A graduate of the International Center for Music at Park University, Curtis Institute of Music and the New England Conservatory, where she studied with Ben Sayevich, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Pamela Frank and Miriam Fried, Maria is a former prize winner at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players and was recently, in July of this year, also awarded first prize at the 2021 Ysaÿe International Violin Competition, in Belgium.
She will receive CHF 20,000 plus a number of important concert engagements.
Second and third prizes were awarded to 19-year-old Tassilo Probst from Germany and 20-year-old Lorenz Karls from Sweden.
"It was difficult for us to choose, because the level of all the candidates was very high", President of the Jury Salvatore Accardo said.
"After the confinements caused by Covid, these young people all had a great desire and need to play in the presence of an audience, and you could feel it in their playing”.
This year's Audience Prize and special Youth Jury Prize were also awarded to Maria Ioudenitch.
This prize for the best performance of this year's compulsory work 'Stilleven' by composer Michel Petrossian was awarded to finalist Lorenz Karls.
“Thank you to the incredible jury members whom I’ve been lucky enough to meet tonight, and to the hard-working organizers who’ve made everything run so smoothly this week in Sion,” Maria said.
“Congratulations to my brilliant fellow competitors and to all the people I have shared the stage with this week, pianists Inga Dzektser and Konstantin Lifschitz, cellist Marc Coppey and of course and Maestro Sergei Krylov and the Lithuania Chamber Orchestra.”
“And, none of this would be possible without my teacher and mentor of 3 years Miriam Fried, who along with her husband Paul Biss, who have both been the most supportive, generous, and wise presences in my life during this experience,” the self-proclaimed 'American with a Russian heart and soul' first prize winner today said.
"And to my dearest mom who has listened to my program over Zoom approximately 580 times ... I'm so grateful — and so sorry!"
In addition, three 4th prizes were awarded to semi-final stage of this year's competition to 24-year-old Ava Bahari from Sweden, 25-year-old Seira Horiochi from Japan and 18-year-old Arthur Traelnes from Switzerland.
Held biannually, the competition is open to international violinists under 26 years of age. 25 candidates were selected from 124 young musicians to participate in the opening round — a 32% increase of entries from the 2019 edition.
This year's jury members include Salvatore Accardo (President), Kolja Blacher, Friedemann Eichhorn, Koichiro Harada, Yuzuko Horigome, Michel Petrossian, and Pavel Vernikov.