24-year-old South Korean violinist Jaewon Wee took first prize, as well as a host of special prizes

mirecourt 2023

The four finalists of the 2023 Mirecourt International Violin Competition © Martine Jung

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The 7th edition of the Mirecourt International Violin Competition was held from 4 to 12 November 2023. The final round on 12 November saw four finalists performing with the Opéra national de Lorraine, conducted by William Le Sage.

First prize of €5,000 was awarded to Jaewon Wee (24, South Korea). In addition to first prize, Wee also won the bow makers special prize (a modern bow valued at €4,000, designed by Gabriel Pasquier in collaboration with Lucie Martinie, inspired by Nicolas Maire), a two-year loan of a violin by David Wiedmer and the Opéra national de Lorraine’s Orchestra Prize.

Wee’s previous competition successes include victories at the 2023 Dallas International Violin Competition, the 2022 Ysaÿe International Music Competition and 2022 Washington International Competition.

She received her bachelor’s degree from Korea National University of Arts, where she studied with Nam Yun Kim, Koichiro Harada and Takashi Shimizu. Wee gained a master’s from the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Ronald Copes, a graduate diploma from New England Conservatory studying under Donald Weilerstein and is currently pursuing an artist diploma at Rice University Shepherd School of Music with Cho-Liang Lin. 

Matthew Hakkarainen (23, USA/Finland) won second prize of €3,000, as well as the special prize for the best interpretation of the contemporary piece (Sonata breve by Eric Tanguy) and the audience prize. Yixuan Ren (19, China) and Hannah Kim (21, South Korea) won third and fourth prize, worth €1,000 and €500 respectively.

The jury comprised Christian Altenburger, Nora Chastain, Hu Kun, Alissa Margulis, Mihaela Martin, Lavard Skou-Larsen, and competition artistic director Marianne Piketty.

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