11th Annual Henry Schwab Violin
& Viola Competition Winners
The Henry Schwab Violin and Viola Competition was established in 2008 to support advanced student violinists and violists residing in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Due to Covid-19, the 2021 competition was live-streamed from the in the Helen Yunker Auditorium on July 17–18, 2021. Finalists performed alongside collaborative pianist Mitsuko Morikawa.
Please click here to learn more about Henry and Miriam Schwab and their legacy.
2021 WINNERS – Category A
First-Prize Winner ($2000)
Samuel Barber Concerto for Violin, Op 14
Rebecca Beerstein, 19, is a second-year violin performance student of Movses Pogossian and Varty Manouelian at the Herb Alpert School of Music and currently a member of the UCLA scholarship Gluck String Quartet. Previously she studied violin with Lindsay Deutsch and Diana Ray-Goodman.
In 2019, Rebecca won first prize at the Henry Schwab Violin and Viola competition. In addition, she was a Conejo Arts Council Legacy Scholarship winner in both 2019 and 2020. She has performed as a soloist with the Thousand Oaks Philharmonic, the Westlake Village Symphony, and Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra and served as concertmaster of the Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra in 2018 and 2019. Rebecca is also an accomplished figure skater and a member of the UCLA Figure Skating Team.
Second-Prize Winner ($1500)
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto, Op. 64
Skyler (16) is a 10th grade student at Newbury Park High School. His first music introduction was through joining Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) elementary strings program. Skyler chose violin among other string instruments because of its sweet tone. Soon after, he started a private violin lesson with Teresa DiTullio at nine years old. Skyler is currently studying violin under Sam Fischer at Colburn School since 2020 spring.
Skyler is a member of Conejo Valley Youth Orchestra (CVYO). He has served a concertmaster at CVYO and co-concertmaster at California All State Junior High Orchestra. Skyler has won 1st place Conejo Valley branch MTAC VOCE violin competition from 2017-2019 and 3rd place ENKOR International Music competition in 2020. Skyler was selected as a Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra Young Artist in 2020 and Thousand Oaks Philharmonic OPUS 58 young musician in 2021. Skyler often enjoys playing violin for people in local communities who cannot attend scheduled performances such as: local churches homeless dinners, veterans’ homes, retirement centers, and hospices. He tailors his music performances to the audiences’ likes and preferences. In his free time, Skyler likes to read, play chess and computer games, and listen to music.
Third-Prize Winner ($1000)
Wieniawaski Violin Concerto No. 2
Zephan Bornfreund is a junior at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara. He has played violin for eleven years and is currently studying with Mrs. Joyce Osborn at Woodland Hills. Former mentors include Dr. Han Soo Kim at Westmont College and Mrs. Emily Sommermann.
Throughout middle school and high schooI, Zephan has been a member of the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, and is the current concertmaster. He also had the honor of winning the SBYS Concerto Competition in 2020. During summers, Zephan attended Indiana University's String Academy, Montecito International Music Festival, and the Merit Program at the Music Academy of the West. Zephan has been a Santa Barbara Music Club Scholarship recipient since he was in the fifth grade. Last but not least, Zephan greatly enjoys running on the cross country and track teams at school along with other outdoor activities.
2021 WINNERS – Category B
First-Prize Winner ($1000)
Dvořák Romance in F Minor, Op. 11
Sophia has practiced almost daily for thirteen years, and subsequently, music has found its way into her blood. Currently a music education major, she has recently begun a private studio, and also works with local middle school string departments. Additionally, she greatly enjoys her job as a waitress at a local café, and taking walks on the beach with friends. Sophia cannot wait to get back to orchestra rehearsals - or to be finished with her general education courses, so she can devote all of her academic energy to music. When she isn't listening to Saint-Saëns, swooning over the Polish violinist Daniel Lozakovich, or attempting to figure out the piano chords for the How to Train Your Dragon soundtrack, you'll probably find her scribbling frantically in her journal or concocting things involving MUCH dark chocolate.
Sophia is excited and honored to have been a part of the 2021 Schwab Competition, and owes a debt of gratitude both to her supportive family and to her fantastic teacher, Dr. Andrew Tholl.
Second-Prize Winner ($750)
Dvořák Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Minor, Op.53, Movement 1
Anna Mocek was born in Poland where she began violin at the age of 7. She graduated M. Karlowicz School of Music in the city of Cracow, and later attended the Academy of Music in Cracow.
In 2019, she moved to the U.S. to study at Azusa Pacific University where she studied with Min Jung Park, a Juilliard School graduate. Anna is a laureate of many nationwide and regional competitions in Poland, such as CEA auditions or Nationwide Competition of Young Instrumentalists in Jaslo. She attended masterclasses with Kaja Danczowska, Bartosz Bryła, Sławomir Tomasik, Adam Kostecki, Antoni Cofalik, Piotr Tarcholik, Edward Zienkowski and many more. She participated in many cultural events and festivals, e.g., in tribute to Edward Czerny, concerts in Philharmony in Cracow, European tour with ESYO orchestra and many chamber music groups concerts. She has performed in countries like Poland, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Italy, USA.
Third-Prize Winner ($500)
Mendelssohn Violin Concert, Op. 64, Movement 1
Bryan Huang, Westlake High School class of 2024, has studied the violin for eight years under the instruction of Mrs. Shuwei Liu. Bryan has participated in Conejo Valley Youth Orchestras since 2016, conducted by Mr. Tseitlin and previously Mr. Benson. Additionally, he plays with WHS's Chamber Orchestra led by Mrs. Blake. Aside from playing the violin, Bryan is a dedicated swimmer on his high school's varsity team.
2021 Performance Videos
Competition Overview & Details
Ventura College Music Department is recognized as a leader in music education and has a comprehensive course schedule throughout the year, providing professional instruction and leadership to students. Register for courses including: Theory, History and Literature, Vocal, Instrumental, Jazz, Technology, and ensembles, including Opera, Choir, Orchestra, Chamber & Jazz, designed to educate your knowledge of music.