Award-winning Violinist to Appear with the CSA Sinfonia

Serena Harnack


An award-winning 14-year old violinist will perform with the NIU Community School of the Arts Sinfonia on February 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Boutell Concert Hall of the NIU Music Building. Concerto Competition winner Serena Harnack will perform the fourth movement of the Concerto No. 4 in d minor, Opus 41, by Henri Viuextemps. 

Serena won the competition at NIU after a rigorous audition in November.  She is also the recipient of the 2012-2013 Susan and Richard Kiphart Scholarship at the Music Institute of Chicago. She is a member of the Academy program for gifted pre-college musicians where she studies violin privately with artist faculty members Almita Vamos and Hye-Sun Lee. Serena has been studying violin for 10 years and is a freshman at St. Francis College Prep in Wheaton.  She lives in Glen Ellyn.

Serena has won many awards for her performances, including first place in the Chinese Fine Arts Society Confucius Competition, DePaul Concerto Festival, Musichorale Scholarship Competition, Glen Ellyn – Wheaton Scholarship Competition, Youth Symphony of DuPage Concerto Competition, and with the Insieme Trio, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s Young Virtuosi Concerto Competition. She was awarded an outstanding rating for five years in a row by the Granquist Music Competition in Geneva.  She has performed twice on WFMT/98.7 Introductions, a program that showcases Chicago’s finest pre-college musicians.

Wednesday’s concert also includes the Hungarian March from the Damnation of Faust by Hector Berlioz, three movements of Serenade for Strings by Edward Elgar, and two movements from Symphony No. 5 in c minor by Ludwig van Beethoven.

The CSA Sinfonia attracts talented musicians from all over the northern Illinois region, and admission to this highly regarded ensemble is by audition only.  Linc Smelser, cello teacher and conductor of the Kishwaukee Symphonee Orchestra, is the director of CSA Sinfonia.  Auditions for the orchestra for the 2013-2014 season are on May 13 in the NIU Music Building.

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