The Caprio Young Artists Competition was established in 1998 to honor the life and legacy of John-Michael Caprio, Founding Music Director and Conductor of The Riverside Symphonia. The mission of the competition is to motivate, recognize, promote and support young musicians with an opportunity to perform with a professional orchestra and work with a world class conductor. Preparing for a live competition and performing for a public audience are important steps in musical careers. John-Michael Caprio dedicated his life to sharing enthusiasm and encouragement to help developing musicians, first as a teacher in New Jersey, and later as a choir director of Ars Nova and music director at Church of the Resurrection, Rye, NY. His passion for music and ability to organize large-scale projects led to appointments as Choir Director at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, NY, NY and Director of Liturgical Music for the Archdiocese of New York. His many accomplishments are recorded in a chapter of the book “Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick’s Cathedral”.
The Riverside Symphonia is a premiere professional regional orchestra serving the Delaware Valley for over 25 years. Founded in Lambertville, NJ in 1990, the orchestra attracts audiences young and old from Hunterdon, Bucks, Mercer and Somerset counties. The orchestra’s repertoire ranges from Baroque to 20th century and the member musicians are acclaimed performers, teachers and soloists. One of the most popular events the annual July “Concert Under the Stars”entertains thousands with its outdoor concert complete with fireworks.
Mariusz Smolij, Music Director and Conductor, is considered one of the most talented conductors of his generation. He also serves as Music Director of the Acadiana Symphony in Lafayette, Louisiana and has collaborated with many national and international orchestral groups including the Atlanta Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the New Jersey Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony. He is also associated with the Wroclaw (Breslau) Philharmonic in Poland and has presided over the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans.