Finalists Announced at Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

The quarter and semi-final stages were held online this year, and the six finalists will be invited to Shanghai in 2022 for the LIVE final round

(Top: Rino Yoshimoto, Thomas Lefort, Ruifeng Lin — Bottom: Felicitas Schiffner, Angela Sin Ying Chan, Shannon Lee)


The six finalists have been announced for the Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, in China.

Usually held biannually in Shanghai, this edition of the competition was originally scheduled for 2020. Due to the pandemic, however, it was re-envisioned into a new hybrid online and live format hosted over 2021 and 2022.

The quarter-final and semi-final rounds were streamed this week on The Violin Channel and are available HERE now for playback. 

Open to international violinists between ages 16 and 32, the first prize winner, next year in Shanghai, will receive USD $100,000. 


The 2020 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition finalists are:

  • Rino Yoshimoto (18, Japan)

  • Thomas Lefort (27, France)

  • Ruifeng Lin (21, China)

  • Felicitas Schiffner (24, Germany)

  • Angela Sin Ying Chan (24 Hong Kong/China)

  • Shannon Lee (29, United States)



In honor of last year's centennial of Isaac Stern's birth, the competition will still hold the title, 2020 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition.

Launched in 2015, the competition aims to continue the musical spirit of the late Isaac Stern — and carry forward the forty-year-long musical bond he shared with the country.

“The pandemic has dealt a blow to the global performing arts industry, and it has also caused many young people to lose opportunities," said Organization Committee President Long Yu.

"We cannot let them wait for too long. The violin competition is restarting online, and we hope to give a stage to young people from different countries to allow them to display their talents, realize their dreams, and use music to convey confidence and hope to the world."


This edition's jury is comprised of David Stern (Co-Chairman), Vera Tsu Weiling (Co-Chairman), Martin Campbell-White, Glenn Dicterow, Emmanuel Hondré, Weigang Li, Ning Feng, Philip Setzer, Hagai Shaham, Joel Smirnoff, Kyoko Takezawa, Maxim Vengerov, and Jian Wang.

The jury for the opening rounds was adjudicated online from all around the world.

The 2016 first prize was awarded to Japanese violinist Mayu Kishima and the 2018 first prize to VC Artist Nancy Zhou from the United States.