Brook Speltz, 18, of La Cañada, enters the Curtis Institute of Music this year to study with Peter Wiley, cellist of the Guameri String Quartet. All students at Curtis receive merit-based full-tuition scholarships, and Speltz holds a Mary Louise Curtis Bok Fellowship.
He began playing when he was six and has gone on to win numerous awards, including third prize in the Bronislaw Kaper Awards for Young Artists held by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and grand prize in the regional division of the National Solo Competition held by the American String Teachers Association; he later became a finalist in the ASTA state competition. He recently won the Brentwood Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed the Elgar Cello Concerto. He also performed as a soloist with the La Cañada High School Orchestra in 2002 and 2004.
In past summers, Speltz has attended the ENCORE School for Strings, Music Academy of the West, Bowdoin International Music Festival, Soundfest Chamber Music Seminar in Cape Cod, Oregon Bach Festival and Idyllwild Arts Academy, where he was principal cello of the orchestra in 2004. He was a member of the American Youth Symphony and has performed on KUSC-FM's Sundays Live chamber music series.