Press Release

Media Contact:

Steven Swartz, APAP|NYC Media Relations

APAP|NYC+ 2023 Showcases New Class of 

Emerging Classical Music Stars 

Free Performance in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall 

on January 16, 2023

As part of the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP) annual conference, APAP|NYC+ 2023, nine exceptional young classical music artists and ensembles will be showcased at a free concert at Carnegie Hall's Weill Hall on Monday, January 16, as part of APAP’s Young Performers Career Advancement Program (YPCA). The 2023 newly-announced participants – Kebra-Seyoun Charles, Alexander Hersh, Eleni Katz, and KOE Duo – will be joined by performers Balourdet Quartet, Dominic Cheli, Francisco Fullana, SooBeen Lee, and Gabriel Martins, who were originally scheduled to appear in the canceled 2022 showcase.

Journalists interested in covering this showcase are invited to apply for credentials here by December 30, 2022.

All of these artists will also receive business training in the performing arts industry, and guidance for navigating the next steps of their careers. The up-and-coming musicians were chosen through a competitive process by a team of industry experts on APAP’s Classical Connections Committee.

"In its 26-year history, the YPCA program has launched the careers of hundreds of rising stars, introducing many of them for the first time to representatives of leading venues across North America," said APAP President and CEO Lisa Richards Toney. "In 2023, we will introduce both the 2022 and 2023 classes of YPCA artists at Carnegie Hall in a concert that will give us double the wow… Coming out of the pandemic, having two classes of YPCA artists to cheer on is something to celebrate!”

YPCA was launched in 1996 as a program of APAP’s Classical Connections initiative to support emerging classical music artists during the formative stages of their careers. After a competitive application process, the selected artists attend APAP|NYC as special guests. At the conference, artists participate in a professional development track tailored to fit the unique needs of artists in the early part of their careers and provide a practical overview of the presenting and touring industry. They also receive expert instruction in the development of audience engagement skills.

“I am thrilled to have two amazing cohorts of YPCA participants join APAP's in-person conference this year.” said Dr. Nathaniel Zeisler, Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, and 2023 YPCA facilitator. “In the fall 2022, we held a number of virtual professional development programs for the artists which will enable the cohort to fully participate in the conference activities at the APAP|NYC+ conference. I can't wait to hear these exceptional artists showcase their talents in Carnegie's Weill Hall.“

The musicians will perform in front of global arts leaders, performing arts presenters, managers, record company representatives and agents in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall at 7 pm on January 16. The event is open to the public, and tickets for the free concert are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets can be reserved in advance here. Doors open at 6:30 pm.

About the YPCA Artists 

Class of 2023

Kebra-Seyoun Charles

After winning first prize in the 2022 Sphinx Competition, bassist Kebra-Seyoun Charles has quickly made a name for themself by soloing in front of orchestras such as the New World Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Palaver Strings. In addition, they have also performed alongside esteemed improvisers and composers such as Jon Batiste, at Carnegie Hall, and Tyshawn Sorey, at the New England Conservatory. Originally from Miami, Florida, Kebra received their Bachelor’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music. In 2022 they graduated from the Juilliard School with a Master’s degree, and were awarded tenure as principal bass. Kebra simultaneously received the prestigious Jerome L. Greene fellowship.

Alexander Hersh

Having given his Carnegie Hall debut recital in November 2022, cellist Alexander Hersh frequently appears as soloist with major orchestras including the Houston Symphony and Boston POPS, and has received top prizes at competitions worldwide, including the 2022 Pro Musicis International Award, Astral Artists National Auditions, Salon de Virtuosi Career grant, New York International Artists Association Competition, National Federation of Music Clubs, Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra, Ima Hogg, Schadt, Luminarts, Hellam, and the Fischoff National Chamber Music competitions. He serves as co-Artistic Director of the artist-driven collective NEXUS Chamber Music, whose mission is to make classical music culturally relevant through live concerts and multimedia content.

Eleni Katz

Hailed for her virtuosity and vibrant musical spirit, bassoonist Eleni Katz has established herself as a prominent soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. A classically trained singer, Katz has always believed that the bassoon should emulate the organic nature of the human voice. Eleni is a winner of the 2022 Concert Artist Guild Competition and has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, and as a member with the New World Symphony. Other recent appearances include a 2022 fellowship with the Phoenix Chamber Music Society, where she performed alongside David Shifrin, Valerie Coleman, and Gabriel Kovach.


KOE (Eva Ding, flute and Emma Kato, cello) is a duo dedicated to creating interdisciplinary projects and performing the works of living Asian, Asian-hyphenate, and BIPOC composers. To that end they have presented multimedia chamber music shows as homages to immigrant families as artists-in-residence at the Center at West Park and at Arts On Site funded by the LMCC Creative Engagement Grant. They both hold Master of Music degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, and are recipients of Chamber Music America’s Ensemble Forward Grant. They have performed at WQXR's The Greene Space, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater, Rose Studio at Lincoln Center, and Riverside Church.

Full bios and images available here.

Class of 2022

Balourdet Quartet

The Balourdet Quartet is currently in residence at the New England Conservatory’s Professional String Quartet Program. The quartet received the Grand Prize at the 2021 Concert Artists Guild Victor Elmaleh Competition, as well as prizes in international competitions including the Banff, Paolo Borciani, and Carl Nielsen competitions. They were also awarded the Gold Medal at the 2020 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the 2021 Chamber Music Yellow Springs Competition. The Balourdet has performed at festivals and series including Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, La Jolla Music Society Summerfest, the Dame Myra Hess Concerts, Montgomery Chamber Music, Santa Fe ProMusica, and the Schneider Concert Series.

Dominic Cheli

Pianist Dominic Cheli has been described as an “inspired keyboardist” (artsfuse) whose playing is “spontaneous yet perfect, the best of how a young person can play.” (Symphony Magazine). His rapidly advancing career includes a Walt Disney Concert Hall Debut with the Colburn Orchestra where Dominic was “mesmerizing, (he) transfixed the audience.” (LA Times). In 2017, Dominic was named 1st prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition in New York City; he gave his Carnegie Hall Recital Debut in 2019. Upcoming engagements include appearances with the Seattle Symphony, a debut at Alice Tully Hall, and his 4th appearance at Carnegie Hall.

Francisco Fullana

Spanish-born violinist Francisco Fullana, winner of the 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant, has been hailed as an "amazing talent" (Gustavo Dudamel) and "frighteningly awesome" (Buffalo News). His solo violin album Bach’s Long Shadow was named BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Choice of the Month: “Fullana manages to combine Itzhak Perlman's warmth with the aristocratic poise of Henryk Szeryng.” As a soloist, he has performed the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with the Bayerische Philharmonie led by the late Sir Colin Davis, the Sibelius Concerto with the Münchner Rundfunkorchester, and the Brahms Violin Concerto with Venezuela’s Teresa Carreño Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.

SooBeen Lee

Violinist SooBeen Lee has been praised by The Washington Post for her “poised presence, a luxurious sound, spot-on intonation, and a bow arm that surely will be the envy of her peers.” As First Prize Winner of the 2014 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, SooBeen was also honored with The Slomovic Soloist Prize in support of her Kennedy Center recital debut. SooBeen made her New York concerto debut performing Chausson’s Poème with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Alice Tully Hall. In May 2023, SooBeen will perform at Zankel Hall alongside fellow YCA roster artists and distinguished alumni, including pianist Anne-Marie McDermott, violinist Chee-Yun, and harpsichordist Anthony Newman.

Gabriel Martins

Cellist Gabriel Martins has won the Sphinx Competition Gold Medal, the Concert Artists Guild/Young Classical Artists Trust Grand Prize, the David Popper International Cello Competition Gold Medal, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians Silver Medal, the Schadt String Competition Gold Medal, the Orford Music Award, and the Prague Spring Czech Music Fund Prize. His high-profile debuts include the Wigmore, Carnegie, and Merkin Halls, 92nd Street Y, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Maison Symphonique in Montréal, and the Arkansas, Houston, Indianapolis, Memphis, New Russian State, Omaha, Pacific, and Phoenix Symphony Orchestras. The Strad declared his New York City recital debut to be "flawlessly played...a deeply moving experience.”

Full bios and images available here.

About the Association of Performing Arts Professionals (APAP)

APAP, the Association of Performing Arts Professionals, based in Washington, D.C., is the national service, advocacy and membership organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust, performing arts presenting, booking and touring field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,700 national and international members represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists. APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by president and CEO Lisa Richards Toney. In addition to producing the annual APAP|NYC conference—the world’s leading gathering and marketplace for the performing arts—APAP is an industry leader, providing year-round resources, programming and services for the advancement of performing arts presenting, booking and touring.

About the APAP|NYC+ conference

APAP|NYC+ is the world's premier gathering of thousands of performing arts professionals in New York City at the New York Hilton Midtown. APAP|NYC features hundreds of world-class artist showcases held around the city, 300+ exhibitors, dozens of professional development sessions, A-list keynote speakers, and pre-conference forums, many of which are free and open to the public and members. See more conference information at, and APAP membership information at


Request an APAP|NYC+ 2023 Media Credential

Register Exhibit Showcase | Explore | Hotel | Schedule-at-a-Glance | FAQs

LinkedIn  Instagram  Facebook  Twitter  TikTok