Starkloff, Friederike Sibelius

Tjeknavorian, Emmanuel Brahms

Radion sinfoniaorkesteri, conductor Hannu Lintu


Intermission approximately at 19.00

Yoshida, Minami Sibelius

Zhou, Nancy Tshaikovski

Helsingin kaupunginorkesteri, conductor John Storgårds



Kanagawa, Mayumi Sibelius

Lee, Christel Bartók

HKO, conductor John Storgårds


Intermission approximately at 19.00

Yoshida, Minami Tshaikovski

Zhou, Nancy Sibelius

RSO, conductor Hannu Lintu




Starkloff, Friederike Brahms
Tjeknavorian, Emmanuel Sibelius

HKO, conductor John Strogråds


Intermission approximately at 19.00

Kanagawa, Mayumi Berg
Lee, Christel Sibelius

RSO, conductor Hannu Lintu


The prize giving ceremony approximately at 21.30.

ALL competitors





Naoka Aoki


Hello, this is Naoka Aoki and I’m 23 years old, From Japan. I’ve been playing the violin about 21 years and I moved to London 4 years ago. Recently I graduated and from September I will continue studying at Royal Academy of Music under professor Mayumi Fujikawa. To be honest, I don’t remember when I first listened to Sibelius’ music but I do remember when I first heard his violin concerto. I have grown to love this piece, the more time has passed, and especially I’ll never forget when I first played this piece for the first time, in Paris last year. I have never been to Finland before, so if this video is played I will say greetings, bye-bye!




South Korea


Wonhee Bae


Hello, I’m Wonhee Bae, a violinist living in Düsseldorf, Germany. When I first heard Sibelius’ music, was when I was seven years old, in a symphony orchestra concert, it was his violin concerto, and it made a huge impact on me and I immediately fell in love with the piece. It has not only a beautiful melody of the violin solo part, but also a very dynamic orchestra tutti section which made me think that it’s not only a violin concerto but also a symphony. It has sounds full of mystical northern European natures which makes me want to travel immediately to Finland when I hear this piece.






Hannah Soojin Cho


Hi, my name is Hannah Soojin Cho, and I remember watching a live performance of Sibelius Violin Concerto and I was so blown away of the shear capacity of orchestral sound and I think that’s the one of the most amazing thing in the concerto. And the combination of the Sibelius’ signature and very unique symphonic writing and a completely virtuosic violin solo part. And I hope that I get the opportunity to play that in his own country, thank you!






Sarah Christian


Hi, I’m Sarah Christian form Berlin, in Germany. I heard Sibelius Violin Concerto for the first time when I was 12 years old, an d I fell in love with the piece immediately, of course. I used to listen to it like 3 times a day and this very first strong impression never changed over the years. Of course I heard the symphonies later and I got in touch with his music more often. The picture I have of his music is very strong and special, and of course I would love to come to Finland, in Helsinki and check whether my fantasy has anything to do of the reality.






Sara Etelävuori


Hi everyone! My name is Sara Etelävuori. I’m a violinist from Finland and as an answer to question the website I think the first performances of Sibelius’ music must have been on cd or a concert somewhere in Helsinki, probably of Finlandia or the Violin Concerto. I don’t actually remember, in Finland you hear it a lot Sibelius, Sibelius performances a lot. And if this video ever gets published, I would really like to thank all my friends in Cologne, for their support and my teacher especially and my family of their love and support. It’s a really pleasure and a priviledge to be part of this competition here in Finland in Helsinki in 2015. Thank you very much, bye!






Marina Grauman


Hi, my name is Marina. I am 20 and 15 from those I spent playing violin. I was born in the family of musicians. My father was a violinist. Once he came home with small violin and said to me: “Now you will learn violin too”. And I became a violinist. I was brought up in St. Petersburg, studied in the Special school for gifted children, but my musical upbringing began much earlier as well as my first encounter with Sibelius’ music. My father practiced the Violin concerto as well as my mother as an accompanist did but until they got to play together I did not realize that this is the same piece of music. I was really in awe! Later I enjoyed Sibelius’ Symphonies and played works a lot. Also in Abonnement concert in Petrozavodsk (Karjala), and it was always a discovery for me. The same discovery and enjoyment I wish to the audience of the Sibelius Competition 2015.






Anna Gockel


Hello, I’m Anna Göckel. I’m from Marseille, I started the violin at age 6 and I went studying at Paris Conservatory when I was 14 and I’m now in Germany with David Grimal at Saarbrucken Hochschule. I had these last five years great chamber music time with Trio Karénine, and we had the luck to meet very inspiring people to study with them and we made a lot of competitions and that gave us the opportunity to play all over the world. And I keep from this chamber music experience a certain way to look at the music to look at the score. It helps me every day. Now I’m more focusing to solo repertoire. About Sibelius, I know the Violin Concerto since I’m very young, like all the violinists, and I love it very much because it’s a masterpiece and what a dream it would be to perform it in Helsinki.




South Korea


Yoo Na Ha


Hello! My name is Yoo Na Ha, I’m very happy to accept this amazing violin competition.
I’m from South Korea and now I’m studying to develop my career in Paris. My first experience to hear Sibelius’ music is when I was in school years. It was the Concerto of him and I just fell in love with it. Thank you Helsinki and I hope you’ll enjoy all the concerts of the candidates.




United States of America


Mayumi Kanagawa


Hi! My name is Mayumi Kanagawa. I grew up in Los Angeles and in New York and I’m Japanese-American. Now I study at the Hans Eissler Musik Hochschule in Berlin, Germany. Some of my favourite violinists are Hillary Hahn, Jascha Heifetz and Gidon Kremer. Besides violin I really enjoy swimming, reading and hiking which I’ve been doing a lot this summer in Colorado, in Aspen at the music festival. The first time I remember hearing Sibelius Violin Concerto was actually in a documentary of Midori Koto’s younger brother Ryo Koto. I just remember sitting in the basement in my house in New York in front of the TV, and he is  learning the concerto and visits Sibelius’ house. And I’m hoping to get to do the same. I’m looking forward to it.




South Korea


Bomsori Kim




South Korea


Jeein Kim


Hello! My name is Jeein Kim and I’m a violinist from Korea. I’m very happy to participate in this prestigious Sibelius Competition celebrating the 150th anniversary of the birth of Sibelius. I first started violin when I was 5 years old and at the age of 10 I got more interested in it. I first heard Sibelius’ music when I was 14, and it was a special experience for me because I could feel the fiery passion and the vast nature in his music.






Stepan Lavrov


Hi everybody, hello Finland! I think it’s a great idea to make this video for Jean Sibelius Violin Competition. If I get elected it would be an honour to perform in homeland of maestro Sibelius. I got introduced in his music in childhood when I heard one of his masterworks, the Violin Concerto. Ever since that moment I knew I would have loved to play this piece myself. Hopefully you will get a chance to hear me play and it would be a great priviledge for me to participate in this event. Bye-bye!




United States of America


Christel Lee credit Dorothee Falke


Hello, my name is Christel Lee, and first time I heard Sibelius’ music, I remember, a recording of Finlandia, it was Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Karajan.






Kerson Leong


Hi! My name is Kerson Leong. I’m 18 years old and I come from Ottawa, Canada. I’m really looking forward to participating in this competition which is named after one of my favourite composers, Jean Sibelius. I first discovered Sibelius’ music when I was very young, in fact I don’t remember exactly when, but I do remember as a little child listening to the opening of the opening of Sibelius Violin Concerto and being completely captivated by it. It was such a mysterious and powerful experience then and remains so to this day, when I perform it.






Zeyu Victor Li


Hi everyone! My name is Zeyu Victor Li. I’m a 19 years old violinist from Curtis Institute of Music. I enjoy Sibelius’ works very much, especially his Concerto. My first time I heard, his Concerto, it touched me very much. I can feel a lot of mood in his music; somewhere very tragic, or somewhere very passionate or powerful. So, I will do my best in the competition and hope you’ll enjoy it. Thank you very much!




United States of America, Taiwan


Richard Lin


Hello everyone! My name is Richard Lin, I’m from Taiwan, just turned 24 years old. As a violinist I always encourage myself to develop a very unique and characteristic sound. I was very influenced by my teacher Mr. Rosand with whom I study at Curtis Institute of Music. When I was 10 years old, around, I first heard Sibelius’ music. The circumstance was, I was playing the tutti part in the Concerto for Violin and I was immediately amazed by the special  harmony and atmosphere that’s been created in the second movement. And I immediately fell in love with this music. I’ve never been to Finland before so I’m really looking forward to participating in the competition and having fun in Finland. Thank you!






Tikhon Lukiyanenko


First I was introduced to the music of Jean Sibelius in my school years. It was his Violin Concerto. Later when I got a job in symphonic orchestra we played Symphony No. 1 and some other his symphonic works. His Violin Concerto is one of my favourite violin concertos and it may be my favourite piece among all the classical music.  




South Korea


Kyung Ji Min


Hello! My name is Kyung Ji Min and I’m from Korea. I currently study at Curtis Music Institute. I started violin when I was 7, and I’ve heard a lot of Sibelius’ pieces since then. The first Sibelius’ piece I heard was Romance Op. 72 No. 2 and it became one of my favourite pieces. I really enjoy playing that and of course I love playing Sibelius Violin Concerto.






Yasuka Morizono


My name is Yasuka Morizono and I come from Japan. Since I was 11 I have been studying violin with Prof. Herwig Zack at Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg, Germany. I love the  music of Sibelius and his Violin Concerto has been one of my favourite concertos ever since I first listened to it when I was 5 years old. By now I have performed it a few times and each time I keep discovering new interesting aspects and new shapes of beauty in this deep and heartfelt music. I’m very happy to come to Finland, Sibelius’ home country and I hope this will help me to develop a more profound understanding of his personality and music coloured and rich.






Katerina Nazarova


Hello! My name is Katerina Nazarova, and I’m a violinist all away from Tasmania. I first heard of Sibelius’ music when I must have been a child and listening to it either going to a concert or my mother playing it on records, and particularly the Violin Concerto of course. That’s made a lasting impact on me and I always enjoy performing it whenever I get the opportunity, just love it. And hopefully I’ll perform it again soon, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Helsinki. Bye!






Seiji Okamoto


Hello everyone! My name is Seiji Okamoto, I’m 21 years old, and I’m studying in Tokyo Geidai in Japan. When I was 2 years old, my friends showed me imitation playing the violin. I played “the violin” like this. Then I said to my parents I’d like to play the violin. My first experience with Sibelius’ music was when I was 5 years old. On the TV program Mr. Daishin Kashimoto, Concertmaster of Berliner Philharmoniker played the Concerto by Sibelius with Mr. Seiji Ozawa conducting. I’ve heard a majestic nature, huge power deep from heart and passion. I adore Sibelius and I’m looking forward to playing Sibelius’ music in Finland. See you there!






Pekko Pulakka


Hi! My name is Pekko Pulakka. I play the violin. This is my work place, Turku Concert Hall where I work in the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra. This is where all the magic happens, where I practice and where I do this application to the competition. I’ve no idea where I first heard Sibelius’ music, but I guess I was quite young. Probably at home, Sibelius’ symphonies or Violin Concerto. My hobbies include languages and following politics. I also like to watch ice hockey, my favourite team is HIFK, Helsingin IFK. Hopefully see you in the competition!






Fedor Rudin


Hello! My name is Fedor Rudin. I’m a Russian violinist studying at Mozarteum University in Salzburg with Prof. Pierre Amoyal. I’ve heard the music of Sibelius very early and Violin Concerto has always been one of my favourite pieces ever written, so I’m really looking forward to participating in Sibelius Competition. Bye-bye!






Anna Savkina


Hi everyone! My name is Anna Savkina. I’m 20 years old. I live in the capital of Russia, Moscow. I’m a student of Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory. I know Sibelius Violin Competition is the most famous, important violin contest for the violinists in the world. First time when I heard about Sibelius Violin Competition when I was a child, and started to play violin. Jean Sibelius is one of my favourite composers. I love his Violin Concerto and his Humoresques for Violin and Orchestra. His music is very bright, deep, with very strong national basis. I really like his music for symphony orchestra. I will be happy to get a chance to play in Sibelius Competition. See you in Helsinki, goodbye!






Lev Solodovnikov


Hello! My name is Lev Solodovnikov. I study at the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory with Prof. Eduard Grach.  






Friederike Starkloff


Hyvää päivää and hello! My name is Friederike Starkloff. I’m from Germany, living in Berlin. The first contact with Sibelius’ music was when I was 11 years old, I played his Violin Concerto for the first time. After this I studied the Symphonies and chamber music and since then I’m very fascinated, I love this very honest, deep and colourful music.




United States of America, South Korea


Elly Suh


Hello! My name is Elly Suh. I’m from South Korea and I grew up in the United States. I first heard the music of Sibelius when I was about 8 years old. I heard a performance of the Violin Concerto on TV and I’ve loved the piece ever since. I participated in the Sibelius Violin Competition in 2010, and had a great time in Helsinki. And I hope I can come back and do better this year. 






Ryosuke Suho


Hi! I’m Ryosuke Suho from Japan. I studied to learn the violin at the age of 7, and currently studying at Tokyo College of Music. I was 10 years old, when I first heard the Sibelius Violin Concerto, and I was completely struck by the beauty of this music. So, I’m looking forward to performing this music in Finland. Thank you. 






Mai Suzuki


Hello! I’m Mai Suzuki. I study in Tokyo, and now living in Salzburg. When I was 10 years old, I went to orchestral concert and I listened to Finlandia. I was so impressed by enacted but beautiful melodies. Of course I love the reason to play Sibelius Violin Concerto, so now I’m very serious to take part in this big Sibelius Competition. Thank you! 






Elena Tarosyan




United States of America


Stephen Tavani


Hello! My name is Stephen Tavani, and I’m 23 years old. I currently live in Philadelphia where I study with Ida Kavafian at Curtis Institute of Music. The first time I heard Sibelius’ music was when I was very young and it was a recording of Jascha Heifez. 






Diana Tishchenko


Hello! My name is Diana, I come from Ukraine and I’m 25. Last five years I’ve lived and studied in Berlin, Germany. For the first time I heard the music of Sibelius was when I was about 11. I got to know first his Violin Concerto and a few years was later fascinated by his symphonic piece Finlandia. I find his music very epic and it gives imagination of Finnish landscapes. Hopefully I will have chance to experience Finnish nature in real life. I’m really looking forward. See you there!






Emmanuel Tjeknavorian credit Stephan Polzer


Hello! My name is Emmanuel Tjeknavorian. I’m a violinist from Austria. I’m 20 years old and I’m studying at The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. I was 6 when I first heard Sibelius Violin Concerto and ever since then I’ve truly loved his music. 






Kasmir uusitupa


Hello! My name is Kasmir Uusitupa and I’m from Finland. I’m studying in Sibelius Academy in Prof. Kaija Saarikettu’s class. I started to play the violin when I was 3 and a half years old and since then I’ve played folk music and tried many other styles as well. I consider myself to be an open minded musician who is always delighted to try something new and find new aspects to violin playing. The first time I heard Sibelius’ music was probably when I was playing the Impromptu for String Orchestra as a kid. I have always thought that there is something very magical in his world of music. 






Juho Valtonen


Moi! My name is Juho Valtonen and I was born here in Helsinki in 1992 and I’ve been living here ever since. Now I’m actually about to move to Vienna to study there as an exchange student. I come from a Finnish musical family, and I started to play the violin at the age of 3, after two years of intensive studying with a paper violin. So, that is very hard for me to say when I first heard the music of Sibelius being played, but I guess I was rather young back then. 






Xiao Wang


Hello! My name is Xiao Wang, and I was born in China and I’m currently living in New York City. As a violinist I’ve been to many places and performed in many prestigious concert halls, such as Carnegie Hall, Wigmore House, Béla Bartok Hall, Soho Art Centre, National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing and many more. But I’ve never been to Finland and I didn’t have chance to perform in the beautiful Helsinki Music Centre. So I’m very looking forward to be there, to perform for all of you and to share my music with all of you. See you there!




South Korea


Jungyoon Yang


Hi! My name is Jungyoon Yang, I’m from South Korea, Soul, but now I’m living in Austria, Salzburg. Since two years I’ve been living here studying at Mozarteum University of Salzburg with Prof. Pierre Amoyal. I find Sibelius’ music very deep and powerful. I started to love this music when I was 16 years old. It was for my entrance exam of university, and I still like it very much. Thank you very much!






Minami Yoshida


I’m Minami from Japan. I’m 17 years old. I’m studying the violin in Toho Gakuen Music High School. His name is Haido. See you, bye!




United States of America


Nancy Zhou


Hi everyone! My name is Nancy Zhou, I’m from the United States and now currently based in Boston Massachusetts. After starting the violin when I was 4, with my father, with whom I’m still studying with, I moved on to study with Miriam Fried at the New England Conservatory for three years. After all this time, I’m very much looking forward to returning to Finland, a chance to all us, to Sibelius Competition. I actually participated in the 2010 session and the entire experience of competing, getting to know the country culturally and performing actually left a very memorably impression on me. Finland, I think is such a beautiful country, has such a naturally beautiful atmosphere and I think much of that is reflected in Sibelius’ music, especially the Violin Concerto. The Concerto is one of my favourite works, not only because it marked my first time playing with an orchestra at the age of 16, but also because to me it’s a very challenging work, both physically and emotionally. All in all I hope to return to Finland very soon and to be able to share with the audience there how much I’ve evolved through the years. So I’m very much looking forward to another new experience.