Luka Coetzee, Amy Goto and Alejandro Gómez are the winners of the Pablo Casals International Award for Young Cellists 2022
Luka Coetzee (Canada), has won the First Prize, while Amy Goto (USA/Japan) and Alejandro Gómez Pareja (Spain) have been awarded with the AENA special prize, which this year has been ex aequo.
The jury also wanted to give honorary mentions to the other finalists: Jizheng Fang (Xina), Thomas Haas (Germany), Finn Mannion (Scotland/Ireland), Carlos Vidal Ballester (Spain) and Michael Wehrmeyer (Germany).
The final audition of the Pablo Casals International Award 2022 took place last Friday November 18th in the auditorium of the Tívoli of the Escola Municipal de Música Pau Casals del Vendrell (EMMPAC). The jury was made up of internationally renowned cellists Henri Demarquette, Marie Hallynck, Asier Polo and Peter Thiemann. Bernard Meillat, musical advisor of the Foundation, acted as secretary of the jury.
The Pablo Casals International Award aims to support and improve the education of young cellists, and has the special support of AENA and the collaboration of the Fundació Banc Sabadell.
First Prize – Luka Coetzee (Canada)
Acclaimed by the Fanfare Magazine as “tonally, technically, and musically superb”, Canadian cellist Luka Coetzee (b. 2004) made her solo debut at age eleven with the Calgary Civic Symphony. Most recently in September 2022 she received the Frans Helmerson Promotional Award at the Kronberg Academy as well as performed as soloist with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra. In October 2022 she received second prize as well as the special prize of the jury at the 8th Dotzauer International Competition for Young Cellists. In the same month, Luka performed with the National Philharmonic Orchestra as a winner of the 9th Johansen International Strings Competition in Washington, DC. As a member of the LGT Young Soloists, Luka recorded and premiered a new arrangement of the Beethoven A major Cello Sonata on NAXOS at the Teldex Studio in Berlin. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in cello performance at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar with Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.
Special AENA Prize – ex aequo – Amy Goto (USA/Japan)
Amy Goto was born in the USA to Japanese parents in 2004. She began playing the cello at the age of 3 and made her debut as soloist at age 9 with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. In 2020, she was selected as the youngest member of the Classe d’Excellence de Violoncelle de Gautier Capuçon at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris. Her performances at the Classe d’Excellence were featured on Medici.tv and Radio Classique. In July 2022, she attended the Verbier Festival Academy’s Soloist program. In September 2022, she was selected as an active participant in Frans Helmerson’s studio at the Kronberg Cello Masterclasses. She received the Hope Award at the IX Intenational Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at age 11 and has competed as semifinalist in the Mazzacurati Competition in 2019 and the Washington International Competition in 2022. Amy has studied with Philippe Muller since 2017 and also with Christophe Coin since 2022.
Special AENA Prize – ex aequo – Alejandro Gómez Pareja (Spain)
Student at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía (Madrid, Spain). Born in Madrid in 2002. He has been invited to play at several international festivals, such as the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Brunswick University in Maine and the Pau Casals Festival in Prades. He has won first prizes in several international competitions: Villa de Llanes Competition (2018), Ribeira Sacra Competition (2020), Appassionato Joël Klepal Competition in Caen (2021), as well as second prize at the Gustav Mahler Cello Competition in Prague (2021). He is currently studying at the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía with Jens Peter Maintz and Fernando Arias.
Jizheng Fang (China)
Thomas Haas (Germany)
Finn Mannion (Scotland/Ireland)
Carlos Vidal Ballester (Spain)
Michael Wehrmeyer (Germany)