2021 School of Music Award Winners

As we conclude a momentous year of Learn from Anywhere hybrid instruction, we are beyond thrilled to highlight the many accomplishments of our students with the 2021 School of Music Awards.

Awards presenters Gregory Melchor-Barz (Director and Professor, BU College of Fine Arts School of Music), Martin Amlin (President, Alpha Kappa Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda), and members of the Student Life and Honors Committee Ruth Debrot (Chair)Samuel HeadrickPavel Nersessian, Barbara Raney, Rachana Vajjhala, and Steven Weigt hosted a virtual ceremony for the School of Music community on May 7, 2021.

We extend our warmest congratulations to all for your admirable excellence and outstanding achievements this year!

Watch the full ceremony here and find a complete listing of award winners below.

Departmental Awards

Strings and Harp

Michael Frontz (BM, Cello)
Freya Liu (MM, Violin)
Xinyuan Wang (MM, Violin)
Susan Bengston (DMA, Viola)

Brass, Woodwinds, and Percussion

Grace Helmke (BM, Flute) First Prize, Pappoutsakis Competition
Pauline Jung (DMA, Flute) Second Prize, Pappoutsakis Competition
Matthew Lee (DMA, Flute) Finalist, Pappoutsakis Competition
Yibing Wang (DMA, Percussion)


Jillian Agona (BM, Soprano)
Jessica Hetrick (MM, Soprano)

Opera Programs

Tara Dougherty (BM, Soprano)
Omar Rodriguez (MM, Baritone)
Gabrielle Barkidjija (OI, Mezzo-Soprano)

Composition & Music Theory

Georg Hilmarsson (DMA, Composition)
Madelyn Stephenson (BM, Composition & Music Theory)

Collaborative Piano

Regan Russell (DMA)


Anran Qian (DMA)

Musicology and Ethnomusicology

Rachel Leo (BA)
Brett Andrew Kostrzewski (PhD)

Historical Performance and Organ

Lee Rang Hwang (DMA)
Ching Yi Denise Fan (DMA)

Music Education

Hannah Hooven (BM)
Emma Chrisman (MM)
Katja Kleyensteuber (MM)
Krista Williams (DMA)
Troy Davis (DMA)

Pi Kappa Lambda Inductees


Isaac Boll+ (BM, Music Education)
Zofia Górnicz* (BM, Composition & Music Theory)
Sarah Wager+ (BM, Double Bass)
Peyton Berning* (BA)

* Junior
+ Senior


Harrison Davis (MM, Music Theory & Ethnomusicology)
John DeMartino (MM, Double Bass)
Maurya Dickerson (MM, Viola)
Jessica Doyle (MM, Music Education)
Ryan Dymek (MM, Clarinet)
Isabella Hanreiter (MM, Voice)
Madeline Horvat (MM, Flute)
Hiromi Inomata  (MM, Piano)
Julian Iralu (MM, Trumpet)
Katja Kleyensteuber (MM, Music Education)
Joogwang Lim (MM, Composition)
Katerina Middeldorp (MM, Voice)
Christopher Moretti (MM, Saxophone)
Jacob O’Shea (MM, Voice)
Vivek Patel (MM, Music Education)
Alexandru Prigalo (MM, Piano)
Sarah Rogers (MM, Voice)
Zhizhi Xiang (MM, Piano)

Doctor of Musical Arts

Estelle Bang (DMA, Piano)
Susan Bengston (DMA, Viola)
Tamara Dworetz (DMA, Orchestral Conducting)
Na Yeon Kwon (DMA, Cello)
Chengcheng Ma (DMA, Piano)
Daniel Neyman (DMA, Piano)
Allyn Phelps (DMA, Music Education)
Devon Russo (DMA, Voice)
Minjia Xu (DMA, Violin)
Tianhong Yang (DMA, Piano)
Eunhye Yoon (DMA, Composition)
Zhuqing Zhang (DMA, Viola)

School of Music Awards

BU at Carnegie Hall

Jillian Agona (BM, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas, & Jing-Fang Huang (DMA, Collaborative Piano)
Jessica Hetrick (MM, Soprano), studio of Prof. Sharon Daniels, & Ann Schaefer (DMA, Collaborative Piano)
Hyojin Kim (DMA, Viola), studio of Prof. Michelle LaCourse
Chengcheng Ma (DMA, Piano), studio of Prof. Boaz Sharon
Sarah Rogers (MM, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas, & Regan Russell (DMA, Collaborative Piano)
Xinyuan Wang (MM, Violin), studio of Prof. Bayla Keyes
Tianhong Yang (DMA, Piano), studio of Prof. Pavel Nersessian
Saejin Yoo (BM, Piano), studio of Prof. Gila Goldstein

String Department Bach Competition

Rayna Chou (DMA) Viola Prize, studio of Prof. Michelle LaCourse
Michael Frontz (BM) Cello Prize, studio of Prof. Michael Reynolds
Clara Montes (BM) Violin Prize, studio of Prof. Dana Mazurkevich

Soloists’ Competition

Milos Bjelica (DMA, Clarinet), studio of Prof. David Martins
Concerto for clarinet and orchestra in A major, K. 622 (Mozart)

Freya Liu (MM, Violin), studio of Prof. Bayla Keyes
Violin Concerto No. 2, Sz.112 (Bartók)

Sarah Rogers (MM, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas
Sieben Frühe Lieder (Berg)

Composers’ Competition

Eunhye Yoon (DMA), studio of Prof. Joshua Fineberg
for her piece titled Abyss

Wainwright Award

William Peacock (MM), studio of Prof. Rodney Lister
“for a composed song about nature”

Phyllis Curtin Artists

Maureen Brabec (OI, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas
Kaileigh Riess (OI, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas

Ellalou Dimmock Vocal Honors Award

Caroline Chung (BM, Soprano), studio of Prof. Penelope Bitzas
Hannah Young (BM, Soprano), studio of Prof. James Demler
Ryan Van Fleet (BM, Baritone), studio of Prof. James Demler

Richmond Piano Competition

First Prize: Tianhong Yang (DMA), studio of Prof. Pavel Nersessian
Second Prize: Xiaopei Xu (DMA), studio of Prof. Boaz Sharon
Special Prizes for Best Performance of a Black Composer: Alexandru Prigalo (MM), studio of Prof. Pavel Nersessian & Anran Qian (DMA), studio of Prof. Tanya Gabrielian

Kahn Career Entry Award – Finalists

Xuerong (“Kyra”) Zhao (DMA, Piano), faculty sponsor: Prof. Boaz Sharon
Jisun Oh (DMA, Flute), faculty sponsor: Prof. Linda Toote

Presser Scholar Award

Alexander Stephan (BM, Music Education)

Clare Hodgson Meeker Fellowship Awards

Ava Figliuzzi (BM, Violin)
Gabriel Harrison (BM, Composition & Music Theory)
Spencer Hart-Thompson (BM, Composition & Music Theory)
Grace Helmke (BM, Flute)
Jack Humphrey (BM, Voice)
Pablo Kennedy (BM, Double Bass)
David Ortiz (BM, Trumpet)
Sofia Puccio (BM, Cello)
Amanda Satterfield (BA)
Alexander Stephan (BM, Music Education)
Caitlin Thompson (BM, Flute)
Jennifer Ortiz Valverde (BM, Composition & Music Theory)

Graduate Travel Awards

Estelle Bang (DMA, Piano)
Rodion Belousov (PD, Oboe)
Isabella Hanreiter (MM, Voice)
Andrew Lin (DMA, Violin)
Sarah Rogers (MM, Voice)
Matthew Lee (DMA, Flute)
Devon Russo (DMA, Voice)
Jacqueline Bartling-John (MM, Flute)
Adam Hanna (DMA, Trombone)
Chengcheng Ma (DMA, Piano)
Inga Liu (DMA, Violin)
Jason Leonhard (MM, Composition)
Katerina Middeldorp (MM, Voice)
Savannah Panah (MM, Voice)
Stephanie Pfundt (MM, Voice)
Regan Russell (DMA, Collaborative Piano)

Ceremony Program

Flip through and download the 2021 Student Awards Ceremony Program.

CFA School of Music

Founded in 1872, Boston University College of Fine Arts School of Music combines the intimacy and intensity of traditional conservatory-style training with a broad liberal arts education at the undergraduate level and elective coursework at the graduate level. The school offers degrees in performance, conducting, composition and theory, musicology, music education, and historical performance, as well as artist and performance diplomas and a certificate program in its Opera Institute.

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