Luka Coetzee won the first prize of €20,000, as well as a cello bow made by Risto Vainio.


2023 International Paulo Cello Competition finalists |

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The winners of the 2023 International Paulo Cello Competition were announced at the conclusion of the final round on Thursday 12 October at the Musiikkitalo concert hall, Helsinki, Finland. Six competitors performed with the Helsinki City Orchestra, conducted by Rumon Gamba.

First prize was awarded to 18-year-old Luka Coetzee from Canada, who is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. She was awarded the top prize of €20,000, as well as a cello bow made by Risto Vainio.

Second prize of €15,000 was awarded to 21-year-old Serbian cellist Petar Pejčić, and third prize of €12,000 to 25-year-old Swiss cellist Samuel Niederhauser. The remaining finalists, South Korean cellist Gaeun Kim, Belgian cellist Liav Kerbel, and South Korean cellist Woochan Jeong, all received a prize of €3,000. Woochan Jeong also received special mention as the favourite of the shadow jury.

The jury comprised Arto Noras, Richard Aaron, Hyoung Won Chang, Frans Helmerson, Maria Kliegel, Ivan Monighetti, Philippe Muller, Martti Rousi and Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi. 

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