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Franco-Dutch violinist wins Bartók World Competition

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The 21-year-old Cosima Soulez-Larivière won first prize in the violin category at the Grand Final of the inaugural Bartók World Competition, held at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest on Saturday evening.

Bartók World Competition violin finalists (from left) Ágnes Langer, Takagi Ririko and Cosima Soulez-Larivière. (Photo by Liszt Academy/Zoltán Adrián.)

The final took place two days after the final round, where the finalists had been accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Of the 44 registered contestants, three were shortlisted for the Grand Final: the Franco-Dutch Cosima Soulez-Larivière, Japan’s Takagi Ririko and Hungarian Ágnes Langer.

The young musicians were judged by an international jury headed by the globally acclaimed violinist Salvatore Accardo. Other jurors were Vilmos Szabadi and Barnabás Kelemen from Hungary, Qian Zhou from China, Takashi Shimizu from Japan, Joel Smirnoff and Ivan Ženatý from the United States, Krzysztof Wegrzyn from Germany, and Hungarian musicologist and Bartók expert Dr. Tibor Tallián.

The first competitor was Langer, who performed Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Soulez-Larivière was next, and played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, followed by Ririko, who interpreted Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

With Soulez-Larivière winning EUR 22,000, the second prize of EUR 14,000 went to Ririko, while Langer picked up EUR 8,000. Soulez-Larivière was also invited to perform at the 2018 Budapest Spring Festival, the Cziffra Festival, the Singapore Violin Festival and the Festival Academy Budapest, as well as to collaborate with the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra.

Ririko and Langer were also given opportunities to perform in public, as were a number of the contestants from earlier rounds.  

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