Munich event has many precedents of leaving the top spot empty, including at its last edition in 2013

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Joint second prize winner Andrea Obiso. All photos: ©Daniel Delang

German violinist Sarah Christian and Andrea Obiso from Italy shared the second prize in the violin section of the 66th ARD International Music Competition, with Kristine Balanas (Latvia) taking third.

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Sarah Christian

The competition rotates through a total of 21 disciplines, this year offering violin, piano, guitar and oboe. It’s previous violin iteration in 2013 also left the top spot empty, putting Bomsori Kim and Christel Lee in joint second. Indeed, in the 20 violin events since the competition launched in 1952, 13 haven’t awarded a top prize.

The final, which took place on Wednesday 6 September with the participants accompanied by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the Munich Herkulessaal, saw all three competitors perform Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no.1.

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Kristine Balanas

Sarah Christian was also awarded the audience prize while Andrea Obiso won for the best interpretation of the commissioned piece in the semi-final, For Solo Violin by Avner Dorman.

The violin competition jury comprised chair Mauricio Fuks along with Pierre Amoyal, Hae-Sun Kang, Tasmin Little, Erez Ofer, Benjamin Schmid, and Isabelle van Keulen.

The ARD Competition has helped to launch the careers of a number of leding musicians throughout the years, including Yuri Bashmet, Christian Tetzlaff, Jessye Norman, Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Quasthoff and Heinz Holliger.

Video of the final is available on the ARD website.