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Cello Finalists Announced at George Enescu International Competition

Premiere at Enescu Competition: The Youngest Finalist in the Event’s History, at Age 14

Stefan Cazacu (Romania), Sebastian Fritsch (Germany), and Jaemin Han (South Korea) have proceeded through to the Cello Final of the 2020/2021 George Enescu International Competition. The results have been announced on Thursday evening by the Cello Section Jury, which includes David Geringas (President of the Jury), Myung-Wha Chung, Leonid Gorokhov, Alexandra Gutu, Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Jérôme Pernoo, Meehae Ryo, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Raphael Wallfisch.

Five young cellists from four countries competed in the Semifinal that took place Thursday, May 13, at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest: Stefan Cazacu (Romania), Sebastian Fritsch (Germany), Anouchka Hack (Germany), Jaemin Han (South Korea), and Keisuke Morita (Japan). At age 14, semifinalist Jaemin Han is the youngest contestant to reach the Semifinal and then Final in the history of the Enescu Competition.

The jury proceedings have followed a hybrid system: 5 members of the judging panel are in Bucharest and watched the semifinalists’ recitals live at the Romanian Athenaeum, while 5 others watched the performances of the young musicians live-streamed online.

Music lovers can attend or tune in for the Cello Final, which will take place Saturday, May 15, at the Romanian Athenaeum, from 6:00 PM (EEST). In the Cello Final program, the three finalists will each perform a concerto for cello and orchestra: Dvořák Cello Concerto in B minor Op. 104, Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor Op. 85, and Shostakovich Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat Major Op. 107.

Tickets for the Cello Final, just like for all the other events of the Competition, can be purchased exclusively online: on the www.festivalenescu.ro website, through the Eventim platform, or directly on the Eventim website, via this link. Concerts can be attended in person, at the Athenaeum Hall, for which tickets cost 65 RON. Access to the concert hall will be allowed only as long as crucial sanitary criteria are being met; the number of seats going on sale covers 30% of the hall capacity. The organizers have also made tickets and subscriptions available for the online viewing of concerts and special recitals. These can be purchased here.

Stefan Cazacu (n. 1994) studied in Bucharest and Vienna with Professors Marin Cazacu, Razvan Suma, and Reinhard Latzko. He has given recitals in Romania, the Netherlands, Israel, Austria, Germany, and collaborated as a soloist with all the symphony orchestras in Romania, but also with the Chisinau Philharmonic or the Alicante Youth Orchestra.

Sebastian Fritsch (n. 1996) studied at the University of Music in Freiburg with Prof. Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Franz Liszt University of Music in Weimar with Prof. Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt. In 2019 he won 1st prize and the Audience Award at the renowned Deutscher Musikwettbewerb.

Jaemin Han (n. 2006) is laureate of the Osaka International Music Competition and the Cello Competitions Dotzauer International and David Popper. He studies currently with Kangho Lee and Myung-wha Chung, and performed as a soloist with the Wonju Philharmonic Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, and Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra.

The total prize value for Cello Section is 30,000 euros, to which is added the privilege of performing on the Enescu Festival stage, as well as special prizes and opportunities for international promotion.

The 2020 George Enescu International Competition has seen its first phase unfold last year, fulfilling the promise to bring Beauty in Life despite the pandemic. The Competition reinvented itself online, marking a premiere in the world of international classical music – the first two rounds were held virtually, to allow the Competition to take place and defy the pandemic. Despite the uncertainty, 205 young artists were able to follow their dream and participate in the Competition between August 29 and September 20, 2020. The last two rounds – Semifinals and Finals – are organized live, in Bucharest, at the Romanian Athenaeum, between 12 and 23 May 2021, with audiences in the hall.

In 2020, the George Enescu International Competition offered much more than music and competition. The message of this edition is Beauty in Life, and, in the pandemic context, 2020/2021 George Enescu International Competition has set out to prove that we all have the power to reinvent ourselves while embracing equally beauty and life. In a troubled world, silenced and isolated by the pandemic, we have created a model of resilience based on our longing for beauty in life, vital to our humanity.

The campaign spot is accessible here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxuylvvHHWQ

The Competition’s full Program can be viewed here. All contestants who have taken part in the Semifinals of the three sections are listed on www.festivalenescu.ro, under the Results tab.

George Enescu Competition is an international platform for launching future world-class musicians and for promoting the compositions of the great Romanian composer to the new generation of artists from all over the world. 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.