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The Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition

The Elmar Oliveira International Violin Competition (EOIVC), a flagship program of the Elevar Foundation, was established by celebrated violinist, Elmar Oliveira, in collaboration with the Lynn University Conservatory of Music in Boca Raton, Florida in 2016. The EOIVC is deeply committed to its mission of providing 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 to engage with the communities they serve.


The EOIVC takes place once every three years. The inaugural competition was held at Lynn University in January and February 2017. More than 150 talented young violinists have applied across the two previous competitions. Twenty-two-year-old American violinist Sirena Huang was the competition’s first prize winner in 2017 and nineteen-year-old American violinist Julian Rhee was the first prize winner in 2020. Live streaming the EOIVC’s inaugural concerts received more than 1.5 million views across multiple social media platforms.


In addition to significant monetary prizes, instruments and bows have been furnished by some of today’s most revered luthiers, including Robert Ames, Luiz Amorim, Joseph Curtin, Feng Jiang, Eric Lane, Rodney Mohr, Jeffrey Phillips, Andrew Ryan, and John Young.  A Musafia violin case provided by Christopher Reuning of Reuning & Son Violin and a BAM travel violin case and bow tube provided by Barnesviolins LLC.


EOIVC jurists are selected personally by Elmar Oliveira for their unequivocal support for the development of young musicians. Past juries have included many of today’s most esteemed violinists such as Andrés Cárdenes (2017, 2020, Chairman of the Jury 2023), Charles Castleman (2017), David Cerone (Chairman of the Jury 2020 alternate jurist in 2023), Scott Flavin (2023), Alexander Gilman (2017), Gudny Gudmundsdottir (2017), Daniel Heifetz (Chairman of the Jury, 2017), Ilya Kaler (2017, 2020, 2023), Ida Kavafian (2023), Sung-Ju Lee (2020), Silvia Marcovici (2020), Irina Muresanu (2023), Gerardo Ribeiro (2020), Barry Shiffman (2020, 2023), Almita Vamos (2023), Vera Tsu Wei-ling (2017), Kathleen Winkler (2020) and Peter Zazofsky (2023).


Known as a passionate advocate for the music of our time, Elmar Oliveira has made commissioning new works an important part of each competition. In 2017, the EOIVC commissioned Thomas McKinley to write Dialogues and in 2020 Christopher Theofanidis was commissioned to write Discipline and Transcendence. Both artists served as Composer-in-Residence at each competition, respectively. EOIVC 2023 will highlight four contemporary composer during its quarter-final round. These composers are: Jessie Montgomery, Gabriela Lena Frank, Christopher Theofanidis, and Thomas McKinley. Due to the ongoing pandemic, there will be no Composer-in-Residence for 2023.


Demonstrating the EOIVC’s deep commitment to serving the community, all EOIVC 2020 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. Due to the ongoing pandemic, EOIVC 2023 did not have a community engagement round as part of its two-week competitive process, however plans are currently being developed to ensure that this important staple of the EOIVC’s philosophy is continued in subsequent competitions.

EOIVC Competitors 

Hina Khuong-Huu (18, France / Japan / United States, 1st Prize, 2023) 

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

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


Gabrielle Després (22, Canada / United States, 2nd Prize, 2023)

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

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


Laurel Gagnon (28, United States, 3rd Prize, 2023)

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

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


Zachary Brandon (24, United States, Honorable Mention, 2023)

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

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

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

Julia Angelov (21, Bulgaria / United States, 2023)

Christopher Tun Andersen (24, Norway, 2017)

Jacqueline Audas (24, United States, 2020)

Wonhee Bae (29, South Korea, 2017)

Zachary Brandon (21 in 2020 & 24 in 2023, United States)

Aaron Chan (20, Hong Kong, 2017)

Dorson Chang (21, Taiwan, 2023)

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

Hudson Ye Hyung Chung (28, Israel / United States, 2023)

Gabrielle Després (22, Canada / United States, 2023)

Hiu Sing Fan (26, Hong Kong, 2023)

Ho-Hsuan Feng (21, Taiwan, 2017)

Irenè Fiorito (22, Italy, 2023)

Laurel Gagnon (27, United States, 2023)

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

Agasha Grigoreva (20, Russia, 2020)

Yanis Grisó (19, Luxembourg, 2023)

Luke Hsu (26, United States, 2017)

Wenlan Jackson (20, United States, 2023)

Yeyeong Jenny Jin (19, South Korea, 2023) 

Jeein Kim (24, Korea, 2020)

Minchae Kim (25, Korea, 2020)

Wenqi Ke (24, China, 2023)

Hina Khuong-Huu (18, France / Japan / United States, 2023) 

Jeein Kim (26, South Korea, 2023)

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)

Thomas Mathias (26, United Kingdom, 2023)

Dainis Medjaniks (26, Germany/Latvia, 2020)

Julia Mirzoev (26, Canada, 2023)

Haerim Oh (20 in 2020 and 23 in 2023, South Korea)

Dongfang Ouyang (26, China, 2017)

Ashley Jeehyun Park (23, United States, 2020)

Dongyoung Jake Shim (21, South Korea, 2023)

Ji Won Song (23, South Korea, 2017)

Steven Song (23, United States, 2023)

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)

Yumiko Yumiba (26, Japan, 2023)

EOIVC Competitors

EOIVC Judges

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

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

Andrés Cárdenes (2023 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, 2023)

Ida Kavafian (United States, 2023)

Sung-Ju Lee (South Korea, 2020)

Silvia Marcovici (Romania/France, 2020)

Irina Muresanu (Romania/United States, 2023)

Gerardo Ribeiro (Portugal/United States, 2020)

Barry Shiffman (Canada, 2020, 2023)

Almita Vamos (United States, 2023)

Vera Tsu Wei-ling (China, 2017)

Kathleen Winkler (United States, 2020)

Peter Zazofsky (United States, 2023)

EOIVC Judges

EOIVC Composers-in-Residence

Thomas L. McKinley, (2017)

Christopher Theofanidis (2020)

EOIVC Composer in Residence

EOIVC Conductors

Guillermo Figueroa

Jon Robertson

EOIVC Conductos

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

Community Panelists

EOIVC Pianists

Jun Cho (2017)

Allison Freeman (2020)

Laura Garritson Parker (2017)

Lindsay Garritson (2020, 2023)

Beilin Han (2020, 2023)

Beiyao Ji (2023)

Tatjana Rankovich (2020)

Dan Sato (2017)

Robert Koenig (2017)

Sheng-Yuan Kuan (2017, 2020, 2023)

EOIVC Pianists
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