French Horn and Violin laureates shine in Prague

Prague Spring international Music Competition announces its 2024 winners

The 75th anniversary edition of the prestigious international music competition Prague Spring, which this year focused on the french horn and violin, has come to its closure. The competition, which ran from 7 to 14 May, attracted 90 young musicians from 21 countries who competed for prestigious prizes and the opportunity to perform at the Prague Spring Festival 2025.

Zhicheng Jin, 1st prize winner French Horn

This year’s edition featured two new compositions that were specially commissioned for the occasion. These works, by Miroslav Srnka (Apprivoise-moi for violin) and Three Prague Pictures for French horn by Kryštof Marek, brought an additional challenge to the competition and also focused the competitors’ attention on contemporary Czech repertoire.

In the french horn finale, the audience heard the Concerto for french horn and Strings Op. 65 by Othmar Schoeck and Morceau de Concert Op. 94 by Camille Saint-Saëns accompanied by the Pilsen Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Chuhei Iwasaki.

During the second final evening – in the violin category – the Dvořák Hall of Prague’s Rudolfinum was the venue for the performance of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto in D major, Op. 61, Johannes Brahms’ Concerto in D major, Op. 77, and Jean Sibelius’ Concerto in D minor, Op. 47. The concerts were performed in cooperation with the Prague Philharmonia under the direction of conductor Marek Šedivý. Each competitor concluded their performance with an encore of their choice lasting 4 minutes.

Tsukushi Sasaki, 1st prize winner Violin

The first prize winners will not only receive a financial reward, but also the opportunity to perform at next year’s Prague Spring Festival. New this year for both disciplines was the audience prize, which was awarded to Zhicheng for his performance on the French horn and, unsurprisingly, to Czech violinist Jan Novák in the violin category.

Next year’s competition will focus on cello and oboe.

Prize winners, Violin


1st Prize: Tsukushi Sasaki (23), Tokyo

2nd Prize: Jan Novák

3rd Prize: Marie-Astrid Hulot (26), Kronberg

Ida Kavafian, Hana Kotkovà, Sergei Krylov, Daniel Phillips, Liviu Prunaru, Josef Špaček, Soyoung Yoon

Prague Symphony Radio Orchestra / Marek Šedivý (Conductor)

Prize winners, French Horn

French Horn

1st Prize: Zhicheng Jin (17), Beijing

2nd Prize: Nicolas Ramez

3rd Prize: Felipe Santos Freitas da Silva (22)

André Gazalet, Luca Benucci, Jörg Brückner, Jindřich Petráš, Zuzana Rzounková, Will Sanders, Szabolcz Zempléni

Pilsen Philharmonic / Chuhei Iwasaki (Conductor)


©️WFIMC 2024

Jan Novak, 2nd prize winner Violin

Nocolas Ramez, 2nd prize winner French Horn

Marie Astrid, 3rd prize winner Violin

Felipe Santos Freitas da Silva, 3rd prize winner French Horn

Tsukushi Sasaki, 1st prize winner Violin