NSU student wins state violin competition


Emily Owens, a graduate student in music performance at Northwestern State University, was the winner of the violin competition at the Louisiana Music Teachers National Association competition recently hosted by NSU. Owens is from Benton and is a student of Professor of Violin Dr. Andrej Kurti. She advances to regional competition and must submit a performance recording by Dec. 5.

Owens performed Bach’s “Sonata No. 1 in G Minor, Adagio” Ysaye’s “Sonata No. 4, Finale” and the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s “Violin Concerto.”

“I love the work by Bach because it shows the spiritual side of music. Bach dedicated his work to the God, and this movement is prayerful,” said Owens. “The Ysaye movement is fast, energetic, and requires a lot of control, so it really helps practice stamina and bow technique.”

Owens calls the piece by Tchaikovsky “probably my favorite violin concerto.”

“I have always enjoyed overcoming challenges, and this piece definitely qualifies as one. It’s full of passion and emotion, and it’s a joy to perform,” she said.

Owens is assistant concertmaster for the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra. She was a finalist in the 2013 Rapides Symphony Orchestra Concerto competition and performed with the Rapides Symphony. Owens earned her undergraduate degree at Baylor University. She plans to receive her master’s next May and hopes to be an orchestral violinist and teach.

“Taking part in competitions definitely helps me as an artist,” said Owens. “I’ve found that when I have a goal, I have a purpose.  While counting down the days to a competition can be stressful at times, it inspires me to practice and do my very best.”

Two students of Associate Professor of Piano Dr. Francis Yang, Ramon Barralaga (Young Artist Piano) and Jiaqi Yi (Junior Piano) received honorable mentions in their category.

Emily Owens