Suoni d’Arpa announces 2019 winners

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Suoni d’Arpa announced the 2019 prize winners following its 9th competition in Saluzzo, Italy. Held Aug. 30–Sept. 9, no competitor was awarded first prize in the top division. Aleksandra Rzhavtseva (Russia) and Andela Stankovic (Serbia) tied for second, and Claire Thai (United States) was awarded first prize in category B.

Thai shares, “I found the actual audition process to be very relaxed and low pressure in comparison to some other competitions I’ve taken part in, and the jury was very friendly and approachable. I received some very insightful suggestions for improvement as well. Overall, it was once of the best competition experiences I’ve ever had.” An accomplished competitor, Thai won first prize in the advanced division of the 2019 American Harp Society National Competition and was a prizewinner in the Lyon & Healy Awards in March. She says that she was drawn to compete in Suoni d’Arpa because of the freedom over repertoire choices. “I feel that this not only allows me to ‘put my best foot forward,’ so to speak, but I also enjoy participating in these competitions the most because I love the music that I am performing.”

Hosted by the Italian Harp Association, the competition offered €25,000 worth of prizes in four divisions, including a division for a chamber duos. The jury for each division consisted of five panel members, that included Gabriella Bosio, Maximilian Ehrhardt, Ieuan Jones, Lorenzo Montenz, Edith Pun, Ivano Scavino, Johannes Willemze, Irina Zingg, led by jury president Emanuela Degli Esposti.

Category A (up to age 15)

1st prize: Eve Lung (Hong Kong)
2nd prize: Victoria Marcova (Bulgaria)
3rd prize: Yu Fung (Hong Kong)
Mirella Vita special prize: Martin Sadilek (Czech Republic)
Honorable mentions: Margherita Spicci (Italy), Zulaykha Kadieva (Russia), and Martin Sadilek (Czech Republic)

Category B (up to age 20)

1st prize: Claire Thai (United States)
2nd prize: Martina Nifantani (Italy)
3rd Prize: Yelizaveta Rakowska (Ukraine)
HarpMasters Academy special prize: Daria Cristiana Vacaroiu (Romania)

Category C (up to age 30)

1st prize: not awarded
2nd prize (tie): Aleksandra Rzhavtseva (Russia) and Andela Stankovic (Serbia)
3rd prize: Manuela Margherita Colella (Italy)
Association Centro Rodari per la Musica special prize: Aleksandra Rzhavtseva (Russia)

Category D: Duo with Harp

1st prize: Agnese Contadini, harp, and Jessica Gabriele, flute (Italy)
2nd prize: Hitomi Ishimaru, harp, and Kanaki Sada, Japanese flute (Japan)
3rd prize: Darta Tisenkopfa, harp, and Mikus Abaronins, tenor (Latvia)
Viggiano Città dell’Arpa special prize: Agnese Contadini, harp, and Jessica Gabriele, flute (Italy)

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