The American violist receives £7000, a new bow and a London recital at Wigmore Hall

Paul Vincent Laraia III has been announced as the winner of the 13th Lionel Tertis International Competition, which took place from 6 to 13 April 2019. The 30-year-old American violist receives the ‘Lillian Tertis Award’ of £7,000, a London recital at Wigmore Hall and a new viola bow valued at £5,000 donated by Bishop Instruments and Bows.

The 20-year-old Chinese violist Yuchen Lu, was awarded second prize  of £5,000, while third prize of £3,000 went to the 18-year-old French violist Paul Adrien Zientara.

Born in Sewell, New Jersey, Laraia studied with Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory of Music, and, in 2011, received first prize at the Sphinx Competition. Since then, he has performed and recorded music with soloists including Paul Huang, Stefan Milenkovich, Gil Shaham, Vadim Repin and Cho-liang Lin and has won top chamber music prizes at the Fischoff Competition, the New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble Competition and the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition. In addition, he has performed at a variety of festivals, including the Sarasota Music Festival and the Banff Center for Music. 

The announcement followed a final round in which the three participants performed a concerto and a new piece by Roxanna Panufnik entitled Canto, as well as taking part in a string trio with former members of the Schubert Ensemble, violinist Simon Blendis and cellist Jane Salmon.

Held every three years in Port Erin on the Isle of Man, the competition, whose previous winners include Timothy Ridout, Ziyu Shen and Milena Pajaro-van-De Stadt, is open to violists of all nationalities aged 30 and under. This year 42 candidates, whittled down from 107 entries, were selected to go through to the competition, from which eight were selected to go through to the semi finals, and three to the finals.

The jury comprised Yuri Bashmet (Russia), George Caird (UK), Carol Rodland (USA), Danusha Waskiewicz (Germany) and Mikhail Zemtsov (Netherlands).