This year’s contest saw winners in the piano trio, viola and double bass categories

cr Daniel Delang

Trio Orelon performing at the ARD final. Photo: Daniel Delang

Read more news stories here

The ARD International Music Competition concluded on 10 September in Munich, Germany. This year featured competitors in viola, double bass and piano trio.

Continuing a run of successes, the Trio Orelon (Germany) received the first prize in the piano trio category. Made up of violinist Judith Stapf, cellist Arnau Rovira i Bascompte and pianist Marco Sanna, the group won €18,000 for its performance of trios by Schubert and Hans Werner Henze. The trio, which also won the audience prize, has previously come first in its category at the 2023 Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, and the 2022 ’Franz Schubert and Modern Music’ International Chamber Music Competition. Second prize went to the Amelio Trio (Germany), while third went to Trio Pantoum (France).

In the viola category, Haesue Lee (23, South Korea) took the €10,000 first prize and the audience award. No second prize was awarded, while the third prize jointly went to Takehiro Konoe (25, Netherlands/Japan) and Ionel Ungureanu (28, Germany), who also received the prize for best performance of the commissioned piece.

In the double bass category, Gabriel Polinsky (24, US) took the €10,000 first prize while Hongyiu Thomas Lai (28, Hong Kong) came second, also receiving the audience prize. Third went to José Trigo (27, Portugal).

The juries for each category were as follows. Piano trio: Susan Tomes (chair), Jitka Čechová, Soo-Kyung Hong, Esther Hoppe, Per Lundberg, Raphaël Pidoux, and Annette von Hehn. Viola: Lars Anders Tomter (chair), Steven Ansell, Tatjana Masurenko, Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot, Naoko Shimizu, Edward Vanderspar and Wen Xiao Zheng. Double bass: Timothy Cobb (chair), Heinrich Braun, Michinori Bunya, Christine Hoock, Goran Kostic, Daniele Roccato and Sandrine Vautrin.

The ARD competition has been held every year since 1952. In an annually changing cycle, different instrumental subjects or singing are the focus of the competition. The list of previous award winners includes Mitsuko Uchida, Francisco Araiza, Thomas Quasthoff, Yuri Bashmet, Christian Tetzlaff, Heinz Holliger, Maurice André, Sharon Kam and Peter Sadlo.

Read more news stories here


An exclusive range of instrument making posters, books, calendars and information products published by and directly for sale from The Strad.


The Strad’s exclusive instrument posters, most with actual-size photos depicting every nuance of the instrument. Our posters are used by luthiers across the world as models for their own instruments, thanks to the detailed outlines and measurements on the back.


The number one source for a range of books covering making and stinged instruments with commentaries from today’s top instrument experts.


American collector David L. Fulton amassed one of the 20th century’s finest collections of stringed instruments. This year’s calendar pays tribute to some of these priceless treasures, including Yehudi Menuhin’s celebrated ‘Lord Wilton’ Guarneri, the Carlo Bergonzi once played by Fritz Kreisler, and four instruments by Antonio Stradivari.