The Eighth Triennial Johansen International Competition for Young String Players took place March 14–17, 2018, at the Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC. To learn more about the 2018 competition, and to see what repertoire was performed during semifinal and final rounds, take a look at the 2018 JIC semifinals program and finals program. To see a list of the nine winners with their ID numbers, click here.

First-Place Winners

Julian Rhee

Beatrice Chen

Krzysztof Michalski
Cello (tied)

Michał Balas
Cello (tied)

Prize Winners


  • First Prize – $10,000 – Julian Rhee, age 17; student of Almita Vamos; from United States
  • Second Prize – $7,000 – Charlotte Marckx, age 16; student of Simon James; from United States
  • Third Prize – $5,000 – Phoenix Avalon, age 17; student of Jaime Laredo; from United States


  • First Prize – $10,000 – Beatrice Chen, age 14; student of Matthew Lipman (JIC 2009 first-prize winner and WIC 2012 first-prize winner); from United States
  • Second Prize – $7,000 – Yixiu Lin, age 16; student of Li Sheng; from China
  • Third Prize – $5,000 – Samuel Rosenthal, age 17; student of Jeffrey Irvine; from United States


  • First Prize (tied) – $8,500 – Krzysztof Michalski, age 15; student of Henryk Zarzycki; from Poland
  • First Prize (tied) – $8,500 – Michał Balas, age 16; student of Stanislaw Firlej; from Poland
  • Third Prize – $5,000 – Isaiah Kim, age 16; student of Clara Kim; from United States

Best Performance of Commissioned Work, Johansen, by Joel Phillip Friedman – $1,000 – Michał Balas, age 16; student of Stanislaw Firlej; from Poland

Post-Competition Winners’ Performances

  • September 30, 2018.  Julian Rhee, first-place violin winner, performs the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Avanti Orchestra at the Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910, at 3 pm.  Pablo Saelzer, Music Director and Conductor.  Free admission.
  • October 5, 2018.  Michal Balas and Krzysztof Michalski, first-place cello winners, perform a free recital at the Arts Club, 2017 I Street, NW,  Washington, DC 20008, at 12 noon.
  • October 7, 2018.  JIC Winners Concert, Church of the Annunciation, 3810 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC, at 5 pm.  Free concert and reception.  All first-place 2018 JIC winners perform as part of the Roth Concert Series.
  • October 13, 2018.  Charlotte Marckx, second-place violin winner, performs Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Prince George’s Philharmonic, at Bowie Performing Arts Center, 15200 Annapolis Rd, Bowie, MD 20715, at 7:30 pm.  Jesus Manuel Berard, Music Director.  Free tickets for FMMC members.  To request tickets, contact Harriet Kaplan, JIC Administrative Director, at
  • January 20, 2019.  Michal Balas, one of the two first-place cello winners, performs Rococo Variations by Tschaikovsky with the Apollo Orchestra, at Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church at Chevy Chase Circle in DC, at 4 pm. Free admission.
  • March 17, 2019.  Beatrice Chen, first-place viola winner, performs Bartok Concerto for Viola with the Capital City Symphony, at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002, at 5 pm.  Victoria Gau, Conductor and Artistic Director.

Collaborative Pianists


Special Acknowledgments

Corporate Donors

  • Potter Violins
  • Korean Concert Society
  • FMMC Foundation
  • Polish American Arts Association

In-Kind Donors

  • Brobst Violins
  • D’Addario
  • Gailes Violin Shop
  • Giant Food
  • Lashof Violins
  • Pacific Music Papers
  • Polish American Arts Association
  • Potter Violins
  • Safeway
  • Strings Magazine
  • Trader Joe’s


  • Brevard Music Festival
  • Morningside Music Bridge

Presenting Orchestras and Recitals

  • Apollo Orchestra
  • Arts Club of Washington, DC
  • Avanti Orchestra of the Friday Morning Music Club
  • Capital City Symphony
  • Prince George’s Philharmonic
  • Roth Series at Church of the Annunciation