The young Dutch cellist Ella van Poucke wins the Chigiana Prize

Ella van Poucke prevailed over the Russian pianist Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev in an exciting journey into great music at the Teatro dei Rinnovati in Siena

The awaited return of the Chigiana Prize on the 7th of July at the Teatro dei Rinnovati in Siena was a great success. The concert coincided with the inauguration of the 2017 Chigiana International Festival. In an exciting journey through a great classical repertoire, the young Dutch cellist Ella van Poucke was awarded first prize, prevailing over her co-finalist, Russian pianist Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev. The two artists came together at the final concert after a difficult selection via live auditions held in Brussels, Moscow and New York. The international jury of the evening was composed of Nicola Sani, Marcello Clarich, Boris Belkin, Marco Riaskoff, Alexander Romanovsky, Paolo Petrocelli, Fedra Florit, Pierangelo Conte and Cesare Mancini.

The Orchestra of Tuscany directed by Jonathan Stockhammer co-starred in the final event, along with Roberto De Simone, the accompanying pianist for Ella van Poucke.

Ella van Poucke won the Golden Star, consisting of 12.000€ in prize money; while Arseny Tarasevic-Nikolaev was awarded the Silver Star, an 8.000€ prize.

The Rotary District 2071 of Siena strongly supported the re-launch of the Chigiana Prize.

Beyond the cash prizes, their participation in the competition for the Chigiana Prize also conferred upon the two finalists a series of concerts at other international venues, along with other awards.  Maestro Pierangelo Conte, representing the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, announced a formal invitation to Ella van Poucke to perform in a future concert during the next season of the Florentine institution.

Representing Umberto Fanni, the General Director of the Muscat Royal Opera House in Oman, M° Nicola Sani awarded the invitation to both artists to perform in future symphonic seasons as soloists at the most prestigious musical institution in the Gulf nations.

Gianluca Marcianò, artistic director of the Al Bustan Festival of Beirut in Lebanon, awarded Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev with an invitation to perform in the next edition of the celebrated festival in the Middle East.

Finally, the Artistic Agency Amusart, represented by general manager Tiziana Tentoni, gave a scholarship of 500€ to Ella van Poucke for her extraordinary musical and interpretive abilities demonstrated during the competition.

Special mentions of the Chigiana Prize were awarded to Russian pianist, Alexander Malofeev; Italian cellist, Miriam Prandi; Russian cellist, Alexander Ramm; and Russian violinist, Alexis Roussine.