Emad Zolfaghari Wins Top Prize at 2024 Primrose International Viola Competition

Curtis student wins first prize and the audience prize in the 17th Primrose International Viola Competition

Congratulations to Curtis viola student and Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams Jr. Fellow Emad Zolfaghari, who has been named winner of the first prize and audience prize in the 17th Primrose International Viola Competition, presented by the Colburn School and the American Viola Society. Mr. Zolfaghari, who performed Bela Bartók’s Viola Concerto to rapturous applause during the final competition round, will receive $15,000, along with an invitation to perform at the 2026 American Viola Society Festival and an invitation to the semi-finals of the Concert Artists Guild Competition. Violist Kinga Wojdalska won second prize, while Andy Park won third prize.

Winner of many prestigious awards—including first prize at the 2023 Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the François Schubert Grand Prize at the 2022 OMNI Music Competition, and first prize at the International Morningside Music Bridge Competition—Mr. Zolfaghari entered Curtis at age 16 and currently studies with distinguished violist Hsin-Yun Huang. Additional awards won by Mr. Zolfaghari include second prize at the 2022 Johansen International String Competition, third prize in the OSM String Competition, second prize at the 2021 Ronald Sachs International Music Competition, and first prize at the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra Competition.

Mr. Zolfaghari has appeared as a soloist with several major symphony orchestras including l’Orchestre Métropolitain under the baton of Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Philharmonic, Oakville Chamber Orchestra, and National Metropolitan Philharmonic. His previous mentors include Theresa Rudolph, Caroline Coade, and Shanda Lowery-Sachs.

Learn more about the competition HERE, and see the full list of winners and their prizes at the Violin Channel or the Strad

If you missed the final round concerto and awards ceremony, you can watch it here:

Portrait of Emad Zolfaghari by Nichole MCH Photography Photos. 2024 Primrose Competition Laureates Kinga Wojdalska, Emad Zolfaghari, and Andy Park; courtesy of the Primrose International Viola Competition Facebook page. Photo of Mr. Zolfaghari and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra by David DeBalko.