Lee and Anichenko win 5th Unisa International String Competition

Lee and Anichenko win 5th Unisa International String Competition

The Fifth Unisa International String Competition finally drew to a close after two gruelling weeks of tough competition. In total, 27 violinists and cellists competed for the two main prizes of R200 000 each; a second prize of R170 000; a third prize of R130 000; a fourth prize of R100 000 and a fifth prize of R80 000. 

The final round took place over two evenings, with six finalists competing for the main prizes. The three cellists Anton Pavlovski (Russia), Alexander Ramm (Russia) and Giorgi Anichenko (Belarus,) played the Dvorak Cello Concerto. The violinists Yura Lee (Korea) and Andre Baranov (Russia) played the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto and Hracyha Avaneshan (Armenia) the Violin Concerto by Mendelssohn.

The brilliant star of the finals was undoubtedly 24 year old violinist, Yura Lee. She was totally in command of the work and the orchestra. Her performance was a tour de force combined with warmth, grace and charm. 

The winners are:
First Prize and a gold medal (Violin): Yura Lee
First Prize and a gold medal (Cello): Georgi Anichenko
Second Prize: Andre Baranov
Third Prize: Hracyha Avaneshan
Fourth Prize: Alexander Ramm
Fifth Prize: Anton Pavlovski

Several smaller prizes were awarded for the first and second rounds. Yura Lee won the violin prize for the best performance of a Mozart Sonata. Andre Baranov won the prizes for the best performance of a violin sonata by JS Bach, the best performance of a South African work, as well as the best violin recital in the third round.

Giorgi Anichenko was awarded the prize for the best performance of a cello sonata by Beethoven. Anton Pavlovski won the prizes for the best performance of a cello suite by JS Bach, best performance of a South African work and best recital in the third round.

Jacqueline Wedderburn-Maxwell was awarded the R20 000 prize for the most promising South African participant. It is unfortunate that Abigail Bushakewitz, the only South African who made it to the semi-finals, was not awarded any prize at all.

Concert tours throughout South Africa will be organized for the two main prize winners next year.

Giorgi Anichenko must feel particularly proud of himself, since his teacher, Jerome Pernoo, won the first prize for cello at the Unisa String Competition in 1996.

Bravo to the Unisa Music Foundation who once again organized a perfect competition. Some of the judges and competitors called it the best organized competition that they had ever taken part in.

Article: classicsa.co.za Correspondent

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