18-year-old Finnish violinist Laura Kukkonen has this week been announced as the winner of the 2019 ‘Play With Ray‘ initiative – granting her the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to perform Bach's Double Violin Concerto at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angeles, with superstar Australian violinist, VC Artist Ray Chen and the LA Philharmonic.
Laura was chosen from more than 800 online applicants and was offered the opportunity to perform the concert on a 1775 Guadagnini violin – on generous loan from Tarisio.
“There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for this experience …” Laura has this week said.
“Getting a masterclass from Ray, playing on Guadagninis, doing extra activities, making new friends and, finally, performing with the outstanding professionals at the Hollywood Bowl – all of these are a dream come true and even more,” the Sibelius Academy Pre-College student has said.
VC ARTIST RAY CHEN & LAURA KUUKONEN | BACH | DOUBLE VIOLIN CONCERTO IN D MINOR | BEN GERNON & LA PHILHARMONIC | 2019
This year's other finalists were 22-year-old Youngji Kim from South Korea and 13-year-Adriana Bec from the United States – who both joined the ensemble's 1st violin section for the performance.
“This competition has been an amazing experience … the partnership with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl brought my dream to life of being able to provide people around the world a fun and unique opportunity, and to have a little something extra to practice for …” Ray has said.
“All of these young women are immensely talented musicians and I predict bright futures for all of them,” he has said.
PHOTO CREDIT: CRAIG MATTHEW/MATHEW IMAGING