Romania’s George Enescu Competition: South Korean Jaemin Han wins cello final
South Korean Jaemin Han won the top prize of the cello section of the 2020/2021 George Enescu International Competition.
Sebastian Fritsch, from Germany, ranked second, while Romanian Ștefan Cazacu took the third spot.
Aged 15, Han is the youngest winner in the history of the Enescu Competition, the organizers said. He registered in the competition when he was 14. In the finals, he performed the Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major by Shostakovich, accompanied by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Nicolas Altstaedt.
The jury also offered a special prize to pianist Naoko Sonoda for her work as an accompanist in Sebastian Fritsch’s performance of George Enescu’s Cello Sonata No. 2.
The prizes of the cello section total EUR 30,000. The first prize of the George Enescu Competition amounts to EUR 15,000 and also offers the winner the chance to perform at one of the events organized as part of the George Enescu Festival, alongside top orchestras. The second prize amounts to EUR 10,000, and the third to EUR 5,000.
David Geringas was the president of the cello jury, which included Myung-Wha Chung, Leonid Gorokhov, Alexandra Guțu, Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Jérôme Pernoo, Meehae Ryo, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and Raphael Wallfisch.
The George Enescu Competition held its first stages last year online, because of the pandemic. The semifinals and finals are held in Bucharest, until May 23, with an audience.
The program of the competition is available here.
(Photo: Andrei Gindac, courtesy of George Enescu Competition)