The 12 Finalists have been announced at the 2017 inaugural Queen Elisabeth International Cello Competition, in Brussels, Belgium.
The 2017 Finalists are:
- Santiago Cañón-Valencia (21, Colombia)
- Brannon Cho (22, United States)
- Sihao He (23, China)
- Victor Julien-Laferrière (26, France)
- Seungmin Kang (29, South Korea)
- Ivan Karizna (24, Belarus)
- Maciej Kułakowski (20, Poland)
- JeongHyoun Christine Lee (25, South Korea)
- Yan Levionnois (26, France)
- Yuya Okamoto (22, Japan)
- Aurélien Pascal (22, France)
- Bruno Philippe (23, France)
For the Final round, to held between 29th May and the 3rd June, each candidate will present a major Cello Concerto of their own choice plus a previously unpublished newly-composed set work – to be performed with conductor Stéphane Denève and the Brussels Philharmonic.
The 12 finalists will now move to the Queen Elisabeth College of Music at a rate of two candidates per day to spend 1 full week in peaceful preparation for the final round – without any communication with any person not involved with the organisation of the event.
The 1st prize winner will receive €25,000 (US $26,000) and a number of important performance opportunities.
This year’s jury comprises: Arie Van Lysebeth (Jury Chair), Gautier Capuçon, Marta Casals Istomin, Henri Demarquette, Roel Dieltiens, David Geringas, Natalia Gutman, Marie Hallynck, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, Anssi Karttunen, Mischa Maisky, Antonio Meneses, Truls Mørk, Jian Wang, Pieter Wispelwey.
“The decision to launch a new competition, dedicated to the cello, was a natural one, taken after meeting with a number of outstanding young cellists and against a background of worldwide enthusiasm for the instrument today…” Competition Secretary General Michel-Etienne Van Neste has told The Violin Channel.
Moving forward the annual Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition structure will be adjusted from a 3 to a 4 year cycle – with Cello in 2017, Voice in 2018, Violin in 2019 and Piano in 2020.