American Stella Chen, surprise winner of the 2019 Elisabeth Queen Contest: revive her performances in the final



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Music / Festivals

Mysteries of additions and logic of the lowest common denominator: Timothy Chooi was expected on the highest step of the podium but he came in second, hailed by a standing ovation from the hall. To everyone's surprise, the victory goes to Stella Chen, who passed just before him on Friday and did not leave an unforgettable memory.

The third place went to Stephen Kim, who had the audacity to interpret Fidl's memory and seduced by his imagination. Shannon Lee, on the first Saturday night, finished fourth. Julia Pusker (5th) and Ioana Cristina Goicea (6th) complete the list of finalists. Our compatriot Sylvia Huang is among the six unclassified winners.

Here is our review of the delivery of Stella Chen in her final on Friday:

In the end, his approach to FIDL by Kimmo Hakola was at once conquering and generous, incisive in the opening lines, but emphasizing lyricism wherever it is presented, and can count on luminous and well-designed sonorities. Stella Chen is an imaginative person, she has proven this over the past events and her way of feeding the successive climates of this torturous sequence – by training the orchestra in her game – proved this once again. The game of questions and answers with the musicians, the construction of their cadence, or pizzicato-talonnettes pirouettes, were the occasion of astonishing, entertaining and inhabited discoveries. And the art of singing was everywhere during his performance.

An asset to represent – or deposit – the delicate melody that opens Tchaikovsky's concert and, from the precious and even "tender" climate of this thematic nucleus, naturally develops the rest of the movement. The cadence was exemplary, conducted as it should always be, as a free improvisation in which Stella Chen attested a sure taste, opting for fine, bright sounds – not excluding power – always in control of the voice. sound and relaxation, even in the most intense moments, as in the grand finale (of the first movement), which will lead to applause among the distracted.

Those who remember Schubert's "Fantaisie" were not surprised by the sublime simplicity of his Canzonetta, purified of all sentimentality and even more moving. As for Finale, finely articulated, spinning like the wind, and totally dominated, it made us (almost) think of Mendelssohn for his elegance and cheerful chance, almost interspersed with fleeting melancholy. One can dream of a darker, more tormented and more epic Tchaikovsky, but this one was magnificent and totally coherent.

At age 26, the young woman is doubly trained in music at Juilliard School and in psychology at Harvard.

Palmares 2019

1st Prize: Stella Chen

2nd Prize: Timothy Chooi

3rd Prize: Stephen Kim

4th Prize: Shannon Lee

5th Prize: Julia Pusker

6th Prize: Ioana Cristina Goicea

Unclassified finalists:


Luke Hsu

Sylvia Huang

Seiji Okamoto

Eva Rabchevska

Ji Won Song

Yukiko Uno

Nicolas Blanmont and Martine D. Mergeay

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