Result: No thrills or spills at Queen Elisabeth finals

Result: No thrills or spills at Queen Elisabeth finals


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2019

The Brussels competition was won early this morning by Stella Chen, 26, a pupil of Itzhak Perlman and Miriam Fried who studied psychology at Harvard. She takes home 25,000 Euros and gets to play the Huggins Strad for the next four years.

Second prize and 20k went to Timothy Chooi , 25, of Canada.

Third: Stephen Kim (USA, 23)
Fourth: Shannon Lee (Canada – USA, 26)
Fifth: Júlia Pusker (Hungary, 27)
Sixth: Ioana Cristina Goicea (Romania – Germany, 26)

The audience prize went to Sylvia Huang, a violinist in the Cincertgebouw Orchestra and the only Belgian finalist.



  • Fiddlist says:

    You forgot Weilerstein as Stella’s teacher.

  • CJ says:

    There was a thrill: during the last of the 6 finals, the lights went out when Shannon Lee was playing her Tchaïkovsky concerto and she (and the orchestra) went bravely on, without cellphones lights!

  • Patterson says:

    She currently studies with Li Lin and Catherine Cho at The Juilliard School

    • Patricia Yeiser says:

      Now let her study with Simon Standage, or another first- class period violinist. She already has a Strad – put some gut strings on it and she’s all set.

  • Jason says:

    This guy can’t report results of a single competition without a snarky comment. Shouldn’t you be happy we finally have a winner with no connection to a single jury member?

  • Wladek says:

    Means absolutely nothing except to the “winners ” who
    now join dozens upon dozens of other winners sawing away at the same old works hoping for a piece($) of the pie
    all sounding alike….

    • Nick says:

      Right on the money! Bravo Wladek!

    • John Marks says:

      I say it’s about time someone established a competition to commemorate Eugene Fodor… seeing as getting around on the fingerboard is more important than being a musical artist–no knock on Ms. Chen, except for the fact that the Tchaikovsky concerto is (largely) more about getting around on the fingerboard than it is about meaningful musical utterances.

      C’mon, folks! The Tchaik. concerto is a tone picture of a peasant fair, complete with drunken dancing–read the reception history! My intuition is that Leopold Auer did not find it too difficult to play; perhaps he found it pointless and vulgar.

      Well, at least we have now learned how someone comes in sixth in a major competition–just do a magnificent job playing one of the two most musically significant concertos of the 20th-c. (the other being Elgar’s).


      • Patricia Yeiser says:

        Tchaikovsky is one of those composers I hope I never have to hear again. What’s wrong with Bach or Mozart concertos for competitions? The orchestras might be delighted at the change – and the orchestras wouldn’t have to be as large -if you do it right.Now, what record company gives her a contract and hopes for the best?

    • Samuel L. Bronkowitz says:

      The term for the performers is “a dime a dozen”.
      An appropriate German term for the hackneyed-to- death standard repertoire pieces is “ausgelutscht” (sucked dry).

      • Wladek says:

        you are too kind in your assessment …..
        One senses from their performances they are already in the “dime a dozen” dust bin.

  • fflambeau says:

    Another Julliard winner. And yes, Kaplinsky is the one to fault with this and the school’s spelling.

  • fflambeau says:

    In fact, the top 3 have studied at the Juilliard School.

    What’s NL going to do? It’s gotta be because of Kaplinsky!

    • Patricia Yeiser says:

      This may come as a surprise, but there are better music schools than Juilliard. Boston, for example, is full of them.

  • fflambeau says:

    Huang is an old Belgian name, for your information.

    • CJ says:

      Sylvia Huang’s mother is 100% Belgian. Sylvia played beautifully, at 25 she is already a member of the Concertgebauw orchestra in Amsterdam.
      (Maybe it was not a good thing for her to be Belgian in this case ;-)).
      Anyway, the 12 finalists were fine musicians and it was a great pleasure to listen to them. Bravi tutti!