Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition finalists share prize fund due to Covid-19 disruption

The decision to complete the contest's third edition as an unranked online event follows two years of delays as a result of the pandemic

Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition
Published: July 13, 2022 at 12:23 pm

After two years of postponements due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition (SISIVC) is to change its system to become an online event in 2022.


The six candidates who have reached the final round will not compete for rankings. Instead, they will jointly present a concert entitled 'In Tribute to Isaac Stern’s Centennial SISIVC Winners’ Concert' from 26-28 August, available to watch on SISIVC’s social media channels.

The third SISIVC applications were sent out in August 2019. According to the original plan, the preliminary round was to be completed online at the beginning of 2020, and the quarter-final, semi-final and final rounds were to take place live in Shanghai from 4-25 August.

The contest was subsequently postponed due to the outbreak of Covid-19, and in August 2021, six candidates (pictured) – Rino Yoshimoto (Japan), Thomas Lefort (France), Ruifeng Lin (China), Felicitas Schiffner (Germany), Angela Sin Ying Chan (Hong Kong, China), and Shannon Lee (United States) – entered the final round after eight days of online competition. However, the contest has been unable to stage a live final due to continued Covid-19 outbreaks and lockdowns in China.

In a new plan, the 2020 SISIVC will not decide the rankings of the six candidates in the final round of the competition. Instead, the candidates will perform their final round repertoire, including a concerto of their choice plus Night Tour by Zhou Tian, a piece commissioned by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. These videos will be released online from 26-28 August in a final competitors’ concert.

Each of the six candidates will be awarded a certificate for entering the final round, as well as a scholarship of US $20,000 for their future education and career development. The jury will not give scores for each performance, but will instead give detailed feedback.

'This is a complex decision from the Organisation Committee, which won the unanimous understanding and support from the jury and candidates,' said a spokesperson for the SISIVC Organisation Committee. 'What we can confirm is that the high standard of the competition and our support for the candidates will not be compromised because of the present health crisis.'

The biennial SISIVC launched in 2016 with a top prize of $100,000, and prizes of $50,000 and $25,000 for its second and third placed competitors respectively. The first edition in 2016 was won by Japanese violinist Mayu Kishima, and the second edition in 2018 by American violinist Nancy Zhou.


Visit the SISIVC website for full details.

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