The 19-year-old Canadian violist won $15,000, future concert engagements, as well as the audience prize


Violist Emad Zolfaghari

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The final rounds of the 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition were held on 21 and 22 June at the Colburn School. Three violists competed in a chamber music round and concerto round, whittled down from 21 live competitors following a week of performances.

19-year-old Canadian violist Emad Zolfaghari won first prize of $15,000, as well as an invitation to perform at the 2026 American Viola Society Festival and an invitation to participate in the semi-finals of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. Zolfaghari also won the audience prize.

Zolfaghari was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music at age 16, where he currently studies with Hsin-Yun Huang. His previous competition successes include first prize the Irving M. Klein International String Competition and the International Morningside Music Bridge Competition, second prize the Johansen International String Competition and third prize the OSM String Competition.

Kinga Wojdalska (25, Poland) won second prize of $10,000, as well as the transcriptions prize of $1,000 for her own transcription and performance of Grażyna Bacewicz’s Polish Capriccio.

Third prize went to Andy Park (22, US), who received $5,000. Semi-finalist Mao Konishi (28, Japan) won the Illumination prize for best performance of a work by an underrepresented composer demographic and received $1,000, for her performance of Akira Nishimura’s Sonata for Viola Solo No. 2 ’Mantra on the C string.’

The live round competition jury included jury chair Ayane Kozasa, Atar Arad , Cathy Basrak, Ensik Choi, Steven Dann and Geraldine Walther.

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