Christel Lee wins the 11. International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition

Christel Lee from USA has won the 11. International Jean Sibelius Violin Competition in Helsinki. The prize winners are:


I prize 25 000 € Christel Lee, USA

II prize 18 000 € Emmanuel Tjeknavorian, Austria

III prize 12 000 € Friederike Starkloff, Germany


Three other finalists, Mayumi Kanagawa (USA), Minami Yoshida (Japan) and Nancy Zhou (USA) received a prize of 2000 € each. Also the following special prizes were awarded

  • The Foundation of Helsinki Conservatory of Music awarded a special prize of 3000€ to Emmanuel Tjeknavorian for the best interpretation of Sibelius Violin Concerto

  • City of Järvenpää awarded a special prize of 2000 € to Friederike Starkloff for the best interpretation of commissioned piece in second round. The commissioned piece was one of the award-winning pieces from Jean Sibelius Composition Competition 2015.

  • The best Finnish contestant Pekko Pulakka got the special prize from the Finnish Broadcasting Company Yleisradio; invitation to make a recording for Yle.


Christel Lee will perform at the following concerts in December:


  • Soloist of The Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conductor Hannu Lintu at Jean Sibelius 150th Anniversary Concert in Hämeenlinna on 8th December.

  • Soloist of The Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor John Storgårds on 10th December in Birmingham and and 12th December in Dublin


The quinquennial Jean Sibelius Violin Competition is one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world. The Sibelius Society of Finland launched the competition in 1965 in connection with the 100th Anniversary of Sibelius’ birth. The jury comprises of the following violinists and violin teachers: Pierre Amoyal, Serguei Azizian, Sigrún Edvaldsdóttir, Pekka Kauppinen, Sung-Ju Lee, Cho-Liang Lin, Gerhard Schulz and Krzystof Wegrzyn. The chairman is composer, professor Veli-Matti Puumala. The competition is organized jointly by the Sibelius Society of Finland and the Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki.



More information:

Terhi Luukkonen

Press officer

+358 40 710 4368

Twitter: #sibeliusviolin