The grand prize of €30,000 has been awarded to German violinist Simon Zhu, along with the opportunity to play the 1743 ‘Il Cannone’ Guarneri ‘del Gesú’ violin


Grand prizewinner Simon Zhu © Giusi Lorelli Fotografa

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The 57th Premio Paganini International Violin Competition announced its winners at the conclusion of its final round on Friday 27 October at the Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa, Italy. Each of the three finalists performed a concerto from memory, accompanied by the orchestra of the Teatro Carlo Felice.

The grand prize of €30,000 has been awarded to 22-year-old German violinist Simon Zhu, along with the opportunity to play the 1743 ‘Il Cannone’ Guarneri ‘del Gesú’ violin that once belonged to Niccolò Paganini, and an invitation to perform in over 70 concert engagements. Zhu was also awarded the Fondazione Pallavicino Award of €3,000.

Second prize of €20,000 was awarded to Chinese violinist Jingzhi Zhang, along with the Mario Ruminelli Award of €3,000. Third prize of €10,000 was awarded to Qingzhu Weng from China, and fourth prize of €4,000 was awarded to Hawijch Elders from the Netherlands. Fifth prize of €3,000 was awarded to Japanese violinist Koshiro Takeuchi, as well as both the Amici di Paganini Association Award of €2,000 and the Enrico Costa Award of €2,000. Sixth prize of €2,000 was awarded to Haram Kim from South Korea.

Zhu is currently studying at the Munich University of Music with Ana Chumachenco and is receiving private lessons with Ning Feng. He is an academic at the Hope Music Academy and studies at the Walter Stauffer Academy, Cremona, with professor Salvatore Accardo. He plays a violin by Zosimo Bergonzi, on loan from the Stretton Society.

This year’s jury comprised Michael Guttman, Régis Pasquier, Christopher Reuning, Ilya Grubert, Reiko Watanabe and Maxim Vengerov, with Salvatore Accardo acting as president of the jury.

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