Washington Performing Arts Announces Winners of Feder String Competition

The 50th annual competition, held entirely online this year due to the pandemic, welcomed a record 146 participants from Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland


The Joseph and Goldie Feder Memorial String Competition, established by Goldie Feder in honor of her late husband, is open to violin, viola, cello, and double bass students in grades K-12 in the Washington, D.C. area. The competition’s goal is to help participants gain performance and competition exposure, as well as experience interpreting new works. 

This year, the Washington Performing arts commissioned pieces by highly-regarded American composers Jessica Meyer and Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) for the competition’s 50th anniversary.

The full list of first prize and scholarship winners include:

Violin: Ari Han (Advanced), Yixuan Li (Intermediate), Raymond Lim (Aspiring), Wakana Hatta (Beginner)

Viola: Zoey Ma (Advanced), Emma Zou (Intermediate), James Eibner-Gebhardt (Aspiring)

Cello: Nicole Fang (Advanced), Emmanuel Liu (Intermediate), Jonathan Shin (Aspiring), Olivia Kim (Beginner)

Double Bass: Anderson Bernal

Washington Performing Arts Scholarship: Emmanuel Liu, Jonathan Shin

Goldie B. Feder Award: Runa Matsushita

Washington Performing Arts Women’s Committee Award: Nicole Fang

Misbin Family Memorial Award: Yixuan Li, Raymond Lim, Wakana Hatta, Anna Lee, Joshua Thrush, Olivia Kim

Misbin Family New Talent Award: Eunice Park

Tutorial Award: Zoey Ma, Anderson Bernal

“It’s inspiring to hear these young musicians and witness the level of talent and dedication that they bring to mastering their instruments,” Washington Performing Arts Director of Education and Community Engagement Michelle Hoffman said. “It is our goal that the Feder Competition teaches students valuable lessons about themselves and about the role they can play in advancing music in their schools and communities.”

Students select repertoire from a list arranged by instrument and level, and each of the competition’s 33 finalists learned and premiered a newly commissioned work by either Meyer or DBR. Meyer, a Grammy Award-winning composer, wrote viola works including “Farewell Song” and “Tempest.” DBR, a composer whom New York Times has lauded as “about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets,” composed pieces dedicated to victims of hate crimes or violence — including one in honor of George Floyd, who was murdered by police last year.

Winners received monetary prizes and support for private lessons, summer festivals, and pre-college music programs. Monetary prizes ranged from $25 to $350, and scholarships toward tuition for music education programs ranged from $600 to $1,500. Further, the competition helps connect students in need with instrument loan programs.