French cellists dominate Reine Elisabeth finals

French cellists dominate Reine Elisabeth finals


norman lebrecht

May 23, 2017

The last 12 cellists were announced last night in the Brussels competition.

Four of them are French.

Santiago Cañón-Valencia, 21, Colombia
Brannon Cho, 22, USA
Sihao He, 23, China
Victor Julien-Laferrière
, 26, France
Seungmin Kang, 29, South Korea
Ivan Karizna (24, Belorussia
Maciej Kułakowski, 20, Poland
JeongHyoun Christine Lee, 25, South Korea
Yan Levionnois, 26, France
Yuya Okamoto, 22, Japan)
Aurélien Pascal
, 22, France

Bruno Philippe, 23, France


The final round will begin on May 29.


  • Bobby Brown says:

    Love these names, which are potentially a concert promoter’s nightmare.

    “Sihao He” would have to indicate male gender. Seungmin Kang? Anyone’s guess.

    “Santiago Cañón-Valencia” … a cello-playing city perhaps.

  • Carmen says:

    The dark horse, the interesting one to watch in this competition will be Santiago Cañón-Valencia. How many South Americans are making finals in competitions these days?

    He’s breaking a lot of barriers, going against the odds He’s a super talent, who’s been doing well on the competition circuit. Colombians are rightfully very proud of him & they are already buzzing about the Queen Elizabeth.

  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    Ms. Kang is a world-class cellist and should win.