He's one of classical music’s most important composers - and on the eve of his 80th birthday, we got to ask him what he thinks about the state of classical music in 2016.
Ayana Tsuji has won the Montreal International Violin Competition, and managed to take home a huge range of special prizes too.
Tsuji, 18, performed the Sibelius violin concerto in the second night of finals on Tuesday, which proved enough to convince the jury to award her first prize.
She also won the Award for the best performance of the compulsory Canadian work in the semifinals, the Award for best semifinal recital, Award for the best performance of a Sonata in the semifinal round, Bach Award for the best performance of a work by J.S. Bach in the quarter-final round, and the Paganini Award for the best performance of a Caprice by Paganini in the quarter-final round.
In total, she’ll take home prize money of $40,500.
Classic FM caught up with Tsuji backstage before she played the Sibelius, and she gave us a sneak preview:
The runners up in the fortnight-long competition were South Korean Bomsori Kim in second place, performing the Shostakovich violin concerto and winning $15,000, and Japanese Minami Yoshida, also performing the Sibelius violin concerto and winning $10,000.
Bomsori Kim also won the Radio Canada People’s Choice Award, which gives her another $5,000. The award was voted for by concert attendees and via an online poll.
Also winning prizes were the three remaining finalists, French-Russian Fedor Rudin, Ji Won Song from South Korea and Petteri Iivonen from Finland.
A gala concert featuring the three main prizewinners is taking place tonight in Montreal’s Maison Symphonique.
You can watch a stream of the whole concert here: