Philadelphia International Music Festival Virtual Concerto Competition Winners Earn Scholarships and Performance Opportunities

Young musicians from all over the world took part in the annual competition, which went online for the first time due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Bryn Mawr, PA, September 28, 2020 --( The Philadelphia International Music Festival is awarding over $12,000 in scholarships and prestigious performance opportunities to eleven young musicians who took the top spots in PIMF’s annual Concerto Competition.

Grand Prize Winner is 25-year-old Bensen Kwan of Sugar Land, TX. For his stellar playing of Keiko Abe’s “Prism Rhapsody” on marimba, he earned a Full Scholarship to Music House International, PIMF’s intensive summer program affording college students and young professionals the opportunity to work for 17 days with principal players and other members of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

Bensen will also be a Featured Performer on PIMF’s YouTube Channel; will perform in a Private Recital in Philadelphia on July 21, 2021, and with the other finalists, will take the stage in the PIMF Winners Circle Concert with members of The Philadelphia Orchestra, to be scheduled this winter or next spring as soon as COVID-19 conditions permit.

Runner-up is 23-year-old Octavio Deluchi of Radford, Virginia, who earned a $750 scholarship to PIMF programs for his performance on guitar of Astor Piazolla’s “Verano Porteño.”

“The Philadelphia International Music Festival has been hosting international competitions for over 20 years,” says PIMF President Sandy Marcucci, “but this is a year like no other. As we’ve done with our immersive summer programs, we took the instrumental concerto competition online, which really opened it up to the world – we had submissions from Shanghai to Sugar Land and from Russia to Radford, Virginia. And I say it every year, that the talent we see can never be surpassed – but this year, it really hit a new high note!”

Musicians in four age groups from age 8 years to age 19-plus submitted video recordings that were judged by a distinguished panel that included international piano soloist Svetlana Smolina, Director of the Piano Program at The Philadelphia International Music Festival; Daniel Han, Violin, The Philadelphia Orchestra; Louis Scaglione, President and Music Director of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra; and Gi Lee, Clarinet Faculty of The Philadelphia International Music Festival and Artist-in-Residence at the Boyer College of Music at Temple University.

About The Philadelphia International Music Festival:
The Philadelphia International Music Festival (PIMF) is a summer music program directed by Kimberly Fisher, Principal Second Violin of The Philadelphia Orchestra, offering student musicians from around the world the unique opportunity of spending one, two, or four weeks immersed in music education and performance training with members of the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, traditionally on the campus of Bryn Mawr College but this year online at

Since March, PIMF’s new platform has been filling the training void for social-distancing music students with Master Classes taught by PIMF Artistic Director Kimberly Fisher, Principal Second Violin of The Philadelphia Orchestra; by Ricardo Morales, Principal Clarinet of The Philadelphia Orchestra; by Boris Allakverdyan, Principal Clarinet of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; as well as group and individual lessons and supervised online practice rooms taught and overseen by members of PIMF’s world-class faculty. For more information on PIMF, visit, or call (856) 875-6816.
Philadelphia International Music Festival
Jacob Heil