The Tibor Junior Competition confirms its quality and popularity

The 4th Tibor Junior International Violin Competition attracted 30 violinists aged 14 to 17 from all over the world. With participation stable compared to the last edition, the competition created in 2018 under the impetus of Pavel Vernikov confirms its attractiveness and reputation on the international music scene. The level remains exceptional, which is why 15 candidates – instead of 12 – have been selected to take part in the public rounds to be held from August 19 to 24.

Of the 15 young talents selected, 5 are from Asia/Oceania, 6 from Europe – including one from Switzerland – and 4 from America. Considering the total number of entries, it’s worth noting the particularly high number of Chinese candidates, 8 (alongside two South Koreans and an Australian from Asia/Oceania). After a hiatus in their participation in 2022, probably due to Covid, young violinists from the Middle Kingdom are back in force at the Tibor Junior Competition. There are also 11 entries from Europe and 8 from America.

The selected candidates are :

  • Emma Bischof, 17, Switzerland
  • Diana Chausheva, 16, Bulgaria
  • Corina Deng, 16, Canada
  • Natalia Dragan, 15, Poland
  • Joan Esteve Melero, 17, Spain
  • Elina He, 15, China
  • Neal Kotamarty Eisfeld, 15, United States
  • Norimi Lemaire, 17, France
  • Juan José Peña-Aguirre, 14, Colombia
  • Zhiyuan Qian, 14, China
  • Elizabeth (Poppy) Song, 14, United States
  • Viktor Vasilev, 17, Bulgaria
  • Jinan Laurentia Woo, 16, South Korea
  • Qingyuan Yang, 14, China & United Kingdoms
  • Mingnan Yue, 17, China

The selected candidates will compete in the first and second rounds on August 20 and 22 at the new Pôle Musique in Sion. Only the lucky three will perform in the final on August 24 at the Théâtre de Valère, accompanied by mezzo-soprano Marie-Claude Chappuis and the South Czech Philharmonic conducted by Jan Talich. The concert will feature an interlude by Seohyun Kim, winner of the Tibor Varga 2023 International Violin Competition. It will be live-streamed on the Internet and rebroadcast on Canal 9 television.

Eight prizes are up for grabs: a first, second and third Pris, two Pris de la Fondation, including a Nicola Gagliano circa 1735 violin made available for one year by Atelier Schilbach, a Prix du Public, a Prix du Jury “des plus de 20 ans” and a Prix de la Meilleure Interprétation for the imposed work Onde, punti, voci, a creation commissioned from Ana Sokolović.

The Serbian-Canadian composer will join the Jury in the second round. The Jury will be made up of President Pavel Vernikov (Switzerland), Marie-Claude Chappuis (Switzerland), Mario Hossen (Bulgaria-Austria), Alexandre Vinnitski (Finland) and Eduard Wulfson (Germany).

Music lovers will also have their say with the “over 20s” Jury. In a workshop led by musicologist Marie Favre, interested parties will learn how to evaluate a musical performance. After a draw, five of them will attend the second round and the final, and award a prize to the candidate of their choice.


The Tibor Junior International Violin Competition has been held every two years since 2018, alternating with the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, one of three events created in the 1960s by the Hungarian violinist. The Tibor Varga Music Academy runs from July 8 to August 10, while the Sion Festival celebrates its 60th anniversary from August 16 to September 4.