Announcing the 2018 Frances Walton Competition Winners

Below are the winners in the Ladies Musical Club of Seattle’s 2018 Frances Walton Competition. Judges for the competition were Kevin Krentz, cello (past award winner); Sean Osborn, clarinet; Patrick Roulet, marimba/percussion; and Robert Swan, piano. The annual event was held on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at Magnolia Lutheran Church in Seattle. The winners performed a fantastic free community concert at 7:30pm.

Classical music tours in eastern and western Washington communities and schools featuring the winners of the 2018 Frances Walton Competition were scheduled in September 2018. Solo winners of the 2018 Frances Walton Competition Artem Kuznetsov and Soren Hamm performed in the towns of Everson, Sekiu and Raymond as part of the west leg of statewide tour. Solo winners Steven Jay Lerman and Yibing Zhang performed in Omak, Chelan and Yakima as part of the east leg of statewide tour. The Zēlos Saxophone Quartet performed during the Puget Sound Tour of the Frances Walton Competition.

solo winners:

Soren Hamm, Saxophone

Artem Kuznetsov, Piano

Yibing Zhang, Piano

Steven Jay Lerman, Guitar

Ensemble winner:

Zēlos Saxophone Quartet










Alternate solo winners:
Justin Douté, Marimba
Tzu-Ting Wang, Clarinet

Alternate ensemble winner:
Trio Petrichor – Piano, Violin, Cello

LMC’s First ever bassoon competition winner featured on Classical King FM

Dana Jackson, a native of Seattle, Washington, is a member of the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra in Seattle, and the Santa Barbara Symphony. She is a freelancer up and down the West Coast and performs regularly with the Seattle Symphony. Ms. Jackson holds a BA from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, a MM from Northwestern’s Bienen School of Music, a PSC from the Colburn School. Dana received the Honorable Mention prize in the Gillet-Fox bassoon competition at the International Double Reed Society convention. She is also an artistic director for the Archipelago Collective, a San Juan Island chamber music festival.

In 2016, Dana was a winner of the Frances Walton Competition, the first bassoonist in its history. She was a guest of NW Focus host, Sean McLean in May of 2017.

2014 Frances Walton Winner featured on Classical King FM 98.1

Aaron Conitz, violist, is a dynamic performer and thoughtful musician. He has appeared as a featured soloist with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble and the National Repertory Orchestra, and as a collaborative artist in the Archipelago Collective (San Jaun Island, WA), Aspen Art Museum Summer Series, Arts Renaissance Tremont, and Aspen Music Festival. Conitz has performed alongside acclaimed musicians such as Darrett Adkins, Elaine Douvas, Victoria Chiang, and Paul Kantor. Aaron is the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the Frances Walton Competition (Ladies Musical Club of Seattle), Susan and Ford Schumann Fellowship (Aspen Contemporary Ensemble), and the prestigious New Horizons Fellowship. As an orchestral musician, Conitz has served as principal violist with the National Repertory Orchestra, appeared with the Hawai’i Symphony, Seattle Opera, Spoleto Festival Orchestra (USA), Mercury: The Orchestra Redefined, the Canton Symphony, and in over twenty concerts with the Seattle Symphony.

Aaron began his musical instruction at the age of four and has studied with James Dunham, Robert Vernon, Lynne Ramsey, Jeffrey Irvine, Jean Sulem, and Edward Seferian. In addition, Conitz has participated in master classes with Antoine Tamestit, Masao Kawasaki, and Steven Tenenbom. He received both Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music and is currently a Candidate for the degree Doctor of Musical Arts at Rice University.

Aaron Conitz, viola  was a 2014 Frances Walton competition winner. He was featured on the Classical King FM 98.1 program NW Focus with host Sean MacLean in March of 2017

LMC’s 2017 Frances Walton Competition Solo Winners to Present Six Free Concerts


LMC’s 2017 Frances Walton Competition Solo Winners to Present Six Free Concerts
September 10-14 in Yakima, Chelan, Omak, Raymond, Sekiu and Ferndale


Competition winners include Xiao Chen, piano; Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin; Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet; and Hannah Leffler, flute

Seattle, WA — August 23, 2017 — Ladies Musical Club of Seattle (LMC) will present six FREE public concerts in Eastern and Western Washington to showcase the musical talents of the winners from its recent 2017 Frances Walton Competition that was held in Seattle. Competition winners, ages 20-35 from all over the world, include Xiao Chen, piano; Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin; Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet; and Hannah Leffler, flute. The international artists will present six FREE classical music concerts plus school visits in communities that have limited access to live classical music. LMC has sponsored these popular, educational state tours since 1990. The artists will be featured on Classical KING FM 98.1 NW Focus Live on September 8 and 15 at 8:00 p.m.


Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin
Xiao Chen, piano

Sunday, September 10 at 2:00 p.m. at Englewood Christian Church, Yakima

Wednesday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m. at Lake Chelan Lutheran Church, Chelan

Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center, Omak


Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet
Hannah Leffler, flute

Sunday, September 10 at 2:00 p.m. at the Raymond Theatre, Raymond

Tuesday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Sekiu Center, 42 Rice St., Sekiu

Thursday, September 14 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ferndale High School Auditorium, Ferndale


Classical KING FM 98.1’s NW Focus Live host Sean MacLean will interview the winners and each will perform live on air:

Friday, September 8, at 8:00 p.m. in the KING FM studio

Xiao Chen, piano, and Xenia Deviatkina-Loh, violin, with collaborative pianist James Lent

Friday, September 15 at 8:00 p.m. at the Bloedel Reserve

Yasmina Spiegelberg, clarinet, and Hannah Leffler, flute, with collaborative pianist Jinshil Yi




Los Angeles, California, (born in Australia)
University of Southern California/Los Angeles, Master of Music (in progress)
Royal Academy of Music/London, Master of Arts



Los Angeles, California (born in China)
University of California/Los Angeles, Doctor of Musical Arts
The Juilliard School, Master of Music
Bard College Conservatory of Music, Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance
Bard College, Bachelor of Arts in Language and Literature


Los Angeles, California (born in Switzerland)
USC Thornton School of Music (CA), Graduate Certificate in Performance of Music, Artist Diploma, in progress
Norwegian State Academy of Music (Oslo, NO), Master of Music
Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bachelor of Music
Academy of Music of Lausanne (Switzerland), Bachelor of Arts in Music



Denton, Texas
University of North Texas, Doctor of Musical Arts (in progress)
University of Northern Iowa, Master of Music
Oklahoma City University, Bachelor of Music

LMC’s mission is to foster classical music through education, performance and awards. For more information on Ladies Musical Club’s free community concerts, programs in schools and the Frances Walton Competition, visit LMC’s website at; “Like” Ladies Musical Club of Seattle on Facebook; and follow LMC on Instagram.

–All programs, artists and dates subject to change–

Support for the Ladies Musical Club is provided by 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

Media sponsorship is provided by Classical KING FM 98.1.


Release #1718-2

August 23, 2017

LMC 2017 Competition Winners to Perform in Eastern and Western WA Sept 10-14-

Hannah Leffler, flute joins the 2017 LMC Award tour

Following the withdrawal of guitarist,  Bokyung Byun, guitar, FWC alternate Hannah Leffler, flute has been named as our newest Frances Walton Competition and Award Tour recipient.  She will join our other winners in September on the Award tour Washington schools. Welcome aboard, Hannah!

The 2017 FWC Award Tour Team

Hannah Leffler, flute