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J. Lawrie Bloom, Head Finalist Judge

A versatile player, J. Lawrie Bloom has been heard in chamber, orchestral and concerto appearances on soprano clarinet, basset clarinet and bass clarinet. He began studying piano at four and switched to the clarinet at nine. He continued studies at the Columbus Boychoir School, with whom he toured the U.S., Canada and Japan, singing and playing the clarinet. At that same time on clarinet he came under the guidance of Roger W. McKinney, later studying with Anthony M. Gigliotti.

Lawrie is a founding member of the Civitas Ensemble in Chicago, with whom he plays clarinet, and acts as an Artistic Co-Director. He founded the Chesapeake Music Festival, and served as clarinetist and Artistic Co-Director for 34 years. He has performed at the Ambler, Grand Teton, Ravinia, Skaneateles and Spoleto festivals, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. Lawrie toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and has collaborated with the Chester, Chicago Symphony, and Mendelssohn String Quartets, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and members of the Ridge, Orion and Vermeer string quartets. He has been heard many times in live concerts over the airwaves of WFMT in Chicago, and in live recital for the Australian Broadcast Company.

In September of 1980 Sir Georg Solti invited Lawrie to join the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, in the position of Clarinet and Solo Bass Clarinet. In that position he has toured the world, with some 2 dozen trips to Europe, 5 times to Asia, and appearances in Australia, and India. He can be heard on CSO recordings of a vast repertoire. Previous to joining the CSO Lawrie held similar appointments with the Phoenix Symphony, the orchestra of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Vancouver Symphony, and the Cincinnati Symphony. He stepped down from his CSO appointment in June of 2020.

Lawrie was a Senior Lecturer in Clarinet at Northwestern University for 28 years. He has presented master classes all over the world, and is an Artist Performer for Buffet Crampon USA and D’Addario Musical Instruments, as a Reed Design Consultant.

Lithuanian pianist IEVA JOKUBAVICIUTE’S performances have earned her critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and Europe. Her ability to communicate the essential substance of a work has led critics to describe her as possessing “razor-sharp intelligence and wit” (Washington Post) and as “an artist of commanding technique, refined temperament and persuasive insight” (New York Times). In 2006, she was honored as a recipient of a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship. Ieva’s Alban Berg Tribute CD was released to critical acclaim in 2010. The New York Times described her as “an authoritative and compelling guide throughout this fascinating disc.” Her 2014 album Returning Paths: Solo Piano Works by Janáček and Suk was equally well received. She regularly gives solo recitals in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. She made her debut with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival and has since performed with orchestras in Rio de Janeiro; Montevideo; and Washington, DC. Her piano trio, Trio Cavatina, won the 2009 Naumburg International Chamber Music Competition and made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2010. A much sought-after chamber musician and collaborator, notably with violinist Midori, Ieva has appeared on major stages around the world, such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and London’s Wigmore Hall. She regularly appears at music festivals in the US and abroad, including Marlboro, Ravinia, Bard, Caramoor, Chesapeake Music, and Prussia Cove (England). A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Mannes College of Music, she is currently Assistant Professor, Piano at the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virginia.

Ieva Jokubaviciute, Finalist Judge

Michael Kannen, Finalist Judge

Cellist MICHAEL KANNEN has distinguished himself as a musician and educator of uncommon accomplishment who is comfortable in widely diverse musical situations and venues. He was a founding member of the Brentano String Quartet and for seven years performed with that group on concert stages around the world, on radio and television, and on recordings. During those years, the Brentano Quartet was awarded the first Cleveland Quartet Award, the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, a Royal Philharmonic Award and was the first participant in the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center II program. Mr. Kannen continues to perform chamber music around the country as a member of the Apollo Trio, on period instruments with the Houston-based group Context and at major music festivals such as Yellow Barn, Chamber Music Northwest, Portland Chamber Music Festival and the International Musicians Seminar in Prussia Cove, England. Mr. Kannen has collaborated with such artists as Jessye Norman, Phyllis Bryn-Julson, Sergiu Luca, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Leon Fleisher, Mitsuko Uchida, Peter Frankl, Paula Robison, David Krakauer, Jörg Widmann, Steven Isserlis, and with jazz artists Michael Formanek and Uri Caine. His activities range from performances on period instruments to premieres of the music of our time. He has recorded for the CRI label. Mr. Kannen has served on the faculties of Dartmouth College and the Purchase College Conservatory and he is currently the Director of Chamber Music at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he holds the Sidney Friedberg Chair in Chamber Music.

Our thanks go out to our Artistic Advisors who helped us build a strong pool of applicants and our Preliminary Judges who evaluated the musical submissions in anonymous assessments and selected the five extraordinarily talented young ensembles to compete in this year’s live performance.


  • Catherine Cho, Violin
  • Adrian Morejon, Bassoon
  • Tara Helen O’Connor, Flute
  • Todd Phillips, Violin
  • Marcy Rosen, Cello
  • Diane Walsh, Piano


  • Steve Balderston
  • J. Lawrie Bloom
  • Natasha Brofsky
  • Catherine Cho
  • Glenn Dicterow
  • Karen Dreyfus
  • Miriam Fried
  • Ara Gregorian
  • Michael Kannen
  • Maria Lambros
  • Michael Maccaferri
  • Katherine Murdoch
  • Tara Helen O’Connor
  • Peggy Pearson
  • Danny Phillips
  • Todd Phillips
  • Marcy Rosen
  • David Shifrin
  • Scott St. John
  • Roger Tapping
  • Diane Walsh
  • Robert Yekovitch
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