Carmel Creek first grader and instructor both recognized in worldwide music competition

Julia Chen

Carmel Creek first-grader Julia Chen finished third place among violinists in her age group in the King’s Peak International Music Competition for spring 2021, which features classical music and is open to all musicians around the world.

The competition was held virtually. Julia submitted a recording of herself playing Minuet No. 3 by Johann Sebastian Bach, with background music playing from a computer.

Julia’s father, Renkun Chen, said she began taking virtual violin lessons last June so she could “have more activities” as the COVID-19 pandemic canceled and restricted many extra-curricular activities.

“She really enjoyed her online lessons, especially her violin lessons,” Chen said.

Julia is also learning piano. Her other interests include reading and drawing.

“She had a very positive attitude for a small kid,” Chen said, referring to the adjustments of doing schoolwork and music lessons virtually.

Julia’s violin instructor, Tingting Wang, also placed third in the same competition in a division for contestants ages 23 and older. She played Bach’s Sonata No. 1 in G minor.

Wang said she earned her bachelor’s degree in music at Shenyang Conservatory of Music, followed by a master’s degree in violin performance at the University of North Texas and a minor in music education. She has given online lessons to students in multiple countries, especially during the pandemic.

The King’s Peak International Music Competition awarded students in multiple categories, including violin, piano, opera, woodwinds, brass, harpsichord and ensemble. All entries had to be from the Baroque, Galant, Classical, Romantic or Modern Classical eras. Winners in each instrument category and each age division were selected by a jury.

“All the students have amazing ability,” added Wang, who has been playing violin since age 5.

For biographies, divisions and other information about the competition’s winners in spring 2021, visit To view Julia’s performance, visit; to view Wang’s performance, visit