Exceptional Talents Shine at the 2023 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition

by Madonna

Sion, Switzerland – The 2023 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition came to a thrilling conclusion with the culmination of its two-part final round in Sion, Switzerland, this past weekend. The competition, which was broadcast live on The Violin Channel, showcased the remarkable talents of three finalists, who had the privilege of performing alongside the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra under the baton of conductor Sergej Krylov.

In a testament to the global appeal of this prestigious competition, the winners emerged from diverse corners of the world:

  • First Prize: The youngest contender, Seohyun Kim (14 years old, South Korea), claimed the top honor.
  • Second Prize: Raphael Nussbaumer (17 years old, Switzerland) received the well-deserved second prize.
  • Third Prize: Rennosuke Fukuda (23 years old, Japan) secured the third prize.

In addition to their individual accolades, Seohyun Kim and Raphael Nussbaumer garnered further recognition:

  • Youth Jury Prize: Seohyun Kim
  • Audience Prize: Raphael Nussbaumer

Furthermore, Seohyun Kim, Rennosuke Fukuda, and Mahiro Kurasawa earned special recognition for their exceptional performances of the commissioned work “Macerie” (Wreckage) by Silvia Colasanti, which had its world premiere during the competition’s first round.


The 2023 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition featured a distinguished panel of jurors, including Augustin Dumay (President), James Brown, Mihaela Martin, Natsumi Tamai, Ingolf Turban, Pavel Vernikov, Silvia Colasanti, Ashley Wass, Stella Chen, and Alexander Chaushian.

Reflecting on this year’s competition, Augustin Dumay, the President of the jury, expressed his delight with the exceptional musical talents that emerged: “Today, a very high technical level is assured in all competitions. We find a lot of violin athletes, but few real musical personalities who have a story to tell and make us dream. Here, we have unearthed some long-lasting treasures that make us want to listen to them later.”

The competition showcased 24 gifted violinists, all under the age of 26, and it set a new record for the highest number of participants.

Olivier Vocat, President of the Sion Violon Musique Foundation, praised the competition’s exceptionally high artistic standards and the captivating musical personalities of the candidates. He noted, “The great musical maturity of the candidates, some of them very young, was a source of admiring amazement. We are also delighted that these wonderful violinists were applauded by the large audience.”

The 2023 Tibor Varga International Violin Competition undoubtedly left a lasting legacy by showcasing the brilliance and promise of the world’s most talented young violinists, enriching the world of classical music.


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