March 5, 2021

Jonathan Solars Fine Violins To Sponsor Winner of the 2022 Cooper Competition

Cooper International Competition Announces Participants

Eighteen young violinists will compete for prizes beginning August 15, 2022 at Ohio's Oberlin Conservatory

July 7, 2022

2019 first prize winner Eric Charles Chen (Photo credit: Larry Kasperek)

Open to violinists between the ages of 13 and 18, the eleventh annual Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition will take place between August 15-19, 2022, on the campus of Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio.

The 2022 Cooper Competition participants range from 13 to 18 years in age. They include:

  • Sameer Agrawal, 17, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Calvin Alexander, 17, Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
  • Esme Arias-Kim, 16, Hoffman Estates, Illinois, United States
  • Bianca Ciubancan, 16, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Brandon Du, 18, Ellicott City, Maryland, United States
  • Maxwell Fairman, 18, Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
  • Audrey Goodner, 16, Reston, Virginia, United States
  • Dániel Hodos, 17, Budapest, Hungary
  • Kento Hong, 16, Edgemont, New York, United States
  • Seohyun Kim, 13, Seoul, South Korea
  • John Lee, 17, Vernon Hills, Illinois, United States
  • John Matters, 18, Bethesda, Maryland, United States
  • Katelyn Moon, 17, Hackensack, New Jersey, United States
  • Jonathan Okseniuk, 16, Mesa, Arizona, United States
  • Bobby Boogyeom Park, 16, Bayside, New York, United States
  • Anna Stube, 16, Calgary, Canada
  • Francis Tsai, 16, Phenix City, Alabama, United States
  • Chunyi (Grace) Zhou, 16, Irvine, California, United States

The first prize winner will receive a $20,000 first prize and a two-year partnership with MKI Artists, which includes up to 10 concerto or recital engagements throughout the United States. First prize will also get exclusive rights for the world premiere and subsequent performances of a new six-minute work for violin and orchestra composed by Jeff Scott for a period of two years, plus the use of a rare Italian violin loaned for a period of two years by Jonathan Solars Fine Violins of New York.

The competition also offers every finalist a four-year full-tuition scholarship, after a successful application process, to Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Second and third place winners will be awarded $10,000 and $5,000 cash prizes, respectively. Fourth, fifth, and sixth placeholders will get $1,500 each, and all finalists are eligible to win a $500 Audience Prize.

This year, the competition generously covers travel, meals, and lodging for all contestants.

The 2022 jury consists of Oberlin violin professor Sibbi Bernhardsson, who also directs the competition. He is joined by Danielle Belen from the University of Michigan, Philip Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet, and John Zion of MKI Artists.

“I am excited to welcome these eighteen exceptional violinists to campus,” says Bernhardsson. “The new and enhanced prize package has made the Cooper Competition a compelling and extremely important international violin competition. I am grateful to MKI Artists, Inc. for the work on concert bookings, to composer extraordinaire Jeff Scott for writing a new concert piece, and to the Canton Symphony for being part of the competition and for coming season concert engagement with the winner. I am also grateful to Jonathan Solars Fine Violins for providing our prize winners with beautiful instruments, and finally to Thomas and Evon Cooper for their vision, generosity, and meaningful support that makes this wonderful competition and opportunity for amazing young musicians all possible.”

The competition includes a week of performances in Oberlin’s Warner Concert Hall. All eighteen participants will give 30-minute recitals with piano during Round One on August 15 and 16.

Round Two, on August 17, will narrow to six violinists, when each musician will perform a 45-minute program with piano.

The Concerto Finals will feature three violinists who will perform full concertos with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Music Director Gerhardt Zimmermann on August 19.

All performances are free and open to the public. The Round Two Semifinals and Concerto Finals will be broadcast here on The Violin Channel, official media partner of the 2022 Cooper International Competition.

Founded in 2010 and sponsored by Thomas and Evon Cooper, the Cooper Competitions saw its 2020 and 2021 editions postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former first prize winners include VC Young Artists Sirena Huang and Johan Dalene.