By DASCHELL M. PHILLIPS
Nicole Frank, a 10-year-old violinist who recently completed the fourth grade at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, was the First Place Winner in violin at this past weekend’s 43rd Annual Granquist Music Competition.
Tenacious study, determination and the right-fit of Frank’s instrument all played a part in her success, said Jeanne Sawtell, member services and events coordinator of the Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
Frank has been playing the violin since she was eight years old. For the past two years she has studied under Tokiko Takeuchi of the Chicago Music Center.
“Nicole gave a rendition of Felix Mendelssohn’s ‘On Wings of Song’ for violin and piano that was so beautiful it moved the judge to tears,” said Sawtell, who said pianist Bryan Shilander was Frank’s accompanist. “Sharon Bowen, of Bowen Violins, custom-fitted a violin for Nicole which enabled her to bow with her left hand.”
The Granquist Music Competition is the largest music competition in the State of Illinois and has a reputation for excellence in judging and performance.
In addition to winning first place in her category, Frank received the “Outstanding” distinction, a rank awarded only to contestants who exceed the performing level of their class.