Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko took home the CAD80,000 first prize


Photo: Tam Lan Truong

(l-r): Dmytro Udovychenko, SooBeen Lee and SongHa Choi

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The finals of the Concours Musical International de Montréal took place on 4 May at the Maison Symphonique in Montreal, Canada. Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko, 23, won first prize, which includes a CAD30,000 cash prize donated by the city of Montreal, a CAD50,000 career development grant and a three-performance North American tour. Udovychenko’s final performance took place on 3 May, where he played Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no.1 with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (OSM), under the baton of Rafael Payare. He also won the CAD2,500 award for the best interpretation of a piece by J.S. Bach

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Udovychenko is a laureate of several major competitions including third prize at the 2022 International Jean Sibelius VIolin Competition and second prize at the 2018 Joseph Joachim Violin Competition. He has also played with orchestras across Europe, such as the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, Odessa National Philharmonic Orchestra, Bergische Symphoniker and NDR Radiophilharmonie. He is currently studying with Christian Tetzlaff.


Photo: Tam Lan Truong

Udovychenko performing on 3 May

Second prize went to South Korean SongHa Choi, 23, who performed Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto no.2 on 4 May. She wins CAD15,000. Choi also received the awards for best interpretation of the imposed Canadian work (CAD2,5000), best performance of a sonata in the semi-finals (CAD5,000), and the audience prize (CAD5,000). Third prize and CAD10,000 went to South Korean SooBeen Lee, 22. The prize for best performance of a virtuoso work was awarded to Yesong Sophie Lee, 19, from the United States. 

The competition, which had over 200 competitors in the pre-selection rounds, welcomed 24 violinists to Montreal on 25 April for the first rounds. Twelve went through to the semi-finals, which took place on 29 and 30 April at the Salle Bourgie. The semi-finalists were tasked with presenting recitals including sonatas and virtuosic works. The six that made it through to the finals were to play a concerto with the OSM. For the first time in the competition’s history, the finals saw six different concertos performed.

The prizes were announced by Christiane LeBlanc, director of the competition. Richard Rodzinski presided over the jury, which included Koichiro Harada, Yura Lee, Malcolm Lowe, Mihaela Martin, Lucie Robert, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Krishna Thiagarajan. 

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