1st World Cello E-Competition 2020


Open to young cellists of any nationality
One round through video link and free program

The 1st World Cello E-Competition “Napolinova” 2020 is created with the goal of providing young cellists with an opportunity to show their creativity in difficult times. The pandemic has forced all of us to stay at home, and to cancel our concerts, festivals and live competitions. Young artists continue to work hard, though, and we want to give them a chance to present themselves and their progress. This Competition is organized by “Napolinova”, a musical association that has for more than twenty years engaged in the promotion of young artists through the creation of musical events. Our three jury members reside on three different continents, but each is known worldwide. We will avail ourselves of their great experience and expertise, and ensure that the whole process is fair and transparent. The complete list of applicants will be made public. Each jury member’s votes will be made public after the conclusion of the event. Winners will receive wide exposure through broadcasts, social media, and even live concerts, once they can be held safely again. Fifteen scholarship prizes will be awarded. For each category, 60% of the application fees will be used for scholarship awards. The five prize-winners of each category will receive 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, and 10% of the scholarship total, respectively.



A) cellists born from 01/01/2008 and younger. Video duration max 5 minutes
B) cellists born from 01/01/2002 and younger. Video duration max 10 minutes
C) cellists born from 01/01/1992 and younger. Video duration max 15 minutes
Contestants may choose to apply to any one category, as long as they are not older than the age limit.

Catalin Ilea (Berlin University of the Arts - Germany)
Jennifer Kloetzel (University of California - USA)
Kyungok Park (Hanyang University in Seoul - Korea)

Application Fees

Cat. A: € 40 - Cat. B: € 70 - Cat. C: € 100

Applications must be received in full. Any bank fees must be paid by the sender,
or the application will be deemed not valid.


All prizes are subject to tax withholding according to Italian fiscal laws

  • First Prizes Categories A, B and C: each winner will receive 30% of the total scholarship money for his or her category
  • Second Prizes Categories A, B, and C: each winner will receive 25% of the total scholarship money for his or her category
  • Third Prizes Categories A, B and C: each winner will receive 20% of the total scholarship money for his or her category
  • Fourth Prizes Categories A, B and C: each winner will receive 15% of the total scholarship money for his or her category
  • Fifth Prizes Categories A, B and C: each winner will receive 10% of the total scholarship money for his or her category
  • First Prize Winners of the Categories B and C will be invited to perform a live recital in Napoli. The performance will take place at a prestigious venue, to be chosen among the most important historical and artistic sites of Napoli (i.e. Castel Nuovo, Sala Vasari, National ArchaeologicalMuseum). The recital will be advertised to guarantee maximum exposure. If invitation is accepted, performers agree to receive no fee.
  • All prize winners of all categories will be awarded the chance to perform a live-streamed concert from a location of their choice. Duration will depend on their age and repertoire, but in any case the total duration will not exceed 50 minutes. Prize winners may decide to record a performance instead of streaming it live. Either the live or the recorded performance will be published on the “Napolinova” Facebook page, and on the Facebook, WeChat, YouTube, or Youku platforms of the jury members.
  • At the conclusion of the competition, contestants who do not win prizes can choose whether to make their videos public, or keep them unlisted. The winners must immediately go on YouTube or YouKu and make sure their videos’ settings are switched to “public”. Those videos will be posted on the “Napolinova” Association’s Facebook Page.



Catalin Ilea studied – among others – with Dimitrie Dinicu, Enrico Mainardi and Pierre Fournier. His career as a soloist started with four first prizes in international competitions, that led to frequent cooperations with orchestras such as Staatskapelle and Deutsches Symphonieorchester Berlin, Tonkünstler Vienna, the NDR Hannover, LA Philharmonics, the Bucharest Philharmonics and the Romanian Broadcasting Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande etc. Catalin Ilea is a regular guest in the main concert halls of Europe, North America and Asia and appears in festivals such as „Bruckner“ Linz, „Flanderen-Festival“, „Warsaw Autumn“, „Cologne Music Days“, "Messiaen" Avignon, the UNO-Special Concerts New York, „Israel Music Summer“, „ Shanghai Broadcasting Festival“. He has recorded over 40 records and CDs (among others for Electrecord, EMI, EMS, Olympia, OWM) displaying a vast variety of works like the cello concertos by Haydn, Schumann, Offenbach, d’Albert, Enescu, Vieru, Berger and the suites and sonatas by Bach, Brahms and Enescu. He is a founding member of the ensemble “Musica Nova”, has been for a long number of years a member of the “Trio Bucharest” and the “Sharon Quartet” and maintains to this day a very active chamber music schedule. His accomplishments have been rewarded with eight critics’, public and official awards. He has been a professor for cello at Berlin’s prestigious University of the Arts since 1994 as well as a member in various juries of international competitions such as “Casals” (Spain) or “Brahms” (Austria); he is offering master classes on regular basis in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Poland, South Korea. Graduates of his class follow prestigious soloist careers, teach themselves at various universities or perform as members of internationally acclaimed orchestras like the Berlin, Munich and Vienna Philharmonics.



A graduate of The Juilliard School and a Fulbright Scholar, cellist Jennifer Kloetzel has concertized throughout the United States, Europe and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician. A founding member of the San Francisco-based Cypress String Quartet (1996-2016), Ms. Kloetzel has toured the globe and performed at such renowned venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Chautauqua Institute and the Ravinia Festival, the Lobkowicz Palaces in both Vienna and Prague, as well as prominent colleges and conservatories worldwide. Ms. Kloetzel is noted for her elegant playing and her vibrant tone. She is a sought-after recitalist, performing recent concerts for San Francisco Performances and on WQXR in New York. Strad Magazine hailed, “Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel is impressively passionate…” A fervent champion of new music, she has received the Copland Award for her work with living American Composers and has commissioned and premiered over fifty works, including five concertos written specifically for her. In the past few seasons, premieres included a Cello Suite by Daniel Asia, a Cello Concerto, “Cloud Atlas” and unaccompanied cello work “Lift,” which were both written for her by MIT composer Elena Ruehr and a Cello Sonata dedicated to her by Joseph Landers. The San Jose Mercury News proclaimed, “Cellist Jennifer Kloetzel shines in premiere” and called her a “terrific soloist…with a robust and earthy sound.” Ms. Kloetzel has recorded the Ruehr Cello Concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, which was released to critical acclaim in October 2014. “Lift” is the title track of an all-Ruehr disc, released on the Avie label, and was included on Keith Powers’ 13 Best Classical Music Recordings of 2016. Ms. Kloetzel is the featured cellist on a 2019 Albany Records release of music by Richard Aldag, and recently premiered Lee Actor’s Cello Concerto, written for her in 2017. In the 2019-20 season, she will also give world premieres of sonatas written for her by composers Richard Aldag and Elena Ruehr and “Inferno: Double Concerto for Viola, Cello and Chamber Orchestra” by Joel Friedman. Ms. Kloetzel is winner of The Juilliard School’s top award, the “Peter Mennin Prize for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Music,” and a Presser Music Award, as well as a Fulbright Grant to England. In 2004 she was honored with the McGraw-Hill Companies’ “Robert Sherman Award for Music Education and Community Outreach” in recognition of years of outreach work in schools and community centers. She has appeared at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, the Sarasota and Aspen Music Festivals, the Britten-Pears School, the Prague Mozart Academy, and performed as cellist of the Cassatt Quartet during the 1995-96 season. From 2003-2009, Ms. Kloetzel taught cello and chamber music at San José State University, where the Cypress String Quartet was Ensemble-in-Residence. She has given master classes at The Juilliard School, San Francisco Conservatory and at universities throughout the U.S. Growing up near Baltimore, Ms. Kloetzel began her cello studies at age six. Her teachers included Aldo Parisot, William Pleeth, Harvey Shapiro, Stephen Kates and Paula (Virizlay) Skolnick, as well as members of the Juilliard String Quartet, the Amadeus Quartet and the Cleveland Quartet. After performing with pianist Andre Previn at the La Jolla Chamber Music Festival, Ms. Kloetzel was invited to appear as one of his select “Rising Stars” for two seasons at the Caramoor Festival in New York. Ms. Kloetzel has been featured regularly on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” and her performances have been broadcast on radio stations from coast to coast. A passionate recording artist with 36 CD releases to date, recent recordings include the entire cycle of Beethoven Quartets and Brahms Sextets on the Avie label. She performed as principal cellist of the Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Baltimore Opera and the Juilliard Orchestra under Maestro Kurt Masur. In addition, she is a frequent soloist with orchestras throughout the United States, performing works by Beethoven, Brahms, Dvořák, Elgar, Glazunov, Fauré, Ibert, Haydn, Hindemith, Lalo, Saint-Saëns, Shostakovich, Strauss, and Walton. In 2016, Ms. Kloetzel was invited to join the faculty at University of California Santa Barbara, where in 2018 she was named Assistant Professor of Cello and Head of Strings. .



Cellist Kyungok Park is known for her versatility and high-quality performance as a soloist and a chamber musician. Winning major music competitions in South Korea like the Ehwa-Kyunghyng, Joong-Ang, Dong-A and graduating from Seoul High School of Music and Arts and Seoul National University each with the Ministry of Education Award and Prime Minister Award as a valedictorian, Park has gained renown as a distinguished cellist from a young age. Upon graduation, Park continued her studies abroad as a DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst) Scholar with Prof. Andre Navarra at Staatliche Musickhoschule in Detmold, Germany and as a Rotary International Scholar with Prof. Aldo Parisot at Yale University, U.S.A. Park then pursued her doctorate degree with Prof. Bernard Greenhouse and Prof. Timothy Eddy at State University of New York at Stony Brook and acquired her DMA degree in 1988. Park has given numerous recitals in Korea, Japan, Europe, and the United States. Domestically, she frequently appears with the major Korean orchestras including the KBS Orchestra, Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, and Puchon Philharmonic Orchestra. Internationally, Park has appeared with the Jangchun Philharmony of China, National Orchestra of Avignon of France, and Festival Orchestra of Kirishima of Japan. She has also performed with leading artists such as Dang Thai Son, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Paul Edmund-Davis, Krzystof Jablonski, Emily Beynon, Jakob Leuschner, Gerald Fauth, Shigeo Neriki, and Emil Chudnovsky. As a founder of Quartet 21 since 1991, Park has been an acclaimed chamber music player upon receipt of prestigious titles awarded to artists who have greatly contributed to the industry –President’s Award by President Roh Moo-hyun, Artist of the Year by the Ministry of Culture, and Daewon Music Award by Daewon Cultural Foundation. Quartet 21 has also been appointed as the Cultural Ambassador of South Korea, performing at a World Tour Concert series in Southwest Asian countries. Passionate in educating the younger generation, Park has been a faculty artist at Kirishima International Music Festival in Japan for more than 20 years and at Euro Music Festival in Germany, and currently teaches at the Summit Music Festival in New York. She has also been a jury of International Johannes Brahms Competition since 2007, and is a professor of Department of Orchestral Instruments at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea.

1st World Cello E-Competition 2020


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