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The German Simon Zhu wins the 57th Paganini Prize in Genoa
The final took place at the Carlo Felice Theatre; a jury chaired by Salvatore Accardo awarded the 22-year-old violinist
Simon Zhu, twenty-two year old German violinist of oriental origins, won the 57th edition of the Paganini Prize, placing first out of 117 competitors from 30 countries.

The victory was decreed at the end of the final test which took place at Carlo Felice Theater in Genoa last October 27th, the day on which Niccolò Paganini's birthday is celebrated. The winner is nominated by a prestigious jury chaired by Savior Accardo (first violinist ever to win the Paganini Prize in 1958) and composed by Ilya Grubert (Paganini Prize 1977), Michael Guttman, Regis Pasquier, Christopher Reuning, Maxim Vengerov is Reiko Watanabe. The artistic direction of the Competition is entrusted to Nazzareno Carusi.

The Paganini Prize, one of the most important violin competitions in the world, thus returns to Germany, thirty years after the victory of Isabelle Faust, while in the last edition Salerno had triumphed Joseph Gibbons, the first Italian after 24 years.

In addition to first prize, Simon Zhu also got the special prize made available by Foundation Pallavicino for the best performance of the Paganini concert.

To the second place the Chinese violinist ranked Jingzhi Zhang, 22 years old (also winner of the Mario Ruminelli Award for the greatest recognition from the public in the final), while the third prize and went to the peer and compatriot Qingzhu Weng. In fourth, fifth and sixth place were respectively Hawijch Elders, a 25-year-old Dutchman, Koshiro Takeuchi, an 18-year-old Japanese athlete and Haram Kim, 25 years old, from South Korea.

The three finalists performed a demanding tour de force, each performing two concertos, one by Paganini and the other by Brahms, for Zhu, and by Tchaikovsky for the other two competitors; accompanying them is the Carlo Felice Theater Orchestra conducted by Michele Gamba.

Simon Zhu was born in Tübingen and has been playing the violin since the age of six; she attended - like the second place winner Jingzhi Zhang - the High Specialization School held by Salvatore Accardo at the Stauffer Foundation in Cremona. By winning the Paganini Prize he was awarded a salary of 30 thousand euros and a tour of over 70 concerts in prestigious venues, including, new this year, the Teatro alla Scala; he will also have the privilege of being able to play the legendary Cannone, the precious Guarneri del Gesù violin that belonged to Paganini.

There is more

The Paganini Prize's roll of honor includes names of absolute prestige such as Salvatore Accardo (1958), Gidon Kremer (1969), Leonidas Kavakos (1988), Natalia Prichepenko (1990), Massimo Quarta (1991), Isabelle Faust (1993) .
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