Michiaki Ueno from Japan wins the 2021 Geneva International Cello Competition

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The final round of the 2021 Geneva Competition International Cello Competition was held on October 28, 2021, and when the results were announced, Japanese cellist Michiaki Ueno (25) was named the winner. It is the first time in history that a Japanese musician has won the competition.

Michiaki Ueno plays in the final of the competition.

Accompanied by the Orchester de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Georg Fritzsch, Ueno performed Witold Lutoslawski’s “Cello Concerto”, one of the five options offered to the finalists. His performance drew much applause from the audience.

Ueno’s inspiration in his youth, he said, was the world-renowned cellist and Praemium Imperiale Music 2021 winner Yo-Yo Ma. RELATED: “Head, Heart and Hands”: the winner of the Praemium Imperiale Yo-Yo Ma on the inspirations of his music

Geneva International Music Competition Second prize for cello Brian Cheng (left) and first prize winner Michiaki Ueno (right).

In an all-Asian sweep of top prizes in the cello category of the 75th Geneva International Music Competition, Ueno was joined on the winners podium by Brian Cheng (second prize), Canada and Jaemin Han (third prize) from the South Korea .

Competitors in the competition must be invited to participate by the organizers. This year there were 37 guests aged 15-30 from 19 nations in the cello category.

The three winners take home a cash prize. However, the impetus given by the competition to the development of their careers as professional musicians is greater.

Michiaki Ueno with the Orchester de la Suisse Romande, conducted by Georg Fritzsch.

The 2021 laureates will benefit from two years of management by the concert agency Pro-Musica Genève, which will accompany them in a series of professional performances envisaged as the first career steps for musicians seeking a career in Swiss concert halls and international. Among the opportunities is the offer of an international concert tour.

The possibility of recording a CD with the accompaniment of an orchestra is also part of the prize for a winner. Distributed under the label La Dolce Volta, the organizers note that these recordings are “an excellent means of promotion for young artists at the beginning of their careers”.

Additional special prizes were also awarded. Among them, the Japanese Michiaki Ueno also won the Young Audience Prize, awarded by students, and the Jussy Concerts Prize, which consists of a concert. He also won the Rose Marie Huguenin Prize, which consists of an international concert tour. The other winners of the competition, Brian Cheng and Jaemin Han were also named winners of the Rose Marie Huguenin Prize. Brian Cheng also won the Audience Award and the Student Award.

Michiaki Ueno, first prize at the 2021 Geneva Competition

Ueno, who is Japanese, started studying the cello at a very young age. He is currently artist in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel, where he studies with Gary Hoffman and Jeroen Reuling, according to the Geneva competition website and The string of the violin. He graduated from the Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, where he studied with Pieter Wispelweij and Hakuo Mohri. He also won first prizes in the Lutoslawski and Brahms international cello competitions.

Ueno told reporters after the competition, according to NHK, that it is his dream to “become a cellist that people all over the world can listen to”. With this first prize in the International Cello Competition of the Geneva Competition, his dream could well come true.

Author: JAPAN Before


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