Russian Violinist Wins Queen Elisabeth Competition

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The Russian violinist Andrey Baranov beat out 77 international participants to win the Queen Elisabeth International Competition in Brussels on Sunday. Baranov, 26, from St. Petersburg, will receive a prize of 25,000 euros ($31,300) and use of the “Huggins” Stradivarius (1708), on a three-year loan from the Nippon Music Foundation.

Japanese Tatsuki Narita took second place in the contest, winning a prize of 20,000 euros, while South Korea’s Hyun Su Shin snatched third along with 17,000 euros.

This year’s contest featured 78 participants. A dozen made it to the final rounds.

The Queen Elisabeth is one of the more prominent events on the competition circuit. It has been held annually since 1951 and awards musicians in one of four categories – piano, violin, voice and composition. The performance competitions take place in turn every three years and the competition for composers every year in Brussels, Belgium.

Baranov studied at the studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory and the Lausanne Conservatory. He has been a regular at international competitions, placing at the 2010 Sendai (Japan), Indianapolis, Unisa (South Africa), Paganini and Oistrakh (Moscow) international competitions.

For the final round, Baranov performed Prokofiev’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 2. Here's his performance of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto: