If past performance is any guide, the finals of the Carl Nielsen International Competition will be worth following. Last time the violin competition was held in 2016, the two joint winners were Jiyoon Lee and Liya Petrova: both went on to be included in Gramophone’s monthly One to Watch feature, while Lee’s recording of the Nielsen and Korngold violin concertos, on Orchid Classics, was named an Editor’s Choice in our Awards 2018 issue, and Petrova’s (in her case the Nielsen paired with the Prokofiev No 1) was highly praised in November.
This year's competition has now entered its final weekend, and you can watch the finals live, below:
The first part of the violin finals take place tonight at 6.30pm tonight (UK time), and the second part at 1pm on Sunday March 31, when the finalists perform Nielsen’s Violin Concerto. Competiting for the first prize of 12,000 euros, a recording with the Odense Symphony Orchestra on Orchid Classics, and concert engagements with up to 10 international orchestras or festivals, are: Johan Dalene (from Sweden), Anna Agafia Egholm (from Denmark) and Marie-Astrid Hulot (from France).
Then between the two, on Saturday, you can watch the clarinet and flute finals, again featuring Nielsen’s concertos for the instruments. The same first prize as for violin applies to each category, and those competing for it are clarinetists Víctor Díaz Guerra (from Spain), Aron Chiesa (Italy) and Blaz Sparovec (Slovenia), and flautists Marianna Julia Żołnacz (Poland), Rafael Adobas Bayog (Spain) and Joséphine Olech (France).
The competition is open to musicians under 30 years; its president violinist Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider is himself a former winner, while artistic advisers overseeing the other categories are clarinetist Martin Fröst and flautist Emmanuel Pahud.
You can watch footage of the previous rounds by visiting nielsen2019.medici.tv