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


23-year-old Ji Yoon Lee from South Korea and 25-year-old Liya Petrova from Bulgaria (pictured) have been named joint first prize winners at the Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition 2016.

The two violinists performed the Nielsen Violin Concerto and another major concerto of their choice alongside fellow finalist, 25-year-old Luke Hsu from the US, on Thursday and Friday last week at the Odense Concert Hall in Denmark. The three finalists were whittled down from 24 contestants aged between 17 and 29.

Both first prize winners 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. Hsu, who was awarded third prize, receives €8,000. No second prize was awarded.

Ji Yoon Lee won the 2015 Windsor Festival International String Competition and the 2013 David Oistrakh International Competition in Moscow, while Liya Petrova won second prize at the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition Sion Valais in 2013.

This year’s jury, chaired by 2016 president and former Nielsen Competition winner Nikolaj Znaider, featured cellist Jian Wang, Berlin Philharmonic first concertmaster Noah Bendix-Balgley, Vienna Philharmonic violinist Werner Hink, Odense Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Eugen Tichindeleanu and pianist Kathryn Stott.

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: 2016 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition names three finalists

Read: 2016 Carl Nielsen International Violin Competition names 24 shortlisted candidates

Photo: Knud Erik Jørgensen OS/Nikon