Michigan teen wins Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Young Artist Competition

Bhargava R. Kulkarni is from Okemos, Michigan

Bhargava R. Kulkarni is the winner of the 2022-23 Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. (Bhargava R. Kulkarni)

ANN ARBOR – The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has announced that Bhargava R. Kulkarni has won its 2022-23 Young Artist Competition.

The 14-year-old cellist from Okemos, Michigan, will receive a $500 cash prize and the opportunity to perform this year with the Symphony.

On Dec. 3, 2022, seven finalists competed for the title at Eastern Michigan University. Students in grades 7-12 who resided or attended school in 2022-2023 in Michigan, Ohio or Indiana could apply for the honor.

Kulkarni will perform with A2SO at its youth concert on March 21 at Hill Auditorium. The co-runners-up for the prize were violinists Peter Fazekas and Andrew Maxwell, who each received a $150 prize.

“Every young artist presented a superb performance -- it was a thrill to hear so much young talent in one place,” Tim Michling, A2SO’s principal oboist and competition jury panelist said in a release. “The competitors presented a wide variety of repertoire, from the classical period onward to modernity, and the overall high level of quality and preparation created a difficult challenge for judging.”

“It was truly a pleasure to hear such well-prepared and poised young performers, all showing years of dedication to learning and practicing,” jury member and A2SO violinist Linda Etter said in a release. “[The competition jury] heard major repertoire from each of them, played at a high level. The future of classical music is bright with students of this caliber.”

Kulkarni began learning cello at the age of four. The Okemos High School student has been studying with Amir Eldan of the University of Michigan for the past five years. Kulkarni’s repertoire includes concertos by Davidov, Elgar, Haydn, Kabalevsky, Saint-Saens and others as well as chamber music pieces and shorter concert works.

To learn more about A2SO, visit www.a2so.com.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.