Asian cellists dominate Queen Elisabeth final

Asian cellists dominate Queen Elisabeth final


norman lebrecht

May 22, 2022

The finalists have just been announced for the Reine Elisabeth cello competition in Brussels.

These are the contenders:
– Yibai Chen

– Bryan Cheng

– Hayoung Choi

– Jeremias Fliedl

– Stéphanie Huang (pictured)

– Woochan Jeong

– Marcel Johannes Kits

– Taeguk Mun

– Samuel Niederhauser

– Petar Pejčić

– Oleksiy Shadrin

– Sul Yoon


  • Clem says:

    Stephanie Huang is Belgian. Three years ago her sister Sylvia made the final of the Queen Elisabeth violin competition. Bryan Cheng is Canadian.

    So not such Asian dominance really: four Korean finalists and one Chinese (Yibai Chen), who’s definitely a favorite for the first prize after a fabulous Haydn 1 in the semifinal yesterday.

    • Bradly says:

      Reality check: Stephanie Huang is Asian. Bryan Cheng is Asian. Despite the wishful thinking of the left, lines in the sand don’t change one’s DNA.

      • Bradley says:

        DNA did not give them a spot in the finals or impact their playing at all- unlike decades of training and support in the country they were born in and lived their entire lives in. What the hell does race have to do with it?

      • Leopold says:

        Reality check: do you really want to say, that regarding their DNA people from Turkey have more in commonwith people from Japan than with people from Europe?

      • pierre says:

        In her case, you can’t call her Asian, with an asian father (i can’t recall the exact nationality) and a belgian mother, and being born in Belgium, studied in Brussels – Paris – Waterloo.
        This doesn’t have anything to do with politics, dummy. 😉

      • Clem says:

        Your Blut und Boden comment speaks for itself. Today’s superdiverse societies don’t work that way.

  • Ljubisa says:

    And FANTASTIC Petar Pejčić from Serbia!!!!
    I am so proud!

  • Eugene Graft says:

    From the Queen Elisabeth website, it looks like 6 of them represent European countries and only 5 represent Asian countries. News reporters writing about the Olympics don’t feel the need to bring in race when nationality is right next to their names. Why do it here?

    • Mel Cadman says:

      This kind of ‘news’ has a distinctly ethnic/’race’ bias – beloved of racists everywhere whatever outraged protests to the contrary that suggestion will doubtless provoke.

    • Heinrich says:

      I think it’s a good catalyst for various conversations, including how ironic it is how Asians tend to do well at competitions but are soon forgotten. This is because technical playing only gets a player so far.

    • ethnicity versus nationality says:

      Agreed. Although I think you are missing the point implied in the article: even if you are born and bred in a non-Asian country, people are still pointing at you as Asians.

  • IP says:

    I suppose this is how hard work vs decolonisation equals out.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Whatever happened to QE competitor Edvard Pogossian?- who recently was outright winner of the Tunbridge Wells International Artists. A great musician & I can’t believe anyone on this list would be a superior musician or player.