Prize winners 2019

Category I (born in 2006 and younger)

1st Prize

Maya Wichert (Germany)

Winning first prize at the 9th International LOUIS SPOHR Competition in Weimar was not the first thing to draw attention to this young violinist: The 13-year-old from Munich has already won first prizes at the Carl Bechstein Competition in Berlin in a duo with piano (2015), at the International Anton Rubinstein Competition in Düsseldorf (2016) and in the same year at the International Competition Il piccolo violino magico in San Vito al Tagliamento in Italy. As a soloist she has performed with various orchestras in Germany, Italy and Slovenia, most recently with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Ulm in 2019. As a 4-year-old she started playing the violin, at the age of 9 Maya Wichert was accepted as a junior student at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich and has been studying with Prof. Sonja Korkeala ever since. Master classes have also led her to Ingolf Turban, Ana Chumachenco and Julia Fischer, among others.

2nd Prize

Raphael Nussbaumer (Switzerland)

Born in Altendorf, Switzerland, in 2006, Raphael Nussbaumer received his first violin at his baptism. As a four-year-old he started violin lessons, at the age of 6 he was accepted into the class of Philip Draganov at the Zurich Conservatory as a young student. In 2013, the young violinist won 3rd prize at the Zurich Music Competition, and a year later was the youngest participant to win 1st prize at the Swiss Youth Music Competition. In the autumn of 2014 and in the spring of 2015, he played solo with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra in the Tonhalle. In 2018 he won the 1st prize with honors at the Swiss Youth Music Competition and in the same year won 2nd prize at the International Violin Competition Andrea Postacchini in Italy. As a soloist, Raphael Nussbaumer has performed with the Franz Schmidt Chamber Orchestra in the Palace of Justice in Vienna in 2019, and has also performed Henri Vieuxtemp's 5th Violin Concerto with the Biel Symphony Orchestra.

3rd Prize

Fiona Khuong-Huu (USA)

his 12-year-old is a junior student at the Juilliard School in the class of Prof. Li Lin. Parallel to this she attends the 6th grade of Spence School in her hometown New York. In 2016 she won first prizes in the solo and duo category at the Osaka International Competition in Japan, together with her sister Hina Khuong-Huu. Recently, the duo was invited by renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov to perform the Vivaldi Concerto for four violins with him at Buckingham Palace in London. The occasion was the 20th anniversary of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2017, Fiona Khuong-Huu once again attracted attention when she won first prize at the Grumiaux International Violin Competition. A year later, she debuted at New York's Carnegie Hall as part of the NPR radio show From the top. The young violinist has also attended masterclasses with Ivry Gitlis, Maxim Vengerov and Menahem Pressler.


Category II (born between 2005 and 2003)

1st Prize

Haewon Lim (South Korea)

This South Korean violinist first attended a center for highly gifted students followed by the Yewon School before moving to Prof. Antje Weithaas and Suyeon Kang in 2018 as a junior student at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. The 15-year-old has already won a number of first prizes in South Korean and Japanese music competitions, including the Korean Chamber Orchestra and the Euro-Asian Violin Competition (both in 2015), the lhwa Gyunghyang Music Competition (2016) and the Dong-A Junior Music Competition (2017). She has performed several times with the Suwon Philharmonic Orchestra as well as the Great Mountains Music Festival in PyeongChang. Most recently, she performed a solo recital in the Kumho Art Hall in the South Korean capital Seoul.

2nd Prize

Pauline van der Rest (Belgium)

er six siblings are also practicing musicians: born in Brussels in 2004, Pauline van der Rest took up the violin for the first time at the age of 7. She has been attending the Institut supérieur de musique et de pédagogie de Namur since 2016. A year earlier, the Belgian violinist became concertmaster of the Ensemble of Young Soloists of Belgium under the direction of Ulysse Waterlot and Igor Tkatchouk. Her numerous competition successes include first prizes at the Flame Competition in Paris (2012 and 2013), the Arthur Grumiaux Competition in Namur (Belgium, 2014), the Kocian Competition (Czech Republic, 2014) and the International Music Competition in Stockholm (also 2014). She has also won first prizes at the Concorso Postacchini (Italy, 2015), the Concours Vieuxtemps (Belgium, 2017) and the International Competition in Odessa (Ukraine, 2018). She has performed as a soloist at numerous music festivals and with a number of Belgian orchestras throughout Europe.  


3rd Prize

Anatol Toth (Switzerland)

He is a true European: Born in Switzerland in 2003, his Hungarian-German-Swiss family moved to Spain from 2008 to 2013. Anatol Toth has been taught violin by Barbara Doll in Basel since 2013, by György Pauk in London since 2017 and by Gyulla Stuller in Lausanne since 2018. He’s gained important impulses in master classes with Nora Chastain, Alf Richard Kraggerud and Boris Kucharsky, among others. The young Swiss can already look back on a multitude of 1st prizes in competitions. He made his debut as a soloist at the age of 11 with the New Zurich Orchestra at the Tonhalle Zurich and the Casino Bern, among other venues. In 2019 he was invited to Anna Chumachenko's String Academy at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival. Toth is a regular guest soloist and chamber musician in Switzerland and other European countries. He has performed at the International Chamber Music Festival in Mantua, the Arosa Classic Festival and the Lavaux Classics.

Kategorie III (Jahrgänge 2002 bis 1998)

1st Prize

Phoenix Avalon (USA)

This US-American is a musician from Santa Fe who has an interest in many things. The 18-year-old not only plays the violin excellently, but also the piano and marimba, sings in a choir and is enthusiastic about music theatre, philosophy and history. The legendary Itzhak Perlman has been his violin teacher since 2018, before which he studied for three years with Jaime Laredo at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Most recently he won 3rd prize at the Lynn Harrell Competition 2017, a silver medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Association competition and 3rd prize at the Johansen International Competition for Young String Players in Washington D.C. in 2018. He has appeared with orchestras including the Cleveland POPS Orchestra, the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Boulder Symphony Orchestra. Recently he has appeared as a soloist at the Juilliard School in New York.

2nd Prize

Tassilo Probst (Deutschland)

This German violinist was born into a music-loving family in Munich in July 2002. He received his first violin lessons at the age of four. This pupil of David Frühwirth he has been studying since 2015 as a young student at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich, first with Prof. Sonja Korkeala and since 2017 with Prof. Ingolf Turban. Master classes have also led him to Linus Roth, Julia Fischer, Pier Amoyal, Boris Kuschnir, Christoph Poppen and the baroque violinist Rüdiger Lotter. He made his debut as a 14-year-old with Glasunow's Violin Concerto with the Philharmonie Bad Reichenhall. At the age of 16 he performed Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in the Herkulessaal of the Munich Residenz and in the series Junge Stars in Fürstenfeld 2018 with the Neue Philharmonie Munich. Tassilo Probst is also an enthusiastic chamber musician and is founder of the Trio Somni in 2019 with violin, clarinet and piano. He also plays saxophone and piano.


3rd Prize

Taichi Miyamoto (Japan)

Born in Japan in 1999, Taichi Miyamoto began playing the violin at the age of 4. His first teacher was Masaaki Tanokura. From very early on this young Japanese violinist began to take part in various national and international master classes. These advanced trainings led him to Tibor Varga, the Ishikawa Music Academy and since 2013 to the Music Academy in Miyazaki. In 2014 Taichi Miyamoto was invited to participate in the Menuhin International Competition in the Junior category. In the same year he won the 2nd prize at the 68th Student Music Concours of Japan. In addition to private lessons with Masaaki Tanokura, he has studied from 2015 to 2018 as a soloist with Koichiro Harada and Michiko Kamiya at the University of Toho. Since 2018 Taichi Miyamoto has been studying with Pavel Vernikov at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna.