Xuanhan Xu, Petar Pejčić i Felix Brunnenkant are the winners of Pablo Casals International Award for Young Cellists 2020
Xuanhan Xu (China) won First Prize, Petar Pejčić (Serbia) the AENA Special Prize and Felix Brunnenkant (Germany) the Third Prize of the Pablo Casals International Award for Young Cellists 2020, which is organised and promoted by the Pau Casals Foundation. The jury also awarded honorary mentions to Raffaella Cardaropoli (Italy), Tzu-Shao Chao (China, Taiwan), Jeremias Fliedl (Austria), Miquel Keenan Fuentes Bock (USA), Benjamin Kruithof (Luxembourg), Joe Pritchard (UK) and Till Schuler (Germany) highlighting their high performance and artistic level.
The final selection was carried out in digital format this year and the ten finalist candidates sent two videos of their performance of the works required in the rules of the 2020 competition call. The jury members viewed the videos of each finalist and their deliberation took place by videoconference on 20 November 2020. The jury for this year’s 2020 edition was chaired by Marta Casals Istomin, co-founder and vice president of the Pau Casals Foundation, and included figures and musicians of renowned international prestige, such as Claudio Bohórquez, Henri Demarquette, Gustav Rivinus, Arnau Tomàs (winner of the Pau Casals Scholarship in 1991) and also Bernard Meillat, artistic advisor to the Pau Casals Foundation and jury secretary.
The aim of the Pablo Casals International Award is to support and improve the training of young cellists and it enjoys the special support of AENA and the collaboration of the Banco Sabadell Foundation.
1st Prize – Xuanhan Xu (China)
Student at Hochschule für Musik Saar (Germany)
Born in Hangzhou, China, in 2004, she began playing the piano at the age of five and the cello at the age of eight. She continued her studies in Germany at the age of 13 and is currently studying there at the Hochschule für Musik Saar in Saarbrücken under Gustav Rivinius. She performed with the National Centre of Performing Arts Orchestra in Beijing in 2017, becoming the youngest cellist to perform at that venue, and has performed with other international orchestras in both Asia and Europe.
AENA Special Prize – Petar Pejčić (Serbia)
Student at HMT Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (Germany)
Born in Leskovac, Serbia, in 2002, he started playing the cello at the age of four and gave his first concert in Belgrade at the age of nine. He won his first competition in 2008 and has since won various other international competitions, including third prize in the Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Berlin and second prize in the Anna Kull International Competition in Graz. He has given solo concerts and also performed with such orchestras as the Belgrade Chamber Orchestra and Belgrade Radio Symphony Orchestra. He is currently studying at the HMT Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig under Peter Bruns.
3r premi – Felix Brunnenkant (Germany)
Student at Vorarlberger Landeskonservatorium (Austria)
Born in Überlingen, Germany, in 2001, he is studying cello at the Vorarlberger Landeskonservatorium, Austria, under Professor Mathias Johansen and has performed Elgar’s Concerto with the Vorarlberger Landeskonservatorium Orchestra and at the Saint-Saëns Concertoin Tonhalle in Düsseldorf and Graf-Zeppellin-Haus. He won the first prize in cello at the Jugend musiziert competition in Germany in 2019.
Raffaella Cardaropoli (Italy)
Student at Barenboim-Said Akademie (Berlin)
Tzu-Shao Chao (Taiwan)
Student at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Germany)
Jeremias Fliedl (Austria)
Student at Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria)
Miquel Keenan Fuentes Bock (USA)
Student at Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu (Spain)
Benjamin Kruithof (Luxembourg)
Student at Universität der Künste Berlin (Germany)
Joseph Pritchard (United Kingdom)
Student at Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” (Germany)
Till Schuler (Germany)
Student at Hochschule für Musik und Theather Hamburg (Germany)