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Two Gold Medals for Fung

Prep Cellist triumphs in two international competitions within a single month

Prep Cellist Zlatomir Fung Wins Two International Competitions within a Month


Takes First Place in Irving M. Klein International String Competition on June 8

Won Stulberg International Competition, May 17

Awarded Total of $18,500 in Prize Money and Concert Engagements


Fifteen year old cellist Zlatomir Fung, a student in the NEC Preparatory School and a resident of Westborough, MA, has won two major international competitions within a month.  On June 8, he was awarded first prize in the Irving M. Klein International String Competition in San Francisco, taking home $13,000 in prize money as well as a number of solo engagements in California. On May 17, he won the Burdick-Thorne Gold Medal, a $5000 cash prize, and a performance with the Grand Rapids Symphony at the Stulberg International Competition in Kalamazoo, MI. At the latter competition, he also won the $500 Bach Award, an award that is co-sponsored with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival.

Zlatomir is home-schooled through the Oak Meadow Curriculum and School in Brattleboro, VT. At NEC, he studies with Nancy Hair and performs in NEC’s Youth Philharmonic Orchestra. In November, he played the Tchaikovsky Rococo Variations with the NEC Youth Symphony and conductor Steven Karidoyanes as the result of winning an NEC concerto competition (see photo below).

A much honored young musician, Zlatomir won second prize in the cello division of the Seventh International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in 2012. He was one of only two Americans honored as laureates in the competition.  In addition, he has won first prize at the 2012 AFAF International Concerto Competition; first prize at the Fourth Annual Civic Symphony of Boston James R. Powers Concerto Competition; first prize at the 2011 Golden Strings of America AFAF Competition; first prize at the New England Philharmonic Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition; first prize at the Walden Chamber Players Young Artist Competition; first prize in NEC’s 2010 Preparatory School Concerto Competition; and first prize at the Young Promise International Music Competition.

Featured on National Public Radio’s From the Top three times, Zlatomir is an avid chamber music player. He has studied at summer music programs at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Luzerne Music Center, and Greenwood Music Camp. In his spare time, Zlatomir loves to play chess competitively and to read. For a sampling of his playing, check out the video below from his November 2013 performance with the NEC Youth Symphony.

A cultural icon approaching its 150th anniversary in 2017, New England Conservatory (NEC) is recognized worldwide as a leader among music schools. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, on the Avenue of the Arts in the Fenway Cultural District, NEC offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. NEC alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC-trained musicians and faculty.

NEC is the oldest independent school of music in the United States. Founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee, an American music educator, choral conductor and organist, its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, NEC features training in classical, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Graduate and post-graduate programs supplement these core disciplines with orchestral conducting and professional chamber music training. Additional programs, such as the Sistema Fellows, a professional training program for top postgraduate musicians and music educators that creates careers connected to music, youth, and social change, and Entrepreneurial Musicianship, a cutting-edge program integrating professional and personal skills development into the musical training of students to better develop the skills and knowledge needed to create one’s own musical opportunities, also enhance the NEC experience.

Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Programs and Partnerships Program, the Conservatory provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, and adults. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music, jazz, and Contemporary Improvisation. Currently more than 750 young artists from 46 states and 39 foreign countries attend NEC on the college level; 1,400 young students attend on the Preparatory level; and 325 adults participate in the Continuing Education program.

The only conservatory in the United States designated a National Historic Landmark, NEC presents more than 900 free concerts each year. Many of these take place in Jordan Hall (which shares National Historic Landmark status with the school), world-renowned for its superb acoustics and beautifully restored interior. In addition to Jordan Hall, more than a dozen performance spaces of various sizes and configurations are utilized to meet the requirements of the unique range of music performed at NEC, from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to big band jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre or Paramount Center in Boston, and a semi-staged performance in Jordan Hall. This past 2013-2014 season, the operas produced were Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and Strauss' Die Fledermaus.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Senior Communications Specialist
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115