NYFC Competition 2024 Winners

The 2024 New York Flute Club Competition was was held at the 2024 NY Flute Fair on Sunday, March 24. The three winners, selected from six finalists, were:

     1st prize: Aalia Hanif
     2nd prize: Monica Park and Marcos Ruiz

We look forward to hearing them at their April 28, 2024 concert and thank competition coordinator Kaoru Hinata and our esteemed judges Laura Conwesser, David DiGiacobbe, Nicolas Duchamp, Lisa Hansen, Maron Khoury, and Beomjae Kim.  

Special thanks to Phil Unger and the Flute Center of New York for sponsoring the first prize.

Aalia Hanif (first prize) graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in flute performance. She was a student of John Thorne, Jennifer Gunn, and Alyce Johnson and is currently studying with Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson. In 2021, she made her solo debut with the Nashville Symphony, performing Borne's Carmen Fantasy. In the fall of 2022, Aalia Hanif was appointed principal flute of the La Crosse (WI) Symphony Orchestra and joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She is currently a Fellow with Civic, leading musical projects with various community organizations advocating for social justice around the Chicago area. Ms. Hanif has performed in a masterclass with Michael Tilson Thomas and performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She won a Special Award in the British Flute Society's 2022 Young Artist Competition. During the summer of 2022, she attended the Aspen Music Festival and School, where she studied with Nadine Asin, Mark Sparks, and Demarre McGill, returning as a fellowship recipient in 2023. Outside of music, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

Monica Park (second prize), age 24, born in New York, is currently pursuing her MM at NYU Steinhardt under Soo-Kyung Park. She received her bachelor of music from the Conservatory of Music at SUNY Purchase with the highest distinction. There, she studied with Tara Helen O'Connor. Monica Park attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, specializing in music. Her other teachers include Nadine Hur, Anna Urrey, and Keith Underwood. She has won prizes in the Purchase concerto competition, Friday Woodmere Club Young Artists Competition,and the New York International Grand Prix Competition. 

Marcos Ruiz (second prize) began his musical journey in Miami, Florida, where he was completely self-taught until the age of 18. Driven to learn more about the world of classical music, he moved to New York City to study under his first flute teacher, Linda Chesis, at the Manhattan School of Music. He then enrolled in the master's program at Carnegie Mellon University, where he currently studies under Alberto Almarza. Marcos Ruiz has since earned top spots in orchestras, competitions, and music festivals throughout Florida and New York, including the 2022 Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition and the New World Symphony Side-by-Side Competition. He performs regularly in large and small ensembles and performs in solo recitals and masterclasses. He continues to pursue his passion to become an orchestral flautist and teach aspiring young flute players for future generations.