The competition was held at Köthen Castle from 4 to 11 November 2023

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(l-r) Manon Papasergio, Amarilis Dueñas Castán and Garance Boizot |

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The 9th edition of the Bach-Abel International Viola da Gamba Competition was held from 4 to 11 November 2023 in Köthen, Germany. The competition coincided with the 300th anniversary of the German composer Carl Friedrich Abel, who was a renowned player of the viola da gamba.

First prize was awarded to Manon Papasergio, worth €6,000. Amarilis Dueñas Castán received second prize of €4,500, while Garance Boizot took third prize of €3,000.

The Audience Award went to both Papasergio and Dueñas Castán, which was donated by the Viola da Gamba Society. The special prize for the Abel catalogue of works went to all six finalists. Finalists Thomas Fields, Beatriz Lopez Paz and Stephen Moran received special prize vouchers donated by Edition Güntersberg.

The jury comprised Siegfried Pank (president), Wendy Gillespie, Masako Hirao, Paolo Pandolfo (chairman), Hille Perl, Jordi Savall and Peter Reidemaster.

The Bach-Abel International Viola da Gamba Competition has been held every three years since 1997. The prize winners at the previous edition were Vanessa Hunt Russel, Mathilde Gomas and Andre Lislevand.

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