Yesong Sophie Lee

Winner of the 2016 Menuhin Competition - Junior Division

Sophie will perform Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 at AFA’s Finale Concert on Saturday, July 31 with camp participants and members of the Johns Creek Symphony Orchestra! This concert will also feature Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and sections of Tchaikovsky’s chamber masterwork, Souvenir de Florence. 

AFA’s other major summer 2021 concert will take place on Thursday, July 29 at 4:30 p.m., when our camp participants perform the many wonderful chamber music works that they will have spent nearly two weeks learning together at the Johns Creek United Methodist Church. This event is free so please join us!

This 3-minute video provides a thorough overview about the mission and accomplishments of the Atlanta Festival Academy. To watch the amazing individual performances from our 2019 concerts please click here.

Click here to download your own copy of our poster!

News and Updates!

AFA is thrilled that Yesong Sophie Lee, winner of the 2016 Menuhin Junior Division Competition, will perform at our 2021 Finale Concert!

Yesong Sophie Lee won the 2016 Menuhin Competition’s Junior Division when she was just 12 years old. Since then Ms. Lee, a Seattle native, has performed all across Europe and the United States. She will perform Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 at our Finale Concert on Saturday, July 31! Click here to find out more about Ms. Lee.

AFA to Launch Two New Youth Orchestras!

In August 2021 the Atlanta Festival Academy will start two new youth orchestras, the Atlanta Festival Chamber Orchestra and the Atlanta Festival Sinfonietta! These two new groups will offer string players the opportunity to explore the rich and challenging literature of the string orchestra repertoire. Please click here to learn more about the orchestras, their conductors, and how to audition!

Third Online Master Class Taking Place on May 8!
The Atlanta Festival Academy presents its third virtual master class led by renowned violinist Nicholas Kitchen on May 8 at 2pm! Prof. Kitchen is the Artistic Director of the Heifetz International Music Institute, founding first violinist of the award-winning Borromeo String Quartet, and a Professor of Violin at the New England Conservatory of Music. Those interested in attending this virtual master class should register here. Past attendees of the Atlanta Festival Academy, as well as students of the William Pu Music Academy, may register at no charge; all other registrants will need to pay a $15 registration fee.

The 2021 Atlanta Festival Academy will have TWO different programs!

  • Chamber Music Camp (CMC) welcomes violin, viola, and cello students (for rising 5th to 12th graders). Dates: July 19 – 31, 2021. Daily hours: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Click here for more information and to apply!
  • Atlanta Festival Competition (AFC) Up-and-coming musicians ages 23 and younger now have the opportunity to compete for nearly $10,000 in prizes and performances. Please click here to find more information.

Second Online Master Class Taking Place on March 20!

The Atlanta Festival Orchestra invites you to view our second online master class, this time led by Alf Richard Kraggerud. Maestro Kraggerud is the Director of Youth Talents at Norway’s Barrett Due Music Institute, and he will join us on Saturday, March 20 at 1:00pm. Those interested in attending this virtual master class should register here. Past attendees of the Atlanta Festival Academy, as well as students of the William Pu Music Academy, may register at no charge; all other registrants will need to pay a $15 registration fee.

AFA’s 2021 Master Classes Go Online, Starting February 25! 
The Atlanta Festival Academy’s 2021 master classes will be held online, and they begin Thursday, February 25 with Prof. He Wei, Artistic Director and Dean of The Tianjin Juilliard School. Those interested in attending this virtual master class should register here. Past attendees of the Atlanta Festival Academy, as well as students of the William Pu Music Academy, may register at no charge; all other registrants will need to pay a $15 registration fee.

About Atlanta Festival Academy
The Atlanta Festival Academy maintains its position as the first international two-week classical music festival hosted in the Southeast, and will again attract young musicians, renowned instructors, and world-class performers from around the globe. The festival will continue to be packed with master classes, lectures, workshops, as well as private lessons, chamber music, and orchestra coachings by celebrated teachers from Asia, the Americas, and Europe. The 2019 edition of the festival culminated with two concerts featuring Menuhin Competition winner Chloe Chua. These concerts thrilled nearly two thousand audience members and highlighted works by Mendelssohn, Bartok, Dvorak, and other great composers. We feel sure that the 2021 festival concerts will again delight and engage concert-goers and festival participants alike.

Congratulations to Our 2020 Grand Prize Winner, Quang Vo Minh!

Quang Vo Minh, a 14 year old pianist from Hanoi, Vietnam, was selected by a vote of all 9 Competition judges as the Grand Prize Winner of this year’s Atlanta Festival Academy Competition. We look forward to watching your musical career continue to grow!

AFA Competition Featured in Johns Creek Herald
The Johns Creek Herald recently published an article highlighting the success of our inaugural AFA Competition. We are so proud of the incredible participation we had by young musicians from around the world, and sharing this article is one small way we can say “Thank You!” You can read the article here.

Atlanta Festival Academy Competition Update!
Thank you so much to the nearly 90 applicants who entered our inaugural Competition! You all submitted so many wonderful performances, and now we will excitedly share your videos with our judges. Click here to see the list of this year’s winners!

2019 International Shining Stars Concert
On July 27, 2019, at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, the Atlanta Festival Academy kicked off its performance series with the “International Shining Stars” concert. The concert featured Chloe Chua performing her famous interpretation of “Winter,” from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which had already reached more than two million views on YouTube. Other young musicians from the Atlanta Festival Academy joined Chloe on stage, including winners of various international competitions from China, Singapore, and United States.

2019 Atlanta Festival Academy Finale Concert
The Finale concert again featured 12-year-old violin sensation Chloe Chua as soloist with performances of Felix Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Bela Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, and showcased the two orchestras of the Atlanta Festival Academy on stage at the brand new Byers Theater at Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center on July 30, 2019.

AFA Co-Founder William Pu Honored by Georgia Secretary of State
Congratulations to Atlanta Festival Academy co-founder William Pu, who was honored during the 2019 AFA opening ceremony as an Outstanding Citizen of Georgia. Mr. Pu received this Award from the Secretary of State, Mr. Brad Raffensperger, and it was presented by the secretary’s special ambassador, Mr. Roger Wise, Jr. This award is a recognition of the effort and commitment put in by everyone associated with the Atlanta Festival Academy in order to create a classical music festival unrivaled by any other in the Southeast.

We would like to thank the following partnerships for making the Atlanta Festival Academy so successful.