Eleanor Woods, Competition Chair, wash.intl.comp@fmmc.org

The Washington International Competition for Strings is held every 3 years. The next String Competition is in 2012.

The 56th Washington International Competition for String players took place on March 20–22, 2009. Finals were held March 22, 2009, at the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC.

2009 Competition Winners

  • First Prize, Violin: Andrea Segar, 22, USA, and Ga Hyun Cho, 25, Korea (first- and second-prize cash awards were combined and divided equally between the two winners)
  • First Prize, Viola: Emily Deans, 24, USA
  • First Prize, Cello: Hee-Young Lim, 21, Korea
  • Third Prize (overall): Ying Fu, violin, 25, China
  • Fourth Prize (overall): Yevgeny Kutik, violin, 23, USA
  • Fifth Prize (overall): Fedor Amosov, cello, 20, Russia
  • Audience Prize: Emily Deans, 24, USA

Cash Awards

  • First prize each for violin, viola, cello—$7,500
  • Second prize—$4,000
  • Third prize—$2,000
  • Audience award—$750

Performance Awards

  • Solo recital, Phillips Collection in Washington, DC
  • Guest solo performance with the FMMC Orchestra at the Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


  1. Applicants must not be under professional management.
  2. Applicants must be neither younger than 18 nor older than 28 as of the competition date (birth certificate is required)
  3. First-prize winners of this competition in past years may not apply.

Required Repertoire

All repertoire must be performed from memory except accompanied sonatas and the work in Category 5. Contestants must be prepared to perform works in their entirety. The required repertoire follows:

  1. One unaccompanied sonata, partita, or suite for violin, viola (transcribed), or cello by J.S. Bach
  2. One sonata with piano from the classical, romantic, impressionist, or contemporary period
  3. One concerto or major piece with orchestra by a composer other than the ones chosen for category 1 or 2
  4. One short work or movement from a longer work which shows virtuosity
  5. One unaccompanied solo work by a 20th-century composer


Semifinal and Final Rounds

  • Sergiu Schwartz, violin, USA/Israel
  • Victoria Chiang, viola, USA
  • Robert Cohen, cello, UK

Preliminary Round

  • Nayiri Poochikian
  • Joel Berman
  • Laurien Laufman
  • Robert Battey
  • Jan Timbers

Official Pianists

  • Audrey Andrist (violin)
  • Colette Valentine (viola and cello)

Applicants have the choice of using one of our very capable pianists, with whom they will have a rehearsal, or they may bring their own pianist. We do not supply housing for applicants’ own pianists.