This year’s Cooper International Competition, founded in 2010 and sponsored by Oberlin Conservatory to showcase, in alternative years, the best teenage violinists and pianists in the world, was won by a 16-year-old Swedish musician.
Johan Dalene was one of three finalists who performed with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall prior to the announcement of the winner of the $20,000 prize. The other two finalists, Christina Jihee Nam of West Chester, Ohio, and Qing Yu Chen of New York City, were both awarded second place, winning $7,500 a piece. All three are offered full-tuition scholarships to the Oberlin Conservatory.
Dalene wowed the audience and the judges with his performance of Tchaikovsky’s Concerto in D Major, the same piece played by 14-year-old Nam. Seventeen-year-old Chen performed Prokofiev’s Concerto No. 2 in G Minor.
The concert at Severance Hall was the culmination of five days of performances at Oberlin.