James Vaughen wins Aeolus Competition
The first prize of the 17th International Aeolus Competition, endowed with 20,000 euros, went to James Vaughen on Sunday afternoon. The 24-year-old trumpeter from the USA is studying at the Curtis Institute of Music with Prof. David Bilger. In the prizewinners' concert at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, he was able to convince the eight-member jury under the direction of Hendrik Vestmann. Vaughen's professional career already includes positions as assistant principal trumpeter with the Grant Mark Music Festival and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
The second prize of 15,000 euros went to Xianhua Liu. The 24-year-old tuba player from China is studying at the University of Music in Hanover with Prof. Jens Björn Larsen. He has already received numerous awards, including third place at the 57th Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen in 2022. He was able to gain valuable experience in renowned orchestras such as the Hamburg State Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic and the NDR Radiophilharmonie. The third prize was awarded to Polina Tarasenko. The 22-year-old Ukrainian trombonist studied at the Gnesin Special Music School in Moscow and specialized in classical trombone. After completing her bachelor's degree with Prof. Jonas Bylund, she began her master's degree in music performance at HKB Bern University of the Arts with Prof. Ian Bousfield in 2022.
The special prize for the best interpretation of a contemporary piece went to Sophie Bright. The 18-year-old Swiss student is studying at the Bern University of the Arts with Ian Bousfield. In addition, she is the first trombone in the Bern Youth Symphony Orchestra and is a member of the swing-jazz sextet Coniglio Connection as principal trombonist. The International Aeolus Wind Competition is one of the most prestigious music competitions in the world and is advertised for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone and tuba. It has been held once a year in Düsseldorf since 2006.
The Aeolus Competition is open to young musicians of all nationalities under the age of 28. Each year, three of the instrument groups are announced for the competition: in 2023 it was trombone, trumpet and tuba. The prize money amounts to a total of 60,000 euros, the first prize is endowed with 20,000 euros. The photo shows the winners of the competition with Prof. Thomas Leander, Rector of the Robert Schumann University of Applied Sciences, who was instrumental in supporting the competition with his university.