American violinist Luke Hsu has taken top place on the podium at Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Competition. As well as a gleaming gold medal round his neck Hsu has USD25,000 (€22,200) in his wallet, a welcome cash boost for the 25-year-old player who first performed with Houston Symphony in 2006 when he was just 15.
Hsu is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music as part of its Advance Diploma programme. It is not his first major victory, having previously wont first prize at the Isang Yun International Violin Competition in Korea in 2014, and the Grand Prize at the 2008 Kingsville International Violin Competition.
It was a big night for Hsu, with Houston Symphony musicians also picking him as the Robert and Nancy Peiser Award for Artistic Encouragement. He also won the Hermann Shoss Audience Choice Award.
Second place and a still significant USD10,000 was awarded to 24-year-old cellist Christine Lee, who recently graduated from New York’s Juilliard School. Third prize and USD5,000 went to 24-year-old Chinese pianist Brian Lin.