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SEP. 8, 2020 (Ann Arbor) – The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra (A²SO) has announced Vincent Garcia-Hettinger of San Antonio, Texas as the winner of its 2020 Young Artist Competition. Fourteen contestants were selected this year to compete in the final round of the Young Artist Competition, an annual performance opportunity where one young musician is selected to perform as a soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra. Cellist Sebastian Berofsky of Ann Arbor, Michigan was selected as runner up, and flutist Abi Middaugh of Ypsilanti, Michigan received honorable mention.

Due to the changes in the A²SO’s fall 2020 season, Garcia-Hettinger’s originally scheduled November performance with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra in the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium will be rescheduled to a later date. In the meantime, Garcia-Hettinger will record a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme from his home in San Antonio, Texas. This performance will be made available through the A²SO later this fall.

Vincent Garcia-Hettinger, age 15, is a student of Ken Freudigman, Principal Cellist of the San Antonio Symphony. Garcia-Hettinger began his cello studies at the age of five. As the winner of the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio Concerto Competition, he made his solo debut with the San Antonio Symphony in May 2019, performing the Saint-Saëns Concerto. ​Garcia-Hettinger is currently working with Johannes Moser in a Virtumasterclass series. ​He has twice been named a Junior Division Semi-Finalist for the Sphinx Competition. This past summer, Garcia-Hettinger was accepted into the Heifetz Institute where he studied with Steven Doane, Rosemary Elliott, Clara Kim, Laurence Lesser, and Peter Stumpf. He was also one of only 12 recipients of the 2020 Texas Commision on the Arts Young Master’s Award. In 2019, he was awarded a scholarship to attend the Sphinx Performance Academy at Juilliard and was also a recipient of a 2019 Sphinx MPower Artist Grant. In 2018, he was selected as the winner of the Interlochen Concerto Competition. He has also been a featured soloist with the San Antonio Sinfonietta, performing the Boccherini Concerto in B flat major.

Garcia-Hettinger has played for the following artists in masterclasses and lessons: Johannes Moser, Andrei Ionita, Natasha Brofsky, Edgar Moreau, Brannon Cho, Astrid Schween, Melissa Kraut, Thomas Mesa, Christine Lamprea, and Jeffrey Zeigler.

Garcia-Hettinger enjoys performing chamber music with friends. He has performed with his piano trio and his string quartet, the VIVA quartet, for recitals, masterclasses, and pre-concert lectures. He enjoys volunteering with organizations such as Hearts Need Art, a non-profit group that works to provide art and music to cancer patients. He has performed in hospitals and for benefit house concerts. Garcia-Hettinger plans to pursue a career in music and hopes to be a mentor for young musicians.


The A²SO is a premier regional orchestra offering live symphonic music to over 70,000 patrons of all ages in venues ranging from the historic Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium to schools, daycares, libraries, farmers markets, various senior citizen centers in the five-county area of Southeast Michigan, and online via streaming. For tickets, visit a2so.com, email tickets@a2so.com, or call (734)994-4801.