Valeriy Sokolov
(Ukraine) Chairman of the jury

The Ukrainian violinist, Valeriy Sokolov, is one of the most outstanding young artists of his generation. Working regularly with the world’s leading orchestras, he has enjoyed collaborations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Cleveland Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra , Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, Rotterdam Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris.

He works frequently with conductors including Vladimir Ashkenazy, David Zinman, Susanna Malkki, Andris Nelsons, Peter Oundjian, Rafael Payare, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Juraj Valcuha and Kirill Karabits. He has appeared in many major European festivals including Verbier, Lockenhaus and Lucerne. He regularly performs in the major concert halls around the world with highlights including regular Sunday Morning series appearances in Theatre du Chatelet as well as at the Wigmore Hall, Lincoln Center, Mariinsky Theatre, Prinzregenten Theatre in Munich and Musikverein in Vienna.

The 2018/19 season saw Valeriy give debut performances with the Oslo Philharmonic, Berlin Konzerthausorchester and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at London’s Southbank Centre as well as a tour of China with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He also returned to the New Japan Philharmonic and La Chaux-de-Fonds.

Highlights of the 2019/20 season sees Valeriy return to the Orchestre National de France, NDR Hannover , Tampere Philharmonic and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with Kirill Karabits. He will also return to the Berlin Konzerthausorchester for his debut at the Musikfest Berlin.

Born in 1986 in Kharkov, Ukraine, Valeriy is one of the leading violinists to come out of Ukraine in the past twenty years. Valeriy left his native country age 13 and have completed his studies with Natalia Boyarskaya, Felix Andrivesky, Marc Lubotsky, Ana Chumachenko, Boris Kuschnir and Gidon Kremer in London,Hamburg, Frankfurt and Vienna.

Valeriy Sokolov is a 2005 winner of the George Enescu International Violin Competition in Bucharest.



Alena Baeva

A protégée of Mstislav Rostropovich and Seiji Ozawa, described as “a magnetic presence” and “a constantly fascinating sound technician” (New York Classical Review), Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation.

Winner of the Grand Prix and other special prizes of the Wieniawski, Moscow Paganini and Sendai international violin competitions, Baeva has already carved out an impressive career to date, and is working regularly with many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors – including, amongst others, Teodor Currentzis, Valery Gergiev, Paavo Järvi, and Vladimir Jurowski.

Baeva’s 2018/2019 season saw such major debuts and career milestones as performing and recording with the London Philharmonic/Vladimir Jurowski at London’s Royal Festival Hall (Tchaikovsky), NHK Symphony/Paavo Järvi (R. Strauss), Netherlands Philharmonic/Karl-Heinz Steffens (Dvořák), musicÆterna/Teodor Currentzis (Tchaikovsky), and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic/Duncan Ward (Mendelssohn).

Highlights of the 2019/2020 season include Gürzenich-Orchester Köln/Robert Trevino (Berg), Orchestra Sinfónica Nazionale della RAI/Tomáš Netopil (R. Strauss), Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE/Pablo González (Britten), Russian National Orchestra/Mikhail Pletnev (Karłowicz), and Warsaw Philharmonic/Andrey Boreyko (Weinberg). Baeva also undertakes two projects with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra – in Dublin (Schumann) and on tour in Italy (Brahms). She also makes her Munich debut at the Philharmonie im Gasteig (Münchner Symphoniker/Elias Grandy), and her Vienna debut in the Musikverein (Tonkünstler-Orchester/Michał Nesterowicz).

Born in Kyrgyzstan to a musical family in 1985, Baeva took her first violin lessons at the age of five under renowned pedagogue Olga Danilova. From 1995, she studied in Moscow with Professor Eduard Grach at the Central School of Music, and from 2002-2007 at the Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatoire. In addition to her formal education, Baeva studied in France at the personal invitation of Mstislav Rostropovich in 2003, and began attending Seiji Ozawa’s Academy in Switzerland in 2007. Aged 16, she won the Grand Prix at the 12th International Henryk Wieniawski Competition, as well as the Prize for Best Performance of a Contemporary Work. Following this, she went on to take the Grand Prix at the Moscow International Niccolò Paganini Competition, including a Special Prize allowing her to perform on the 1723 Wieniawski Stradivari for one year, and was also awarded both the Gold Medal and the Audience Prize at the Sendai International Violin Competition.

Baeva holds an already vast and rapidly expanding repertoire, including over forty violin concerti, and is a champion of lesser known works – with recent performances promoting the concerti of such neglected composers as Bacewicz, Karaev, and Karłowicz, alongside more mainstream violin literature. Her extensive discography reflects the impressive breadth of her repertoire, with recordings spanning from Bruch and Shostakovich (Pentatone Classics), to Szymanowski (DUX), to Debussy, Poulenc, and Prokofiev (SIMC), and beyond. Baeva’s Paris performance of Shostakovich Violin Concerto No.2 features as part of the Mariinsky Theatre/Valery Gergiev box-set DVD collection released by Arthaus Musik in 2015.

In addition to the distinguished maestros listed above, Baeva’s conductor collaborations to date also include Vladimir Fedoseyev, Pablo Heras-Casado, Jacek Kaspszyk, Krzysztof Penderecki, Sakari Oramo, and Kazuki Yamada. Her chamber music partnerships include such esteemed artists as Martha Argerich, Yuri Bashmet, Guy Braunstein, Natalie Clein, Steven Isserlis, Daishin Kashimoto, Nikolai Lugansky, Misha Maisky, Lawrence Power, Julian Steckel, and Yeol-Eum Son – and Baeva’s regular sonata partner is Vadym Kholodenko (2013 Van Cliburn Winner), with whom she has established a musical partnership of more than a decade.

Alena Baeva plays on the ex-William Kroll Guarneri del Gesù of 1738, on generous loan from an anonymous patron with the kind assistance of J&A Beares.



Andrii Murza

Founder and artistic director of the Odesa International Violin Competition. Andrii Murza is the winner of international competitions and festivals in Portugal, Germany, Spain and Ukraine including festivals in Heidelberg (Germany), Santander (Spain), “Golden Violins of Odesa” and “LvivMozArt” (Ukraine). He performs concerts in the cities of Switzerland, China, France, Germany, Ukraine, Italy and Spain, where he made his debut at the National Radio of Spain, in which he performed works by Bach, Schubert, Schnittke and Saint-Saens.

Andrii was born in Odesa in a family of musicians. He began his education at Stolyarsky Special Music School in the class of Dozent Anna Lapteva, then at Odesa National Music Academy named after A.V. Nezhdanova in the class of Professor Mikhail Turchinsky. Since 2009, he began studying with the world famous professor Marco Rizzi at the Reina Sofia School of Music in Madrid (Spain) as a solo postgraduate course at the Mannheim University for Music and Performing Arts (Germany). Huge influence on his professional development was provided by classes with outstanding musicians of modernity, including: Pinchas Zuckerman, Gerard Poulet, Zakhar Bron, Miriam Fried and Ferenc Radosh.

During his life in Europe Andrii has repeatedly won various awards and grants of cultural funds, including Isaac Albeniz Foundation (Madrid), German National Cultural Foundation (Berlin), Ottile Zelbach Foundation (Berlin) and Vladimir Spivakov International Foundation (Moscow).

Andrii Murza is the concertmaster of the Tekfen Symphony Orchestra (Istanbul) and the first violin tutti of the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra. Since 2019 he has been teaching at the A.V. Nezhdanova Odesa National Academy of Music. He is regularly invited to the jury of international competitions.

Andrii has collaborated with such orchestras as National Orchestra of Opera and Ballet of Moldova, National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, State Symphony Orchestra of Radio and Television of Ukraine, Odesa National Symphony Orchestra, Odesa Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, Odesa National Orchestra of Opera and Ballet. He works frequently with many well-known conductors, among them Pawel Przytocki, Aziz Shokhakimov, Igor Shavruk, Vladimir Sirenko, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Oksana Lyniv, Jaime Martin and others.

In 2015, Andrii won the competition of the “Sinfonima” Fund (Germany), which provided him with a personal use the violin made by Nicolo Amati.



Daniel Austrich

Daniel Austrich is a laureate of numerous international competitions, such as Ludwig van Beethoven Competition in Austria, Pablo Sarasate Competition in Spain and Niccolo Paganini Competition in Russia. Since 2015, he has been an assistant professor at the Cologne University of Music and Dance and from 2020 he will teach at the Violin Art Workshop in Moscow. In the period from 2012 to 2019 he has been a member of the famous Michelangelo quartet.

He studied at the Secondary Special Music School at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory named after N. A. Rimsky-Korsakov. From the age of thirteen lives in Germany, where he improved his skills in Hamburg, and then at the Cologne University of Music and Dance in the class of Professor Victor Tretyakov.

As a soloist and ensemble player, he regularly performs in such concert halls as Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, Library of Congress in Washington, Pierre Boulez Hall in Berlin, Tokyo City Opera Hall, Tonhalle in Zurich, Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Victoria- Hall in Geneva, Art Center in Seoul, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, the Hall of Fine Arts in Mexico City and many others.

He performs in ensembles with such famous musicians as Itzhak Perlman, Jose Carreras, David Geringas, Donald Weilerstein, Pamela Frank, Antoine Tamesti, Andrey Baranov, Nobuko Imai, Lahav Shani. In 2014 he made his debut as an viola player at the Diaghilev Festival together with the David Oistrakh quartet.

In April 2019 he debuted as a conductor with the Slobozhansky Youth Academic Symphony Orchestra in Kharkov.

He plays the violin by violin maker Michele Deconet 1776, Venice.



Oleksii Semenenko

Ukrainian violinist Oleksii Semenenko is praised for passionate performances replete with stunning technique, intonation, as well as an unparalleled level of refined musicianship and stage presence. This was evidenced in his triumph at the 2015 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium, where he captured Second Prize and went on to perform Laureate concerts throughout Belgium with the Philharmonic Orchestras of Liège and Brussels. In 2015-2016, he performs at Musée du Louvre in Paris, Rotary Club d’Arlon and Rotary Gent-Zuid in Belgium, and at University of Florida Performing Arts, Merkin Concert Hall, Eastern Connecticut Symphony and Alice Tully Hall in New York.

Oleksii Semenenko has appeared as soloist with orchestras including Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra under Manfred Honeck, Moscow Virtuosi, Kiev National Orchestra, Junge Philharmonie in Cologne, and Sinfonietta Hungarica, among others. He appeared at the Interlaken Classics Festival in Switzerland as soloist with the Zakhar Bron Chamber Orchestra and toured Germany.

Recent highlights include a return engagement to the Seattle Symphony, invitations at the Hay, Cheltenham and Edinburgh Festivals and debuts with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and BBC Philharmonic where he will be returning this season.

Oleksii’s other honors include First Prize in the 2015 Boris Goldstein International Violin Competition, Musical America’s New Artist of the Month (March 2015), the Audience Prize at the 2015 Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, the Alois Kottmann Award at the 2010 International Day of Music Festival in Hofheim, Germany, and the Grand Prix of the 2006 National Violin Competition in Lviv, Ukraine.

Winner of the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, he was presented in debut recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, Kennedy Center. He has also appeared in recital at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Port Washington Library, Rockefeller University, the Vero Beach Museum of Art, La Grua Center for the Arts.

Born in Odesa, Oleksii began his violin studies at the age of six with Zoya Mertsalova at the Stolyarsky School. He also studied with Zakhar Bron at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

Oleksii Semenenko plays the Stephan von Baer violin, loaned to him by the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben fund of Hamburg, Germany.



David Wong

General Secretary of the Hong Kong International Music Festival and International Relations Director of the International String Competition in Shenzhen (China).

He began his foreign studies at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory, and then at the National Tchaikovsky Music Academy of Ukraine, National Pedagogical Drahomanov University and the Royal College of Music in London.

David Wong is a laureate of the Hong Kong International Violin Competition and international chamber music competitions in Japan, Korea and Spain. Annually takes part in numerous festivals of classical music and holds master classes.

As a soloist and as part of chamber ensembles, he regularly gives concerts with various programs in France, Germany, Switzerland, Japan, and China.



Andrej Bielow

Born in 1981 in Ukraine, Andrej has developed as one of the leading Ukrainian musicians of his generation. As a soloist and chamber musician he has recorded over 20 CD albums for Naxos, CPO, Avi-Music, Hänssler Classics, Hänssler-Profil, Guttingi, Solo Musica, Genuin, Hyperion and Rakete Media.

As a soloist he collaborated with such renowned orchestras as Orchestra National de Radio France, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Kiev Philharmonic and Münchner Kammerorchester under the baton of established conductors such as Kurt Masur, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Gianandrea Noseda, Miguel Gomez-Martinez, Christian Arming, Agnieszka Duzcmal, Junichi Hirokami und Christoph Poppen, Enrique Mazzola to name a few of them.

He received his first violin lessons at the age of five and in 1993 attended the special music boarding school in Kiev into a class of Professor Mikhail Kusnetsov. At the age of 15, Andrej settled in Germany to study with Prof. Krzysztof Wegrzyn at the University of Music and Drama in Hannover. Further study followed with Gerard Poulet in Paris, Herman Krebbers, Ida Haendel, Ana Chumachenko and more recently Alfred Brendel.

Andrej Bielow won several major prizes at international competitions such as the Long-Thibaut Paris, ARD Munich, Hanover (Joachim), Citta di Brescia. Due to his extraordinary talent and musical qualities he was awarded various grants from the cultural institutions such as the Ukrainian Culture Foundation, Gundlach Foundation, Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben and Förderpreis of the Lower Saxony.

At the Kronberg Academy he performed with Gidon Kremer, Juri Bashmet and the Beaux Arts Trio. In 2011 he joined Kit Armstrong and Adrian Brendel to form a piano trio.

Andrej Bielow is professor of the violin faculty at the Robert Schumann University of Music in Düsseldorf. He regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia and USA.

Andrej plays the violin “ex Flesch”, built in 1745 by Lorenzo Guadagnini.



Diana Tishchenko

Diana Tishchenko is proving herself to be one of the most exciting artists to emerge in recent years, and has been praised by The Strad for having “…the power to mesmerize the audience with her large gesture and strong personality .” The announcement that she will be a Rising Star of the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO) in the 20/21 season is testament to the high esteem in which she is held by critics and audiences alike. Under the auspices of the highly prestigious Rising Star scheme, Diana will perform in several of the most celebrated concert halls in Europe, including the Philharmonie de Paris, Casa da Musica Porto, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Festspielhaus Baden Baden, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Müpa Budapest, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Sage Gateshead, Philharmonie Cologne, Gulbenkian Foundation Lisbon, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Konserthuset Stockholm, L’Auditori Barcelona, Megaron Athens, and NOSPR Katowice.

In November 2019 her debut album was released on Warner Classics, to universal critical acclaim. Entitled Strangers in PARadISe, it is a hommage to four great composers – Ravel, Ysaye, Enescu, and Prokofiev – on whom 1920s Paris had a huge influence. BBC Music Magazine awarded the album five stars, while Gramophone Magazine complimented her for “a genuinely distinctive, individual voice” as well as “beauty of tone, polish and range of colours”. Le Figaro wrote: “An album that confirms, with the yardstick of Prokofiev, but also Ravel and Enescu, the astonishing maturity of the artist.”

Past and upcoming engagements include appearances with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Hamburger Symphoniker, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Symphony Orchestra, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, Orchestre National des Pays de Loire, Baden-Baden Philharmonic, and Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra, working with conductors such as Long Yu, Lahav Shani, Eliahu Inbal, Joshua Weilerstein, Yaron Traub, Ion Marin, and Christian Ehwald. Appearances at major festivals include Salon de Provence in 2019, the Verbier Festival, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the Salzburg Chamber Music Festival, the Internationales Musik Festival Koblenz, and La Folle Journée de Nantes 2019 in the closing concert broadcast to millions worldwide.

On hearing her debut concert with the DSO Berlin at the Berlin Philharmonie under Joshua Weilerstein, German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel gave her a glowing review, writing:
“[Tishchenko] compels the listener even in the first measures of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1… With a tone of incessant, nuance-rich intensity, she opens our eyes to the inner drama of this piece […] Simply genius!”

2018 was a momentous year for her containing several highlights. In November 2018 she was awarded the Grand Prix Jacques Thibaud at the legendary Long-Thibaud-Crespin International Competition in Paris by jury chair Renaud Capuçon. In the recent years she had been laureate of several other international competitions including the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition 2018, First Prize at the Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Music Academy Berlin Competition 2017, First Prize at the 2014 Lyon International Chamber Music Competition (Violin and Piano Duo category), the International ARD Competition in Munich and the David Oistrakh International Violin Competition in Moscow.

She has always been an enthusiastic chamber musician, and in May 2018 she was selected to participate in “Chamber Music Connects the World”, the renowned biennial celebration at the Kronberg Academy, performing chamber music with artists such as Gidon Kremer, Steven Isserlis and Christian Tetzlaff.



Hobart Earle

Born in Venezuela of American parents, Hobart Earle has developed a reputation on several continents as a dynamic and exciting conductor.

Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, Hobart Earle has elevated the orchestra to a position of international prominence, unprecedented in the history of the organization, performing in such concert halls as the Musikverein (Vienna), Barbican Hall (London), Orchestra Hall in Chicago, the Great Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, Carnegie Hall (New York) and the Kennedy Center (Washington). He has led such orchestras as the Bilbao Symphony, Vienna Tonkuenstler, Noord-Nederlands Orkest in Holland, Odense Symfoniorkester in Denmark, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonica Siciliana and Orchestra della Toscana, Sinfonia Iuventus in Warsaw and Krakow Philharmonic, Buffalo and Florida Philharmonics, North Carolina and Miami Symphony Orchestras, Taipei Symphony and such major Russian institutions as the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and Russian National Orchestra.

In the opera pit, he has led productions with the Greek National Opera and Mythos Opera Festival, and has recorded with the Russian State Symphony and Odessa Philharmonic for Naxos and Toccata Records.

His performance of Tchaikovsky’s 5th symphony in Vienna’s Musikverein was recorded by the Austrian Radio live in concert, and awarded “Best Classical Album 2002” at the ‘JPFolks Music Awards’ in Hollywood, California.

He was a student of Ferdinand Leitner in Salzburg and Leonard Bernstein and Seiji Ozawa at Tanglewood. Hobart Earle studied conducting at the Academy of Music in Vienna; received a performer’s diploma in clarinet from Trinity College of Music, London; and is a magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University, where he studied composition with Milton Babbitt, Edward Cone, Paul Lansky and Claudio Spies.

In 2003, the Russian Cosmonaut Association named a star in the ‘Perseus’ constellation as ‘Hobart Earle’, and in 2014, Hobart Earle was recognized as one of 30 “Professionals of the Year” by Musical America Worldwide.

Hobart Earle is a “Peoples Artist of Ukraine”.