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Semi-Finalists Announced at Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

Taking place online between August 18-22, 2021, semi-final round will be streamed here on The Violin Channel — with the final round to be held in Shanghai LIVE in 2022


The thirteen semi-finalists have been announced at the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, in China.

Usually held biannually in Shanghai, this edition of the competition was originally scheduled for 2020, but due to the pandemic, has been re-envisioned into a new hybrid online and live format hosted over 2021 and 2022.

The quarter-final and semi-final stages are being held online this year, with six finalists to be chosen to travel to Shanghai in 2022 for the live final round. The jury will adjudicate online from all around the world.


The 13 semi-finalists are:

  • Yue Qian, 26 (China)

  • Jingzhi Zhang, 20 (China)

  • Rino Yoshimoto, 18 (Japan)

  • Katherine Woo, 23 (United States)

  • Thomas Lefort, 27 (France)

  • Marie Bégin, 30 (Canada)

  • William Lee, 22 (Taiwan, China)

  • Ruifeng Lin, 21 (China)

  • Felicitas Schiffner, 24 (Germany)

  • Kristine Clair (KayCee) Galano, 20 (Philippines)

  • Charlie Lovell-Jones, 22 (United Kingdom)

  • Angela Sin Ying Chan, 25 (Hong Kong, China)

  • Shannon Lee, 29 (United States)


Open to international violinists between ages 16 and 32, the first prize winner will receive USD $100,000. 

Launched in 2015, the competition aims to continue the musical spirit of the late-Isaac Stern and carry forward the forty-year-long musical friendship and bond he held with the country.

“The pandemic has dealt a blow to the global performing arts industry, and it has also caused many young people to lose opportunities," said Organization Committee President Long Yu.

"We cannot let them wait for too long. The violin competition is restarting online, and we hope to give a stage to young people from different countries to allow them to display their talents, realize their dreams, and use music to convey confidence and hope to the world."

This year's jury is comprised of David Stern (Co-Chairman), Vera Tsu Weiling (Co-Chairman), Martin Campbell-White, Glenn Dicterow, Emmanuel Hondré, Weigang Li, Ning Feng, Philip Setzer, Hagai Shaham, Joel Smirnoff, Kyoko Takezawa, Maxim Vengerov, and Jian Wang.

The 2016 1st prize was awarded to Japanese violinist Mayu Kishima and the 2018 1st prize to VC Artist Nancy Zhou from the United States.

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