Young Estonian wins cello final at Romania’s 2018 George Enescu Competition

Estonian Marcel Johannes Kits, 23, won on Tuesday evening, September 11, the first prize of the Cello Section at the George Enescu International Competition 2018.

He performed the Cello Concerto No 1. in E flat minor op. 107 by Dmitri Shostakovich, accompanied by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Paul Watkins.

Yibai Chen from China won the second place while Stanislas Kim (France) and Shizuka Mitsui (Japan) ranked third and fourth, respectively.

The first prize of the 2018 George Enescu International Competition amounts to EUR 15,000, the second prize is EUR 10,000, and the third prize is EUR 5,000. Moreover, the big winner has the chance to perform at the George Enescu Festival alongside some of the most important orchestras of the world. In addition, conductor Paul Watkins offered the winner Marcel Johannes Kits the possibility to perform together on an international stage next year.

Marcel Johnannes Kits was born on May 2, 1995. He plays on a cello made by Francesco Ruggeri in Cremona, in 1674, and with a bow made by Victor Fetique. He is studying at the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof. Jens Peter Maintz and has participated in several masterclasses. He has also performed as a soloist with various orchestra such as the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Pärnu City Orchestra, Latvian National SO, Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, and St. Petersburg SO. Moreover, he is a laureate of the International “Dombrovsky” Competition and the “Johannes Brahms” Competition.

This year, the jury of the George Enescu International Competition has selected 270 young musicians from 39 countries to participate in the event. A total of 80 young musicians from 27 countries competed in the cello section.

The George Enescu Competition will end on September 23. More details are available here.

Irina Marica,

(photo source:; photo credit: Alex Damian)