Barnabás Kelemen, Hungary – Gold Medalist
An artist of “innate musicality” with a technical execution that belongs “only to the greatest” (The Guardian), Hungarian violinist Barnabás Kelemen has captured the attention of the music world. With a repertoire that ranges from classical to contemporary music, Kelemen gave the Hungarian premieres of the Ligeti and Schnittke Violin Concertos as well as the Hungarian premiere and world premiere of violin works by Gubaidulina and Kurtág. Barnabás Kelemen collaborates amongst others with the American Symphony, BBC Symphony, Budapest Festival, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken, Helsinki Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Hungarian National Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Irish Chamber, Kioi Sinfonietta, Lahti Symphony, London Philharmonic, Malaysian Philharmonic, NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover, Netherlands Radio, Norwegian Chamber, Philharmonia Auckland, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony orchestras. Barnabás Kelemen works with renowned conductors such as Olari Elts, Iván Fischer, Sascha Goetzel, Pietari Inkinen, Vladimir Jurowski, Tonu Kajuste, Zoltán Kocsis, Hannu Lintu, Michael Sanderling, Leif Segerstam, Dmitri Slobodeniouk, Masaaki Suzuki, Gábor Takács-Nagy and Krzysztof Urbánski. In play and lead engagements he appeared with the Budapest Festival Chamber Orchestra, Het Kamerorkest Brugge, Indianapolis Symphony, Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra. In recital Kelemen has performed with Zoltán Kocsis and Shai Wosner with whom he played recitals at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Bozar in Brussels and Carnegie Hall in New York.
In 2010 he founded the Kelemen Quartet, which received a silver medal, audience prize and the Musica Viva Grand Prize at the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition in 2011. In 2014 the Kelemen Quartet was awarded with the first prize at the Premio Paolo Borciani in Reggio Emilia.
Barnabás Kelemen’s varied discography has been received to critical acclaim, with his recording of Brahms’ Sonatas for Violin and Piano with Tamás Vásáry having won a Diapason d’Or, and that of Liszt’s complete works for Violin and Piano with Gergely Bogányi awarded the Grand Prix du Disque 2001 by the International Liszt Society. His recording of Bartók’s Rhapsodies and Violin Concerto No. 2 with the Hungarian National Philharmonic and Zoltán Kocsis released by the Label Hungaroton won the German Record Critics’ Award 2011 in the concerto category. Among his more recent recordings are also a live DVD of the complete Mozart Violin Concertos and CDs of Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with the Hungarian National Philharmonic and Zoltán Kocsis. A recital CD released by the Label Hungaroton with both Bartók Violin Sonatas with Zoltán Kocsis and Bartók’s Solo Sonata, received a Gramophone Award in the Chamber Music category 2013.
Born in Budapest in 1978, Barnabás Kelemen entered the Franz Liszt Music Academy at the age of eleven and later went on to become Third Prize Winner of the 2001 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and was the Gold Medalist at the International Violin Competition in Indianapolis in 2002. In recognition of his achievements the Hungarian government awarded him the Sándor Végh Prize in 2001, the Franz Liszt Prize in 2003, Rózsavölgyi Prize in 2003 and the Kossuth Prize in 2012.
Since 2005 he has been a professor at the Franz Liszt Music Academy Budapest and since 2014 a professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz in Cologne. He has also been a guest artist at Indiana University Bloomington. He performs on a Guarneri del Gesú violin of 1742 (ex-Dénes Kovács), generously loaned by the State of Hungary.
Sergey Khachatryan, Armenia – Silver Medalist
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Sergey Khachatryan won First Prize at the VIII International Jean Sibelius Competition in Helsinki in 2000, becoming the youngest ever winner in the history of the competition. In 2005 he claimed First Prize at the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels.
In recent seasons, Sergey has performed with the Bamberger Symphoniker (Herbert Blomstedt and Jonathan Nott), Munich Philharmonic (James Gaffigan), Swedish Radio Symphony (Valcuha), Mariinsky Orchestra (Valery Gergiev) and Orchestre de Paris (Andris Nelsons and Gianandrea Noseda). He has also collaborated with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic,Orchestre National de France, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the NHK, Sydney and Melbourne symphonies.
Sergey’s recent appearances in the U.S. were with the Seattle Symphony (Ludovic Morlot) and National Symphony Orchestra (Vasily Petrenko). He has also visited the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony as well as the Ravinia, Blossom and Mostly Mozart Festivals.
Sergey and his sister Lusine are regular duo partners. Together, they have given recitals at Wigmore Hall, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Theatre des Champs Elysees and Cite de la Musique (Paris), Auditori Nacional Madrid, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Palais des Beaux Arts (Brussels), Philharmonie Luxembourg, Carnegie and Alice Tully Halls (New York) and Herbst Theater (San Francisco). Their most recent project is Brahms’ three Sonatas for Violin and Piano, both on stage and on recording.
The Brahms CD was released in June 2013 on Naïve Classique. Sergey’s discography on the label also includes the Sibelius and Khachaturian concerti with Sinfonia Varsovia and Emmanuel Krivine, both Shostakovich concerti with the Orchestre National de France and Kurt Masur, a recording of the Shostakovich and Franck sonatas for violin and piano and the complete Sonatas and Partitas for solo violin by J.S. Bach.
In 2015, Sergey and Lusine released the album ‘My Armenia’, a disc of Armenian music from Komitas to Mirzoyan, dedicated to the 100th Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Sergey plays the 1740 ‘Ysaÿe’ Guarneri del Gesu violin on kind loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.
Soovin Kim, United States – Bronze Medalist
Korean-American violinist Soovin Kim is an exciting player who has built on the early successes of his prize-winning years to emerge as a mature and communicative artist. After winning first prize at the Niccolò Paganini International Competition, Mr. Kim was recipient of the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award, an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and the Henryk Szeryng Foundation Career Award. Today he enjoys a broad musical career, regularly performing repertoire such as Bach sonatas and Paganini caprices for solo violin, sonatas for violin and piano by Beethoven, Brahms, and Ives, string quartets, Mozart and Haydn concertos and symphonies as a conductor, and new world-premiere works almost every season.
In recent seasons he has been acclaimed for his “superb…impassioned” (Berkshire Review) performance of Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto at the Bard Festival with the American Symphony Orchestra and a “sassy, throaty” (Philadelphia Inquirer) rendition of Kurt Weill’s concerto with the Curtis Chamber Orchestra. Other unusual concerto collaborations included Mendelssohn’s Double Concerto with conductor Maestro Myung-Whun Chung, the same Mendelssohn concerto with the Dallas Symphony and music director Jaap van Zweden, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto in Carnegie Hall. He has performed in past seasons with the Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Stuttgart Radio Symphony, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and the Seoul Philharmonic and Accademia di Santa Cecilia Orchestra with Maestro Chung.
For 20 years Soovin Kim was the 1st violinist of the Johannes String Quartet. Among their special projects was a two-season tour with the famed and now-retired Guarneri String Quartet in an unusual program including world-premieres of works by Esa-Pekka Salonen, Derek Bermel, and William Bolcom. Mr. Kim maintains a close relationship with the famed Marlboro Festival where he regularly spends his summers. He is well-known in Korea as a member of MIK, his ground-breaking piano quartet ensemble. He recently launched the exciting Chien-Kim-Watkins Trio with his wife, pianist Gloria Chien, and cellist Paul Watkins of the Emerson Quartet.
Soovin Kim’s latest solo CD, Gypsy, was his third solo collaboration between American label Azica Records and Korea-based Stomp/EMI. They previously released a French album of Fauré and Chausson with pianist Jeremy Denk and the Jupiter Quartet, and Paganini’s demanding 24 Caprices for solo violin which was named Classic FM magazine’s Instrumental Disc of the Month (“he emerges thrillingly triumphant…a thrilling debut disc.”). He made his first solo recording with Jeremy Denk for Koch-Discover in duo works by Schubert, Bartók, and Strauss. Mr. Kim also has six commercial chamber music recordings including an acclaimed live performance from the Marlboro Festival of Beethoven’s Archduke trio with pianist Mitsuko Uchida and the late cellist David Soyer. In 2019 his recording of Bach’s monumental solo sonatas and partitas will be released.
Soovin Kim founded the Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival in Burlington, Vermont in 2009. With its focused programming and exceptional artists the festival is “increasing its stature as one of this country’s summer chamber music meccas (Rutland Herald).” Mr. Kim and the Lake Champlain festival helped to create the ONE Strings program in Burlington which makes violin lessons part of the regular curriculum for every 3rd, 4th, and 5th grader. In May 2015 he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Vermont in recognition of his contributions to the community.
Soovin Kim dedicates much of his time to his passion for teaching. He has been on the faculties of Stony Brook University and the Peabody Institute, and now he teaches exclusively at the New England Conservatory in Boston. Mr. Kim studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music with David Cerone and Donald Weilerstein, and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Victor Danchenko and Jaime Laredo..
In 2020, he and his wife, pianist Gloria Chien, became co-artistic directors of Chamber Music Northwest in Portland, Oregon.
Frank Huang, United States – Fourth Place Laureate
The First Prize Winner of the 2003 Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s Violin Competition and the 2000 Hannover International Violin Competition, Frank Huang has established a major career as a violin virtuoso. Since performing with the Houston Symphony in a nationally broadcast concert at the age of 11, he has appeared with orchestras throughout the world including The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra of Hannover, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, and the Genoa Orchestra. He has also performed on NPR’s Performance Today, ABC’s Good Morning America, and CNN’s American Morning with Paula Zahn. He has performed at Wigmore Hall (in London), Salle Cortot (Paris), Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), and the Herbst Theatre (San Francisco), as well as a second recital in Alice Tully Hall (New York), which featured the World Premiere of Donald Martino’s Sonata for Solo Violin. Mr. Huang’s first commercial recording — featuring fantasies by Schubert, Ernst, Schoenberg, and Waxman — was released on Naxos in 2003. He made his New York Philharmonic solo debut in June 2016 leading and performing Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. In 2017–18 he led the Orchestra from his Concertmaster chair in works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, and performed with the Philharmonic as soloist in Lalo’s Symphonie espagnole at Bravo! Vail.
Mr. Huang has had great success in competitions since the age of 15 and received top prize awards in the Premio Paganini International Violin Competition and the Indianapolis International Violin Competition. Other honors include Gold Medal Awards in the Kingsville International Competition, Irving M. Klein International Competition, and D’Angelo International Competition.
In addition to his solo career, Mr. Huang is deeply committed to chamber music. He is a member of the New York Philharmonic String Quartet, established in the 2016–17 season, and has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, Seattle Chamber Music Festival, and Caramoor. He frequently participates in Musicians from Marlboro’s tours, and was selected by The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center to be a member of the prestigious CMS Two program. Before joining the Houston Symphony as concertmaster in 2010, Frank Huang held the position of first violinist of the Grammy Award–winning Ying Quartet and was a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music.
Frank Huang was born in Beijing, China. At the age of seven he moved to Houston, Texas, where he began violin lessons with his mother. He commenced study with Fredell Lack at the University of Houston and at 16 he enrolled in the pre-college program at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) where he studied with Donald Weilerstein. He continued studies with Weilerstein in college and earned his bachelor of music degree from CIM in 2002. He subsequently attended The Juilliard School in New York City, studying violin with Robert Mann. He is an alum of the Music Academy of the West. He served on the faculties of The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Houston, and currently serves on the faculty of The Juilliard School.
Frank Huang joined the New York Philharmonic as Concertmaster, The Charles E. Culpeper Chair, in September 2015.
Susie Park, Australia – Fifth Place Laureate
Australian-born Susie Park, the Minnesota Orchestra’s first associate concertmaster, had already toured with the Orchestra before beginning her appointment in September 2015, performing concerts and participating in educational programs when the ensemble traveled to Cuba the previous May.
Park has concertized around the world, performing solos with such European orchestras as the Vienna Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille and the London-based Royal Philharmonic; American orchestras including the Pittsburgh Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Memphis Symphony and Orchestra of St. Luke’s; the major symphony orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania, Canberra and Perth; Korea’s KBS Orchestra; and Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand. She has collaborated with conductors including Simon Rattle, Hans Vonk, Alan Gilbert, Fabio Luisi and Yehudi Menuhin, performing in venues ranging from New York’s Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Symphony Hall in Boston, the Ravinia Festival and Millenium Park in Chicago, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, the Smithsonian Institute, Vienna Musikverein Cologne Philharmonie, Düsseldorf Tonhalle and Danish Radio Concert Hall.
Park has received numerous awards. She won top honors at the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the Wieniawski Competition in Poland and the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in France, which led to many performances and reengagements throughout the U.S. and Europe. She also won the Richard Goldner Concerto Competition, Ernest Llewellyn String Award and various additional awards.
Park is passionate about chamber music. She is a founding member of ECCO, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, a conductorless ensemble comprising a diverse selection of talented chamber musicians, soloists and principal string players from American orchestras; their self-titled debut album of 2012, released on the eOne label, includes works from three centuries, by Geminiani, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich.
In addition, Park was the violinist of the Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, with which she recorded the ensemble’s eighth CD, an all-American disc nominated for a Grammy, and toured internationally. She was also a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two, collaborating with Wu Han, Gary Hoffman and Ida Kavafian. For three consecutive summers she was in residence at the Marlboro Music Festival, and she has participated in numerous tours with Musicians from Marlboro. Additional musicians with whom she has performed chamber music include members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Emerson and Cleveland Quartets, and Kim Kashkashian, Pamela Frank, Jason Vieaux, Cho-Liang Lin and Jaime Laredo. Among her festival engagements have been performances at Music from Angel Fire, the Caramoor, Skaneateles, Aspen, Ravinia and Bowdoin festivals in the U.S.; Open Chamber Music at Prussia Cove in England; Bermuda Festival; the Mozarteum Sommerakademie in Austria; and Keshet Eilon in Israel.
Park’s interest in music of all genres has also led to collaborations with artists such as jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, with whom she performed 41 consecutive shows at the Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.
A native of Sydney, Park picked up a violin at the age of three, made her solo debut at five and completed preparatory studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She went on to earn a bachelor of music degree at the Curtis Institute and an artist diploma at the New England Conservatory; her teachers have included Jaime Laredo, Ida Kavafian, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Shi-Xiang (Peter) Zhang and Christopher Kimber. In her spare time she enjoys a variety of creative arts, including knitting and clothing design.
Alina Pogostkina, Germany – Sixth Place Laureate
Praised for her “deeply moving” performances (Hamburger Abendblatt), Alina Pogostkina, winner of the 2005 Sibelius Competition in Helsinki, performs at many of the world’s most renowned festivals and concert venues, and collaborates with conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Gustavo Dudamel, David Zinman, Jonathan Nott, Paavo Järvi, Michael Sanderling, David Afkham, Robin Ticciati, Thomas Hengelbrock and John Storgårds.
Alina Pogostkina enjoys longstanding artistic relationships with orchestras such as Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, NHK and Yomiuri Nippon symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, SWR Symphonieorchester, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Orchestre National de France and St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Recent highlights include debuts with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and Mikko Franck, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Osmo Vänskä and Budapest Festival Orchestra with Marin Alsop.
A devoted chamber musician, her esteemed artistic partners include Steven Isserlis, Yuri Bashmet, Gidon Kremer, Menahem Pressler, Christoph Eschenbach, Pekka Kuusisto, Maxim Rysanov, Jörg Widmann and Joshua Bell. In 2018, Alina Pogostkina founded a string trio with violist Nimrod Guez and cellist Danjulo Ishizaka, and concluded a successful tour of Germany. Furthermore, she is a frequent guest at festivals such as Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh International Festival, Grafenegg Festival, Istanbul Music Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival and Aix-en-Provence Easter Festival.
Alina Pogostkina displays impressive versatility in diverse and wide-ranging repertoire from baroque and classical, often played on gut strings, to modern masterworks. In 2018, following her desire to further explore the spiritual aspect of music, she created ‘Mindful Music Making’, a specially curated program which aims to bring mindfulness and deeper exploration of individual creativity relevant to the 21st Century classical musician.
St. Petersburg-born Alina Pogostkina grew up in Germany and received violin lessons from her father Alexander Pogostkin. She later studied with Antje Weithaas at Berlin’s Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’, and baroque violin with Reinhard Goebel. She plays on a Camillo Camilli violin from 1752.