American wins Tchaikovsky cello section

American wins Tchaikovsky cello section


norman lebrecht

June 27, 2019

Zlatomir Fung, 20, was tonight declared winner of the Tchaikovsky cello competition.

Second was the Colombian Santiago Cañón Valencia.

Third was the Russian Anastasia Kobekina.

The jury was chaired by Carnegie Hall’s Clive Gillinson.

Fung, US-born of Bulgarian and Chinese parents, studies at Juilliard with Richard Aaron and Timothy Eddy. His maternal grandparents studied in Russia.


  • MusicBear88 says:

    It’s Zlatomir Fung, not “fang”.

  • Bachtakovich says:

    That modern piece Fung played that has a long section without bow was my favorite. I wonder what the score looks like.

  • Nathaniel Rosen says:

    Heartfelt congratulations to Zlatomir Fung, the second American cellist to win the Tchaikovsky. I am thrilled and happy to change the wording on my own biography from “only” to “first”.

    • Esther Cavett says:

      Dear Mr Rosen, it’s a pleasure to have you on this page. I have long loved that film of you playing Don Quixote with Previn

    • Kananpoika says:

      Bravo, Nate! Wonderful sentiments….!

      (BTW….loved your Schumann Concerto, with
      Blomstedt….1979…Staatskapelle Dresden,
      Ames, Iowa….)

    • Bill says:

      Always a class act, NR…

    • Jerry Wetherall says:

      Nick, I remember when you came back with the top prize. Soon after, you soloed with the Honolulu Symphony as part of your world tours. Sold out the house. While in Honolulu you also joined some of our symphony players in a memorable recital performance of the great Schubert C major quintet. You rocked then and still do!

  • Gilberto Renjifo says:

    -Que orgullo para nosotros los colombianos tener un músico de la talla de Santiago Cañón,estuvo sensacional y a la altura de tan importante competencia

  • Bostonite says:

    And like George Li, his pre-college years were at New England Conservatory Preparatory School.

  • John Gingrich says:

    Heartiest congratulations to Mr. Fung and to Young Concert Artists, who have given us the privilege of hearing this remarkable artist on the threshold of a major career.

  • Vaquero357 says:

    A *very* talented young musician! Just earlier this month, I heard him do Bloch’s Schelomo with the Cedar Rapids Symphony (aka “Orchestra Iowa”) Hands down, the most intense, powerful, concentrated performance of that piece I’ve ever heard. Awesome that the left Iowa and went right on to take the Tchaikovsky medal. DO NOT pass up a chance to hear this fellow perform.

  • NYMike says:

    He played a marvelous Dvorak @ Juilliard earlier this season.

  • Donald Hansen says:

    He will be performing at five concerts with the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in New York at their next season beginning in December.