Violon 2023

Violin 2023


Back to archives

From April 22nd to May 4th 2023

CMIM Violin 2023

The CMIM received 248 applications from 37 countries, a record for a Violin edition. The notoriety of the CMIM has attracted the most exceptional players for this promising Violin 2023 edition, who are not only astounding technical players, but already complete musical artists


When the finest talents come to you

The 21st edition of the Concours musical international de Montréal was dedicated to the violin. 24 young violinists selected from among the most promising talents of their generation came to us from April 22 to May 4, 2023 to enchant us.





Discover the world’s most outstanding violinists of the new generation. These 24 competitors were invited to participate in the CMIM Violin edition, taking place from April 22 to May 4, 2023. These talented violinists between the ages of 17 and 27, from 11 different countries, including two from Canada, competed to share in nearly $160,000 in prizes and awards



During this 21st edition, the eminent members of this international jury listened to and evaluated the performances of 24 of the world’s most talented young violinist competitors. The jury members chose the laureates and winners of Violin 2023, which took place from April 22 to May 4, 2023. The CMIM awarded more than $160,000 in prizes offered by our generous partners and sponsors.

Full list of Prizes and Awards.

A highly-respected arts administrator and director, closely associated with major international competitions, Richard Rodzinski served as President of the Jury for the Violin 2023 edition. This international Jury was comprised of seven prestigious members: Koichiro Harada (Japan), Yura Lee (Korea/USA), Malcom Lowe (Canada), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Lucie Robert (Canada), Dmitry Sitkovetsky (United Kingdom/USA) and Krishna Thiagarajan (Germany/USA).


Preliminary Jury

Benjamin Beilman, Ilya Gringolts, Elissa Lee, Anne Robert, Guillaume Sutre, Andrew Wan and Timothy Ying.


Mini Violini Panel

Jinjoo Cho, Mihaela Martin, Richard Rodzinski and Dmitry Sitkovetsky.




More than $ 160,000 in prizes and awards was awarded to the laureates and winners of Violin 2023. The CMIM is proud to contribute to the cultural dynamism of Montreal and to the launch of the careers of emerging international musicians.

Thank you to the many and precious partners who make it possible to award these prizes and awards.


First Prize

Grand Cash Prize ($30,000)
Offered by la Ville de Montréal

Joseph Rouleau Career Development Grant ($50,000)
Offered by The Azrieli Foundation

Winner’s Tour to Three North American Citiest ($15,000)

An engagement with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal for a concert or recital in a subsequent season
Offered by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Dmytro UDOVYCHENKO, Ukraine
Over $95,000
Pierre Péladeau and Raymonde Chopin's Second Prize
Offered by Quebecor

Songha CHOI, South Korea
Third Prize
Offered by Stingray Classica

SooBeen LEE, South Korea
Audience award ICI Musique
Offered by ICI Musique

Songha CHOI, South Korea
André Bourbeau Award for the Best Canadian Artist
Offered by the Fondation Bourbeau

Prize not awarded
Award for the Best Interpretation of a Sonata in the Semi-final
Offered by Louise Roy

Songha CHOI, South Korea
André Bachand Award for the Best performance of an imposed Canadian work
Offered by Claudette Hould

Songha CHOI, South Korea
Award for the Best performance of a work by J.S. Bach
Offered by Andrew Wan, Concertmaster of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Dmytro UDOVYCHENKO, Ukraine
Award for the Best performance of a virtuosic work
Offered by la Famille Rouleau et Fondation Morris et Rosalind Goodman Family Foundation

Yesong Sophie LEE, United States
Bita Cattelan Philanthropic Engagement Award
Offered by Bita & Paolo Cattelan

Aaron CHAN, Canada / Hong Kong
CMIM Grants for unranked finalists
Offered by Fondation Huguette and Jean-Louis Fontaine / John Farrell and François Leclair

Nathan MELTZER, United States
Michael SHAHAM, Israel
Ruslan TALAS, Kazakhstan
$3,000 each
John Newmark Prize for the Best Collaborative Pianist
Offered by the Lupien Family Foundation

Umi GARRETT, United States









The Concours musical international de Montréal (CMIM) is an elite-level international competition open to classical musicians who are in the early stages of a professional performing career.

For the Violin 2023 edition, we invited violinists of all nationalities, born between January 1, 1993, and December 31, 2006, to apply.

Please note that First Prize laureates from previous CMIM editions were not eligible to apply.



CMIM officials reviewed all applications to ensure they were complete, eligible, and met the required technical standards.

The CMIM reserved the right to disqualify any candidates who failed to fulfill all of the application requirements.

A preliminary selection committee, appointed by the CMIM, revised and evaluated the audition videos.

A maximum of 24 candidates were selected to compete in the Violin 2023 edition of the CMIM.

Selected candidates and all applicants were notified of the preliminary selection results by February 1, 2023.




Repertoire selected for performance at the competition may include works recorded for the audition videos. No other duplication of repertoire is permitted during the competition rounds.

The jury will take into account the difficulty and artistic merit of the programs for each round.
First Round

The twenty-four (24) competitors selected must each present a programme of 25 to 30 minutes of music with piano accompaniment.

The repertoire for the First Round must comprise a minimum of three (3) works, including the following elements:
- A work by J.S. Bach
- A virtuosic work by one of the following composers: A. Bazzini, N. Paganini, M. Ravel, C. Saint-Saëns, P. de Sarasate, P.I. Tchaikovsky, F. Waxman, H. Wieniawski, E. Ysaÿe
- A work of the candidate’s choice

The twelve (12) violinists who receive the highest scores from the international jury will move on to the Semi-Final Round.

The (12) semi-finalists must each perform a program of 55 to 60 minutes of music with piano accompaniment.

The repertoire for the Semi-Final round must comprise a minimum of three (3) works, including the following elements:

- A complete sonata by one of the following composers: B. Bartók, L. van Beethoven, J. Brahms, C. Debussy, G. Enescu, G. Fauré, C. Franck, L. Janáček, S. Prokofiev, M. Ravel, A. Schnittke, R. Schumann, F. Schubert, or R. Strauss
- The imposed Canadian work for solo violin (approximately 4 minutes in length, available two months in advance of the competition)
- A work of the candidate’s choice

The six (6) violinists who receive the highest scores from the international jury will move on to the Final round.

The six (6) finalists will present a major concerto for violin and orchestra with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Said concerto must be selected from the works listed in Appendix 2 of the official application document - available online on the CMIM website. Any other choice of concerto is subject to prior approval from the Concours.

Each finalist is entitled to a 50-minute rehearsal with the conductor and piano, as well as a 50-minute rehearsal with conductor and orchestra.



Donate to the CMIM





genuine prodigies

Opening the Violin 2023 edition – Five violin prodigies, Mini Violini aged 10 to 15, were carefully selected from among the world’s most talented violinists to perform at Bourgie Hall during the Recital and Concerti concerts.



Mark Chia

Mark Chia (10 years old) – SINGAPORE

Mark Chia started playing the violin at 3 years old. He has been a top prize winner in several competitions including 2nd prize in Il Piccolo Violino Magico International Competition 2022, as well as top prizes in Leonid Kogan International Competition for Young Violinists 2021, Concorso Internazionale per Giovani Violinisti Festival 2020 and Alessandro Giuliani Violin competition 2019.

He has also participated in masterclasses with Evgeny Sinaiski, Professor Simon James, Soovin Kim, Dr. Robin Wilson, Aleksey Igudesman, and Roby Lakatos. He has been under the tutelage of Min Lee in Singapore since the age of 5.

Away from the violin, Mark also composes and improvises, and plays the piano. He also enjoys reading, playing chess, and various sports.

Mark Chia is generously sponsored by Jean Claude Baudinet.

Listen to Mark Chia

Sofia Demetriades  

Sofia Demetriades (14 years old) – UNITED KINGDOM

Music has been a huge part of Sofia Demetriades, since she was 4 years old. From the time she was 2, she would run into her elder sister’s violin lessons, wanting to play as well!

Sofia Demetriades gave her first public performance at 5 and her first solo performance with an orchestra at 8. Since then, she took part in many national and international violin competitions, such as the Leonid Kogan in Brussels, the Ilona Feher in Budapest, the Lipinski-Wieniawski in Lublin, and the Il Piccolo Violino Magico in San Vito al Tagliamento, winning top prizes.

She is currently playing on a violin loaned by the family of the late French luthier Georges Ambros. She has studied at the Junior Guildhall of Music and Drama in London with Anna-Liisa Bezrodny for the past five years, and now, she is attending the Junior Academy at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Her music studies are supported by the British Government bursary and the A. G. Leventis Foundation, under the patronage of Maestro Marios Papadopoulos.

Sofia Demetriades is generously sponsored by Lise and John LeBoutillier.

Listen to Sofia Demetriades

Corina Deng  

Corina Deng (15 years old) – CANADA

Corina Deng began playing the violin at 3 years old. She is studying with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music. From 2017 to 2022, she was under the tutelage of Jaime Laredo and Jan Sloman at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

Corina Deng was the national winner of the 2021 MTNA competition in the USA, and one of the semifinalists in the 2021 Menuhin International Violin Competition. She has also won first place in the Canadian National Music Competition in 2014 and 2017.

She made her orchestral debut at 8 years old and gave her first solo recital at 10. She has played with the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestra, the Vancouver Academy Orchestra, and the Richmond Orchestra & Chorus. She has been invited to play in many important events such as the Cleveland ChamberFest, NPR’s From the Top, and the Stars of Tomorrow Concerts in Heifetz Institute of Music.

She was also awarded full scholarship in the Heifetz International Music Institute, the Chamber Music Northwest Young Artist Institute, and the Morningside Music Bridge.

In her spare time, Corina enjoys ballet, reading, visiting museums, and playing duos with her sister and other forms of chamber music.

Corina Deng is generously sponsored by Nadia Moretto and David B. Sela.

Listen to Corina Deng

  Himari (11 years old) – JAPAN

Born in Japan, Himari began her violin studies at 3 years old under Koichiro Harada and Machie Oguri. She gave her professional orchestral solo debut at 6. Since 2022, Himari has studied with Ida Kavafian at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Himari has won top prizes at international competitions, including grand prize in the International Competition for Young Violinists in Honour of Karol Lipinski and Henryk Wieniawski, the first prize and special grand prize at the 12th Arthur Grumiaux International Violin Competition in Belgium, the first prize and special prize at the 26th Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy, and the first Prize at the 2nd Leonid Kogan International Violin Competition in Belgium.

In 2019, she participated in the International Summer Academy held by the Mozarteum University Salzburg. She is an award winner of the concert the academy held during the 2019 Salzburg Festival, where she was the youngest participant.

Himari has played with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, the New Japan Philharmonic, the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Japan Century Symphony Orchestra, the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Gunma Symphony Orchestra.

Himari plays the 1717″Hamma” Stradivarius Violin on loan from Mr.Yusaku Maezawa. These days, Himari’s hobby is making pancakes! What she is very interested in now is playing in an orchestra!

Himari is generously sponsored by Charles Parent.

Listen to Himari

Edna Unseld  

Edna Unseld (11 years old) – SWITZERLAND

Edna Unseld comes from a Swiss-German musical home where both her parents are professional violinists. She began playing the violin at 4 years old, and due to her special talent, she was soon given Anne-Sophie Mutter’s children’s violin.

In 2021, many doors opened for Edna. Maxim Vengerov invited her to his online masterclass; she won 3rd prize at the Leonid Kogan International Competition in Brussels; she played with the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gilbert Varga, in concerts for Tibor Varga in Pécs in Hungary, and in the Liszt Academy in Budapest.

In 2022, she won the international violin competition Il Piccolo Violino Magico in Italy, and the prize for special achievements at the International Louis Spohr Competition for Young Violinists in Germany.

Edna studies at the Musikschule Konservatorium Zürich. She also plays in the youth orchestra Stringendo Zürich for talented young musicians. She plays on an old Italian violin by Camillo Camilli on loan from a private collection. In her free time, she dances ballet, reads a lot, and listens to recordings of her favorite violinists: Itzhak Perlman, Anne-Sophie Mutter, and Maxim Vengerov.

Edna Unseld is generously sponsored by Pierre-Michel D’Anglade and Amalia de Saint-Louvent.

Listen to Edna Unseld

•  •  • 

Panel of Mini Violini

The renowned members of an international panel offered encouraging comments that even allowed them to further build upon their already exceptional talent. The panel was comprised of: Jinjoo Cho (South Korea/Canada), Mihaela Martin (Romania), Richard Rodzinski (USA) and Dimitry Sitkovetsky (UnitedKingdom/USA).


All Mini Violini participants received a $2,000 award offered by Alfid, services Mobiliers and Jacques Vincent.

Himari was granted an Audience Choice Award of $5,000, graciously donated by the Wicha Music Foundation.


We thank our Mini Violini partners!