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Award-winning young musicians perform in Honours Concert

Performance on Sunday, May 12 at Calvin Church in Abbotsford
Pixabay photo

The Abbotsford Music Festival hosts a special 20th anniversary Honours Concert on Sunday, May 12.

The concert takes place at 3 p.m. at Calvin Presbyterian Church, 33911 Hazelwood Ave.

The performance features not only some of Abbotsford’s rising talent who recently won top awards at the 2019 music festival, but will bring back four of the young artists who have previously won awards.

Filipino-Canadian violinist Isabel Lago from Surrey is in her second year of studies at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

Lago’s many awards include first prize in the Canadian Repertoire class of the 2017 B.C. provincials, first in the strings category of the Abbotsford Music Festival in 2017 and 2015, and the Outstanding Violinist Award at both the Vancouver Kiwanis Music Festival and the Chilliwack Music Festival.

Lago has been a featured soloist with the Fraser Valley Symphony and the Richmond Orchestra. This summer, she will attend the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival Orchestral Academy in Germany.

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Kai Chow, 14, from Abbotsford has been playing the violin since age four. He had humble beginnings with a cake box and ruler.

He now studies with Carla Birston at the VSO School of Music. He is co-concert master of the VSOSoM Sinfonietta String Ensemble and has worked with renowned musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, James Ehnes and The Piano Guys.

Chow has won many festival awards in Vancouver and surrounding areas, placing first in B.C.’s Provincial Performing Arts Festival in 2017. He also enjoys chamber music.

In 2018, Chow’s group performed for the installation of the lieutenant-governor of B.C. and recently won first place in the Friends of Chamber Music Young Musicians Competition.

Laura Altenmueller of Abbotsford began her piano studies at the age of four. She completed her ARCT in Piano Performance at the age of 18, receiving first-class honours with distinction.

She completed her bachelor of music degree at the University of Victoria and her master of music in piano performance at the University of Ottawa.

In 2015, she spent four weeks studying piano in Salzburg, Austria at the Internationale Sommerakademie Mozarteum.

Altenmueller is now in the first year of her doctor of musical arts in piano performance at the University of Western Ontario.

Pianist Paul Williamson is quickly establishing himself as a versatile performer of solo and collaborative repertoire.

An award winner at local, provincial, and national competitions, Williamson received first place in the piano category of the 2014 Canadian National Music Festival.

He is also a winner of the University of Manitoba’s annual concerto competition, the Lawrence Genser Scholarship Competition (for the most outstanding undergraduate performer), and the Women’s Musical Club of Winnipeg Scholarship Competition.

He is currently pursuing graduate studies at the Colburn School in the studio of Fabio Bidini.

Williamson is a member of the Colburn Contemporary Ensemble and has performed works by such composers as Ligeti, Crumb and Reich.

Tickets to the concert are available online at, at King’s Music and House of James, and at the door.