Wednesday 29 November 2017

Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition

Emma Wernig
Emma Wernig
Eighteen-year-old Emma Wernig from Los Angeles has won the Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition which was held this month (18-24 November 2017) at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Performing William Walton’s ‘Concerto for Viola and Orchestra’ (1929), Emma won the overall Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Prize of £5,000, a recording contract with Champs Hill Records and several high profile recitals as part of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s Concert Series, including the opportunity to perform a recital in Symphony Hall, Birmingham.

Hosted in conjunction with the Arts Council of England, British Viola Society and Birmingham Services for Education and dedicated to Cecil Aronowitz, the South African violist and long-term collaborator with Benjamin Britten, the competition was open to violists from anywhere in the world aged 21 or under at the time of the competition.

Emma Wernig currently studies at the Colburn Conservatory with Scottish violist Paul Coletti.

Lara Albesano, aged 21 and from Italy, was awarded the Lionel Tertis Prize of £3,000 for finishing in second place, while third place was bestowed upon 18-year-old Parisian Sáo Soulez Larivière, who secured the Gwyn Williams Charitable Trust For Young Viola Prize of £1,000. Royal Birmingham Conservatoire student, Yue Yu, aged 20 and from Shenzhen, Guangdong, China, won the award for Best Sonata from her third round performance of York Bowen’s ‘Viola Sonata No. 1 in C Minor’ (1905). Her prize was a Pierre Guillaume viola bow from Sean Bishop worth £5,000. Twenty-year-old Silas Zschocke from Karlsruhe, Germany completed the line-up of finalists.

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