The 21 women and 49 men of 22 different nationalities will compete for a grand prize of €25,000 in three rounds in Brussels from 8 May to 3 June 2017


The Queen Elisabeth Music Competition has named the 70 cellists selected to take part in its live rounds in Brussels from 8 May to 3 June 2017. Whittled down from 202 applicants, the 21 women and 49 men of 22 different nationalities will compete for a grand prize of €25,000 in three rounds - culminating in a final during which just 12 candidates will perform a concerto and a compulsory work specially composed for the competition accompanied by the Brussels Philharmonic conducted by Stéphane Denève.

Among the 70 cellists are a number of previous prize winners, including Christoph Croisé (pictured), last year's winner of the Alice & Eleonore Schoenfeld International String Competition in China, and Santiago Cañón-Valencia, winner of the 2016 Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition in Mexico.

The candidates are:

Beata Antikainen (Finland)

Friederike Luise Arnholdt (Germany)

Thomas-Michael Auner (Austria)

Santiago Cañón-Valencia (Columbia)

Alexandre Castro-Balbi (France)

Bryan Cheng (Canada)

Brannon Cho (United States)

Eun Cho (South Korea)

Min Suk Cho (South Korea)

Elia Cohen-Weissert (Germany/Israel)

John-Henry Crawford  (United States)

Christoph Croisé (France/Switzerland)

Rainer Crosett (United States)

Tomasz Daroch (Poland)

Yu-Hsuan Feng (Taiwan)

Sebastian Fritsch (Germany)

Wojciech Fudala (Poland)

Hideaki Fujiwara (Japan)

Victor Garcia Garcia (Spain)

Julia Hagen (Austria)

Sihao He (China)

Christoph Heesch (Germany/Japan)

Alexander Hersh  (United States)

Eun-Sun Hong (South Korea)

Irena Josifoska (Hungary/Serbia)

Victor Julien-Laferrière (France)

Mansur Kadirov (Uzbekistan)

Ayano Kamimura (Japan)

Hayeon Kang (South Korea)

Seungmin Kang (South Korea)

Ivan Karizna (Belarus)

Ariana Kashefi (United Kingdom)

Daeyoun Kim (South Korea)

James Jeonghwan Kim (South Korea)

Stanislas Kim (France)

Benedict Kloeckner (Germany)

Anastasia Kobekina (Russia)

Maciej KuŠ‚akowski (Poland)

Benjamin Lai (Taiwan/United States)

JeongHyoun Christine Lee (South Korea)

Mon-Puo Lee (Taiwan/Spain)

Sujin Lee (United States)

Un Lee (South Korea)

Yan Levionnois (France)

Marcel Markowski (Poland)

Haran Meltzer (Israel/USA)

Shizuka Mitsui (Japan)

Yuya Mizuno (Japan)

Mo Mo (China)

Dilshod Narzillaev (Uzbekistan)

Noé Natorp (France)

Sirja Nironen (Finland)

Yuya Okamoto (Japan)

Jonas Palm (Germany)

Angela Park (United States)

Aurélien Pascal (France)

Bruno Philippe (France)

Johannes Przygodda (Germany)

Tony Rymer  (United States)

Katarina Schmidt (Germany/Sweden)

Sayaka Selina (Japan/Switzerland)

Xin Shi (China)

Joonho Shim (South Korea)

Astrig Siranossian (France)

Jakob Stepp (Germany)

Ildikó Szabó (Hungary)

Tavi Ungerleider (United States)

Jinkyung Won (South Korea)

Valentino Worlitzsch (Germany)

Alexey Zhilin (Russia)

This year's Queen Elisabeth contest is the first to be dedicated to the cello - the fourth instrument to be included in the annual contest, which up to this point has covered violin, piano and voice in a three-year cycle.

The inaugural QEMC in 1937 was devoted to the violin and dedicated to Eugène Ysaÿe, who had recently died. David Oistrakh, then aged 28, was the competition’s first winner. The first piano competition took place the year after. Singing was added in 1988. There is also a composition competition, which is run outside of the three-year cycle.

The 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition was won by violinist Ji Young Lim.

Read: ‘If you’re not nervous, your playing is not going to be exciting’: Cellist and 2016 Schoenfeld winner Christoph Croisé