Extraordinary playing at the Premio Paganini

Simon Zhu wins First Prize in Genoa

Simon Zhu (22) is the winner of the 57th Edition of the Premio Paganini International Violin Competition in Genoa.
The jury chaired by Salvatore Accardo - the first violinist ever to win the Paganini Prize in 1958 - and composed of Ilya Grubert (winner of the Competition in 1977), Michael Guttman, Régis Pasquier, Christopher Reuning, Maxim Vengerov and Reiko Watanabe announced the results .
«I would like to congratulate all the finalists of the Paganini Prize: it is an extraordinary recognition of your talent and commitment to music – commented the mayor Marco Bucci - The Paganini Prize is one of the most important competitions for violinists in the world , and reaching this stage is a great achievement. On behalf of the entire city, my most sincere congratulations to Simon Zhu for the great success achieved.”
«I have presided over the juries of many international competitions, but in my memory I do not remember such a high artistic level as it was for this edition of the Paganini Prize. It is an extraordinary merit of the artistic director Nazzareno Carusi, who presided over the five pre-selections around the world of the thirty candidates who then came to Genoa to participate in the competition" commented the President of the Jury, Salvatore Accardo.

President Giovanni Panebianco, Artistic Director Nazzareno Carusi, Genova Mayor Marco Bucci and violinist Simon Zhu

Simon Zhu ©Giusi Lorelli

2nd Prize: Jingzhi Zhang

3rd Prize: Qingzhu Weng

The three finalists performed with the Carlo Felice Orchestra conducted for the occasion by maestro Michele Gamba in front of a packed audience, on the very day of Niccolò Paganini's birth.

Simon Zhu started playing the violin at six years old. He currently studies with Tomasz Tomaszewski and Ning Feng. He has also participated in masterclasses with Ana Chumachenco, Ingolf Turban, Paul Roczek, Boris Kushnir and Igor Ozim. Simon has won 1st Prize awards at many international competitions such as the Schöntal Competition, Valsesia Musica Competition and the Zhuhai Mozart Competition. He is an academist at the Daniel Hope and the Water Stauffer academies, and a scholarship-holder of the International Academy of Music in Liechtenstein and the German Music Foundation. He plays on a violin kindly sponsored by Florian Leonhard Fine Violins.

1st Prize: Simon Zhu (22), Munich
2nd Prize: Jingzhi Zhang (22), Lugano
3rd Prize: Qingzhu Weng (22), Hanover

Salvatore Accardo (Chair), Ilya Grubert, Michael Guttman, Régis Pasquier, Christopher Reuning, Maxim Vengerov, Reiko Watanabe, Silvia Colasanti

Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice / Michele Gamba (Conductor)