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Coquitlam harpist wins bronze at international music competition

Emma Cho clinched bronze in the string category for musicians ages 18 to 35. The Vancouver International Music Competition was held at UBC last month.
Emma Cho of Coquitlam.

A Coquitlam harpist is being heralded as one of the youngest contestants to win a medal at the Vancouver International Music Competition.

Last month, Emma Cho took bronze in the string category for musicians ages 18 to 35 at the contest held at UBC.

The 18-year-old performed "Sonate pour Harpe" by Pierick Houdy to clinch the prize and $500 accolade, as well as the award for Best Performance of a Canadian Work.

Dr. Joy Yeh, a harp professor and chair of the harp department at the Vancouver Academy of Music (VAM), told the Tri-City News that Cho's success comes after a harp concerto with the Seongnam Youth Orchestra this past summer.

In the spring, she was a soloist with the Coquitlam Youth Orchestra.

"Emma Cho's accomplishments are nothing short of astonishing," said Yeh, who holds music degrees from Indiana, Yale and UBC.

"The harp, often considered an unconventional instrument, is gaining ground in Vancouver. Notably, the harp department at VAM stands as the largest among all Canadian music conservatories, and our city boasts the highest population of harp students in the nation."

She added, "Emma's victory in the string category, competing against accomplished violinists and cellists, is a testament to the remarkable growth of harp music in British Columbia."