2012 Award Recipients
Ignasi Cambra, a 22-year-old classical pianist from Barcelona, Spain, made his symphonic debut at age 14. Educated in the French Lycée in Barcelona, Ignasi received his Baccalauréat with a specialization in physics in 2007. Ignasi, who is blind, was then invited to study piano performance at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University Bloomington on a full scholarship. Ignasi has received prizes in several international piano competitions, including the Infanta Cristina Piano Competition, Carlet International Piano Competition, Ciudad de Toledo International Piano Competition, and others. He was chosen as the recipient for one of the scholarships awarded by Juventudes Musicales de Madrid in 2010, and also received the Mary Ann Parks Performing Arts Scholarship from the performing arts division of the National Federation of the Blind. After receiving his Bachelors degree in piano performance in 2011, Ignasi became a member of the world famous Toradze Piano Studio at Indiana University South Bend. In addition to winning numerous competitions and performing with several major orchestras in his home country, he has performed at the United Nations as well as Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in New York City, and has been featured on National Public Radio in the United States.
Twenty one year-old William Eisenberg is a French horn player from Minnetonka, Minnesota. William, who has cerebral palsy, began studying the horn in fifth grade. He studied with Neal Bolter of the Minnesota Opera, and performed as soloist with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies. Currently a senior at Oberlin Conservatory, he studies with Professor Roland Pandolfi. William has played as a section leader with the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, and has played extensively with the Contemporary Ensemble. He has performed in Los Angeles, Boston, New York, China, and Singapore. William plans to become an orchestral horn player or to teach at a university.
Justin Kauflin, a 25-year-old jazz pianist from Virginia Beach, Virginia, began his musical training in violin and classical piano at the age of two. Justin, who is blind, began to study jazz piano in high school and was performing professionally by age fifteen. He graduated in the top one percent of both Salem High's and the VA Governor's School for the Performing Arts' Class of 2004. A 2007 participant of the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Justin received a Presidential Scholarship to attend William Paterson University. He graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Music/Jazz Performance and subsequently led, produced, composed, and played on his debut CD, Introducing Justin Kauflin. In 2011, Justin was one of 12 pianists selected to compete in the Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition. During the past year, a film crew has been following Justin's exploits as a character in an upcoming documentary, "Keep On Keepin' On," a biopic about his mentor and jazz legend, Clark Terry, to be completed in late 2012. Most recently, he was acknowledged "Best in Jazz" receiving VEER magazine's 2012 music award.
Hailing from Bangkok, Thailand, saxophonist Yongsit Yongkamol's musical journey includes many accolades. The 25-year-old, who is blind, studies at the College of Music at Mahidol University. Starting at the age of 12, Yongsit learned to play multiple instruments, including piano, recorder, harp, drum, clarinet, and saxophone, which became his major instrument. Yongsit learns new music by ear, including standard classical repertoire and works by contemporary composers. He is considered a legend in Thailand after being featured in several television programs. Yongsit has received numerous prizes, including first class honors in his Bachelor's degree and an award from the Settrade Youth Music Competition.