As the winner of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's 2020 Young Musicians Competition, 16-year-old violinist Cecilia Martin said she is looking forward to one day becoming a professional musician.

"I enjoy collaborating with other people," the Bexley resident said.

Now in its 67th year, the CSO's annual Young Musicians Competition provides an opportunity for central Ohio students in grades 3-12 to perform for professional feedback from CSO musicians and collegiate faculty. In addition, youth musicians in grades 8-12 are eligible to compete in a concerto competition.

Earlier this year, the 2020 Young Musicians Competition played host to 88 youth musicians who performed for professional feedback and 20 youth musicians in the concerto competition. Martin won with her performance of Mendelssohn's "Concerto in E minor."

Martin, who attends Laurel Springs School, has studied the violin for eight years with Columbus Symphony violinist Tatiana Hanna. Martin has performed with the Columbus Symphony Youth Orchestra for the past six years and currently serves as the CSYO co-concertmaster. She is also a member of the Chamber Music Connection's Marquis quartet.

Martin said she originally took up the violin because of the example her mother, Laraine Martin, set.

"My mom used to play it, so I thought it was cool," Martin said.

Laraine Martin, a full-time homemaker, said she and her husband, Ben, a urologist, and Cecilia's siblings, Oliver, 12 and Everett, 9, are proud of Cecilia's accomplishments.

She said her daughter showed musical aptitude from an early age, starting out on the piano.

"This is pretty thrilling for all of us," she said. "Cecilia started group piano lessons in her preschool. We ended up moving and that sort of stopped and we found another piano teacher when she was 6. She started formal lessons at 6. She had been harassing me for piano lessons at 5. I didn't let her start violin until she was 7."

Cecilia Martin said she has started looking at colleges. She has previously studied at Meadowmount School of Music, IU Summer Strings Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp. She has participated in master classes with such heavyweights of the classical music world as Vadim Gluzman, Augustin Hadelich, Rachel Barton Pine, Elizabeth Chang and CSO concertmaster Joanna Frankel.

As the winner of the CSO's Young Musicians Competition, Martin had been scheduled to perform her winning piece as a soloist at the CSO's "The Symphony Unplugged!" concert March 18 at the Ohio Theatre in Columbus. The concert was canceled in response to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's order banning gatherings of more than 100 people.

Martin will however claim the $1,000 Lois H. Allen Concerto Prize, donated by the Friends of the Symphony, that came with winning the CSO's Young Musicians Competition.

This marked the first time the Lois H. Allen Concerto Prize was awarded, according to a press release from the symphony.

"I'll probably save it," she said of the cash prize.

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