25-year-old Ukrainian wins prestigious competition with thrilling Shostakovich violin concerto

4 June 2024, 17:19 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 18:58

Dmytro Udovychenko in his winning performance
Dmytro Udovychenko in his winning performance. Picture: Thomas Leonard

By Kyle Macdonald

Dmytro Udovychenko, a 25-year-old Ukrainian violinist, won top place at the world-leading competition that gifts its winner a 1708 Stradivarius.

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David Oistrakh, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Ray Chen are among past winners of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. It’s one of the world’s most prestigious music competitions, where first prize is your very own Stradivarius violin.

Each year the competition showcases a different instrumental or vocal discipline. And in 2024, it was violinists’ turn to take to the stage before the jurors.

Taking top honours on Saturday was 25-year-old Dmytro Udovychenko. The Ukrainian violinist was awarded first place after the final round of performances at the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts.

In his performance of Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the soloist proved his ability to bring the composer to life on the stage, with all the musical twists and turns required. Udovychenko was joined Belgian National Orchestra, conducted by Antony Hermus. Watch the captivating performance below.

As winner of the first prize the young violinist receives €25,000, a number of concert engagements, and the chance to play the ‘Huggins’ 1708 Stradivarius for the next four years.

Read more: Young soloist’s blistering Haydn concerto that won her the world’s most prestigious cello competition

Dmitry Shostakovich, Concerto n.1 in A minor | Dmytro Udovychenko - Queen Elisabeth Competition 2024

The full performances can be watched on the competition website. Organisers say the livestreams have received “unprecedented attention” throughout the performing rounds.

Dmytro Udovychenko was born in 1999, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and is currently studying in Germany.

Dmytro Udovychenko plays at the Queen Elizabeth Competition finals 2024
Dmytro Udovychenko plays at the Queen Elizabeth Competition finals 2024. Picture: Thomas Leonard

Udovychenko is emerging as one of the top violinists to watch, winning places in a number of top competitions over the past few years. Last year he claimed first prize at the Montreal International Violin Competition, and in 2022 he won the Singapore International Violin Competition, and took home third prize at the Sibelius International Violin Competition.

2025 will see rising-star pianists take centre stage at the Queen Elisabeth Competition, with more virtuosic fireworks already expected.