PRESS RELEASE published on 11 May 2012 • Department / Unit Media

Norwegian viola prodigy wins Eurovision Young Musicians 2012

Vienna, 11 May 2012 - The title of Eurovision Young Musician 2012 was won tonight (May 11) by 17-year-old Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad, from Norway, who wowed the jury with a flawless performance of movements two and three of Béla Bartók's viola concerto.

As well as the prestigious title, Ringstad won €5,000 and a music scholarship in a country of his choice.

Second and third places went respectively to Austrian violinist Emmanuel Tjeknavorian (17) and kanun player, Narek Kazazyan (15), from Armenia.

The awards were presented by head juror Markus Hinterhäuser, who has been responsible for programming at the Salzburg Festival since 2006.

Seven finalists, shortlisted from 14 competitors from different countries performed live during the final, which marked the opening of the ‘Wiener Festwochen’ (Vienna Festival) in the city square. The open-air event was attended by an audience numbering tens of thousands.

The participants were accompanied by the ORF Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO) – fittingly conducted by Cornelius Meister – who was himself a teenage virtuoso. The recently appointed Music Director and Chief Conductor of RSO was born in Hannover in 1980 and was 21 when he made his debut at the opera in Hamburg.

Since its launch in 1982, the biennial competition has been an effective tool to foster the talent of promising young European musicians. Artists including Julian Rachlin, Lidia Baich, Nathalie Clein and Julia Fischer have launched international careers on the back of the competition watched by an estimated two million households across Europe and beyond.

This year's competition is the fourth consecutive coproduction between Eurovision TV/EBU, Austrian National Broadcaster ORF and the Wiener Festwochen. 

Ingrid Deltenre, EBU Director General said: "ORF, who have hosted Eurovision TV’s flagship classical music event five times, are helping the EBU fulfil one of its primary mandates: to bring Europe's classical music to the broadest PSM audience possible."

Vladislav Yakovlev, EBU executive supervisor for Eurovision Young Musicians added his appreciation to the young musicians: "Both finalists and non-finalists have provided a wonderful week of music in Vienna. I have no doubt their hard work will inspire other young artists to take part in future editions."

The competition was transmitted live over the Eurovision network to 15 participating Members, including:

AMPTV (Armenia), ORF (Austria), BTRC (Belarus),  BHRT (Bosnia-Herzegovina), HRT (Croatia), CT (Czech Republic), GPB (Georgia), WDR (Germany), ERT (Greece), RUV (Iceland), NTR (Netherlands), NRK (Norway), TVP (Poland), RTVSLO (Slovenia), and
NTU (Ukraine).
Visit the photo gallery of the Eurovision Young Musicians at: www.youngmusicians.tv

The title of Eurovision Young Musician 2012 was won tonight (May 11) by 17-year-old Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad, from Norway, who wowed the jury with a flawless performance of movements two and three of Béla Bartók's viola concerto.