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2020 George Enescu International Competition Online Announces 3 Winners in Composition and 8 Piano Semifinalists

23 Young Musicians Are Semifinalists in the Second Phase of the Enescu Competition in May 2021

The George Enescu International Competition concludes its online phase on September 20, 2020, with the announcement of the Composition Section Winners and the Piano Semifinalists. A total of 23 young musicians from 13 countries will participate in the Semifinals, in the second phase of the George Enescu International Competition. The Semifinals and Finals of the three instruments sections (cello, violin, and piano) will take place in May 2021, in Bucharest, at the Romanian Athenaeum.

23 Semifinalists in the Instruments Sections Representing 13 Countries

Eight young pianists out of the 13 competitors who participated in the Second Round of the George Enescu International Piano Competition received the most votes from the Jury and will take part in the Semifinal: Jack Campbell (United Kingdom), Salih Can Gevrek (Turkey), Nikolai Kuznetsov (Russia), Hoyel Lee (South Korea), Adela Liculescu (Romania), Yeon-Min Park (South Korea), Chun Lam U (Hong Kong) and Marcin Wieczorek (Poland). The youngest competitor is 18 years old and the oldest is 31.

The Second Round of the 2020 George Enescu International Competition’s Piano Section was held online between September 17 and 19. The results were announced by the President of the Jury in a video posted on the Competition’s website on Sunday, September 20. In her announcement, pianist Cristina Ortiz, President of the Piano Jury and laureate of the 1967 Enescu Competition, declared: “Congratulations to all the competitors for rising above these unusual circumstances. Moreover, for the way they prepared and presented their recorded interpretations, this time for the Second Round. The level is very high, so I thank my colleagues on the jury for their generosity, since, instead of 6, it was decided that 8 pianists should be promoted to the Semifinals in May 2021, in Bucharest. ”

In the other two sections of the Competition, 7 cellists and 8 violinists entered the Semifinal.

The 7 Cello Semifinalists are 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.

In the Violin Section, the 8 Semifinalists are  Gennaro Cardaropoli (Italy), Elvin Hoxha Ganiyev (Turkey/Azerbaijan), Jeewon Kim (South Korea), Tassilo Probst (Germany), Tomotaka Seki (Japan), Valentin Serban (Romania), Ayaka Uchio (Japan), and Jaewon Wee (South Korea). The youngest competitor is 17 years old, and the oldest is 30.

Winners of the Composition Section

Karlo Margetic, a 33 years old New Zealand musician, is the winner of the 2020 Enescu Competition’s  Composition Section in the Symphonic Music category, with his work An Axe for the Frozen Sea, and Youngjae Cho (30 years old) from South Korea won in the Chamber Music category with her work entitled Shattered Surfaces. The Composition Section introduced a new prize in this edition, worth 5,000 euros, for Originality. The winner for Originality is Marc Migó Cortés (27 years old) from Spain, with his work 4 SONGS IN RED.

The results were announced by the President of the Composition Jury, Zygmunt Krauze, in a video posted on the Competition’s website on Sunday, September 20. He declared: “I would like to thank all the young participants who submitted their works, for the effort to compose them and present this way their artistic level. Thanks also to the members of the Jury. Honoring the name of the great Romanian composer George Enescu, I want to say that it is an important moment, for me and for all of you as well, to participate in this great event which is the Competition – an essential part of the fantastic Festival named after George Enescu. “

The Online Phase of the Enescu Competition Came To an End

The George Enescu International Competition was reorganized due to the worsening of the global situation generated by COVID-19 in two distinct phases: the first two rounds of the Competition were held online in September according to the initial calendar, whereas the Semifinals and Finals of all sections were rescheduled for May 2021, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest.

205 young musicians participated in the Competition after the online reorganization of the event, out of the 272 musicians who passed the pre-selection in June. The First and Second Round of each instrument section was held online according to the calendar, given that both the public and the members of the Jury listened to and analyzed the competitors’ recordings. The 205 candidates who competed this September represent 39 countries. Out of them, 184 competed in the three instruments sections: violin (66), cello (54), piano (64) and 21 participated in the Composition Section, with 26 works. The participants are between 14 and 33 years old.

Over 42,000 unique visitors watched the Enescu Competition Online, out of about 73,000 views recorded in the same period. To create a bond between musicians and spectators, during the Competition the platform provided three buttons through which viewers were able to virtually applaud, choosing the intensity and form of their praise. Spectators were able to also send messages to young musicians to encourage them. Access to the 2020 Enescu Competition online content was free.

The classical music lovers can rewatch the Opening Gala Concert, the competitors’recordings from the first two rounds of each section, as well as other events from the Competition (press conferences, the presidents of the juries’ video announcements of the results, the Campaign Videoclip a.o.) on the Competition’s website www.festivalenescu.ro in the Video Gallery.

The May 2021 Phase 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 Violin Semifinal will take place on May 17, 2021, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The Final will be on Saturday, May 19, 2021, at 6:00 PM (GMT+3), with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro Wilson Hermanto.

The Piano Semifinal will take place on May 21, 2021, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. The Final will be on Monday, May 23, 2021, at 6:00 PM (GMT+3), with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of maestro John Axelrod.

Additional Information

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.