Winners Announced in 2014 Heida Hermanns International String Competition
Xiao Wang, violinist from China, is the winner of the 2014 Heida Hermanns International String Competition presented by the Connecticut Alliance for Music (CAM) with the support of the Westport Arts Center, on Saturday and Sunday, November 22 and 23, at Westport Town Hall. Now celebrating its 43rd year, the annual competition is named for the late Heida Hermanns, an acclaimed concert pianist who lived in Westport with her husband Artur for more than 40 years.
As the competition winner, Wang was awarded a $5,000 cash prize. Wang began playing the violin at age five. At age 10, he was accepted to study at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, later studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was First Prize winner of the 2012 Szigeti International Violin Competition and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artists Competition. Wang is currently a full scholarship student at Manhattan School of Music.
Second place went to Rachell Wong, violinist from the United States, who was the recipient of a $2,500 cash prize. She is a Master’s student at the Jacobs School of Music of Indiana University. She was the Gold Medal winner at the 2013 International Crescendo Music Awards and the Grand Prize winner in the 52nd Sorantin International Young Artists Competition for Piano and Strings.
In third place was Chensi Tang, violist of China, who earned a $1,500 cash prize. She is a student at Manhattan School of Music, and a graduate of the Middle School of the Central Conservatory in Beijing. Tang is one of the winners of the Bled International Viola Competition, the 5 Towns Music and Art Foundation Young Musicians Competition, and the Manhattan School of Music Concerto Competition.
Honorable mentions, at $500 each, were awarded Christina Bouey, violinist of Canada and graduate of Manhattan School of Music; You Kyung Kim, cellist of Korea, who attended Juilliard, Yale, and currently attends Longy School of Music at Bard College; and Xinou Wei, violinist of China, who holds a Master’s of Music degree from Mannes College of Music and this year was awarded a full scholarship to pursue a Doctorate of Musical Arts at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers.
From audition CDs submitted by university and conservatory music students and alumni world-wide, 20 semifinalists competed on Saturday, November 22. Six musicians were selected to advance to the Sunday finals, November 23.
Three distinguished professional string musicians judged the competition: Avron Coleman, cellist; Laurance Fader, violist; and Gino Sambuco, violinist.
Heida Hermanns was a world-class concert pianist and child prodigy. A Jewish refugee, she fled Nazi Germany with her two great loves – her husband Artur Holde, and the music in her heart. Artur became her agent, and for many years, Heida had a very successful concert career. Artur and Heida eventually took up residence in Westport. After Artur’s passing, Heida founded the competition for piano, woodwinds, voice, and strings in 1971. In 1972 – along with Josephine Barnett, Ruth Steinkraus Cohen, Brenda Lewis Cooper, Joanne DeBergh Dublin, and Harriet Salerno – she founded the organization that is today known as Connecticut Alliance for Music. Initially called Performers of Southern Connecticut, it quickly grew to become Performers of Connecticut. As the membership became more audience-based than performer-based, the name was changed to Connecticut Alliance for Music. Heida lived in Westport for over 40 years, promoting and endorsing all of the arts. During her last years, the Competition was re-named in her honor.
Connecticut Alliance for Music, for more than 43 years, has been nurturing the talents and careers of young musicians and fostering the love of fine music.
For more information, contact Connecticut Alliance for Music at 203-319.8271.