Meet the 2024 Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition Finalists

On February 24 at Symphony Center, three of Illinois’ top young soloists compete in the Crain-Maling Foundation CSO Young Artists Competition Finals for an opportunity to perform with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the 2024/25 Season. Led by conductor Kyle Dickson, these talented young artists perform selections from a concerto of their choosing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Elyse Schlesinger

Elyse Schlesinger

R. Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major, I. Allegro

Elyse Schlesinger started french horn in fifth grade and developed a lasting passion for music and the collaborative creativity of ensembles. She is a member of Fremd High School’s top band, chorus and orchestra. Elyse has also performed a variety of pieces for solo horn and choir. She served as principal horn of the Barrington Youth Symphony and performed various solo works for competitions, recitals and master classes including the Franz Strauss Nocturno, Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1, Saint-Saëns’ Morceau De Consort and Mozart’s Concerto No. 3. She was also selected to be a finalist for the Ocala Symphony’s 33rd Annual Young Artist’s Concerto Competition and was one of the winners of the William Fremd High School Concerto Aria Competition.

Elyse has attended many music camps and festivals, including ILMEA District 7 Band (third horn), ILMEA All State Honors Band (second horn), ILMEA District 7 Orchestra (first horn) and the ILMEA All State Honors Orchestra (first horn). She also performed in the D211 Honors Band, Chorus and Orchestra and the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp Masterworks Orchestra. She was also selected for the chamber program, in both the Brass Quintet and Woodwind Ensemble.

The most impactful experience so far on Elyse has been her tenure as co-principal horn with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Allen Tinkham since 2022. Additionally, she works with Dr. Donald DeRoche as a member of the woodwind quintet (Windy City Winds) and is in the Ambassadors Program performing around the Chicagoland community.

Elyse began her horn lessons with Melody Velleuer and has worked with Katelyn Halbert, Brent Shires and Momo Hasselbring Seko. She currently studies with CSO horn David Griffin and Kate Warren.

Jaden Teague-Núñez

Jaden Teague-Núñez

Teague (Orch. Whitmarsh) A Visit to Hell, II. The Gates of Hell, III. Fanfare for the Devil, IV. The Escape from Hell

Jaden Teague-Núñez is 16 years old and was born in Panama City, Panama. He moved to the USA in 2011 and began studying steelpan and piano (classical and jazz) at ages 8 and 10, respectively. He attends DeKalb High School where he serves as the drummer for the Jazz Ensemble and Steelband and is a member of the Marching Band.

Among his growing list of accomplishments, Jaden has been a guest steelpan soloist with the Humboldt State University Steelband in Arcata, California, and performed with the Northern Illinois University Steelband. He has performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, and, on several occasions, has appeared at the Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) Conference. Jaden was a guest performer at the 2023 Tuba Bach Festival in Big Rapids, Michigan, where he was honored to collaborate with guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque and tuba master Ed Mallet. He was also a guest artist at the 2023 Inside Out Steelband Festival in Austin, Texas.

In addition to his passion for music, Jaden practices Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and enjoys playing on his PlayStation.

Chloe Nam

Chloe Nam

Reinecke Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in D Major, I. Allegro molto moderato

Chloe Nam is a sophomore at Northside College Preparatory High School in Chicago. Under the expert guidance of Hideko Amano, Chloe developed a deep passion for flute performance. Since eighth grade, she has been a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO), where she currently plays flute and piccolo within the Symphony Orchestra. Before then, she was a member of the Alice S. Pfaelzer Conservatory of Merit School of Music for three years. Chloe has been recognized in various music competitions such as the Chicago Flute Club Student Competition, DePaul National Concerto Festival, Society of American Musicians’ Competition, CYSO Concert Orchestra Concerto Competition and Walgreens Concerto Competition. Chloe also participated in the Illinois Music Education Conference All State Band in 2023. Chloe has had the privilege of performing in master classes or had lessons with Jennifer Gunn, Nancy Stagnitta and Johanthan Keeble.