German cellist Valentino Worlitzsch (pictured), aged 24, has been awarded first prize, worth €10,000, at the 2014 Pacem in Terris International Music Competition in Bayreuth. Taking place for the first time in seven years, the event for young violinists and cellists incorporates both chamber and contemporary music rounds and this year welcomed composer-in-residence Christian Jost.
186 young instrumentalists from 38 countries applied to take part in the competition in 2014. Of these, 45 were invited to perform in Bayreuth, whittled down in three rounds by a jury chaired by artistic director and cellist Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt.
Second prize, worth €5,000, went to Austrian violinist Johanna Pichlmair and the €1,750 third prize was awarded to Chinese violinist Suyeon Kang. Special prizes for best chamber music performance, best interpretation of a contemporary piece by Christian Jost and most promising young talent went to Johanna Pichlmair and Valentino Worlitzsch, violinist Sara Etelävuori and Valentino Worlitzsch, and violinist Anne Maria Wehrmeyer respectively.
A prize winner at the Leoš Janáček and Grotrian-Steinweg competitions, Valentino Worlitzsch studied both piano and cello at the University of Music, Drama and Media in Hanover and gained a Masters degree at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Weimar in 2013.