19-year-old violinist Gabrielle Despres has been awarded 1st prize at the 2020 Klein International String Competition

Gabrielle Despres

Gabrielle Després

Held online this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Klein International String Competition has awarded its prizes.

The 19-year-old Canadian-born violinist Gabrielle Després has been awarded 1st prize, receiving US $13,000, plus solo engagements with the Peninsula and Santa Cruz Symphonies, the Gualala Arts Chamber Music Series, and the Music in the Vineyards Chamber Music Series.

A current student of Masao Kawasaki and Joseph Lin at The Juilliard School, Després has won prizes at competitions including the nationals of the Canadian Music Competition in both violin and piano.

2nd and 3rd prizes were awarded to 18-year-old American cellist Jiaxun Yao and 18-year-old American violinist Masha Lakisova.

Joint 4th prize was awarded to 18-year-old American violinist Caroline Durham and 18-year-old South Korean violinist Dongyoung Shim.

Read: Rubinstein International Violin Competition awards prizes based on application videos

Read: Khachaturian Competition goes online

Read: James Baik wins Irving M.Klein International String Competition

The special prize for the ‘Best Performance of This Year’s Commissioned Work’ was awarded jointly to Jiaxun Yao and Gabrielle Després.

The ‘Pablo Casals Prize’ for the ‘Best performance of a Solo Bach Work’ was awarded to Masha Lakisova.

The 2020 jury, who convened remotely to judge the performance videos, comprised: Richard Aaron, Christopher Costanza, Glenn Dicterow, Karen Dreyfus, Robert Gibson, Ian Swensen and Barbara Day Turner.

Open to string players aged 15 to 23, the Klein is normally based in San Francisco, California, and takes place every year. Previous 1st prize winners include Jennifer Koh, Vadim Gluzman and Tessa Lark.