branding for A Summer of Rising Stars CIPC for Young Artists 2023
orchestra performing on stage during concerto round

Concerto Round | CIPC for Young Artists

Saturday July 15 | 7:30 pm icon-calendar Saturday July 15 7:30 pm America/New_York Concerto Round | CIPC for Young Artists Gartner Auditorium, Cleveland Museum of Art Gartner Auditorium, Cleveland Museum of Art


From 32 awe-inspiring young contestants, only six remain.

For rising stars like our six Finalists in the CIPC for Young Artists, soloing with a major symphony orchestra is the ultimate test. Come experience these Finalists make their Northeast Ohio orchestral debuts accompanied by the Canton Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Steven Byess.

Want to learn more about the contestants, jury, or prizes for the Cleveland International Piano Competition for Young Artists?
Learn more about our artists
Steven Byess

Steven Byess is a dynamic and passionate conductor, hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance,” and capturing “the full spirit and vitality of the score perfectly.” Recognized for his musical versatility, multi-faceted presence on the podium, and passion for music education, he is devoted to promoting a life-long love and enthusiasm for music and the arts.

Steven is the music director of the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Oregon), the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, and the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the U.S. premiere of Russian violinist Alexander Markov’s Rock Concerto at Carnegie Hall in New York, and was selected by Walt Disney World Entertainment to conduct the 2000 NFL E*TRADE Super Bowl Halftime show, where he performed for a television audience of 88 million fans.

As a passionate advocate for the arts, Steven is sought after for his speeches on the arts, music, and education, and has organized collaborations with numerous choruses, chamber music ensembles, and festivals. He wrote and co-directed a PBS presentation, Count On It!, designed to connect music and mathematics for children grades K-3. Since 2013, he has shared this passion with over 80,000 children around the country as a conductor of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute Link Up orchestral education concerts.

A prolific conductor of opera from grand to contemporary, his performances include Puccini’s La Bohème and a critically acclaimed production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Greensboro Opera; Bizet’s Carmen with Emerald City Opera (Colorado); Copland’s The Tender Land, Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, and a collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on his opera “27” with Intermountain Opera (Montana); and Weill’s Street Scene and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Eastman School of Music Opera Theatre. Steven has been a guest conductor at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan for their productions of Le tragédie de Carmen (Bizet/Brook), a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide, collaborating with the composer’s daughter Jamie Bernstein, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.

Steven is the former associate music director of the Ohio Light Opera where he conducted over 80 productions and 21 commercial recordings, including repertoire ranging from well- to little-known operas and operettas to blockbuster classic American musical theater works.

In addition to over 60 symphonic performances in the 2022-2023 season, Steven will conduct ballet productions of The Nutcracker, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty, and Appalachian Spring.

Canton Symphony Orchestra

Formed in 1937, the CSO has celebrated 85 years serving the community of Stark County and beyond. Giving its first concert on February 16, 1938 under the direction of Richard Oppenheim the CSO has boasted world-class talent under the direction of many Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductors followed by the appointment of long-time Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann in 1980. Diversity, equity, and inclusion lead the artistic planning process as all MasterWorks programs contain at least one work on each concert by composers undiscovered, under-represented, and up-and-coming, and the Orchestrating Change podcast, which looks at the lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion in classical music and how to create actionable change. Supporting local organizations and talent is important through collaborations such as the Divergent Sound Series, which features local bands paired with musicians from the orchestra performing all original music.

Educational programming serves young audiences through free Young People’s Concerts, SymphonyLand, and Kinder Concerts each year. The Canton Youth Symphonies programs educate young musicians from over six surrounding counties and the Lighthouse Ministries Strings Program provides string training for free to students in southeast Canton. The Composer Fellowship program commissions a new work to be performed by the Advanced Youth Orchestra and the Artist in Residence Program identifies a local artist or group to create a classical music-related project.

Now completing its 85th Season, the Canton Symphony is a fully professional ensemble, and all of its members are members of the American Federation of Musicians. Their wages and working conditions are governed by a contract negotiated with Local 111 of the American Federation of Musicians.

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