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BIG ARTS awards classical music scholarships

By Staff | Mar 18, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Flutist Aaron Rib

On March 7, BIG ARTS hosted 12 young aspiring classical musicians on the Christensen Performance Hall stage for the BIG ARTS Classical Music Scholarship auditions.

The program is meant to assist highly proficient and talented undergraduates who plan to continue their education and training in the field of classical music. The scholarship may be awarded to up to three students annually – $15,000 for first place, $10,000 for second place and $5,000 for third place.

Flutist Aaron Rib from the University of Miami, pianist Suhao Bai from Lynn University, and pianist Jair Zacarias from Florida Gulf Coast University, respectively, received this year’s scholarships.

“It’s such a joy to have these incredibly talented young musicians on the BIG ARTS stage,” Executive Director Lee Ellen Harder said. “Supporting arts in the community is at the core of the BIG ARTS mission, and I can’t think of a more rewarding way to give back than by helping young aspiring musicians pursue their dreams.”

Rib is earning a Bachelor of Music in instrumental performance at the Frost School of Music and aspires to be a versatile classical musician. He is a member of the Frost Symphony Orchestra, Frost Wind Ensemble, Ensemble Ibis – a classical new music ensemble – Frost Flute Ensemble, and a piano sextet. He performed Claude-Paul Taffanel’s Fantasie on Themes from “Der Freischtz”; Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, arr. for flute and piano; and Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, arr. for flute and piano.

PHOTO PROVIDED Pianist Suhao Bai

Bai is a Bachelor of Music candidate and plans to pursue a career as a teacher and researcher in the field of piano literature. He hopes that in the future he will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and explore the boundaries of the research, passing it along to the next generation. He performed Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier Prelude, No.4, and Liszt’s Rminiscences de Norma, S.394.

Zacarias was born in Peru and began playing piano at age 6. When he was 13, his greatest desire was to study outside of Peru, a wish that was made possible due to a scholarship he received from the Bower School of Music. He is seeking a Bachelor of Arts in music performance and is pursuing his dream of being a concert pianist. He performed Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in C-sharp Major; Beethoven’s Sonata, op. 109 (First & Second Movement); Chopin’s Etude in A minor, Op. 25, No. 11 “Winter Wind”; and Liszt’s Transcendental Etude No. 4 “Mazeppa.”

The BIG ARTS Classical Music Scholarship is offered annually in the spring.

For more information, visit www.BIGARTS.org.

PHOTO PROVIDED Pianist Jair Zacarias