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New Zealand violinist Benjamin Baker, 23, takes £5,000 first prize in Windsor

Saturday, 23 March 2013

New Zealand-born violinist Benjamin Baker has won the fourth Windsor Festival International String Competition. The 23-year-old (pictured), who is studying with Natasha Boyarsky at the Royal College of Music, received £5,000, engagements, a solo recording with Champs Hill Records and a violin bow. As part of the prize, Baker will give a concerto performance in Windsor Castle on 27 September, with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon.

Second prize went to US-born Japanese violinist Yuka Ishizuka, 25, and 26-year-old Marisol Lee from South Korea, also a violinist, came third. In total, violin players made up six of the eight semi-finalists this year, with one violist and one cellist also in the running. The jury included violinist Erich Gruenberg, viola player Paul Silverthorne and cellist Thomas Demenga.

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