The first prize of €20,000 was awarded to South Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon

[1] Soyoung Yoon pc Julia Wesel

Violinist Soyoung Yoon © Julia Wesel

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The inaugural Tokyo Classic Violin Competition concluded on 21 March at the Tokyo University of the Arts. The first prize of €20,000 was awarded to South Korean violinist Soyoung Yoon, 39, with the second prize of €10,000 going to Russian violinist Andrey Baranov, 38, and third prize of €5,000 to Chinese violinist Meng Zou.

The competition forms part of the ‘Six ways to Classic Violin Olympus’ initiative, which sees similar competitions taking place in other locations across the globe. The top two competitors from each automatically earn a place in the grand finale, the Classic Violin Olympus competition which will be taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in April 2025. As the first and second victors of the Tokyo competition, both Yoon and Baranov will have the opportunity to win further awards, cash prizes and performance engagements in the next instalment of the competition.

Yoon studied at the National University of the Arts in South Korea, with Zakhar Bron at the Cologne University of Music and Dance, and at the Zurich University of the Arts. She won first prize at the International Henryk Wieniawski Violin Competition, the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists, for which she was later an invited panel member, and the silver medal at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis competition, and has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, and the Korean Chamber Orchestra. She plays on the 1773 ‘ex-Bückeburg’ J. B. Guadagnini violin.

The jury of the Tokyo Classic Violin Competition comprised Bin Huang, Min Kim, Natsumi Tamai, Qian Zhou, and was chaired by artistic director Pavel Vernikov.

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