LSO Announces 2018-19 Young Artist Winner: Derek Hwang

Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra Announces 2018–2019 Young Artist Winner: Derek Hwang

(LINCOLN, Neb. – October 26, 2018) Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the selection of cellist Derek Hwang as the LSO Young Artist Winner for the 2018–19 season.

Hwang, currently a junior at North High School in Sioux City, Iowa, studies with Mr. Peter Howard, Principal Cellist Emeritus of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Hwang will perform Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

“Derek Hwang made an unbelievably fabulous impression on the judges not just as cellist, but as a musician. It was a unanimous decision to choose him as our winner this year,” said Edward Polochick, Music Director of Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra. “It was a delight to hear so many talented musicians at the Young Artist Competition this year, playing at such a high level.”

As winner of the LSO Young Artist Competition, Hwang receives the title of LSO Young Artist Winner for the 2018–19 season, publicity exposure, a private rehearsal and coaching from LSO Resident Conductor Dr. Tyler White, solo performances at LSO’s performances on December 1, 2018, and a cash prize.

Thirteen elementary, middle, high school and college music students participated in LSO’s Young Artist Competition this year, which is funded in part by the J. Edmund & Thelma D. Miller Fund at the Lincoln Community Foundation. The competition requires that applicants be 20 years old or younger and perform a movement of a concerto on their instrument in a formal audition. Past Young Artist Competition winners include Isabella Amador, violinist from Omaha; Lukas McIlhaney, flutist from Wahoo; Jennifer Ahn, violinist from Westside High School; Nicholas May, saxophonist from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln; and William White, trombonist from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Young musicians interested in entering next year’s Young Artist Competition may apply beginning in July 2019. More information may be found at

Founded in 1927, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra has a mission to present inspiring experiences that welcome all members of our community to discover and cultivate a profound, personal connection with live orchestral music. For more information about Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, call 402.476.2211 or visit


About Derek Hwang

Derek Hwang, 15-year-old, is a junior at North High School in Sioux City, Iowa. Derek started cello lessons at the age of 5, and currently studies with Mr. Peter Howard, Principal Cellist Emeritus of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Having won numerous regional competitions, Derek performed as a soloist with Siouxland Youth Symphony, Fort Dodge Symphony, Cherokee Symphony, Orchestra Omaha, and Central Iowa Symphony. In addition, Derek was the 2nd place winner in 2018 National MTNA Junior String Competition. During freshman year, Derek held first chair of the cello section in the Iowa All-State Orchestra, which performance was broadcasted on Iowa public TV.

Besides music, Derek is interested in animal science research. Based on his research paper about bird flu, Derek was awarded Borloug Scholar by the World Food Prize Foundation. This past summer Derek worked at the University of Iowa, studying the effect of BPF, a chemical commonly found in plastics, on laboratory rats. Derek also works regularly with crops and on family-owned hog commercial farms, which raise Berkshire pure-genetic hogs. Derek enjoys taking care of the sows, helping deliver baby pigs, vaccinating baby pigs, and watching them grow. Derek is considering a double major in music and animal biology when he goes to college.