IRVINE, Calif. – In Irvine the Orange County Parnassus Society is fostering talent with one musician who has gone on to play with some of the most well-known ensembles in the country.

Music is a gift. Emily Uematsu, shares it with everyone who is lucky enough to hear her play.

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In 2017 she won the Paranassus Award, given by the Parnassus Society, an Orange County non-profit that fosters the talent of young artists in Orange County.

“With every opportunity I get from Parnassus Society, that creates other opportunities,” says Uematsu.

The organization was founded by Irvine philanthropist Dr. Kenneth Tokita and his wife Sandy. After moving from L.A., their passion for arts and culture motivated them to help young Orange County artists achieve their dreams.

“There was not a lot of music available that was more small such as chamber music and small theatre music that’s classical. Also, there’s not a place for the young, up-and-coming artists to display themselves here at home,” says Dr. Tokita.

Uematsu has played the violin nearly her entire life, but she wasn’t always sure she wanted to keep pursuing it. She chose Chapman over applying to Julliard despite attending its pre-college division.

While at Chapman she fell back in love with the instrument. Today she is one of the few talented enough to pursue a career as a soloist.

As she plays Thchaikovsky’s Concerto, a masterpiece that was originally said to be too difficult to play, she is proof that talent is everywhere.

“They’ve given me a lot of chance to grow my career, and that’s been really amazing,” Uematsu says.

Music to everyone’s ears.