Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition

The next competition will take place in 2023

Lionel Tertis, the greatest viola player of the 20th century, died in February 1975, at the age of 98. A fund was set up with the primary objective of establishing an international Viola Festival to commemorate the work that he undertook for that instrument throughout his long and active life.

Such a competition would provide a unique incentive to the growing number of viola players all over the world who wish to pursue a solo or chamber music career. So the Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition was born.

This triennial event is now well-established and known throughout the musical world. Players of all nationalities are invited to take part in the competition, workshops and masterclasses. The event is administered by the Erin Arts Centre with funding from the Lionel Tertis Foundation and the Isle of Man Arts Council.

The 13th Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition was held from 6th to 13th April 2019 and was open to all nationalities not more than 30 years of age on 6th April 2019. Unfortunately, due to ill health, Yuri Bashmet could not be with us but we are grateful to William Coleman for helping us at the last minute. The jury were George Caird (Chairman), William Coleman, Carol Rodland, Danusha Waskiewicz and Mikhail Zemtsov.

107 entries were received from 38 countries and 42 were selected to go through to the competition in Port Erin. From these 8 were selected to go through to the semi finals and 3 were then selected for the final. Each competitor had to play the test piece entitled Canto which was specially composed for us by Roxanna Panufnik and its official World Premier was played on finals night by all 3 finalists with Paul Zientara being the first to play.

Each finalist also played a concerto accompanied by piano and a string trio with Simon Blendis (violin) and Jane Salmon (cello), former members of the Schubert Ensemble.

The winner was Paul Vincent Laraia III from the USA who won £7000, a bow worth £5000 donated by Bishop Instruments and Bows and a recital at the Wigmore Hall. In second place was Yuchen Lu from China who won £5000 and in third was Paul Adrien Zientara from France who won £3000.

Pictured are Yuchen Lu, Paul Laraia and Paul Zientara with John Bethell, the festival organiser in the background.

The Pennycress Trust Bursaries Award went to Saki Ishida from Japan for her Paganini Caprice

The Rotary Club of Rushen & Western Mann Prize went to Natalie Loughran from the USA for her York Bowen Sonata

2 Barbirolli Prizes went to Toby Cook of USA and Emma Wernig of USA

The Cains Advocates & Notaries Prize went to Aoi Murase of Japan for her Ligeti Sonata

The Karl Doktor Prize for the best performance in the Austro-German tradition went to Kinga Wojdalska from Poland for her Bach Suite No 4 and Hindemith Sonata

2 Balmoral Hotel prizes were awarded to Emiko Yuasa from Japan and En-Chi Cheng from Taiwan

The Port Erin Traders Association Prize went to Shuo Xu from China for the Paganini Caprice and Hindemith Der Schwanendreher

The Hiscox Prize of a new viola case went to Yunrui Qu from China for the Ligeti Sonata.

The Advisory Committee of the Lionel Tertis Competition are indebted to the Tertis Foundation, the Isle of Man Arts Council and all individuals, agencies and corporations who have so generously donated prizes.