 2023 Il Piccolo Violino Competition in San Vito Italy; winner of the Juilliard Pre-College String Orchestra Concerto Competition; and a Laureate of Chicago Violin Competition (2022). She attended Morningside Music Bridge, a full-scholarship program at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

The $1,000 Second Prize was awarded to Noah Ferris, 17, from Amherst, Mass., who studies at Juilliard Pre-College with Astrid Schween. He performed the first movement of the Dvorak “Cello Concerto in B minor.” A member of the Juilliard High School Chorus, he was previously principal cellist of the Juilliard Pre-College Symphony.

He has performed with the Holyoke Civic Symphony, won second prize in the UMass Young Artists Awards and was a finalist at the 2023 Zodiac International Competition. He is a founding member of the Aster Trio, which received a silver medal at the 2023 Coltman Chamber Music Competition. He has participated in summer festivals including Meadowmount School of Music, Kinhaven Music School and Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute.

The $500 Third Prize was awarded to Kwanyun Loo, 13, from Cherry Hill, N.J., an eighth grader at Rosa International Middle School who studies cello with Amy Barston and Clancy Newman. Kwanyun performed selections from Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme.”

A recent winner of the James Deitz Young Artists’ Competition of the Main Line Symphony, Kwanyun has also won prizes with the Old York Road Symphony Orchestra and the MTNA (Pennsylvania). He is a member of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra and Settlement Music School’s Trowbridge Advanced Study Quartet. He has performed in concerts at the Heifetz Summer Institute as well as master classes. Since 2021, he is a member of the Philadelphia Music Alliance for Youth Artists’ Initiative.

The Caprio Young Artists Competition was established in 1998 to honor the life and legacy of John Michael Caprio, founding music director and conductor of the Riverside Symphonia. The mission of the competition is to motivate, recognize, promote and support young musicians with an opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra and work with current Music Director and international conductor Mariusz Smolij. For information, visit

Join our readers whose generous donations are making it possible for you to read our news coverage. Help keep local journalism alive and our community strong. Donate today.