2017 Junior Division – 1st Place Laureate
2016 Junior Division – 2nd Place Laureate
Ifetayo Ali, 14, began her musical studies on violin when she was able to stand. At age 3, she decided that she preferred the mellow sounds of the cello and begged her mother to switch. She was allowed to switch at age 4. Her teachers and coaches have been Lucinda Ali Landing, Megan Lauterbach, and Martine Benmann at the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Tahirah Whittington, Oleksa Mycyk, and Hans Jørgen Jensen. She has also studied with teachers at summer music camps at Suzuki-Deerfield, Illinois Wesleyan, Sphinx Performance Academy, and Meadowmount.
Ifetayo is the Junior Division 1st Place Laureate of the 2017 Annual Sphinx Competition and performed as soloist with the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra at Orchestra Hall in Detroit. She is also the Junior Division 2nd Place Laureate of the 2016 Sphinx Competition. She was selected as one of the winners of the 2016 DePaul Concerto Festival for Young Performers competition and performed as soloist with the Festival’s Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra. Over the years, she has placed or received honorable mentions for the Society of American Musicians (SAM) competition, Depaul Concerto Festival for Young Musicians competition, and the Music Festival in Honor of Confucius competition.
Ifetayo was honored at the Friends of the IPO (Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra) Rising Stars Showcase in 2013 at age 10, when she recorded the 1st movement of the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor. To date, this video has over 48,000 YouTube views and over 8 million Facebook views. She also recorded “Celtic Hymn” from Northern Skies for cello and piano by James MacMillan who discovered the video and complimented Ifetayo via Twitter. Her most recent YouTube recordings are Cello Concerto No. 1, 1st Mvt by Dmitri Shostokovich (2016) and Pampeana No. 2 for violoncello and piano, Op. 21 by Alberto Ginastera (2017)
Ifetayo also enjoys singing, dancing, and playing piano.