The Grand Final of the Bartók World Competition & Festival took place two days after the Final round, where the finalists had been accompanied by a chamber orchestra. Out of the 44 registered contestants, three were shortlisted for the Grand Final, the French-Dutch Cosima Soulez-Larivière, the Japanese Takagi Ririko and the Hungarian Ágnes Langer. The young musicians were judged in all rounds by the international jury headed by the globally acclaimed violinist, Salvatore Accardo. The other jurors were Vilmos Szabadi and Barnabás Kelemen from Hungary, Qian Zhou from China, Takashi Shimizu from Japan, Joel Smirnoff from the USA, Krzysztof Wegrzyn from Poland and Ivan Ženatý from the Czech Republic as well as the Hungarian musicologist and Bartók-expert, Dr Tibor Tallián.
The first contestant to take to the stage was the Hungarian Ágnes Langer, who performed Béla Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2. The victorious Cosima Soulez-Larivière came before the audience as second and played Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, while after the intermission, the Japanese Takagi Ririko interpreted Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. The spectators at the Liszt Academy rewarded each one of them with an exceedingly enthusiastic applause. The jury came to a final decision only at night: the first prize of the Competition went to Cosima Soulez-Larivière, the second prize was won by Takagi Ririko, while Ágnes Langer came third. The prize money amounted to 22 000 EUR, 14 000 EUR and 8 000 EUR respectively.
Cosima Soulez-Larivière, János Kovács conductor and the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Liszt Academy / László Mudra)
Also various special prizes were awarded: Cosima Soulez-Larivière was invited to the 2018 Budapest Spring Festival, to the Cziffra Festival, to the Singapore Violin Festival and to the Festival Academy Budapest as well as to collaborate with the Győr Philharmonic Orchestra and the Franz Liszt Chamber Orchestra. Takagi Ririko was offered a concert opportunity by Müpa, the Anima Musicae Chamber Orchestra and the Szolnok Symphony Orchestra. Ágnes Langer was awarded the possibility to be featured at the Auer Festival in Veszprém and take to the stage in the Marble Hall of the Hungarian Radio, collaborate with the MÁV Symphony Orchestra as a soloist, the Music Ensembles of the Hungarian Radio and with the Zugló Philharmonic Orchestra and was given a highly valuable package thanks to Papageno Consulting.
Dr. Andrea Vigh, Salvatore Accardo, Ágnes Langer, Ririko Takagi, Cosima Soulez-Larivière and Qian Zhou (Photo: Liszt Academy / Zoltán Adrián)
Contestants from former rounds were also awarded: the finalist Kitagawa Chisa was invited to collaboration by the Savaria Symphony Orchestra, the Liszt Academy and received a special prize from juror Vilmos Szabadi, Kim Yoerae received a concert possibility from the Festival Academy Budapest. From the Preliminary round, Ishigami Mayuko and Dmitry Smirnov got awarded special prizes.