The Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition

The Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition (EOIVC) was established in 2016 by celebrated violinist, Elmar Oliveira, in collaboration with the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida. The mission of the triennial competition is to provide talented violinists, ages 16-32, who are at the start of their careers, with networking, management, public relations, community engagement and concert opportunities in addition to a monetary prize. These long-term career development tools reach well beyond financial support, actively demonstrating the strong dedication of the EOIVC to cultivating and nurturing developing musicians as well as encouraging them engage with the communities they serve. The EOIVC is the flagship program of the Elevar Foundation.


​The most recent competition, EOIVC 2020, was held in January 2020. Nearly 70 competitors from 19 countries applied. Its international judging panel was composed of some of today’s leading violinists selected by Elmar Oliveira for their deep commitment to the development of young musicians.


The EOIVC 2020 international panel of jurists consists of eight remarkable artists from six countries: Andrés Cárdenes (United States), David Cerone (Chairman of the Jury / United States), Ilya Kaler (United States), Sung-Ju Lee (South Korea), Silvia Marcovici (Romania/France), Gerardo Ribeiro (Portugal/United States), Barry Shiffman (Canada), and Kathleen Winkler (United States). Christopher Theofanidis served as the EOIVC 2020 Composer-in-Residence and his EOIVC-commissioned work for solo violin, Discipline and Transcendence, was performed by EOIVC Competitors during the Quarter Final Round of the competition.


​New for EOIVC 2020, and demonstrating the EOIVC’s deep commitment to serving the community, all EOIVC Finalists were required to participate in the Community Engagement Round. To date, the EOIVC is the only competition of its kind to host community engagement as part of its competitive process.


Participants in the Community Engagement Round --the four finalists determined by the Semi-Final Round--were judged by a panel of Community Partners. Each EOIVC competitor gave a 45-minute interactive presentation to students, ages 8-11, from the Plumosa School of the Arts, a local Title 1 school. A special Community Engagement Award, was given to the EOIVC Finalist who scored the highest from the predetermined Community Engagement criteria decided by the Community Partners.


The EOIVC 2020 Final Round was held across two days and took place at the Wold Performing Arts Center on the campus of Lynn University. The four finalists were independently featured in a performance with the Lynn Philharmonia conducted by Jon Robertson.


​EOIVC 2020 First-Prize Winner, Julian Rhee,  received a cash prize of $30,000  (provided by Elmar and Sandra Robbins) as well as an Ultralight Violin (provided by Joseph Curtin); a Silver-Mounted Bow, Inspired by Elmar Oliveira’s Dominique Peccatte (provided by Rodney Mohr); a Musafia Violin Case (provided by Christopher Reuning, Reuning & Son Violins); more than 30 guaranteed national and international performances; and a limited edition of the book Wanderer/Wonderer (provided by Bruce Babbitt). Additionally, Julian also received public relations and artist management support for three years. Julian was also the winner of the $2,500 Community Engagement Award (provided by the Maurice Amado Foundation).


​Second-prize winner, Jung Min Choi, received a cash prize of $15,000 (provided by the David and Amy Fulton Foundation) and a Violin—which is a copy of Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesù” Ole Bull—made by Luiz Amorim of Amorim Fine Violins Cremona, a Gold-mounted bow (provided by Robert Ames Fine Violins & Bows), and a BAM travel violin case and bow case (provided by Barnes Violins); Third-prize Winner, Igor Khukhua, received a cash prize of $10,000 (provided by Price Wealth Management) and a Silver-mounted bow (provided by Robert Ames Fine Violins & Bows); and Vikram Francesco Sedona received Honorable Mention, with a cash prize of $5,000 (provided by the family of Gerald and Barbara Arbetter and The Goldberg Foundation in loving memory of Gerald and Barbara Arbetter). All finalists received The Essential Guide to Bows of the Violin Family (provided by the author, Gabriel Schaff).


​EOIVC 2017, the inaugural year of the competition, was an overwhelming success. Live streaming of the final concerts received more than 1.5 million views across multiple social platforms. The winners of the inaugural competition were Sirena Huang (First Prize), Alina Ming Kobialka (Second Prize), Hannah Tarley (Third Prize), and Quanshuai Li (Honorable Mention).

EOIVC Competitors 

Sirena Huang (22, United States, 1st Prize, 2017)

Julian Rhee (19, United States, 1st Prize & Community Engagement Award, 2020)


Alina Ming Kobialka (19, United States, 2nd Prize, 2017)

Jung Min Choi (25, Korea, 2nd Prize, 2020)


Hannah Tarley (25, United States, 3rd Prize, 2017)

Igor Khukhua (27, Russia, 3rd Prize, 2020)


Quanshuai Li (25, China, Honorable Mention, 2017)

Vikram Francesco Sedona (19, Italy, Honorable Mention, 2020)

Ari Isaacman-Beck (31, United States, Composer’s Award, 2017)

Christopher Tun Andersen (24, Norway, 2017)

Jacqueline Audas (24, United States, 2020)

Wonhee Bae (29, South Korea, 2017)

Zachary Brandon (21, United States, 2020)

Aaron Chan (20, Hong Kong, 2017)

Brian Kwan Yeung Choi (22 in 2017 & 25 in 2020, China)

Ho-Hsuan Feng (21, Taiwan, 2017)

Cristian Grajner de Sa (25, United Kingdom, 2020)

Agasha Grigoreva (20, Russia, 2020)

Luke Hsu (26, United States, 2017)

Jeein Kim (24, Korea, 2020)

Minchae Kim (25, Korea, 2020)

Erzhan Kulibaev (30, Kazakhstan, 2017)

Li Lao (29, China, 2017)

Jiyoon Lee (24, South Korea, 2017)

Christine Seohyun Lim (22, United States/South Korea, 2017)

Dainis Medjaniks (26, Germany/Latvia, 2020)

Haerim Oh (20, Korea, 2020)

Dongfang Ouyang (26, China, 2017)

Ashley Jeehyun Park (23, United States, 2020)

Ji Won Song (23, South Korea, 2017)

Elly Suh (27, United States/South Korea, 2017)

Alexandra Alvarado Switala (26, United States, 2020)

Chiharu Taki (29, Japan, 2017)

Daniel Temnik (25, Israel/Canada, 2020)

Boyang Wang (29, China, 2020)

Angela Wee (22, United States, 2020)

Katherine Woo (21, United States, 2020)

Christine Wu (24, United States, 2020)

Max Yiming Mao (22, China, 2017)


EOIVC Judges

Daniel Heifetz (2017 Chairman of the Jury, United States)

David Cerone (2020 Chairman of the Jury, United States)


Andrés Cárdenes (United States, 2017 & 2020)

Charles Castleman (United States, 2017)

Alexander Gilman (Germany, 2017)

Gudny Gudmundsdottir (Iceland, 2017)

Ilya Kaler (United States, 2017 & 2020)

Sung-Ju Lee (South Korea, 2020)

Silvia Marcovici (Romania/France, 2020)

Gerardo Ribeiro (Portugal/United States, 2020)

Barry Shiffman (Canada, 2020)

Vera Tsu Wei-ling (China, 2017)

Kathleen Winkler (United States, 2020)


EOIVC Composers-in-Residence

Thomas L. McKinley, (2017)

Christopher Theofanidis (2020)


EOIVC Conductors

Guillermo Figueroa

Jon Robertson


Community Panelists

Dr. Manuel Capote, Educator and Cellist 

Aaron Kula, Director and Conductor, Klezmer Company Jazz Orchestra

Bama Lutes Deal, Program Manager, Cultural Concierge, Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

Laura Sinclair, Director of Strings, Plumosa Elementary School of the Arts


EOIVC Pianists

Jun Cho (2017)

Allison Freeman (2020)

Laura Garritson Parker (2017)

Lindsay Garritson (2020)

Beilin Han (2020)

Tatjana Rankovich (2020)

Dan Sato (2017)

Robert Koenig (2017)

Sheng-Yuan Kuan (2017 & 2020)