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Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko wins the 2024 Queen Elisabeth Competition

12:29 02/06/2024

Ukrainian violinist Dmytro Udovychenko has won the 2024 Queen Elisabeth Competition. The 25-year-old receives a check for €25,000 for winning the prestigious contest, one of the most coveted classical music awards in the world.

Americans Joshua Brown and Elli Choi won second and third prizes respectively, with Brown also being awarded the Musiq3 and VRT CANVAS/Klara Prize.

The final and the proclamation of the winners at Bozar in Brussels on Saturday evening took place in the presence of Queen Mathilde, honorary president of the competition, and her youngest daughter, Princess Eléonore.

Six Americans, three Koreans, a Japanese, a Kazakh and a Ukrainian qualified for the final of the highly mediatised contest. They each performed two pieces: an obligatory new work, Variations litaniques by French composer Thierry Escaich, as well as a concerto of their choice, both accompanied by the Belgian National Orchestra conducted by Antony Hermus.

The month-long competition is a notoriously arduous experience for the young musicians. During the final week, the 12 finalists were cloistered in the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel in Waterloo where they learned and practiced Escaich’s work with little contact with the outside world.

This was the 20th time that Belgium’s famous musical competition was dedicated to the violin since it was founded in 1937. Each year is devoted to one of four disciplines – piano, violin, voice, cello – with the piano coming under the spotlight in 2025.

Upcoming concerts

The finalists now participate in a series of concerts around the country. They kick off with recitals by the unranked laureates on 5 and 6 June at Flagey.

They are followed by the 4th, 5th and 6th laureates performing with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Tung-Chieh Chuang, on 10 June at Bozar, at the Queen Elisabeth Hall in Antwerp on 7 June, and at the Concertgebouw in Bruges on 8 June. The concert is also broadcast live on Klara.

The closing concert with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd laureates accompanied by the Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège conducted by Nuno Coelho, is on  12 June at Bozar. The concert will be broadcast live on Musiq3, Klara and VRT MAX.

The first three prize winners also perform at Namur Concert Hall on 13 June, Sankt Vith on 14 June, Bruges Concertgebouw on 15 June and Liège Salle Philharmonique on 18 June.

On 29 June, the RTBF audience favourite, Joshua Brown, performs at the Festival Musiq3 in Flagey.

All the performances of the 2024 violin competition can be replayed on the website

Photo: QEC winner Dmytro Udovychenk with Queen Mathilde and Princess Eléonore ©Belga/Nicolas Maeterlinck

Written by Sarah Crew