Twelve international string players will have the chance to compete for a prize package worth over £30,000, including a cash prize, a recording deal and numerous performance opportunities

WFISC 2024 Semi-finalists announced

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The Windsor Festival International String Competition (WFISC) has announced twelve semi-finalists for its 2024 edition. The contestants were selected from 159 applicants from 40 countries by the panel jury comprising David Juritz, Jon Thorne and David Cohen.

The twelve semi-finalists are:

Andrew Byun, Cello, 25, Canada

Johannes Gray, Cello, 26, US

Anna Im, Violin, 26, South Korea

Lorenz Karls, Violin, 22, Austria/Sweden

Leland Ko, Cello, 25, US/Canada

Yesong Sophie Lee, Violin, 20, US

Chase Park, Cello, 26, US

Jakob Taylor, Cello, 26, US

Edward Walton, Violin, 17, Australia/UK

Julia Wang, Violin, 16, China

Kinga Wojdalska, Viola, 25, Poland

Esther Yang, Violin, 23, South Korea

The twelve competitors will perform in Windsor, UK from 9 to 16 March 2024. The semi-finals will comprise live rounds in front of the international jury and public audiences. Three musicians will be selected to perform in the competition final, which will take place on Friday 15 March 2024, in front of live and streamed audiences globally, and including an audience vote.

In addition to performing in the competition, the semi-finalists will take part in local schools-visits and workshops while in Windsor.

Prizes for the 2024 competition are valued at over £30,000 and include a solo recording opportunity with recording partner Champs Hill Records, a concerto with the competition’s associate orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, in Windsor Castle during Windsor Festival in September 2024, further concerto performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra as part of its UK Touring Programme, a London concerto performance with Orpheus Sinfonia, a £5,000 cash prize, and recital opportunities including in La Mortella, Ischia, Italy and UK Festivals. There will be further cash prizes for second and third place, as well as an audience prize.

The international panel will comprise UK cellist Natalie Clein, Japanese violinist Joji Hattori and Norwegian violist Lars Tomter. They will be joined for the final by James Williams (managing director, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra), Alexander Van Ingen (executive producer, Champs Hill Records) and Martin Denny (director, Windsor Festival).

’The competition has produced some amazing winners in the past, and we look forward to doing so again this year,’ said Denny. ’Many of our laureates are now enjoying international solo careers at the highest level, and through our mentoring and the prize package have been enabled to develop their skills and achievements. This year’s semi-finalists are a stellar bunch, with hugely exciting prospects, which will give us a great competition in March.’

WFISC was launched in 2008, in memory of festival founder Yehudi Menuhin. It now reaches all corners of the globe, with a track record of encouraging, nurturing, supporting and enabling prodigious talent to come to fruition. Recent winners include: Jiyoon Lee, Nathan Meltzer, Jonathan Swensen and Daniil Bulayev.

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