The winner of the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition – which carries the highest monetary prize of any music competition of its type – has been won by American violinist Nancy Zhou.
Zhou, aged 25, receives US$100,000, as well as performance opportunities with a number of orchestras.
Second prize, and $50,000, went to Olga Šroubková from the Czech Republic, and third (worth $25,000) to Ukrainian Diana Tishchenko. Šroubková also won the prize for best performance of a Chinese work, Qigang Chen’s La joie de la souffrance. The jury included both performers and executives, including violinists Maxim Vengerov and Augustin Dumay, and artist manager Martin Campbell-White.
A total of 27 violinists took part in the competition, with six – all women - making it into the final, where they performed two concertos with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Stern – the new work by Qigang Chen, and a concerto chosen from a list of standard repertoire. Previous rounds had also seen the competitors perform chamber music and compose their own cadenzas for a Mozart concerto. Performances of all rounds are available on the competition’s YouTube channel, while you can watch winner Nancy Zhou peformance from the final round below.