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AVANTI Young Soloists

Young Metro Detroit Musicians to Solo at AVANTI

Five amazing young musicians from metro Detroit competed on July 3 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center for a chance to solo on AVANTI’s July Festival Concerts. The five finalists (in alphabetical order) were oboist Spencer Grasl of Brighton, violinist Elsa Koran from Troy, violinist Sofia Pokrzywa from Rochester, euphonium player Jacob Steinberger of Macomb Twp., and cellist Alex Thompson from Oxford.

“Choosing only five finalists was quite difficult,” said Shelley Heron, AVANTI’s Workshop Director. “All of the young musicians involved can be very proud of their accomplishments.”

Pokrzywa, 16, won the competition and will be performing the first movement of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, accompanied by DSO Musicians. “I was so excited to be part of the live final round of the competition,” said Pokrzywa. “All of us have gone from practicing on our own, to creating a video for the first round, and now I feel honored to have the opportunity to share music I love onstage with musicians of the Detroit Symphony.”

This concert will take place on Friday July 26 at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham and will also include Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville.

Runner-up, Grasl, 15, will perform the first movement of Mozart’s Oboe Concerto on Thursday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m. alongside DSO Musicians in a chamber music concert in Birmingham’s First United Methodist Church. Grasl, an AVANTI alumnus, said, “AVANTI Summer MusicFest and the DSO have both affected me musically and emotionally, and have encouraged me to work toward achievement.”

Final round judges were Leonard Slatkin (DSO Music Director), Chris Felcyn (WRCJ Host) and Clark Suttle (AVANTI Music Director).

For more information and AVANTI Festival Concert tickets please visit or call 313-530-5118.

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