Competition: Junior Semi-Finals

Tuesday 18 May
2.20pm - 5.30pm

Giving the young competitors from all over the world an opportunity to demonstrate the diversity of their playing, this round features chamber music collaboration in Dvořák’s Terzetto, performed with previous prizewinner Timothy Chooi and Barry Schiffman, and a Beethoven sonata with piano. Each semi-finalist will also play their own choice of a virtuoso work and a recently composed work for solo violin.

Collaborative pianists: Magdalena Adamek, Nicola Eimer, Joanne Kong, Daniel Stipe

Silence is essential during these performances so as not to disturb the competitors. Audience may come and go in between individual recitals.

Results will be announced following the jury deliberation.

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Artists' Biographies 

For biographies of all of our competitors, please see our Participants page.

Timothy Chooi 

Canadian-American violinist Timothy Chooi has garnered huge critical and public acclaim, most recently when he won 2nd Prize at the 2019 Queen Elisabeth Competition in Belgium. He had already made a name for himself having been awarded numerous prizes, among them 1st Prize of the 2018 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Germany and the 1st Prize of the 2018 Schadt Violin Competition in the USA, as well as the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in New Zealand and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition in Canada. In 2018 he also won the “Prix Yves Paternot” of the Verbier Festival, a prize which recognizes the most promising and accomplished musician of the annual Academy for young professional musicians, earning him his debut as a solo artist in the 2020 Verbier Festival. Timothy is a former laureate of the Menuhin Competition in 2010 and 2014.

Barry Schiffman 

Barry Shiffman enjoys a diverse career as a performer, recording artist, teacher and administrator. In 1989, he co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet. During his 17 years with the quartet he appeared in over 2,000 concerts in venues around the globe, and recorded exclusively with EMI Classics. From 1998–2006 he was on the faculty of Stanford University.

Since 2010, he has been Associate Dean and Director of Chamber Music at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) in Toronto, and directs the Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists. Additionally he has been involved with the Banff Centre in Alberta since 2005 in various roles, currently serving as Executive Director of the Banff International String Quartet Competition and Festival.

Since 2018 he has been Artistic Director of Rockport Music in Rockport, MA, overseeing all classical programming for the organization including the celebrated five week Rockport Chamber Music Festival. 

Magdalena Adamek

A native of Poland, Magdalena Adamek is currently the Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano in the Department of Music at Virginia Commonwealth University.

She holds a Master of Music from the prestigious Chopin Academy of Music (Warsaw, Poland), and Doctor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Canada).

A versatile pianist, Magdalena Adamek enjoys exploring a variety of repertoire ranging from the Baroque to the contemporary. Her performing career includes recitals across Poland, Germany, Austria, Lithuania, France, China, USA and Canada. Her long-term artistic project involves promoting piano music by composers from her native country, such as Chopin, Szymanowski, Szymanowska, Nowowiejski and others. 

Magdalena is the recipient of many prestigious scholarly and performing awards, among them 2nd prize at Milosz Magin International Piano Competition in Paris, Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship, Marek Jablonski Piano Scholarship at Banff International Keyboard Festival and Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage Scholarship. 

Nicola Eimer

A graduate of the Juilliard School, British pianist Nicola Eimer has performed as a soloist and chamber musician across Europe, Asia and the US, and has played at major UK venues including the Barbican and Wigmore Hall. As a chamber musician, she regularly performs with musicians such as Johan Dalene, Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas and Fenella Humphreys. She has been a regular class pianist for the IMS masterclasses in Prussia Cove, and an official accompanist for competitions such as the Carl Nielsen International Competition and the Menuhin Competition. Nicola studied in London with Danielle Salamon and later with Christopher Elton at the Royal Academy of Music where she graduated with a Distinction. She was a Fulbright Scholar in New York as a pupil of Joseph Kalichstein. Nicola is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, where she currently teaches at both Junior and Senior departments. She is also Head of Keyboard at Highgate School.

Joanne Kong 

Joanne Kong has performed to critical acclaim around the world as solo and chamber keyboardist, including performances in Canada, Italy, Austria, Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, India and a 2015 tour of Brazil sponsored by the Partners of the Americas. She holds the distinction of releasing the first harpsichord-piano recording of Bach’s Goldberg and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations, and her honors include fellowships from the American Academy of the Arts in Europe, Bach Aria Festival and the Grand Prize in the 1985 International Piano Recording Competition. She has collaborated with noted string performers Daisuke Yamamoto, Karen Johnson, Lindsey Strand-Polyak, James Wilson, Lisa Terry and Ronald Crutcher, performed with numerous ensembles including the Shanghai String Quartet and Eighth Blackbird, and is a founding member of the Richmond Piano Trio. Joanne Kong is in regular demand as an instrumental and chamber music coach, and coordinates the chamber ensembles program at the University of Richmond. 

Daniel Stipe 

Daniel Stipe is equally at home as a solo recitalist, collaborator and arranger on both the piano and the organ. His varied concert repertory, with special focus on works of the 20th and 21st centuries, delights audiences nationwide. He is a prizewinner in the William Hall Pipe Organ Competition in San Antonio, Tulsa Crescendo Music Awards, Fort Wayne National Organ Playing Competition and the AGO/Quimby Region VII Competition for Young Organists.

As a collaborator, Daniel has worked with dozens of vocal and choral ensembles, and has an extensive knowledge of the string and wind repertory. He maintains an active concert schedule, with recent performances in Richmond, Roanoke, Dallas, Tulsa and Princeton. He is also a founding member of the Piedmont Singers of Central Virginia.

Daniel serves as an adjunct instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University. In his spare time he enjoys road cycling, hiking, role-playing games, and good literature.