Colburn School Announces Live Round Competitors for the 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition

(Friday, April 19, 2024, Los Angeles) – The Colburn School and the American Viola Society today announced the 24 live round competitors for the 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition. The 24 live round competitors were chosen from a pool of 156 applications received during the pre-screening round that closed in January 2024. The 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition will take place at the Colburn School, June 17-22, 2024.

The 24 live round competitors come from all over the world, representing 12 countries. The average age of participants is 24, with the youngest aged 16 and the oldest 30.

“The Primrose Competition is not just a showcase of exceptional talent, but a celebration of the viola’s unique voice, highlighting its depth, richness, and versatility in the world of classical music,” said Colburn School President and CEO Sel Kardan. “We are excited to host the live round competitors at Colburn in collaboration with the American Viola Society, along with hundreds of violists from around the world attending the 2024 American Viola Society Festival. This will be a week filled with inspiring music and celebrations that recognize the next generation of rising stars in classical music.”

“The American Viola Society takes great pride in the remarkable legacy of the Primrose Competition and its laureates, and is honored to co-present this year’s competition with our wonderful partners at the Colburn School,” remarked AVS President Ames Asbell. “Alongside this year’s competition, the AVS is thrilled to present our biennial American Viola Society Festival – a four-day celebration of the viola filled with performances, lectures, workshops, and much more. The combined PIVC and AVS Festival events ensure a can’t-miss experience for violists of all ages.”

Each of the live-round participants will compete in the Quarter-Final Round on June 17 and 18, and eight competitors will advance to the Semi-Final Round, taking place on June 19. During the Quarter-Final Round, competitors will perform works that demonstrate the musical and virtuosic strengths of the competitor, including the performance of one piece for solo viola or for viola and piano by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) composer. During the Semi-Final Round, competitors will perform any two contrasting movements of a solo work by Johann Sebastian Bach, a complete major work for viola and piano, and a commissioned work for viola and piano by Nokuthula Ngwenyama written in memory of Dr. David Dalton.

During the first of two Final Rounds, the final three competitors will perform Claude Debussy’s Trio for Flute, Viola and Pedal Harp (1915) on June 21. The following day, June 22, the competitors will perform either Bela Bartók’s Viola Concerto (ed. Serly) or William Walton’s Viola Concerto with orchestra led by Elias Peter Brown, a Salonen Fellow in the Negaunee Conducting Program at the Colburn Conservatory.

The winner will be announced during the awards ceremony held shortly after the June 22 Final Round. The first prize winner will receive $15,000; the second prize winner will receive $10,000; the third prize winner will receive $5,000; the Transcriptions Prize winner will receive $1,000; and the Illumination Prize winner, for best performance of a work by an underrepresented composer demographic, will receive $1,000. The first-prize winner will perform at the 2026 American Viola Society Festival and receive an invitation to the semi-finals of the Concert Artists Guild Competition.

The live round competition jury includes Tim Frederiksen (Jury Chairman, Denmark), Atar Arad (United States, Israel), Cathy Basrak (United States), Ensik Choi (South Korea), Steven Dann (Canada), Ayane Kozasa (United States), and Geraldine Walther (United States). For full biographies, please visit

All live rounds will be streamed on The Violin Channel.

As one of the most renowned string instrument competitions in the world, the Primrose International Viola Competition features the world’s best and most promising young violists. The Competition offers southern California one week of exceptional international competition, exquisite music, and an exhilarating finish. All rounds are open to the public, and audiences can expect to hear a broad survey of the viola repertoire.

The 2024 competition is dedicated to the memory of Dr. David Dalton, who was one of the world’s greatest champions of the viola, and a former student and friend of William Primrose. Dr. Dalton was professor emeritus of viola at Brigham Young University, and earned his B.M. and M.M. degrees in violin at the Eastman School of Music. After meeting William Primrose, he switched to viola and received his doctorate in performance at Indiana University. Dalton collaborated with Primrose in writing his memoir, “Walk on the North Side and Playing the Viola: Conversations with William Primrose” and produced two documentaries, “A Violist’s Legacy,” and “William Primrose, Violist.” Primrose and he were co‐founders of the Primrose International Viola Archive (PIVA) at BYU, the largest and most important repository of materials related to the instrument. Dr. Dalton served as president of the American and International Viola Societies, as well as editor of the Journal of the American Viola Society. In 2013 in Krakow, Poland, the International Viola Society awarded Dr. Dalton the “Golden Viola Clef,” the Society’s highest honor for his distinguished and unique contributions to the viola.

In conjunction with the Primrose International Viola Competition, the American Viola Society will host its 2024 Festival taking place at the Colburn School on June 19-22, 2024. Recital performances, lectures, presentations, masterclasses, youth competitions, and exhibits will be scheduled around the competition Semi-Final and Final rounds. More information is available at

The Colburn School will also present a performance by celebrated chamber musician, soloist, and Colburn faculty member Tatjana Masurenko on June 20 and a recital by the distinguished members of the Primrose International Viola Competition Jury on June 21.

Founded in 1979 by the American Viola Society as the first international competition solely for violists, the Primrose International Viola Competition is proud of the rich history and legacy of excellence it promotes. For over 40 years, the Competition has continued to attract distinguished jurors and talented participants worldwide, serving as an inspiration to young artists across the globe. The Competition has an international reputation for identifying the talent of tomorrow and is respected for its artistic and professional integrity. Its laureates occupy principal seats of major symphony orchestras, act as professors in major centers of education, and have achieved critical acclaim as international soloists.

For more information about the Primrose Competition, please visit

List of live round competitors:

All ages below as of April 2024.

  • Leslie Ashworth (Canada, 27, The Juilliard School)
  • Keoni Bolding (United States, 26, Curtis Institute of Music)
  • Hsiang-Hsin Ching (Taiwan, 23, Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University)
  • Toby Cook (United Kingdom, 26, Zurich University of the Arts)
  • Riko Eto (Japan, 23, Tokyo University of the Art)
  • Andjela Josifoski (Serbia, 17, International Menuhin Music Academy)
  • Yong Ha Jung (South Korea, 24, The Juilliard School)
  • Yunji Jang (South Korea, 22, Seoul National University)
  • Annariina Jokela (Finland, 30, Haute Ecole de Musique)
  • Mao Konishi (Japan, 28, University of the Arts Berlin)
  • Katie Liu (United States, 25, Yale School of Music)
  • Laura Liu (United States, 23, The Juilliard School)
  • Wilhelm Magner (Canada, 24, Yale School of Music)
  • David Montreuil (Canada, 28, McGill University)
  • Andy Park (United States, 22, Yale University)
  • Haneul Park (South Korea, 23, Curtis Institute of Music)
  • Karolina Errera Pavon (Russia, 30, Kronberg Academy)
  • JungAhn Shin (South Korea, 24, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin)
  • Otoha Tabata (Japan, 24, The Royal College of Music)
  • Guohan Tang (China, 23, Universität der Künste Berlin)
  • Duleen Van Gunsteren (Netherlands, 28, Conservatory of Amsterdam)
  • Kinga Wojdalska (Poland, 25, Zurcher Hochschule der Kunste)
  • Xunyu Zhou (China, 16, Shanghai Conservatory of Music Affiliated Middle School)
  • Emad Zolfaghari (Canada, 19, Curtis Institute of Music)

Please click here to read the bios of each competitor.

About the Colburn School

A performing arts institution located in the heart of Los Angeles, the Colburn School trains students from beginners to those about to embark on professional careers. The academic units of the School provide a complete spectrum of music and dance education united by a single philosophy: that all who desire to study music or dance should have access to top-level instruction.

  • The diploma- and degree-granting Conservatory of Music is distinguished by a unique all-scholarship model, renowned faculty, and outstanding performance opportunities. It prepares the very highest level of collegiate musicians for professional careers.
  • The Music Academy is a highly selective training program for gifted young pre-collegiate musicians, designed to prepare students for conservatory study and performing careers at the highest levels of achievement. This program offers residential options and balances performance, musical instruction, and academics.
  • The Community School of Performing Arts welcomes students of all ages, from seven months old to adults. It offers more than 120 classes each year in orchestral instruments, piano, guitar, voice, jazz, music theory, drama, and ensembles including orchestra, choir, and chamber music.
  • The Trudl Zipper Dance Institute develops performers of all levels, from aspiring professionals in the Dance Academy to beginners starting in Youth Dance. Students of all levels receive training in ballet, tap, musical theater, and modern genres as part of a comprehensive dance education.
  • Created to serve all units of the School, the Center for Innovation and Community Impact empowers the musical and dance leaders of tomorrow by nurturing students’ passion and ability to serve their communities, preparing them for sustainable careers, and embracing the development of new ideas. The Center embodies Colburn’s commitment to developing young artists with the curiosity, skills, and commitment to make a difference in their field.

Each year, more than 2,000 students from around the world come to Colburn to benefit from the renowned faculty, exceptional facilities, and focus on excellence that unites the community.

The Colburn Center, designed by Frank Gehry, is a multi-faceted campus expansion of the Colburn School. Located across the street from the School’s existing campus at the intersection of Olive and Second Streets, the Colburn Center will enable the School to expand its mission of presenting programs for the public. Gehry’s design includes a 1,000-seat in-the-round concert hall named Terri and Jerry Kohl Hall, five professional-sized dance studios including a 100-seat studio theater, and gardens that bring fresh air and green spaces to the downtown landscape. The Colburn School broke ground on the Colburn Center on April 5, 2024. The completed project will join Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and The Grand complex to create the largest concentration of buildings designed by the architect in the world.

About the American Viola Society
Founded in 1971, the American Viola Society inspires excellence and builds community through viola study, performance, research, composition, and lutherie. The AVS provides support and resources for a global community of violists and viola enthusiasts with online resources, live events, competitions, scholarships, online series, funding opportunities, and the Journal of the American Viola Society.

Lisa Bellamore

Jennifer Kallend