Shoichi Yabuta has won the prestigious Geneva Competition 2015 with his composition Billow. The piece for string quartet won the judge’s acclaim and CHF15,000 (€13,875) for 32 year old Yabuta, who studied composition at Tokyo College of Music.
This is not his first win: Yubuta took home the Olivier Messiaen Prize in 2012 and the Wiener Konzerthaus Prize in 2013. He has also placed second in the Japan Music Competition on three occasions. The final round was broadcast live on Radio Television Suisse – Espace 2, with the video streamed on ARTE Concert.
Another stand out success from the competition was South Korean Sunghyun Lee. The 20 year old picked up three prizes, with Audience, Young Audience and Students Special prizes all awarded to him. The other two finalists were Adérito Valente from Portgual (who won the Heim Foundation Special Prize) and Korea’s Hankyeol Yoon.
2015 marked the second edition of the Geneva Competition in its new laureates format and the 70th instalment overall. It featured many prominent laureates from past editions, such as Quatuor Voce (quartet, 2006), Yuma Osaki (piano, 2003) and Sofia Jaffe (violin, 2004), with a festival-like programme of concerts, recitals and masterclasses. Founded in 1939, the competition has a different focus in each edition, with a voice and quartet competition planned for 2016.
A distinguished panel of five internationally acclaimed composers judged this year’s prize: Michael Jarrell (Switzerland), Pascal Dusapin (France), Luca Francesconi (Italy), Dai Fujikura (Japan) and Wolfgang Rihm (Germany). 109 pieces were submitted to the competition, which were whittled down to the four finalists.
The deadline for submissions for the Geneva Competition 2016 voice and quartet disciplines is 2 May.