Johansen International Competition for Young String Players Ages 13 to 17

Sponsored by The Friday Morning Music Club Foundation

Leslie Luxemburg, Director

Alice Berman, Executive Administrator


The Johansen International Competition (JIC) for Young String Players Ages 13–17 (violin, viola, cello) takes place only once every 3 years. Prizes include $67,000 in cash awards, plus possible performance opportunities that may include a Winners' Recital in Washington, DC, and solo appearances with orchestra. Winners receive five years of complimentary student membership in the Friday Morning Music Club (FMMC). In addition, winners are eligible for a full scholarship to the Brevard Music Center program, and finalists are eligible for a half-scholarship to the Brevard summer music program.

The 2015 Johansen International Competition for Young String Players will take place March 18-21, 2015 in Washington, DC. Click here for more information. Judges for the 2015 competition are Glenn Dicterow, violin; Victoria Chiang, viola; and Marcy Rosen, cello. Printed applications are now available. Instructions and the online application can be found here.

The 2012 Johansen International Competition took place March 21–24, 2012, in Washington, DC. Our 2012 JIC page provides information about the winners, and the schedule of concerts in which we presented the 2012 winners. Judged by top professional string players, the JIC is recognized as a highly prestigious international competition for gifted young string players. Our past winners have gone on to continue their musical studies, compete in additional competitions, and move into established professional careers.


Of Special Note

  • Ziyu Shen (Viola, First Prize, 2012 JIC) won First Prize Viola and 7,000 British pounds at the 2013 Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition in Port Erin, Isle of Man, UK. Only 15 years old when she won, Shen was the youngest competitor in an event that goes up to the age of 30.
  • Taeguk Mun (Cello, Best Performance of Commissioned Work, 2012 JIC) recently won first prize and 8,000 Euros at the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in Budapest, Hungary. He performed the Schumann Cello Concerto in A minor with the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in the winners’ concert during the 48th Budapest International Music Competition at the Hungarian Academy of Music.
  • Santiago Canon Valencia (Cello, Second Prize, 2012 JIC) recently won third prize at the 2014 Pablo Casals International Cello Competition in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Nancy Zhou (Violin, First Prize, 2009 JIC) won a prize for “Best Performance of a Paganini Caprice” at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis.
  • Matthew Lipman (Viola, First Prize, 2009 JIC) won First Prize Viola at the 2012 Washington International Competition for Strings, and First Prize and the Gold Medal at the 2012 Stulberg International String Competition.
  • Tessa Lark (Violin, First Prize, 2006 JIC) won second prize and $15,000 at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. In addition, she won prizes for the “Best Performance of a Ysaye Sonata” and “Best Performance of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich’s Fantasy for Solos Violin” at the IVCI. Lark has been awarded a 2014 Leonore Annenberg Fellowship, providing financial assistance of $50,000 a year for up to two years. She won the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, which includes awards of $10,000 and two fully-subsidized New York performances.
  • Dami Kim (Violin, Second Prize, 2006 JIC) won fourth prize and $7,000 at the 2014 International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. In addition, she won the prize for the “Best Performance of a Beethoven Sonata.” Kim tied for first place at the 2012 Joseph Joachim International Violin Competition in Hannover, Germany. She won 50,000 euros, a three-year loan of a violin, several recitals and a recording opportunity with Naxos.
  • Narek Hakhnazaryan (Cello, First Prize, 2006 JIC) won First Prize, the Gold Medal, and the Best Chamber Concerto Performance Award at the 2011 Tchaikovsky International Competition.
  • Benjamin Beilman (Violin, Third Prize, 2006 JIC) is a recipient of a 2012 Avery Fisher Career Grant. The award is worth $25,000, and is designed to help young musicians build their careers.
  • Hyun Su Shin (Violin, First Prize, 2003 JIC) won Third Prize (the Count de Launoit Prize) in the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition. The award includes a cash prize of 17,000 euros and concert proposals.
  • Read more in our Updates on Past JIC Winners page.


The Johansen International Competition is sponsored by the Friday Morning Music Club Foundation and was established in 1997. The JIC is made possible through the generosity of a Charitable Trust established by the late Anna Storch Johansen of Falls Church, Virginia. Mrs. Johansen was a violinist and a Life Member of the FMMC. She wanted to encourage young musicians with significant prize awards at a time when they need it most and when they must make decisions about whether to continue with their dedication to music. The competition is overseen by a committee of experienced volunteers who work in conjunction with the Executive Administrator.

The Johansen International Competition invites you to join the JIC Circle of Friends. This group consists of individuals who have been involved with and have supported the JIC in a variety of ways, and includes our volunteers and donors, as well as past and current JIC winners and their teachers. The JIC Circle of Friends has been established with several goals: (1) to keep our supporters informed via email about recent events involving our winners; (2) to share information about upcoming concerts presenting JIC winners; and (3) to make it easier for those who wish to make tax-deductible contributions. If you would like to join the JIC Circle of Friends, send an e-mail with your name and e-mail address to

The Johansen International Competition and the FMMC Foundation welcome donations to help support this worthwhile project. Click on the Donate button below to make your tax-deductible donation using PayPal.