Winners of the contest in the homeland of the ’King of Violinists’
VILNIUS. In Lithuania, laureates of the Yashi Heifets violin competition
The childhood of «the violinist’s king» Yasha Kheifets was held in Vilna. His father Reuben was a klezmer, an amateur musician, earning bread for performances at family celebrations and festivities. It was he who introduced his son-child prodigy to the basics of playing the violin. Then in his life there were other professional mentors who helped bring the technique of playing the instrument to perfection, and world fame. But it all began in Vilnius. The Yashi Heifetz competition, which has become a springboard for new generations gifted by a musician, has been held in the Lithuanian capital since 2001. Since its foundation, the work of the international jury has been led by the famous violinist and conductor Gidons Kremers. In late February, the winners of the Tarptautinis Jaschos Heifetzo smuikininku konkursas were honored for the fifth time. Musicians aged no more than 27 years took part in the competition, which took place in the Lithuanian capital on February 13-19.
One of the winners of the contest, in 2009, was the Russian violinist and violist Sergei Malov, a graduate of the highest music schools in Salzburg, Madrid, Berlin. This year the laureate of international competitions Stepan Starikov was awarded an honorable diploma. The winner of the first prize was a 22-year-old singer from Japan, Yurina Arai, a student of Tokyo University of Arts professor Natsumi Tamai. In the finale of the competition, she brilliantly performed Tchaikovsky’s violin concerto. Third place also went to the representative of Japan - Renosuke Fukuda (Renosuke Fukuda), who took up the violin, like Heifets, already at the age of three. At age 14, she won 1 prize at the 15th Violin Competition in Kloster-Chantale. In 15 she won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in Austin. Second place - a talented 17-year-old violinist from Kharkov Dmytro Udovichenko. After his performance at the festival «Moscow meets friends» in 2013, Vladimir Spivakov, admired by the virtuosic technique of a young Ukrainian musician, presented him with the violin of a famous Italian master.