Competitors announced for Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition

Emma Wernig

The British Viola Society has announced the live competitors for the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition 2020, which will be held at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire this November.

The competition invites applications from violists from anywhere in the world aged 21 or under, and received 93 applications this year, with the youngest applicants only 14 years old.

The competition, which will be held from 14-20 November 2020, will feature 40 live competitors, as well as viola events throughout the week, including viola workshops, masterclasses, recitals from the Jury members and displays from expert Luthiers.

Launched in 2014 by the British Viola Society and Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, and supported by Arts Council England, the competition is dedicated to Cecil Aronowitz, the South African violist and long-term collaborator with Benjamin Britten.

The competition is held in partnership with the Tertis Foundation, EM Records, English Music Festival, Bishop Instruments and Bows, British Violin Making Association, Gwyn Williams Trust, Ayres Violins, and Pirastro.

RBC Head of Strings Louise Lansdown said: “It is with great pleasure that we can confirm, even at this time of upheaval across the globe, that the Cecil Aronowitz Competition will still be taking place at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

“We will be celebrating the viola, welcoming esteemed international soloists and guests, and most importantly the 40 young live competitors, along with online and live audiences from the UK and internationally. Highly attractive prizes are on offer, including a Champs Hill Record debut CD, a further recording with EM Records of the WH Reed Rhapsody for viola and orchestra with the BBC Concert Orchestra, cash prizes and much more.”

The 40 competitors of the 2020 competition are:

Vittorio Benaglia (Italy)

Alvaro Castello (Spain)

Yuxin Chen (China)

Jone Diamantini (Italy)

Edgar Francis (UK)

Chang Ge (China)

Seamus Hickey (Ireland)

Brian Isaacs (USA)

Yong-ha Jung (South Korea)

James Kang (USA)

Bill Ko (Hong Kong)

Dagmar Korbar (Croatia)

Dana Lee (Australia)

Yat Lee (China)

Yixiu Lin (China)

Laura Liu (USA)

Zitian Lyu (China)

Devin Moore (USA)

Hanuel Park (South Korea)

Anuschka Pedano (Netherlands)

Connie Pharoah (UK)

Eva-Maria Radl (Austria)

Mikel Rollet (USA)

Alinka Rowe (UK)

Noga Shaham (Israel)

Joseph Skerik (USA)

Abigail Smith (USA)

Miguel Sobrinho (Portugal)

Marvin Stark (Germany)

Lynn Sue-A-Quan (Canada)

Nicholas Swensen (Denmark)

Anna Sypniewski (France)

Otoha Tabata (Japan)

Yanan Wang (China)

Yujie Wang (China)

Zhupeng Xi (China)

Mingyue Yu (China)

Yujie Zeng (China)         

Jaren Ziegler (UK)

Paul Zientara (France)


Pictured: Emma Wernig, aged 18, from the Colburn School, in Los Angeles, previous winner of the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition

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