No winner at ARD violin finals

The first final of this year’s ARD competition was a washout.

All three finalists played Prokofiev’s first violin concerto with Michael Francis conducting the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra.

The jury chaired by Mauricio Fuks of Canada decided to withhold the first prize. Sarah Christian and Andrea Obsio shared second. Kristine Balanas (pictured) came third. Sarah Christian won the audience prize. Obiso won a prize for best interpretation of the commissioned work. No-one went home happy.


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  • So what would have been the value of a first prize relative to a second or third prize five years from now? I would venture virtually none. All will disappear into obscurity. There are too many competitions and too many “laureates”.

    • (sic) “All will disappear into obscurity”. That’s how much you really know. Sarah Christian is currently concertmaster of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and recently led the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Not much obscurity there.

  • This year’s ARD competition was N° 66. In this very long time, for instance, in the oboe competition a 1st Prize has been awarded not more than just three times. I think the reluctance to award a 1st Prize may be quite exaggerated, but the notion that no-one who hasn’t got it could walk home happy seems rather absurd to me. Any ARD prize is a fantastic achievement, and congratulations to all the winners and beyond this to the other participants as well, who all make this competition so special year after year.

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