Violinist Pauline van der Rest qualifies for Queen Elisabeth Competition semi-finals

Pauline van der Rest has reached the semi-finals of the Queen Elisabeth Competition. The 19-year-old from Brussels is the only Belgian candidate in this year's prestigious violin competition.

In total, 24 of the 63 contestants in the first round reached the semi-finals. The organisers announced their names late on Saturday evening. 

In addition to Van der Rest, there are six violinists from the US, three each from Ukraine and South Korea, two each from France, Japan and Russia, and one each from China, Denmark, Hong Kong, Kazakhstan and Sweden.

From Monday to Saturday, the semi-finalists will compete again in Studio 4 at Flagey in Brussels. They will perform twice: a concerto by Mozart, accompanied by the Royal Chamber Orchestra of Wallonia, and a recital with piano accompaniment.

Van der Rest will play her recital on Monday and her concerto on Thursday evening. On Saturday evening, the 12 finalists will be announded. The final will take place from 27 May to 1 June in the Henry Le Boeuf Hall of Bozar. 

Accompanied by the National Orchestra of Belgium, the finalists will play a concerto of their choice and an unpublished work by French composer Thierry Escaich.

This is the 20th time the international music competition, considered the toughest classical music competition in the world, has focused on the violin. The last time was in 2019 with the American Stella Chen as the winner. 



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