News Release

Southeastern cello student wins national competition

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


     HAMMONDSoutheastern Louisiana University cellist Feliks Volozhanin recently won the Elizabeth Harper Vaughn Concerto Competition, sponsored by the Women’s Symphony Committee of the Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, Tenn.

     As the first place winner of the competition, Volozhanin will perform with the Symphony of the Mountains during the 2008-2009 season.

     He was one of three music students selected for the competition’s final round based on recordings submitted to the symphony. Volozhanin’s winning performance was the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto.

     Originally from Chelyabinsk in Russia, Volozhanin said he entered the competition because, “It gave me the opportunity to play and be evaluated by a distinguished panel of judges. It was a great way for me to measure my progress against my peers.”

     Southeastern music instructor Karen Jung, who is also head of access services at Southeastern’s Sims Memorial Library, has taught Volozhanin since he enrolled in August 2007.

     “Feliks is an extremely hard-working and talented cellist,” Jung said.  “He has an exceptional ability to communicate and express his well thought out musical ideas.”

     Always intrigued by the American culture, Volozhanin was influenced to attend Southeastern by his instructor in Moscow, Ruslan Biryukov, who visited Southeastern in 2006 as a Chamber Orchestra guest artist.

     “Mr. Biryukov was most impressed with the university, the level of excellence of its orchestra, its academics, as well as string program director Yakov Voldman’s work in building up the Southeastern string program from scratch,” Volozhanin said.  “Based on his experience at Southeastern, he thought that it would be a great place for me to learn about America as well as gain a great music education.”

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