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7 Cellists From 6 Countries Selected for the Cello Semifinal in 2020 Enescu Competition

One of Them Is 14 Years Old – the Youngest Ever Semifinalist in the George Enescu Competition

Seven young cellists from 6 countries, out of the 13 competitors who participated in the Second Round, received the most votes from the Jury and will take part in the Semifinal of the Cello Section in the 2020 George Enescu International Competition: Margarita Balanas (Latvia), Ștefan Cazacu (Romania), Sebastian Fritsch (Germany), Jérémy Garbarg (France), Anouchka Hack (Germany), Jaemin Han (South Korea), and Keisuke Morita (Japan).

The youngest competitor to enter the Cello Semifinal, Jaemin Han, is 14 years old. He is also the youngest contestant to enter the semifinals in the history of the Enescu Competition.

The Cello Semifinal, which requires the performance of a Sonata by George Enescu, will take place on May 13, 2021, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The Final will be on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at 6:00 PM (GMT+3), with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Nicolas Altstaedt.

The Second Round of the 2020 George Enescu International Competition’s Cello Section was held online between September 5 and 7. The results were announced by the President of the Jury in a video posted on the Competition’s website on Tuesday, September 8. „We have now reached the middle of our Competition. I, personally, have been very happy to hear so many talented and virtuoso interpretations of the Second Round repertoire. Of course, some of you will be invited to play in May 2021 in Bucharest and follow the dream to be a laureate of the Enescu International Cello Competition. And some of you will not… I would like to wish you all great success and luck in life and never give up! And to those who will find their names on the list – I would like to wish you great success in the Semifinal, and hope to see you in Bucharest in good health, well prepared and in the best mood,” said David Geringas, President of the Cello Jury.

The international Jury of the 2020 Enescu Cello Competition is led by Prof. David Geringas and comprised of Myung-Wha Chung, Leonid Gorokhov, Alexandra Guțu, Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Jérôme Pernoo, Meehae Ryo, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Raphael Wallfisch.

In this edition of the Enescu Competition, the Cello Section received the largest number of registered competitors. This is why the pre-selection process – provided for in the Competition Rules – was necessary only for the Cello Section, as the number of registered participants (105) exceeded the maximum number of competitors that could be assessed by the Jury during the Competition (85). In the First Round, also held online, between August 30 and September 3, have been selected 13 young cellists from 10 countries.

It is for the first time in the history of the Enescu Competition when the first two rounds of the instruments sections are held online, as the only way to safely organize the Competition amid the escalation of pandemic worldwide. To create a bond between musicians and spectators, the platform provides three buttons through which viewers can virtually applaud, choosing the intensity and form of their praise. Spectators can also send messages to young musicians to encourage them. Access to the 2020 Enescu Competition online content during this period is free. The full program is at this link: https://www.festivalenescu.ro/en/program/.

The message of this year’s edition is Beauty in Life, and the 2020 George Enescu International Competition challenges us to prove that we all have the power to reinvent ourselves while embracing equally beauty and life.

George Enescu Competition is an international platform for launching the future world-class musicians and for promoting the compositions of the great Romanian composer to the new generation of artists. It is thus a natural extension of the George Enescu Festival, the most important cultural event organized in Romania. The Competition has four sections – violin, cello, piano, and composition – and it ranks in the top five classical music competitions worldwide.