Six semi-finalists named in Bavarian Radio competition which offers cash prizes and numerous performance opportunities

ARD finalists collage The Strad

The 2019 ARD International Music Competition offers four categories: cello, clarinet, bassoon and percussion. In each category there is a first prize of €10,000, plus cash prizes for second and third place, a number of special prizes, and a host of paid performance opportunities.

The competition invited a total of 64 cellists to its first round, of which six now remain for the 10 September semi-final. They are:

  • Jérémy Garbarg (France)
  • Sihao He (China)
  • Marcel Johannes Kits (Estonia)
  • Haruma Sato (Japan)
  • Anton Mecht Spronk (Netherlands/Switzerland)
  • Friedrich Thiele (Germany)

The cello section culminates in the 13 September final with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Eun Sun Kim in which three remaining candidates will perform their choice of the Elgar, Schumann, Shostakovich no.2 and Martinů no.2 concertos.

Both semi-finals and finals will be live streamed on the BR website.

Chaired by American cellist Lynn Harrell, the jury comprises Ophélie Gaillard, Matt Haimovitz, Maria Kliegel, Torleif Thedéen, Tamás Varga and Pieter Wispelwey.

Launched in 1952, the ARD Competition focuses each year on different instrumental categories, selected from 21 disciplines. It has helped to launch the careers of a number of leading musicians throughout the years, including Yuri Bashmet, Christian Tetzlaff, Antoine Tamestit, Jessye Norman, Mitsuko Uchida, Thomas Quasthoff and Heinz Holliger.

The most recent cello winner was István Várdai in 2014.