During Texas Rising Stars on April 2 at 7:30 p.m., the Austin Civic Orchestra will accompany the three winners of the Butler School of Music’s String Concerto Competition. Read the artists’ bios below and join us for the performance!
Violinist Nick Hammel is currently a senior at The University of Texas where he studies under Sandy Yamamoto. He has soloed with orchestras such as the Central Texas Medical Orchestra, Balcones Community Orchestra, and the University of Texas University Orchestra. Nick also has plans to solo with the Austin Civic Orchestra and the University of Texas Symphony Orchestra.
Nick is also an active chamber music performer, and has performed with artists such as Sandy Yamamoto, Bion Tsang, Andrew Brownell, and Anton Nel. His most recent group, Trio En, has won Silver Medal in the Senior Strings Division of the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. They also placed first in the 2020 MTNA Chamber Music Competition, and were semifinalists in the 2020 Coltman Chamber Music Competition. Nick was also second violinist of the Favola Quartet, which won Grand Prize in the 2020 Coltman Chamber Music Competition.
Dongsub is a senior studying with Will Fedkenheuer. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he first began his musical journey by learning voice at the age of seven, and switched to violin at the age of nine. He moved to the United States at the age of eleven, however, had to forgo his music making at the age of twelve, due to lack of instructors and resources in music education. At the age of sixteen, he was able to restart and continue his violin studies, which then helped him expand his musical opportunities including a solo debut with the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra. Dongsub was a semi-finalist in the Eisemann International Competition and was one of the winners in the Sidney Wright Competition. Furthermore, being the founder of the organization, “Music2Heal,” Dongsub and his sister, as co-directors, hosts performing series and benefit concerts with his colleagues, in order to ameliorate the lack of music education in the area, and provide performing opportunities for student musicians while also promoting fundraisers for local humanitarian crisis organizations in Corpus Christi along with other surrounding regions. Apart from his musical studies, he also majors in Government and is also involved in a Traumatic Brain Injury research organization. Outside of his academic life, he is an avid recreational sports player. As a language enthusiast, he also enjoys studying different languages during his spare time in hopes of becoming a polyglot.
Violinist Josh Liu is a third year music performance major studying with Brian Lewis at the Butler school of music. He was born in Shanghai, China, and has been playing since he was five. In the past, he has performed at concert venues such as the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and Bates Hall. He participated in NYO-China, selected as a fellow at Garth Newel Chamber Festival, played at Robert McDuffie’s Center for Strings Labor Day festival, and twice performed in the New York String Orchestra Seminar. He has soloed with the Georgia symphony orchestra and Carolina Youth Symphony. Besides violin, Josh resorts to playing piano, composing, and juggling. Josh plays on an Oliver R. Radke violin made in Ann Arbor in 2002, on a generous loan by the Virtu Foundation.