2011 Competition Winners
Listen to Yuki perform:Track 1
Multi-award winning cellist Yuki Ito (27) is one of the most prominent young cellists in Japan, based in London since the age of 15.
He first came to international attention when he won 1st prize at both the International Johannes Brahms Competition in Austria and the Windsor Festival International String Competition in the UK aged 21, and made his major début with the Philharmonia Orchestra at Windsor Castle in 2011. He has since performed with many renowned orchestras and artists as Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Geringas and Julian Lloyd Webber.
Including legendary author Kenji Miyazawa’s 120th birth anniversary recital for TV broadcast by NHK Japan (100th anniversary soloist was Yo-Yo Ma), his solo recitals at halls with more than 1,000 audiences sell out in Japan, where he is often seen on TV. His worldwide recital invitations have taken him to London’s Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, as well as a private recital personally invited by HRH The Prince Edward, Europe (Paris, Rome, Salzburg etc.), North America, Asia and Africa, giving world premieres of works dedicated to him.
He is especially noted for playing Rachmaninov's works and introducing English Music in Japan, with his début album “Rachmaninov Complete Cello Works” receiving critical acclaim internationally, chosen as Recommended Disc by The Strad UK describing “Ito triumphs in Rachmaninov…Sensational recital”. His 2nd album will be released from Sony Music in 2017.
He studied with David Geringas and Alexander Boyarsky, and graduated from the Royal College of Music in 2015. YCA Artist, CHANEL Artist.
He founded In Tune Orchestra (ITO) in 2013 and has since been active also as conductor.
Official website: www.yukiitocello.com
Listen to Jiafeng perform:Track 1
Winner of the Wieniawski International Violin Competition (2003), Laureate of the Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition (2009), Paganini Prize winner of the Indianapolis International Violin Competition (2010), Jiafeng Chen also gained the 2nd Prize at the prestigious Sibelius Violin Competition (2005) and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition (2008). “Jiafeng is one of the most gifted young violinists in the world” (Pierre Amoyal). “Not only technically brilliant but also subtle, deeply felt and astonishingly mature” (Nottingham Evening Post).
Born in Shanghai, Jiafeng started playing the violin at the age of 3 and studied with Peter Shixiang Zhang. He was accepted to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music when he was 9 to study with Jiyang Zhao and Lei Fang. Jiafeng moved to the UK in 2004 with full scholarship to study with Jan Repko at the Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal College of Music where he graduated with 1st class honours and was awarded the Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal at the Graduation Ceremony.
Jiafeng Chen has performed in numerous music festivals and seasons including the BBC proms cycle of 2006 as a soloist when his recital was broadcast on BBC radio 3; the Verbier Festival which his recital was broadcast on France Musique; the Lake District Music Festival; and the Valdres Sommersymfoni where he is also a faculty member. Jiafeng was invited to perform the Mendelssohn D minor Violin Concerto at the Opening Ceremony of the Kloster Schontal International Violin Competition. He was also invited to give a recital for the Yehudi Menuhin Competition in Oslo 2010.
His concerts and recitals are given throughout the world. Jiafeng Chen has also worked with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, The Halle Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta (Paavo Berglund), Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie (Paul Goodwin), the National Orchestra of Belgium (Gilbert Varga), National Orchestra of Ukraine and so on.
Jiafeng plays a Nicolo Gagliano (Naples, 1751), kindly on loan from the Violin Syndicate owners.
Listen to Michael perform:Track 1
Third Prize and Audience Prize
Michael Petrov was born in Bulgaria and began to play the cello at the age of six. When he was seven he played Vivaldi’s cello concerto in A Minor with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and this was followed by solo appearances with various orchestras in Bulgaria, and also concerts in Frankfurt and Munich, where he performed Haydn’s C Major Concerto with the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
He has won a number of competitions in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. He has played in masterclasses with Mstislav Rostropovich, Gary Hoffman, Bernard Greenhouse, Franz Helmerson and Tilmann Wick in Kronberg, and also Young Chang Cho, Robert Cohen, Stefan Popov and Xenia Jankovic. In 2002 he was awarded a cello from the Rostropovich Foundation.
In September 2005 he took a full scholarship to attend the Yehudi Menuhin School, where he studied with Thomas Carroll. Since joining the school he has played in a number of concerts, as soloist, member of the school orchestra, and chamber musician; in the latter role he has performed at venues including Fairfield Halls and the Swiss Ambassador’s Residence. In May 2007 he performed Haydn’s D Major Concerto with the London Mozart Players at The Menuhin Hall, and in July 2008 he was one of the soloists in a concert arranged by the School at the Wigmore Hall. In 2009 and 2010 he was the recipient of the prestigious Guillermina Suggia Prize and in 2010 the Mrurel Taylor cello prize. He was kindly awarded a full scholarship to continue his education at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he is under the tuition of Louise Hopkins.