Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition

6th – 13th April 2019

XIII Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition

Erin Arts Centre
Victoria Square, Port Erin,
Isle of Man, British Isles

supported by The Tertis Foundation and the Isle of Man Arts Council

Paul Vincent Laraia III has been announced as the winner of the 13th Lionel Tertis International Competition, which took place from 6 to 13 April 2019. The 30-year-old American violist receives the ‘Lillian Tertis Award’ of £7,000, a London recital at Wigmore Hall and a new viola bow valued at £5,000 donated by Bishop Instruments and Bows.

The 20-year-old Chinese violist Yuchen Lu, was awarded second prize  of £5,000, while third prize of £3,000 went to the 18-year-old French violist Paul Adrien Zientara.

Born in Sewell, New Jersey, Laraia studied with Kim Kashkashian at the New England Conservatory of Music, and, in 2011, received first prize at the Sphinx Competition. Since then, he has performed and recorded music with soloists including Paul Huang, Stefan Milenkovich, Gil Shaham, Vadim Repin and Cho-liang Lin and has won top chamber music prizes at the Fischoff Competition, the New England Conservatory Honors Ensemble Competition and the Glenn Gould School Chamber Music Competition. In addition, he has performed at a variety of festivals, including the Sarasota Music Festival and the Banff Center for Music.

Photo : left, Paul Adrian, centre Paul Vincent, right, Yuchen

The announcement followed a final round in which the three participants performed a concerto and a new piece by Roxanna Panufnik entitled Canto, as well as taking part in a string trio with former members of the Schubert Ensemble, violinist Simon Blendis and cellist Jane Salmon.

Held every three years in Port Erin on the Isle of Man, the competition, whose previous winners include Timothy Ridout, Ziyu Shen and Milena Pajaro-van-De Stadt, is open to violists of all nationalities aged 30 and under. This year 42 candidates, whittled down from 107 entries, were selected to go through to the competition, from which eight were selected to go through to the semi finals, and three to the finals.

The jury comprised Yuri Bashmet (Russia), George Caird (UK), Carol Rodland (USA), Danusha Waskiewicz (Germany) and Mikhail Zemtsov (Netherlands).


Results of the 12th Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival and Competition: 12th to 19th March 2016.

Timothy Ridout was the winner of the 12th Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, held from 12-19 March 2016 on the Isle of Man. The 20-year-old received £7,000, a London recital and a viola bow from Bishop Instruments and Bows Ltd.

Second prize, worth £5,000, went to Manuel Vioque-Judde from France.

Third prize, worth £3,000, was awarded to Wenhong Luo from China.

A student at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Ridout won the inaugural Cecil Aronowitz International Viola Competition at the age of 19 in October 2014, and was awarded Second Prize at the 2015 Windsor Festival International String Competition.

Founded in 1980 and dedicated to British violist Lionel Tertis, the triennial Tertis Competition is open to violists of all nationalities up to the age of 30.

This year’s event attracted 90 entries from 25 different countries. Of these, 44 were chosen to compete in the live rounds for a jury comprising Festival president Yuri Bashmet, George Caird, Wing Ho, Garth Knox and Thomas Riebl.

The 2013 Tertis competition won by 15-year-old Ziyu Shen.

First prize winner Timothy Ridout was the very first British violist to win the competition in its 36 year history.
Huge congratulations to Timothy on this amazing achievement. The British Viola Society is incredibly proud and thrilled.
 Lionel Tertis, the greatest viola player of the 20th century, died in February 1975, at the age of 98. A fund was set up with the primary objective of establishing an international Viola Festival to commemorate the work that he undertook for that instrument throughout his long and active life.

Such a competition would provide a unique incentive to the growing number of viola players all over the world who wish to pursue a solo or chamber music career. So the Lionel Tertis International Viola Festival & Competition was born.

This triennial event is now well-established and known throughout the musical world. Players of all nationalities are invited to take part in the competition, workshops and masterclasses which attract participants from over 30 countries. The event is administered by the Erin Arts Centre with funding from the Lionel Tertis Foundation and the Isle of Man Arts Council.

Please see the Erin Arts Centre website for more information.

Lionel Tertis featured on the BBC’s Desert Island Discs on Monday 13th August 1962.

The link to the archive for this programme is below: