The Noble Piano Trio, whose members are YSM students Michael Noble, piano; Yeseul Ann, violin; and Alvin Wong, cello, has just won the Edward & Judith Chmielewski Award and the Hugo Vianello Audience Prize at the 2011 Plowman Chamber Music Competition.
The Noble Piano Trio was newly formed in January 2011 at Yale when three musicians with exciting and distinct personalities joined forces. After working together for only a couple weeks, the group was selected to perform on the School of Music's Vista series. They received high praise for their electricity and strong musicality. Individually, the members of the trio have performed across five continents and have received prizes in competitions in France, Korea, and the United States. Together they hold degrees from Eastman, the Paris Conservatory, Indiana University, and Yale. Currently all members are pursuing graduate studies at Yale, where the group works primarily with Clive Greensmith, Ani Kavafian, and Peter Frankl.
For the first time in the competition's history, two ensembles shared the grand prize: the Aeolus String Quartet (University of Texas-Austin) and the Akropolis Reed Quintet (University of Michigan). First place in woodwinds, brass, and percussion went to the West Circle Saxophone Quartet (Michigan State University, East Lansing). The Noble Piano Trio shared the Dr. Edward & Judith Chmielewski Honorable Mention with Axiom Brass (Chicago, IL). The trio also took home the Hugo Vianello Audience Prize.
Other Yale School of Music groups have also won prizes at the Plowman Competition. Last year, the Amphion String Quartet (whose members includes three YSM graduates: Katie Hyun, violin; David Southorn, violin; and Mihai Marica, cello) took home the First Prize in the Piano and Strings category as well as the Audience Choice Award. In 2008, the Jasper Quartet (then the graduate quartet-in-residence at YSM) won the Grand Prize and the Audience Prize, and the Atria Ensemble (Hye-Yeon Park, Sunmi Chang, and Romie de Guise-Langlois) won first prize in the Piano and Strings category. The Alianza Quartet (the previous quartet-in-residence) won the Grand Prize in 2007.
This year's judges were Anne Epperson, piano; Peter Salaff, violin; and David Shifrin, clarinet.