Victor Julien-Laferrière wins Queen Elisabeth cello contest

French youngster Victor Julien-Laferrière (26) has won First Prize in the Queen Elisabeth contest. This year's edition centred on the cello. It was the first time the classical music contest was dedicated to the cello. Ivan Karizna (Belarus) grabbed the public prize.

The final evening of the contest was assisted by Queen Mathilde and the Belgian Crown Princess Elisabeth in the Henry Le Boeuf room of the Brussels Palace of Fine Arts.

There were just 12 finalists, of which the winner was announced around midnight by jury president Arie Van Lysebeth (picture and video below).

Julien-Laferrière happened to be performing on the final night. He won the International Grand Prix Queen Elisabeth beating Yuya Okamoto of Japan. Santiago Cañón-Valencia came third, before Frenchman Aurélien Pascal. Ivan Karizna (Belarus) was fifth, while Brannon Cho of the U.S. grabbed the sixth prize. 

Karizna was chosen by the viewers and clinched the public prize given by the cultural platforms of the VRT's Canvas and Klara. (photo below: the 12 finalists; Karizna is second from left in front row)