Two Bienen School of Music alumni were among the 32 semifinalists in the 2019 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. Saxophonist Steven Banks (MM17) and trumpeter Ansel Norris (BM16) are now among the 12 finalists advancing to the auditions’ final round on Sunday, November 17, in New York City. Young Concert Artists International Auditions winners receive a three-year comprehensive management contract as members of the YCA roster and are presented in concert engagements across North America and abroad, including debut recitals in New York City and at Washington’s Kennedy Center.

Ansel Norris received his bachelor of music degree from the Bienen School in 2016. A member of Florida’s Naples Philharmonic, he won fifth prize in the 2019 International Tchaikovsky Competition’s brass division as the event’s highest ranked trumpeter.

A faculty member at Ithaca College, Steven Banks earned his master of music degree in 2017 as a student of saxophone professor Taimur Sullivan. “Steven Banks is at the forefront of musicians of his generation in his display of the highest level of both artistry and pedagogy,” says Sullivan. “He is continually pushing the boundaries and perceptions of our instrument, and in turn is helping to elevate the field even at this early stage of his career.”

The YCA International Auditions Finals will be streamed live from New York City on Sunday, November 17 beginning at 10 a.m. Eastern, and may be viewed via the YCA YouTube channel.

  • Taimur Sullivan
  • alumni
  • brass