Just in: 3 Americans and concertmaster are in the Sibelius finals

Just in: 3 Americans and concertmaster are in the Sibelius finals


norman lebrecht

November 29, 2015

The judges have spoken. The Helsinki 6 are:

Tjeknavorian, Emmanuel Austria

Yoshida, Minami  Japan

Zhou Nancy USA

Kanagawa, Mayumi USA

Lee, Christel USA 

and Starkloff, Friederike Germany, concertmaster of the NDR Philharmonie.

friederike starkloff

No Koreans in the final, and no Finns.

A Starkloff rising?


Vesa Siren adds: The big surprise: amazing Kerson Leong took our breath away today but did NOT make to the the final round of Sibelius violin competition.

So, why not?


  • Stacy says:

    Who is Vesa Siren?

  • Freddy says:

    Zeyu Victor Li and Richard Lin were not selected for finals after they both gave a very strong performance…

  • Eugene Tzigane says:

    It’s really wonderful that a number of genuine musicians made it to the Finale of the Sibelius Competition. It’s a triumph of musicianship over showmanship. Bravo to all the competitors that were selected but also to those many talented violinists who didn’t make it.

  • Alex says:

    I fully agree that this was a very “musicianship overshownship” jury and that is very refreshing. Kerson was overly self indulgent and showed far more music on his face than through the violin. He probably offended the Jury. The exception would be Nancy zhou who doesn’t show much if any depth or understanding but goes for fire power. For me most impressive is Christel Lee who is a very elegant poised player, but with smarts and heart.