Finn wins LA Phil limelight

Finn wins LA Phil limelight


norman lebrecht

August 09, 2019

Laura Kukkonen, 18, from Finland, is the winner of the ‘Play with Ray’ competition at the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Last night, Laura joined Ray Chen right onstage at the Hollywood Bowl to play the first movement of Bach’s Double Violin Concerto with the LA Phil, conducted by Ben Gernon.

The runners up – Adriana Bec, 13, of San Antonio, TX, and Youngji Kim, 22, of Daegu, South Korea, got to play in the LA Phil first violins.

Laura Kukkonen said:’There are not enough words to describe how thankful I am for this experience. Getting a masterclass from Ray, playing on Guadagninis, doing extra activities, making new friends and, finally, performing with the outstanding professionals at the Hollywood Bowl – all of these are a dream come true and even more. This opportunity shows rare kindness and generosity which we often lack these days.’

Personal interest: Ray Chen is soundtrack soloist in my forthcoming film, The Song of Names.


  • Anon says:

    I thought you were going to say that the winner played one movement with Ray Chen, while the runners up were forced to play two…

  • Siegfried says:

    Ray Chen is the dynamite classical music needs. And he shares it well!

  • Anonymous says:

    His new girlfriend!