Joseph Comella, a violinist in the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, was selected to compete in the Moscow International David Oistrakh Violin Competition, which takes place this weekend. Let's wish him the best of luck! Congratulations, Joseph!
From the PYSO:
Joseph Comella, age 14, will be traveling to Moscow, Russia for his first international competition beginning on September 21.
He was selected as one of 22 kids from around the world ages 10-16 to compete in the live rounds of the 5th Moscow International David Oistrakh Violin Competition.
Joseph's love for the violin began at the age of two. He was inspired by Yo-Yo Ma's cello performance on an episode of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. His first lessons were at the local Suzukki School of Music on a 1/16 size violin.
At the age of five, Joseph continued his instruction with Ellen-Maria Willis. Under her direction he won the Duquesne Young Artist Competition in 2008 and 2010.
He began playing with youth symphonies at the age of seven and became concertmaster of the Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra Symphonette at ten.
In 2011 he became one of the youngest youths to join the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra of which he is still a member.
Today Joseph studies with Cyrus Forough, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who himself studied under David Oistrakh and Josef Gingold. This past year, Joseph won second place in the Duquesne Young Artist Competition. He also won the Pittsburgh Philharmonic's Concerto competition, affording him the opportunity to perform the Saint-Saens concerto with them twice.
In May, Joseph became one of WQED's Musical Kids winners. As one of the winners, he performed on the radio, as well as the Three Rivers Arts Festival. He will perform again during Pittsburgh's Radical Days on September 28 on WQED at 11:00am.
Fourteen years old, he will be attending ninth grade at the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School. Joseph is a fifth generation musician who plans to continue his musical studies and pursue a career in performance. His mother, Jennifer is a piano teacher and his father, Robert, is an IT consultant. Joseph and his parents live in the Murrysville area.