All-American winners at LA viola competition

All-American winners at LA viola competition


norman lebrecht

December 19, 2021

The results are in for the Primrose International Viola Competition held at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. All the prizewinners are, unusually, of the host nation.

The first prize of $15,000 went to Natalie Loughran, 24, (US)
Second placed was Samuel Rosenthal, 21, (US), $10,000.
Third was Nicholas Swensen (Denmark/US), $5,000.

Loughran, a student at Juilliard, also won the BIPOC and audience prizes.
Keoni Bolding, 24, of the US was awarded the transcriptions prize.


  • Michel Lemieux says:

    And they are all Juilliard students.

  • Piano Lover says:

    No piano competition for a change!!!

  • Patrick says:

    I’m sure someone will explain the awarding of the BIPOC prize.

  • M2N2K says:

    It would probably be helpful to clarify that the other special prize, in addition to the one by the audience, awarded to the competition’s main prize winner who is pictured here was for the best performance of a piece written by “a BIPOC composer”.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The viola is a beautiful instrument, with a very special sonority combining fullness with modesty, keeping the orchestral sound together without ostentation. Mostly you don’t ‘hear’ the viola section in an orchestra, but if it were absent, the orchestra would sound like a donut – something with a hole in the middle.

  • Piano Lover says:

    It was Shostakovitch favourite’s and so was Bruch(who disliked Violin)

    • M2N2K says:

      For someone for whom viola, according to you, was favorite but who “disliked violin” as you are claiming here, Max Bruch somehow managed (fortunately for violinists) to write three full violin concertos, at least one of which has been a widely beloved hit in the standard symphonic repertoire frequently performed and recorded for over a century now, as is his fine and popular “Scottish Fantasy” for violin and orchestra – versus absolutely nothing substantial that was written specifically for solo viola.