Meruert Karmenova and Grace Sohn take first prizes over the weekend, joining viola winner Luosha Fang

Grace Sohn - Meruert Karmenova

Cellist Grace Sohn, left, and violinist Meruert Karmenova

The Classic Strings Festival and International Competition returned for his second edition, this year taking place in Vienna, following from its inaugural event in Riga last year.

The competition element took in violin, viola and cello categories, each with a €20,000 top prize. The violin and cello finals took place over the weekend, with the following results:


  • 1st Prize – Meruert Karmenova  (Kazakhstan/Russia)
  • 2nd Prize – Alice Lee (Canada/Switzerland) 
  • 3rd Prize – Yoo Min Seo (South Korea)


  • 1st Prize – Grace Sohn  (Canada/Germany)
  • 2nd Prize – Seungyeon Baik (South Korea)
  • 3rd Prize – Anna Koshkina (Russia/Germany)

The viola section was announced on Thursday 16 May, with Luosha Fang taking first prize.

The competition is unusual for accepting previous winners as contestants, and Karmenova also won last year’s event.