Windsor Festival International String Competition 2015

PUBLISHED: 16:38 16 March 2015 | UPDATED: 16:38 16 March 2015

Cellist Stanislas Kim has been praised for his brilliant technique

Cellist Stanislas Kim has been praised for his brilliant technique


Musicians from around the globe chosen to compete at Castle for prestigious title and superb prizes

Eight exceptionally talented young musicians have been successful in reaching the semi-finals of the fifth biennial Windsor Festival International String Competition (WFISC) from 15 to 21 March in Windsor Castle, by kind permission of Her Majesty The Queen.

The foremost competition of its kind in the world for violinists, violists and cellists aged between 16 and 26 years, WFISC is a prestigious competition where the first prize includes a concerto performance with associate orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, on 24 September 2015 in the splendid and unique Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle.


The semi-finalists for 2015, selected from over 160 applicants coming from 36 countries of the world, are:

• Elina Buksha, violin, from Latvia

• Jonathan Dormand, cello, from Britain

• Cristian Grajner-Desa, violin, from Britain

• Stanislas Kim, cello, from France

• Ting-Ru Lai, viola, from Taiwan

• Christine Jeong Lee, cello, from South Korea

• Ji -Yoon Lee, violin, from South Korea

• Timothy Ridout, viola from Britain.


They will compete in the WFISC semi-finals on 18 March in front of an audience and this year’s panel of international jury which consists of distinguished musicians: violinist Erich Gruenberg, violist Roger Benedict and cellist Raphael Wallfisch. The jury will be joined by Managing Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, David Whelton; Executive Producer of Decca Records, Alexander Van Ingen and Windsor Festival Director, Martin Denny for the final on 20 March 2015, for which three of the semi-finalists will be selected to perform in the exquisite Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, at the event attended by HRH The Earl of Wessex, Patron of Windsor Festival.

The winner will receive prizes to the value of £20,000 which include a concerto performance with Associate Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra; a fine contemporary bow to the value of £5,000 from Bishop Instruments and Bows; a solo recording opportunity with the Royal Philharmonic Society award winning independent recording label, Champs Hill Records; and a cash prize of £5,000. There are also further cash prizes for second and third place.

Martin Denny, Director of Windsor Festival says: “I feel strongly that it is important that we live-up to the example set by one of our founding Artistic Directors, Yehudi Menuhin, in fostering talent and building opportunities for those at the start of their musical careers. This competition is an integral part of Windsor Festival, and through it our vision is to build strong relationships with the next generation of performers, to ensure that talent is nurtured, encouraged and supported.

“We are delighted and most grateful to our sponsors, whose partnership enables us to achieve this and we are looking forward to discovering some of the most exciting global talent at this year’s event.”

Violinist and Winner of the 2013 WFISC, Benjamin Baker says: “Winning the 2013 WFISC was a turning point in my musical life and marked the true beginning of my professional career. The opportunities that came with the prizes were incredibly exciting and provided inspiring challenges; in particular my debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle, and recording my first CD with Champs Hill Records.

“Many musical doors have opened internationally as a result of winning the WFISC. The high esteem that it is held in, and its ever increasing fine reputation, have made many exciting musical projects possible.

“I am extremely grateful to the WFISC team and the Windsor community for being so welcoming and creating such a positive atmosphere for the competition. In my mind this is the leading UK competition for young musicians to come and prove themselves. I’m looking forward to finding out who has been selected and I am hoping to be at the final in March.”


Find out more

The Windsor Festival Box Office is at The Royal Windsor Information Centre at Windsor Royal Shopping, Thames Street, SL4 1PJ, see



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