Strings and Stardom: The Finale of the Bartók World Competition 2023

Bartók World Competition LILIA POCITARI

Unveiling the stars of the future, the 2023 Bartók World Competition culminated with a rousing gala concert on September 10th. Let’s dive into the highlights and discover the prodigies who stole the show!

A Night of Musical Mastery

The esteemed competition, dedicated to violinists this year, had its finale echoing with applause and admiration. Moldovan sensation Lilia Pocitari clinched the first prize, while Kelemen Gáspár was honored with the special Papageno Award.

Out of the dozen semi-finalists who showcased their magic, six virtuosos stood on the podium for the grand finale. The Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, under the dynamic baton of Kovács János, accompanied these talents over two memorable nights.

Jury’s Verdict: The Crescendo of Talent

Led by the renowned American violinist and Juilliard School instructor, Daniel Phillips, the jury’s verdict was clear. Lilia Pocitari from Moldova secured the top honor. The second accolade went to the Japanese prodigy, Szeki Tomokata, with Maya Alexandra Kasprzak, with her unique German-Polish-Japanese lineage, earning the third spot.

Special Mentions and Rewards

Generous contributions from the competition’s partners meant that special prizes were plenty. Among the top three, Lilia Pocitari won performances with several renowned orchestras for the 2024-2025 season. Meanwhile, Szeki Tomokata bagged invitations from prestigious institutions, and Maya Alexandra Kasprzak secured notable concert invitations.

Further finalists weren’t left behind either. Lorenz Karls and Kelemen Gáspár also received noteworthy accolades, with Gáspár additionally nabbing the Papageno media package.

Meet the Stars:

  • Lilia Pocitari, born in 1997, is currently studying at the Hanns Eisler School of Music in Berlin. She’s no stranger to international accolades and has already performed with big names in iconic venues.
  • Szeki Tomotaka, a Tokyo native born in 1998, has not only performed with top Japanese orchestras but is also a prominent figure in chamber music circles.
  • Maya Alexandra Kasprzak, the young star born in 2005, is currently studying in Leipzig. Her accolades and collaborations, given her age, are nothing short of impressive.

Other finalists, Lorenz Karls and Kelemen Gáspár, have their own stellar achievements, with Gáspár being a recognized talent since his early days.

A Brief Look Back

The 2023 Bartók World Competition started with 32 violinists from 16 countries. Almost a hundred young talents from 26 countries initially applied.

The jury panel, alongside Daniel Phillips, consisted of international and Hungarian luminaries from the world of music. Their combined expertise ensured that the competition’s standards were kept high.

Finally, a little tidbit for the curious – the first prize came with a whopping 22,000 euros, while the second and third places took home 14,000 and 8,000 euros respectively.



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