Eleven-year-old Korean cellist Kim Jung-a won the first prize in the cello section at the 11th International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Russia, according to Korea National University of Arts on Thursday.
Kim competed against seven other cellists in the final round, which was held at the Grand Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic on Monday. A total of 128 contestants from 14 countries participated in the piano, violin and cello categories this year.
The finalists performed with the Symphony Orchestra of the Leningrad Oblast conducted by Mikhail Golikov. Kim played Karl Davydov's Cello Concerto No.1 in b minor, Op.5.
The jury members said, they “highly appreciated the complexity of the chosen program and the outstanding abilities of the cellist at such a young age.”
Kim, a graduate of the Korea National Institute of the Gifted in Arts, affiliated with the Korea National University of Arts, has won many awards at home and abroad including first prize at the Strad Competition in 2019, first prize at the David Popper International Cello Competition for Young Cellists in 2021, and first prize at the Ehwa Kyunghyang Music Competition in 2022.
Another Korean cellist Kim Tae-yeon and Polina Tkhai from Russia tied for the second prize. Sofya Khuskivadze-Deeva from Russia took the third.
Founded in 1992, the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians, is an annual competition for young musicians under the age of 17.
Among its past winners are Chinese pianist Lang Lang and Korean pianist Son Yeol-eum.