LSM Newswire

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winners of the 2008 Primrose Competition

Dimitri Murrath of Belgium Wins
the 2008 Primrose International Viola Competition

On Sunday night, June 8th, in the Smith Music Theatre of Arizona State University's Herberger College of the Arts, 26 year-old Dimitry Murrath and fellow finalists Emily Deans, Lambert Jun-Yuan Chen, Wei-Ting Kuo, Molly Carr, and Barbara Buntrock appeared during the Eleventh Primrose International Viola Competition Final Round. Over the course of the evening five Bartok concerti and one Walton concerto were performed.

As evening turned into morning the audience eagerly awaited results joined by listeners streaming live online from around the world.

Murrath was overwhelmed by his win. "This is an unbelievable moment," he said. First Prize includes $5,000 USD, a viola made by Italian master luthier Carlo Testoni, a gold-mounted Arcos Brasil bow, and select concert appearances in the United States and Europe.

Second Prize of $3,000 and an Arcos Brasil bow went to 24 year old Emily Deans of the United States; Third Prize of $1,000 and an Arcos Brasil bow went to 21 year old Molly Carr of the United States. The Liben Music Prize for a Semi-Finalist who had the best performance of Scott Slapin's composition Recitative for Solo Viola, a piece specially commissioned for the Competition, was won by First Prize Winner Dimitri Murrath. The Linnet Music Prize for an outstanding performance of a Bach work was awarded to Barbara Buntrock of Germany. The Primrose Prize for an outstanding performance of a Primrose transcription was awarded to YiYin Li of China and Second Prize winner Emily Deans. The Sonata Prize for an outstanding performance of a sonata was awarded to Victor de Almeida of the United States and First Prize winner Dimitri Murrath.

The 2008 Competition jury, chaired by former Competition director Claudine Bigelow, was internationally representative and included Amir Shiff of Israel, Bruno Pasquier of France, Steven Tenenbom of the United States, Eugene Sarbu of Romania, and Ensik Choi of Korea. Carol Rodland of the United States returned having served as juror for the semi-final and final rounds in 2005.

Leading up to the finals was a week of intense competition for 70 competitors representing 18 countries. Live Preliminary Rounds were held June 2nd and 3rd, during which competitors were required to perform the first movement of their chosen concerto and a Primrose transcription. At the completion of those rounds the jury selected seventeen competitors to go through to the Recital Round. During the Recital Round competitors were required to perform Scott Slapin's Recitative for Solo Viola, a second Primrose transcription, a sonata, and a selection of Bach. From this round, the jury chose the six finalists. All rounds were streamed live online.

The triennial Primrose International Viola Competition, chaired this year by past winner Nokuthula Ngwenyama, aims to recognize and showcase young musicians who have achieved world class excellence through intensive hard work and unusual talent. Founded in 1979 as the first international competition solely for violists, William Primrose served as chair of the jury for its inaugural year. The American Viola Society (AVS), through an endowment established by memorial contributions made by friends, colleagues, artists, and admirers of the great virtuoso, has sponsored the competition since 1986. Over the last 30 years it has established an impeccable track record for identifying the talent of tomorrow and is respected for its integrity. Past winners are currently engaged in the highest levels of professional artistic careers.

The Twelfth Primrose International Viola Competition is scheduled to begin the end of May, 2011.

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