Led by president Nikolaj Znaider, the contest takes place from 16-22 April in Denmark


Violinist Nikolaj Znaider, president of the 2016 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition, has announced the 24 candidates who will take part in the live rounds from 16-22 April in Odense, Denmark.

The list includes a number of violinists who have won prizes in recent competitions, including Ji Yoon Lee (pictured), winner of the 2015 Windsor Festival International String Competition and of the 2013 David Oistrakh International Competition in Moscow; Liya Petrova, second prize winner at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion Valais in 2013; Arsenis Selalmazidis, fourth prize winner at the inaugural Boris Goldstein International Violin Competition in Switzerland in 2015; Ji Won Song, who won first prize, worth US $50,000, at the fourth China International Violin Competition, held in Qingdao; and Suliman Tekalli, second prize winner at the Seoul International Music Competition 2015.

The 24 shortlisted candidates are:

Wonhee Bae, 29, South Korea

Amalie Elmark, 23, Denmark

Mohamed Hiber, 20, France

Luke Hsu, 25, USA

Liubov Kalymkova, 24, Russia

Karen Kido, 21, Japan

Woo Hyung Kim, 24, South Korea

Ji Yoon Lee, 23, South Korea

Wooil Lee, 26, South Korea

Fanglei Liu, 24, China

Alexandra Lomeiko, 24, New Zealand

Grace Park, 29, United States

Soo-Hyun Park, 27, South Korea

Mari Poll, 28, Estonia

Liya Petrova, 25, Bulgaria

Arsenis Selalmazidis, 25, Greece

Orest Smovzh, 25, Ukraine

Ji Won Song, 23, South Korea

Karen Su, 17, USA

Airi Suzuki, 26, Japan

Yun Tang, 23, China

Suliman Tekalli, 28, USA

Natsumi Tsuboi, 22, Japan

Michiko Yamada, 23, UK

All candidates must demonstrate expertise in recital, chamber music and concerto repertoire, as well as directing from the violin, while each finalist must perform the Nielsen Violin Concerto. The first prize winner will receive a cash award of €12,000, a CD recording with the Odense Symphony Orchestra on Orchid Records, and a minimum of ten concert appearances with top European orchestras.

This year’s jury features violinist Corina Belcea, cellist Jian Wang, Berlin Philharmonic first concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley and Wigmore Hall director John Gilhooly.

‘Too many competitions leave the young artist ill-equipped to embark on a professional career’ said Znaider, who himself won the Carl Nielsen Competition in 1992. ‘With the Carl Nielsen International Competition our aim is to identify and help launch the careers of extraordinary and versatile talent as they begin the long road ahead of them. It is also of paramount importance for us to maintain transparency throughout the entire process of the competition, from choosing the participants to singling out the winners. A number of competitions are marred by the personal interests of their jury members, giving advantages to particular participants and making the competition effectively redundant.’

Founded in 1980, the Nielsen Competition is held every four years and since 1997 and 1998, has incorporated clarinet and flute respectively. 2012’s violin winner was Russian competitor Olga Volkova.

For more information visit the Carl Nielsen International Competition website.

Read: How to prepare for a competition, by Queen Elisabeth winning violinist Ji Young Lim