Stephen Waarts of Los Altos won first prize in the senior division of the 2014 Menuhin International Violin Competition, held Feb. 21 through March 2 in Austin, Texas. Waarts, 17, also received the Bach Prize and the Composer’s Prize, bestowed for best performance of the modern piece commissioned for the competition.
The violin prodigy began performing as a 12-year-old with the Silicon Valley Symphony by playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in November 2008.
He has since played six concerti: Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Saint-Saëns, Sibelius and Prokofiev No. 1, along with two solo pieces by Wieniawski and Tchaikovsky, with the Silicon Valley Symphony.
Waarts is scheduled to perform Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with the Silicon Valley Symphony May 16 and 17 at venues in Menlo Park and Palo Alto.
Michael Gibson, music director of the symphony, said he was “thrilled” with the young violinist’s recent honor.
“The Silicon Valley Symphony is extremely proud and honored to be a part of Stephen’s developing international reputation as one of the most prodigiously talented young soloists to emerge in recent years,” he said.
Waarts has played to sold-out local audiences, including serving as the headliner at the first three Los Altos Live! talent shows.
The Silicon Valley Symphony concerts are scheduled 7:30 p.m. May 16 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 330 Ravenswood Ave. in Menlo Park, and May 17 at Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church, 600 Colorado Ave. in Palo Alto.
For tickets and more information, visit siliconvalleysymphony.net.