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Just in: Moldavian and Korean split biggest-ever violin prize

Alexandra Conunova-Dumortier, the Slipped Disc favourite, and Dami Kim, the public front-runner, shared first prize at the eighth Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover. Each of them takes home 50,000 Euros, which will buy a lot more in Moldova than it will in South Korea.

The German Tobias Feldmann came third, with a 20,000 prize, to which he added 5,000 for the critics prize and 5,000 for the audience prize – which is unsurprising since almost all the attending critics and public were German.

The winners will also receive a three-year loan of a pedigree violin and a CD release on Naxos.

We wish them well.

Here’s the press release:

Press Release



Two First Prize Winners at the ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹


The names of all the Prize Winners of the 8th ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹ have been determined, and were announced at the Award Ceremony during the Prize Winners’ Gala Concert on October 13, 2012. For the first time in the history of the Competition, the First Prize, amounting to €50,000, was awarded to two competitors, Alexandra Conunova-Dumortier from Moldova and Dami Kim from South Korea. Both of these young violinists will receive the full amount of the prize money. The Third Prize, worth €20,000, went to Tobias Feldmann of Germany. The other three Finalists are well rewarded too: In Mo Yang (Fourth Prize) and Bomsori Kim and Airi Suzuki (joint Fifth Prizes) each receive €8,000 in prize money.


The Jury of Music Critics also awarded the Music Critics’ Prize at the NDR Landesfunkhaus (State Broadcasting House) on Saturday evening; this prize of €5,000 was awarded to Tobias Feldmann. And members of the audience were allowed to have their say as well: Anyone who attended both the Finals was able to vote on who should be awarded the Audience Prize. This prize too is worth €5,000, and also went to Tobias Feldmann.

Furthermore, the six Semifinalists who did not reach the Finals will also receive support from the Competition in the form of scholarships worth €1,000 each to help finance their further studies. This is an important component of the comprehensive funding provided to the ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹ by the Stiftung Niedersachsen.


The First Prize at the 8th ›Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition Hannover‹, the most highly endowed violin competition in the world, is not limited to the €50,000 cash prize; there are a number of additional rewards attached to it as well. The First Prize Winners will each have the use, for a period of three years, of a violin by the Italian violin maker Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, one on loan from the Fritz Behrens Foundation and the other, for the first time, from Florian Leonhard Fine Violins. In addition, arrangements will be made for each of them to make a CD on the Naxos label and to give debut recitals and concerts with orchestras and ensembles of international standing.


The Jury’s decision had been preceded by a Competition lasting for two thrilling weeks and played out over five rounds. These consisted of: the two Preliminary Rounds, the program of which including among other things solo works by Johann Sebastian Bach; the two Semifinal Rounds, including the first performance of the new work ›unentrinnbar‹ (›no way out‹) by Peter Francesco Marino and a Mozart violin concerto with the Munich Chamber Orchestra; and to conclude, the Final with one of the great solo concertos of the violin repertoire and the NDR Radiophilharmonie conducted by Hannu Lintu.


Prize Winners:
1st Prize: Alexandra Conunova-Dumortier and Dami Kim
3rd Prize: Tobias Feldmann
4th Prize: In Mo Yang
5th Prize: Bomsori Kim and Airi Suzuki
Music Critics’ Prize: Tobias Feldmann
Audience Prize: Tobias Feldmann
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  1. Listening Live for both final rounds I am totally unimpressed by the quality of this competition. Conunova-Dumortier has such a small sound which barely projected. She could be very good to play chamber music, but I have to be honest, she is not made for an international solo career. It totally means nothing to win the 1st prize. There are so many better violinists out there than Conunova-Dumortier.

    I am bewildered how Tobias Feldmann could get the third prize. I hope not because he is German. I am sorry to say, he struggles immensely with his technical chops.

    • I am much agree with your opinion about Conunova-Dumortier, her Mozart played out as a Sibelius which really suprise me why they do not understand Mozart style of music in this advanced level of the playing skill they are in. Dami Kim is standing out in this competition and too bad she could not win it all. By the way, Airi Suzuki actually played gracfully except a well dissapointed Bach 1001, it seems she lacked practice on the piece or might be overlooked the beauty of the Bach.

  2. Lukas Fierz says:

    The first prize in Hannover is 50’000 Euros. This was not split but each first prize winner received the whole amount of 50’000 Euros.

    Even bigger is the Credit-Suisse young artists award which gives 75’000 Swiss Francs which is equivalent to over 60’000 Euros.

  3. Edward Pong says:

    I was at this competition & was very disappointed at the jury’s decisions. Some of the best players were cut in the 1st & 2nd rounds! If you go to their website & look at the videos of Xiang Yu, you will see a real artist who played much better than any of the finalists. His musicality was unmatched in this competition, yet he was cut in the 2nd round!

  4. Joseph de Mello says:

    It was a privilege to be able to watch the rounds of this competition on live stream and to be able to watch what I had missed during the following day(s). My congratulations to all the competitors, to the video recording and organization teams! However it was odd the the jury members were not announced at the beginning of the competition. If I understood it right, only one of the jury members was a violinist and teacher. This was much in contrast with other competitions that I followed as they had world famous violinists and teachers for most of their jury members, thus ensuring that the evaluation criteria would matter most to violinists and not to other arts forms. It did not surprise me that a number of violinists I thought were better players were not selected for the final. For this competition to rise to the international stature of the Queen Elizabeth, the Tchaikovsky, the Indianapolis Violin Competitions it will be essential to define the requirements to be a jury member in terms relevant for violinists and then not to stray too far from well proven experiences elsewhere.

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